Far West

Inspiration from Zion

Inspiration from Zion

"Driving from Denver to Los Angeles with my first husband and baby son in 1973, I wanted to enjoy parts of the country I'd never experienced. Tiredness interfered with that often, sending me into uneasy dozes as Richard drove and Lyle sang with the radio, banging out time on his carseat. And so, only one sight has really stayed with me for all these years: Zion National Park in Utah."

Adventure in the 'Valley of Hearts Delight': Silicon Valley for the Outdoor Enthusiast

The Santa Clara Valley, better known by its modern nickname "Silicon Valley," was once also considered the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” due to its abundance of wheat and produce, particularly pears, apricots, French plums (prunes), tomatoes, flowers, and grapes. The region is both agriculturally robust and scenic, home to a wealth of state parks that protect ancient old growth redwoods, and municipal parks with steep, rocky chaparral and riparian corridors

One Step at a Time: Moving On at Joshua Tree National Park

Click here to read Melissa Grego's essay about rock-climbing at Joshua Tree National Park—she gains new perspective during a time of personal and professional turmoil. Melissa writes, "At Joshua Tree, I experienced pain and fear and still reached places I didn’t know existed. I just needed to keep looking at things from different angles and recognize that I was not alone."

Spotlight on Yosemite Writing Retreat

We were excited to learn of a unique writing retreat that dovetails our two passions — parks and writing. We invited Jennifer Moss, founder of the Yosemite Writers Retreat, to write a guest post telling our readers more about how her retreat series originated, and what attendees can expect to focus upon as writers. Click here to read.

Heartbreak and Enduring Love: Two Valentines

For Valentines Day, Parks and Points is proud to publish the two Honorable Mention winners from our Fall 2016 Essay Contest. Allyson Whipple's "Heartbreak on a Hill" describes putting oneself back together after a breakup in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, in Texas. Jean Jackman's "50th Anniversary in the Wilderness" set in the Desolation Wilderness in El Dorado National Forest, gathers nine family members together in celebration of fifty years of marriage. 

Heart Lake, Olympic National Park photo by brewbooks / CC BY