Monday, September 28, 2009

John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt

We're watching Ken Burns's new documentary about the national park system.

Burns focuses on John Muir, who sounds like an absolutely amazing man. He combined his almost-transcendental communion with nature (fantastic stories about a spur of the moment 1,000 mile trek and days of exploring alone in Yosemite Valley) with a desire to share his love of nature with others. He accomplished this sharing in a variety of ways: writing extensively, organizing the Sierra Club, and meeting with President Roosevelt to advocate for greater protections for the new parks.

I love seeing the old black and white pictures of people in the parks. The pictures themselves bring home the combination of joy and melancholy that you can find in the outside.

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