“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” - Theodore Roosevelt
One of the proudest legacy of the 26th President is the crown jewel of the American conservation era - the National Park System @the59parks
. And while I have been fortunate enough to visit 34 of these memorable places, very few have stuck to my mind and my heart, and one of them is the @canyonlandsnps
. And nothing captures the essense of this rugged desert terrain like the view from Mesa Arch at sunrise, an arch suspended over a vertiginous cliff overlooking a vast canyonland.
One of the rituals as a photographer is to make the dawn trip to Mesa Arch, squeeze your tripod in between the two dozen others, and eek out a few shots just as the sun crests the horizon, and one more just as it disappears behind the arch. While it is photogenic place, it was the view that the location presented that I found the most endearing: cliff walls glowing yellow in the morning sun, stupas, stacks, and hoodoos silhouetting in the slanted light, twisted canyon disappearing into the vast expanse of the horizon. The sense of belonging and being humbled by nature is perhaps the primary reason why such regions must be preserved for posterity.
Canyonlands National Park