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Posts tagged ‘Kings River National Park’

Traveling “That Ribbon of Highway”

Traveling “That Ribbon of Highway” (Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge:  This Land Is My Land, 2 Verses)

Coral Reef National Park 259I have always liked Woody Guthrie’s ballad “This Land Is Your Land” that he wrote in 1940.  I was aware of the song from the 1960s when Peter, Paul & Mary sang it.  It moved me in great part because of the intimacy of the lyrics.  The beauty of this great country is truly yours, mine, ours, there for all to appreciate.  Even as a kid, I was aware that not everyone took the time to admire all the beauty around us. But it is always there.


Coral Reef National Park 288As an adult, I travel by car as often as possible because it allows me a closer connection to the myriad of landscapes across the country.  I like the sense of freedom and solitude such drives give me.  Since the roads—paved or not—stretch from coast to coast across all terrains, I can visit most anywhere.  I prefer country roads over city streets, because there I am more apt to see nature, get the feel for the open road, and glimpse the vast panoramas of land and sky.

ribbon of highway

Here—with a little creative editing—is my favorite verse from the Guthrie’s song.

“As I was [traveling] that ribbon of highway

I saw above me the endless skyway. . . .

While all around me a voice was sounding

This land was made for you and me.”

The photos are from some of my recent travels, demonstrating the freedom, beauty and diversity of American highways.  I live in California and am often drawn to the Southwest for some adventures as well.  What are your favorite places to be out on the open road, on “that ribbon of highway”?


Yosemite National Park




Sequoia National Park



Kings Canyon National Park





Eastern Sierra





Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park



See Canyon, Near Avila Beach




Big Sur Hills & Coastline





Drive to Mendota 063

MO & KS drive to Dodge City 004

Drive to KC in rain 004


Bosque de Apache outside Albu 010

Bosque de Apache outside Albu 047

Bosque de Apache outside Albu 248


Saugaro NP Rincon & West 009

Saugaro NP Rincon & West 227

Saugaro NP Rincon & West 325


CO national mon 2 & River Park 048

CO national mon 2 & River Park 062

CO national mon 2 & River Park 070

CO national mon 2 & River Park 127

Pam Day 2 & Garden of the Gods 048


Coral Reef National Park

Coral Reef National Park 093

Coral Reef National Park 123

Canyonlands National Park, Needles

Canyonlands Needles & I 70 045

Canyonlands Needles & I 70 216

Canyonlands Needles & I 70 217

Canyonlands Needles & I 70 293

Zion & Kolob Canyons National Park

Zion & Kolob Canyons 056

Zion & Kolob Canyons 080

Zion & Kolob Canyons 120

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As an adult, while I truly love the great beauty and diversity of this land of ours, I am equally aware of our country’s problems.  Guthrie was aware of the discrepancies in society as well, motivating a satirical if not cynical view to “This Land Is Your Land.”  He wrote the famed lyrics, in part, as a political protest.  Bruce Springsteen performed the song live in the 1980s, acknowledging the harsh realities evident in society that some say question the validity of the lyrics.  But through all the problems, the beauty and potential of America still shine through.  As Springsteen says in his opening comments, it’s “about one of the most beautiful songs ever written about America.” 

The Majestic Kings River

It was the end of March, so we foolishly figured it was spring.  But in reality winter was still holding forth as a friend and I visited Sequoia National Park.  We saw a winter wonderland and had a great time, but out trip was cut short when the roads through the park were closed due to a storm.  At the time, we were disappointed:  Our plan to visit Kings Canyon National Park was not going to happen on that trip as planned.

IMG_3059IMG_3066Last week, however, we returned to Kings Canyon to finish our trip and were overjoyed about the earlier delay.  In May, spring was finally holding forth, blanketing the roadside with wildflowers.  The big trees were just as impressive even though not covered in snow.











But it was the majestic roaring Kings River that filled us with awe.  It would not have been so impressive several months earlier before the snow melt started to flow.  Over time this river has cut a magnificent canyon.  In fact, the Kings Canyon is even deeper than the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  This impressive river drops 13,291 feet along its course—that is the greatest vertical drop for any undammed river in the United States.  Traveling through the national park on Highway 180, we were able to drive along the river, making it all the way to Road’s End.

IMG_20140522_153031_hdr (2)We first spotted the river at Grizzly Falls in the Monarch Wilderness.  It represents the overflow of Grizzly Lake and eventually wends its way to the Kings River far below.

IMG_20140522_152906_hdr (2)

As we drove through the park, we could catch glimpses of the actual river far below as well.


IMG_2982But as we continued our drive through the park, Highway 180 eventually took us right along the shores of the river.  The water was moving quickly as the snow melt rushed down from mountains over 8,000 feet above the valley floor.  The river was inviting, but even the pools that looked relatively calm were hiding a raging current that moved the river forward on its journey.














Kings River:  Impressive, isn’t it?

This blog post was my response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Water.

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“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”   Norman Maclean

“Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!” said Piglet, feeling him.
Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.”  
A. A. Milne

“The river is everywhere.”   Hermann Hesse

“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.”   Emma Smith

“We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.”    David Brower

“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.”   Laura Gilpin

“A good river is nature’s life work in song.”   Mark Helprin

“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”   Native American Saying

“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams—they all have different names, but they all contain water.  Just as religions do—they all contain truths.”   Muhammad Ali

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”  John Lubbock

“Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes—every form of animate and inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man.”  Orison Swett Marden

“In Einstein’s equation, time is a river.  It speeds up, meanders, and slows down.  The new wrinkle is that it can have whirlpools and fork into two rivers. So, if the river of time can be bent into a pretzel, create whirlpools and fork into two rivers, then time travel cannot be ruled out.”  Michio Kaku

“Statistics vary, but in less than seven years there won’t be a single cell left in any of our bodies that’s the same as it is today. This means that any human being who ‘wants’ to change is like a mountain river wanting to reach the valley floor.  It’s a done deal; that’s what mountain rivers do, and ‘changing’ should be our first nature.”  Guy Finley

“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt—it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to get anywhere else.”  Hal Boyle

“Many a calm river begins as a turbulent waterfall, yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea.”  Mikhail Lermontov

“Love is the river of life in the world.”  Henry Ward Beecher

“Rivers know this:  There is no hurry. We shall get there someday.”   A.A. Milne

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