Travel in the United States is such a dream, the meaning of travel itself. By car, down neverending historical roads, surrounded by giant red rocks or yellow bushy desert, or even in a blaze of woods and mountains. Every single mile leading to your destination can be unpredictable, especially when the sun goes down and you are heading to where orange and blue collide. You are driving to the West.
American National Parks are those places where you can feel alone and insignificant, witnessing Mother Nature’s greatness, but when you walk down those paths and look at the enormous spaces, the awareness of being part of a bigger picture comes to you, and inner peace is at your fingertips… or just one click away.
This photo series was taken between 2011 and 2013. Notes are from my travel journal.
At JFK Airport (NY) waiting to board on my flight to San Francisco:
“The West is waiting for me. One, two, a hundred different places. I begin to imagine myself on the Grand Canyon’s edge or watching the sunset over Monument Valley. The depth of this experience takes shape and I begin to feel it, with the first hints of emotional chills. Here it comes. Have a good trip!”
Grand Canyon National Park, tramping down the South Kaibab Trail
“The sky was full of stars when I went to sleep and perfect blue when I opened my eyes the morning after. A thin orange line began to glow on the horizon. But the most impressive thing was the first view of the Canyon. I believe that words like ‘huge’, ‘giant’, ‘magnificient’, ‘awesome’, they all were invented after seeing the Grand Canyon.”
Grand Canyon from lookout point at dawn
“The human desire to confront ourselves and seek adventures. The challenge against nature that we believe we can dominate. But it is not! The only we can do is to admire its power.”
Horseshoe Bend, near Page (Arizona) at sunset
“In the end, the Monument Valley turned to be a pleasant surprise. One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen, with shades of blue and purple, as if a colored fog surrounded those massive rocks sprouting from the Earth. Too bad it was full of Italians!”
The iconic Mounument Valley view of the mesas
Devil’s Tower is a landscape mark in Wyoming and a sacred place for the Lakota Sioux
“Thousands of miles from home, alone and away from everyone, but I carry my ghosts with me. Every man does. One question, with one thousand other thoughts, swirls in my mind. The search for the meaning. What does it mean for me to BE HERE NOW?”
Yellowstone National Park at sunset, Old Faithful Basin full of geyser streams
Grand Teton National Park, Where the Snake River finds its way out of Jackson Lake
“I had to delete the unnecessary to understand the essential. In the end it all comes down to survival.”
A deer wondering while Yosemite National Park is on fire, California – September 2013
“Yosemite is a pearl! Of which I have seen only a small facet. Of all those square miles, a miserable path. However, that little has been amazing. A tribute of greatness and magnificence. I was there admiring the Half Dome, the waterfalls. Every rock possessed my gaze, dark gray tinged with black and spotted with white.”
Gorgeous view from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California
“You will find that it is all very familiar… the strange and faraway places where you’ve never been. The wild unknown leads you to a place just around the corner. Take a picture when you get there… the road is YOU!”
“The Road” – J. Babe, R. Hammond
All photos can be used under Creative Commons, always give credit to the author:
Emiliano Bechi Gabrielli