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The commercial strip v. the National Monuments – a request for stay of execution

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

On the executioner’s block: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

 

It is already true that one can be dropped on any commercial strip in the USA and have no idea where they are. Each is so much the same, so not unique, that Chattanooga and Bakersfield look much the same. We have eradicated the prairies, slaughtered the forests, and filled the wetlands, must we also quash the individuality of the national monuments and make them conform to the ideals of capitalism, consumerism, and corporate expansion? What of calm, contentment, and courage to step outside of the box, to appreciate the subtle realm of time, space, and light that is not under our control? Where will we go for peace when we have used up all that is wild?

You have seen my photos over the last year. Many of those photos were taken in national monuments (including the two on this page). If you enjoyed my meager attempts at conveying the intensity of these landscapes, you will enjoy this (free ebook) photographic journey through the national monuments by exquisite landscape photographers

http://landalmostlost.com/

And, I hope you will send comments in support of retaining the national monuments.

 https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

Stay the executions.

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

 

Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice!

All the best and brightest for 2017!

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Spring trees after morning rain. Beartown State Forest, Massachusetts

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Yampa River valley, cottonwoods, snow, and afternoon light. Colorado

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Fern aliens. How can so many shades of green live in one place? Mount Baker, Washington

Sea alien – A.K.A. anemone. Deception Pass State Park, Washington

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Paintbrush in lichen-laden sagebrush. Steens Mountain, Oregon

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

The road through Candy Land

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Fall color against red rock. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

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Super moon set. Canyonlands National Park, Utah

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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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Kalahari Milky Way. Botswana

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Zebra-belly nap face. Moremi National Park, Botswana

Moremi National Park, Botswana

Personal grooming is important in maintaining superiority.

Elephant knees and toenails and a little one tucked under the trunk. Chobe, Botswana

Lilac-breasted roller. Moremi National Park, Botswana

Paradise Found, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The road through Candy Land

Remember the children’s game, Candy Land? If the board was laid out on a real landscape, this is what the road would look like, marshmallow fudge and cotton(wood) candy.

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Cottonwood Canyon Road, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Southern Utah – the subtle to the sublime

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Super moon set

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Landscape colors, Arches National Park

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Petroglyphs, Arches National Park

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Um, you guessed it: an arch! Arches National Park

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Trees in rock, Arches National Park

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Sunset light on the Colorado River canyon walls

Sevier Lake, for Dr. Denny

Societal Insanity v. A Safer World

In 1997 I moved from western Massachusetts to Maine. Several people asked me, “Are you going to get a gun?” I laughed. I thought this was an odd question.

When I left Maine to work in Alaska, many people told me, “You better get a gun.” I guess Alaska is a scary place relative to Maine.

After that summer in Alaska, I spent the winter in Utah. I went back to Alaska the next summer and then worked in Wyoming the following winter. I moved to Montana. Each step along the way, people said the same thing, “ You better start packin’.”

I left Montana and moved to eastern Washington State. My boyfriend at the time gave me his shotgun. It remained in the back corner of a closet until we broke up and he asked me to return it.

Now, I am leaving Washington. I have bought a camper for the bed of my pick-up and plan to spend a few months, maybe years, cruising around to the many places I haven’t had time to visit during other busy travels. And, once again, people have begun asking me if I have a gun or if I am going to get one.

I have never owned a gun. I have used them for clay pigeon shooting on occasion, I have carried one as a mandatory safety precaution in polar bear country, I shot at woodchucks when I was a teenager.

How many school shootings, mass shootings, random shootings have there been this year? How many people have been killed in the U.S. this year by a gun, self-inflicted, accidental, or intended?

I’m not anti-gun. I don’t think gun control will resolve all of the insanity of our society.

I may lead a charmed life.

I choose to step into the world unarmed. I believe that adding a gun to my travel gear will not make me safer.

Rather, I believe that choosing not to carry a gun will make the world safer.