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"If only people would come into the parks, as John Muir put it, they would find 'everything here is marching to music, and the harmonies are all so simple and young they are easily apprehended by those who will keep still and listen and look'."

From "Mountains without Handrails: Reflections on the National Parks, by Joseph Sax.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is undoubtedly one of the most photographed, and photogenic, of the national parks. I'd been there four times before, but never when there was still snow on the formations that fill the huge amphitheatre-like basin that is the park. We spent most of the day hiking and photographing behind Bryce (see the pebbles-in-the-stream photo from last month's Natural Escape) and didn't arrive inside Bryce until late afternoon. We immediately went to Sunset Point, aptly named because it's a terrific vantage point for watching the descending sun make its last splash on the rocks. As you can see here, the descending sun had just about descended - but there was enough light to highlight the snow-capped red sandstone just below us. Bryce is one of the most unique and special parks because of how well it fills the eyes with a panorama of these sandstone sculptures.

If You'd Like To Explore Some More...

There are several nature writers whose work I really enjoy reading, including Edward Abbey, Barry Lopez, Joseph Wood Krutch, and Henry David Thoreau and Everett Ruess. To see a list of their writings, please visit the Natural Escape Writer's page, and spend some time browsing through the titles.

"All I knew was that it was pure delight to be where the land lifted in peaks and plunged into canyons, and to sniff air thin, spray-cooled, full of pine and spruce smells, and to be so close-seeming to the improbable indigo sky. I gave my heart to the mountains the minute I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam ..."

"Overture: The Sound of Mountain Water" in The Sound of Mountain Water by Wallace Stegner

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You're looking at one of the spectacular views that overwhelms you when walking through a slot canyon - this one is Upper Antelope Canyon outside of Page, Arizona. I'd been here before, but each time it looks slightly different because the angle of the sun changes as it illuminates the canyon walls. A walk (or hike, or crawl, as the case may be) through a slot canyon is one of life's most unique trips; these are places unlike any other.

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