Having visited three national parks last fall in a wonderful nature tour, I could never be stronger in my convictions that these are sacred, precious areas (among many others) and should be allowed to exist for as long as this amazing planet exists.
One of the most exceptional parks that I visited was Mesa Verde in Colorado. The scenery, ancient ruins and wildlife were breath-taking. One evening wild Elk bugled in the far hills as the sun slowly set. Later that same night the sky was lit up by great splashes of distant lightning while the stars shone in astonishing abundance and a meteor streaked across the sky. It was a most magical time.
Another park was the Petrified Forest in Arizona. This place had a special significance to me since I had an uncle who lived in Arizona and gave me a piece of petrified wood when I was a child. I was fascinated by that wood. I probably thought "petrified" meant scared and I wondered what could have scared the trees so much. Even though I came to understand the actual nature of the transformation of the wood, it has fascinated me all my life. I was thrilled to actually be in this "forest" and walk where my uncle once walked.
Close up of petrified wood
And finally, the Grand Canyon, again in Arizona, which defies description. It is an experience rather than a place.
Blue shaded Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon