The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

I hope all of you outdoor lovers have been watching The National Parks: America’s Best Idea on PBS this week. I know, I know, it’s the second week of Dancing with the Stars (I’m a closet fan), but come on now, where are your priorities?

Ken Burns has created a beautiful film documenting the development and progression of the National Parks in America. I knew that President Theodore Roosevelt was in office during the conception of the Parks and Monuments, and after learning of his enthusiasm and heartfelt connection to the great outdoors he has become my favorite. Can you imagine a president today directing his staff, special services, family, and even (gasp) the media to leave him alone and let him enjoy the wilderness in peace?

In its first two nights the film has paid tribute to one of the forefathers of American Wilderness, John Muir, whose writings influenced Americans from coast to coast at a time when the dominant thought process in regard to wilderness was to dominate and subdue. His passion for seeking spiritual connection to God through communion with nature is an inspiration to me. If only I had the creative talent to write as he did.

The remaining four parts will be shown this week on PBS. I’m anxiously awaiting the introduction of Zion National Park, the place on earth where, as one early Mormon settler remarked, “man can come closer to God among these canyon walls than in any man-made temple.” Check out Sol’s version of a Zion National Park backpacking trip in Redrock Backpacker: Southwestern, Utah!

Click to view photos of Sol’s Zion canyoneering trip.

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