Thursday, July 21, 2016

American Beauties

In the midst of tucking the final necessities into my suitcase, I watched in horror and sadness, as the most recent tragedy unfolded from Dallas, Texas on the tv screen.  This anger and hatred seems to be everywhere now dividing our country and world more each day.  
Not wanting to turn a blind eye to reality, I was really looking forward to seeking out some beauty among all of this ugliness.  Beauty in the form of two of our American national parks.

 We began our ten day journey in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.    
In a matter of moments after our arrival, we were captured by the beauty to be found in every direction.  The air was fresh and slightly crisp.  Such a welcome change from the heat and humidity of North Carolina.
All through the day people were offering to take a picture of the two of us and also asking for us to take their group pictures.  It seems that nobody wanted to miss out on the chance to be included in photos with these breathtaking backgrounds.

At one point in the journey the park ranger tiptoed up to us and requested that we be as quiet as possible.  Seems as though mama bear and her cub were having playtime and she didn't want us to disturb them.  She did say that photos were okay so I seized that opportunity.

Looking up... way, way up to the top of these giant sequoia trees I pondered how long they had been growing.  Some of them are 2000 years old.  I thought about all of the changes that have taken place in that time.

 Time spent by this waterfall was time well spent.
Far from a gentle trickle, this water gushed out at a fast pace.
Still there is something so soothing about water flowing in a natural surrounding like this.

*** America, the beautiful ***
 As we made our way out of the park, I was captured by the water rushing over the rocks at the base of the mountains.  So glad the driver offered to stop here for a spell.

Also glad that Brett was the driver as my knees would have been knocking on roads like these.

 Day two found us enjoying the sights at Yosemite National Park.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the National Park System.  The attendance at Yosemite was a reflection of this celebration.

We saw a lot more traffic here, but it was easy to see why.

An abundance of natural beauty.

As far as the eye could see.
At one point in the day, I sat down on one of the strong rocks beneath the ancient trees.  I closed my eyes and breathed in a deep breath of fresh air and I prayed that all the world could know the peace I was feeling at that very moment.


  1. Kim, what a wonderful trip! It's so nice to be out with nature and away from the troubles in the world.

  2. Beautiful photos, Kim. I can almost smell the fresh air and feel the cooling breezes from the water. Yes, the world is in such a sad state just now. Peace is desperately needed.

  3. I'm so glad you got to visit these amazing parks! I would love to travel out West again! And how nice to stop and take a minute to pray. I do that every time we go to Canaveral National Seashore. Sweet hugs, Diane

  4. What a wonderful vacation destination and the pictures are awesome. So glad you got to go there. God sure has created a beautiful world for us. Nice that you took a moment for prayer. We all need to do that more often.
    Cool that you got to see the bears.
    I've been taking our bird feeders in at night so our bear wouldn't come but I think it may have made a visit while I was at the library this morning. The feeders were knocked down and the pole bent when I got back, but no sign of the bear.

  5. What beautiful scenery. That narrow winding road with steep drop off? I'd be biting my nails for sure.

  6. A perfectly wonderful post... I wish that everyone could have the frame of mind that you have, too. Alas, not yet, not yet.

  7. Wow! What a lot of gorgeousness! Thank you for sharing with us, Kim!

  8. I love that waterfall...but the picture of the bears makes this post super special :) how amazing that moment must have been!

  9. Hi Kim,
    I somehow found your page through Pinterest and I am amazed by your beautiful pictures! I live in Santa Cruz and that's where I landed on your page which caught my attention. You did such an awesome job with your photos I almost feel guilty for not getting out and about, and I'm talking about when I was younger. We used to just drive to our destination, usually Disneyland, and didn't take the time to really enjoy this beautiful state. Are either of you professional photographers?
    I enjoyed the pictures and your writing and now I need to check back to your older posts!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      I'm so glad you found my blog and took the time to comment. Thank you for your kind words. As you can tell, we loved our visit to your beautiful state. How fun that you live in Santa Cruz. We spent one afternoon there walking up and down the main street and looking into the shops. The thing that I noticed there is the interesting socks and shoes that are for sale.
      I understand what you are saying about not taking the time to enjoy your state. I think many of us are guilty of that as we go about the busyness of everyday life.
      To answer your question, neither of us are professional photographers. I just like to take pictures and have found the editing features to be my friend in making them look better :). I think I took close to 500 on our trip.
      Thanks again for visiting.

  10. This would be a cream trip! You saw bears...I would love that. The views and vistas in your photos are beautiful.

  11. So beautiful, you know I didn't visit these places nearly enough when I lived in California. Im so happy you got to experience the beauty.


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