Carved Deep

The Grand Canyon—as seen from the eastern part of the park. Growing up I had an image in my head of Grand Canyon National Park being this massive, rugged, deep canyon. All of this is true, but when I finally got to visit I was amazed at how the canyon appears with little warning. A…

Yucca Stalk

From afar a Yucca plant doesn’t look all that interesting or inviting, but up close this plant holds many intricate secrets. The closer you get, the more you’ll discover about the beauty of this plant. Start with the long pointy leaves and notice the various shades of green and yellow and then how the shadows play…

Black Canyon

A beautiful look at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado. Ranging between 1,800 to 2,700 feet deep (think 2 Empire State Buildings), the depth and sheer cliff sides are breathtaking to see in person. The canyon was carved out by the Gunnison River and it continues to flow through the canyon and deepen…

Mount of the Holy Cross

For many years frontiersmen from the western United States told stories about a mountain with a giant cross etched in to its face. It was considered a legend for many years due to its remote location high in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. When the first photographs in the mid-nineteenth century made their way…

Taranaki

This is Mount Taranaki (aka Mount Egmont), one of the most symmetrical volcanoes in the world. Taranaki was so named by the indigenous Maori people and roughly translated means “shining peak” (www.gns.cri.nz). At 8,261′ the mountain towers above the rest of the western edge of New Zealand’s North Island, which mostly sits at or near sea level….

Arches Juniper

I don’t know what it is about Juniper trees, but I think they are the coolest looking trees out there. They aren’t even close to being the biggest, but they are rugged and look the part. Junipers can seemingly survive in any environment. I have seen them gnarled and twisted, clinging onto wind-swept cliff faces and I’ve…

Mountainous Beech

My wife and I had been tramping along on the Routeburn Track in New Zealand for nearly the entire day. The majority of this trail is covered in Beech tree forest. It was a crystal clear day, perfect for a backpacking trip in the Southern Alps. Late in the afternoon a few clouds started rolling in…