But today's post is an ode to the incredible views I've been enjoying the last few weeks.
It should come as no surprise to you that I love the desert. While my beginnings are in the rolling hills of northeast Oklahoma, with its deciduous trees, tiny bugs, green grass, and high humidity...my roots took hold here in the Southwest. Don't get me wrong, Montanites, I loved Miles City like crazy (even though it was really cold 9 months out of the year), but this vast, arid landscape is where I belong. The rugged, sun baked hills that are actually teaming with life, the smell of creosote after it rains, the need for 25 layers and a furry dog to keep you warm at night - but you can wear a tank top and Chacos all day in the middle of January. I love this place.
The Family came out to the Park for a Post-Christmas celebration this year. The timing of work schedules and church made it difficult for us to see each other any time before the 26th. Sister and B-i-L were wonderful hosts who took us on a grand tour of some of my favorite (and new) Park places that are easy to get to in a day with 5 people crammed into a Jeep.
Where the Family proved that the Abandoned Mine Lands program in the desert is really worth the investment.
We saw the Kilns at Wildrose....
Then made our way up to see the sunset - or what was left of it - at Aguereberry Point.
And just for good measure, here is the Annual Family Christmas Timer photo....complete with Christmas tree. This one only took four takes because Sister and Mom wouldn't stop laughing.
I spent an afternoon after the New Year exploring the Tablelands outside of Bishop, where the views are equally stunning from the lava fields into the Eastern Sierra...An amazing testament to the power of Mother Nature, I think.
But seriously, see what I mean about sunsets out here?
Oh, and in case you do want to see Russia from your house, NPR has been doing it the right - and possible - way over the last few days. http://www.npr.org/news/specials/2012/russia-by-rail/