Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, April 28, 2014

"X" is for the X-Factor in National Parks

"Yellowstone - Where the Buffalo Roam" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Since there are no "X" National Parks, I started to wonder what the "X-Factor" might be in the creation of those parks. Our nation was very fortunate that President Thomas Jefferson sent out the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the western territories in 1804.

Then I think of John Muir, the naturalist who walked from Indiana to Florida and eventually explored California by foot. Co-founder of the Sierra Club, Muir was instrumental in establishment of the Sequoia, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks. In 1903, he went on a three-night camping trip with President Theodore Roosevelt and is said to have influenced his conservation interests. Roosevelt, of course, was a huge champion of the National Parks.

I think also of the great photographer, Ansel Adams, whose iconic photographs of scenes from Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks depict nature in a unique and unforgettable fashion. Interesting that he was injured during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. When he was thrown against a garden wall during an aftershock, his nose was broken and never properly repaired. He spent time in New Mexico with one of my favorite artists, Georgia O'Keeffe. He, too, was a great conservationist as well as an explorer of nature and the environment.

The X-Factor for the National Parks is the glory of exploration. Americans love to explore. Thankfully, we also have conserved these beautiful lands that became our National Parks.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

All of those people helped to promote and establish our national parks.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

We are so fortunate that they were interested in and promoted conservation!