At many tourist sites, authenticity reigns as the holy grail of the religious quest, a sacred commodity positioned to seduce touristic desires.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is unlike any other canyon in color, charm, in picturesque calendar-ready beauty, wild and frightening.
I greet the day with delight in the cool air of dawn. I am happily surprised to find a sliver of solitude along the San Antonio riverwalk.
Wonder-Land Illustrated by Harry J. Norton, published in 1873, was one of the first tourbooks recounting the Yellowstone experience for a general audience.
Warren Angus Ferris visited Yellowstone in 1834 as the first tourist to experience the thermal features, and the first person known to use the Icelandic word “geyser” to describe them.
The National Park Service’s management of nature offers America’s wild places as contrived experiences to meet the spiritual expectations of the consumer public.
Visitors who delight in nature and stunning scenery at places like Acadia National Park often do not realize their aesthetic debt to Protestant reformer and theologian John Calvin.
The land is philosopher. It teaches through patient being that knowing is as futile and useless as believing. Things are, circumstances unfold and collapse, and reality persists.
Acadia National Park has become infested with an epidemic of automobiles, but many visitors escape the traffic on the refurbished carriage roads where they can enjoy the park by equine-powered carriages, on foot or bicycle.
Cars have been both a blessing and a curse for national parks. They are how most of us get to the places we love, but they also hurt the places we love.
Nature allows us to be undisguised and naked, without judging us or demanding that we be something other than the vulnerable, frightened animals that we are.
Deer in the city are not so rare. Nor are coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, even the occasional fox. But wildness, even in its most positive romantic conceptions, usually ends up being about us.