As I have gotten older, I have become much more interested in National Parks and spectacular scenes of nature. I even sat through a chunk of Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea and would have watched more if my DVR had not thought keeping episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation was more important. The Parks are full of aging hippies like me with overpriced digital cameras. Perhaps it is because we have more time now that our children are grown. However, I never chose to go to the Parks when my children were younger and if I had been a true hippie I would have reveled more in the outdoors. No, something has changed in me. I want to know more about geology and history of these beautiful areas. They provide more perspective for our place on this planet in this point in time.
For a number of years, I have been exploring the Southwest. I am particularly enamored of red rock and arches. This year, I decided to re-explore California, my adopted state of residence for the past 35 years. We went up the coast as far as Mendocino and back down with a nice side trip to Yosemite.
Here are four pictures of scenery we saw, three from Yosemite and one from the coast near Big Sur. Please discuss among yourselves which scenery is most beautiful and/or spectacular to you and why.