monument valley, capitol reef, arches, canyonlands

in the beginning of this past december, we were two parks away from finishing our 30% national park goal – we decided to finish them with arches and mesa verde national park. we drove out to colorado first but the snow was so bad that the park ranger turned us around. we were pretty bummed but then decided that we would just finish our last 3 utah parks: canyonlands, capitol reef, and arches.

I forgot how in love I was with utah until we went back. I know there are a lot of people who aren’t huge fans of the desert because of how dry and brown it is but this post is to say, that respectfully, these people are wrong. I see reds of every shade. I see pale skies and flushed sunsets made of gold. desert sunrises of blues, pinks, and purples are enough of a reason to wake up at 5am despite the frigid cold. as we roam the empty plains, I imagine all the native american tribes that set foot before us. the desert is damn beautiful, you just have to open your eyes.

as I write these words post-trump inauguration, I can’t help but feel sad when looking at each of these photos. I’ve been reading all the articles on congress proposing bills to resume drilling within national parks. if the bill, H.J. Res. 46 goes through, oil companies can make new roads to these drilling sites without giving any notice to the NPS. the congressman who proposed this, paul gosar of arizona counter-argued that there will be no new drilling sites but the fact of the matter is is that this is all for self gain (gosar received $250k from energy sectors). people who see value in our earth don’t care whether or not it’s new drilling. we don’t want ANY drilling of any kind, ever. we must keep public lands in public hands, keeping it wild.

gosar’s number is (928) 445-1683 in arizona and (202) 225-2315 in dc. call him and let him know why you oppose this bill. I know it may seem like a long shot but it’s not impossible. in the past two weeks, another bill (H.R. 621) proposing that 3.3 million acres of federal lands be sold was introduced. calls/public outcry were made to the representative who proposed the bill and in response he pulled back his proposal with a statement saying, “I hear you and HR 621 dies tomorrow.” the deserts, the forests, and the mountains are our home and we must do all that we can to protect them.

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utah slot canyons

mammoth lakes + utah NPs

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