On Natural Beauty

Having spent a lot of energy thinking, blogging and posting on forums about politics and health care, it seemed like a departure to something less civilized might be nice.  The inspiration hit me while having a late night chat with another 20SB member as the conversation turned to some of the more beautiful aspects of this country.  What?  I hear you asking, the land!

One of the things that has never ceased to amaze me after moving out here to Utah is the vast amounts of nothing!  It really is amazing that there is so much land that is undeveloped, protected, and public.  I mean when you think about the way this country consumes resources, the fact that some of our nation’s leaders had the forethought to start setting aside land and protecting it through programs like the National Parks Service (NPS) or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Then of course there is the ranch land and farm land that also account for a lot of undeveloped land.

One of my favorite things about living out here in Utah (besides the fact that there is awesome skiing within 30 minutes of my apartment) is how accessible the wilderness of this country is, and how easy it is to get there.  Over the last four years i have managed to visit all of the National Parks in Utah, some more than once.  I have hiked and camped on state land and national land and the experiences are amazing.  We live in a beautiful country and going out and taking part in it is so wonderful.

I live a very wired life.  I have a laptop, an iPhone, a netbook, and a computer on my desk in my office.  I have this blog and my personal website and my photography website.  I have a twitter account and you can find me on facebook and a handful of other social networks.  When you actually stop to think about it, it is really kinda crazy.  I don’t actually think about it that often, it is just the way that life is.  However, I still look for and look forward to any and all opportunities to get out and experience the natural beauty around us.

I love the high desert out here in the Mountain West regions of the country.  Hiking through the slickrock around Arches and Canyonlands or through the Hoo-doos of Bryce is just spectacular.  This is why I jumped on the opportunity to do a photography workshop in May down in Moab.

I also love the east coast, specifically the northeast.  There will always be a place in my heart for the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the town of Franconia.  The northeast holds a very different beauty and appeal than the mountains and deserts out west, but I don’t think that it is any less grand or spectacular.  I don’t think that it would be possible to forget the view when you look at Mount Lafayette or hike through Crawford Notch.  It is a different world when it is covered with green trees and not red rock.  The mountains in the east seem to roll more than the do in the west.

I cherish the fact that I have the opportunity at this point in my life to be able to spend my summers in Maine working at camp.  Being about to get outside and spend the majority of the summer outside is wonderful.  Going hiking and camping is great.  I am happy to give up my ties to the digital world to play in nature’s playground.  I don’t think that enough of us actually stop to really enjoy the things that truly are free in this world.

So stop sometime, take in the world.  Disconnect from the computer and get out of the city.  Spend a night looking up at the stars and count the satellites as they streak by overhead.  Climb a mountain or hike up a little hill.  This is our land and we should enjoy it!  So with that, I shall leave you with the immortal words of Woody Guthrie:

[audio:http://icewolf08.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/This-Land-Is-Your-Land.mp3|titles=This Land Is Your Land]

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I’ve roamed and rambled and I’ve followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

As I was walkin’ – I saw a sign there
And that sign said – no tress passin’
But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.






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