california rivers

On this day in 1864, President Lincoln signed the Yosemite Land Grant, protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley – an area that would later become Yosemite National Park. It was the first time the government protected land because of its natural beauty so that people could enjoy it. Thanks to John Muir’s passionate writing to further protect the delicate ecosystem of the High Sierra, Yosemite became our nation’s 3rd national park 26 years later. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Basiago.

I am so glad for photographs. I am so glad to have this perfect window into a moment suspended in time when I stood open-mouthed and out of breath, throat tight in the face of a morning more glorious than my welling eyes knew what to do with. When I look at this photo I will remember how the air bit ever so slightly at the ends of my fingers and nose, and how the sun kissed away the chill and lingered on my cheeks and eyelids turning everything pale gold. When I look at this photo, 5, 10, 20 years from now I will remember standing on my tired feet in my scuffed up knock-off doc martins on this bridge in Yosemite national park on May 27th, 2017, twenty-two years old and in love with the world and every single rock and tree in it.  

Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area in California includes expansive rolling hills of blue oak and lush forests surrounding the Sacramento River and its tributaries. The beautiful and diverse habitat – home to bald eagles, osprey, deer and salmon – offers natural beauty and solitude paired with numerous recreation opportunities. You can explore the area by foot, horseback, boat and bike, and then pitch a tent at the end of the day for stunning sunsets on your public lands. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).