foto friday – sitting on top of the world

valley

Well maybe it’s not the very top but it’s high enough that the air is pretty thin for someone who normally lives close to sea level.

We’re coming up on the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service.

August 25 will mark a century of responsible and visionary commitment to the management of the United States National Parks. A commendable and rare job. National Parks may turn out to be the most overlooked and important contribution America has made to the world.

In 1864 the US Congress gave the Yosemite Valley to California so it could avoid the fate of Niagara Falls.  They watched as a natural wonder was overwhelmed by the basest of commercial endeavours – extracting money from tourists in as many annoying,  tasteless and unimaginative ways possible. As a result they sought to find a better way and their vision payed off.

I am forever grateful for the commitment and courage that went into all the national, provincial, state and municipal parks that played such a large part in my life.

Without doubt, the most formative, valuable and  important experiences I have known are associated with a park of some sort.

Whether the public gardens in Nîmes, The Villa Borghese  or the NCC parks in Ottawa.  The wilds of  Gros Morne and  Bruce peninsula or the  Chandra Bose botanical gardens – it’s all the same.

Somehow, humankind managed a brief moment of clarity and wisdom and set aside a small piece of the natural world for contemplative enjoyment free of commercial pursuit. We no longer build temples or cathedrals. Our monuments are sparse, mishapen and generally not up to the task. And we don’t understand consecration or blessings any more. But occasionally we are respectful enough of creation to create a park, and this is a good thing.

There is nowhere on earth that says ‘parks’ better than Colorado. And to that end, I will be posting pictures from parks in the region in hopes that it inspires and encourages others to make use of the parks close to them.

If you have a favorite park, let me know in the comments below.

alpine-meadow

sklydrive

ridgeline

lookout-3500m

 

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