Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The shadows of huge, billowing rain clouds passacross the landscape like ghosts, transforming a plain midday into a constantly changing array of light and shadow.
Flat tops Wilderness, Colorado
One of the most satisfying things on a backpacking trip is hindsight, when you can look back over the miles you've covered and say, "Damn, I just walked through that!" This image is especially fun for me because it not only shows the valley we had spend the last day moving through, but also where we camped the previous night (the little patch of trees just right of center on the near side of the lake). With this kind of view it's easy to imagine yourself within the landscape, tramping or camping, as a component rather than just an observer. That, ultimately, is the biggest reward of backpacking: the reminder that yes, you are part of a natural system much larger than yourself, and that yes, you do belong.
Routt National Forest, Colorado // Heaven tends to be associated with the sky; looking up into the therapeutic pure gradient blue on a day like this, I can see why. It's a comfortable curtain over the overwhelming expanse of the infinite star-universe beyond, and it's the residence of the whole planet's solar fusion engine. The plants reach for it to live, and we live because the plants do. We're celebrating Thanksgiving soon, so, to the sky, thanks!