trail of 100 giants.

Our National Monuments are in need of love right now (read this if you don’t know why).  And with summer coming along, the mountains are awaiting your roadtripping escapades.  My recommendation for this summer is to visit Giant Sequoia National Monument and the Trail of 100 Giants.  It’s one of the most impressive sequoia groves you’ll ever see.  And what’s truly wonderful is that you can stay right on the edge of it in a yurt at Redwood Meadow campground.  Reserve in advance.  Thank me later.

monuments.

I spent a season long ago as a botanist on the Carrizo Plain, one of the coolest landscapes I have ever encountered, so I was a bit dismayed this week that it’s National Monument status might be up for revision by the new presidential administration.  Then I read that Patagonia (yes, the retailer) was standing up to the attack on monuments (read about it here).  It brought to mind one of the most significant and impacting films I have seen about adventure and the environment, 180° South.

 

land art.

I don’t know what is most intriguing about land art.  Simply that it is in the outdoors, displaced, making the ecosystem and the natural world the museum by default?  Maybe that it draws people out to the most random locations where they can then look back from a completely unlikely vantage point and reflect?  Maybe my hope is that it will give people an appreciation for nature.  Or perhaps it’s simply that many land art pieces are just extravagantly weird.  Like the mirror house near Palm Springs pictured below.  It’s a part of DesertX, a different kind of art exhibit, scattered across the entire Coachella Valley.  Link to it here.  It ends soon, and is so worth the roadtrip.

DesertX

national parks.

National Parks and other conservation entities are tremendously active in the summer months and generally do much of their hiring, well, right about now.  Ordinarily that would be a gold mine for those looking to enter the field.  However, the recent hiring freeze has left a lot of questions about how that would play out.  Read about it here.

In the midst of the media blackout imposed on the park service and several other science-based government entities, new means of rogue communication have arisen.  You can read about it here, or look for Alt National Park Service on Twitter or Facebook for information relevant to science and conservation.

With these issues in mind, it might be a good time to revisit why Wallace Stegner once said that “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”  Check the National Parks Adventure trailer below, and visit the Fleet Science Center in San Diego to see it on the big screen.