America - The Beautiful

When I decided to move to the US, I made up my mind to not fall for a luxurious life. I was afraid that I would be so enticed by the great infrastructure of the states that I would never like to return back to my home country. That is why I have been super careful while taking in all the luxuries. I have mostly been focusing on my job and my side gigs and so I hardly find any time during the weekdays. On weekends, I explore various places. Till now, I didn't find anything so special about America that cannot be found in India. Anything but one! And that one thing is the immense natural beauty of the landscape.

America was the last continent where humans stepped their feet and so it is the one that has suffered the least human hostility. I have to say that I was awed by the rich natural beauty of the country. I agree that I have not even explored 5% of it, but, for what I did explore I felt like not leaving the place soon.

From top to bottom in left to right order:
1. Mirror Lake - Yosemite National Park 2. Trinity Forest
3. San Francisco Peninsula - Mission Peak
4. Bixby Creek Bridge 5. Mt Shasta
6. Spanish Bay - 17 Mile Drive 7. Yosemite Creek
8. Fisherman's Wharf 9. California 1

I do have countless pictures to share to show the immense beauty of America. There are countless mountains to climb, hundreds of preserved forests and national parks, and innumerable beaches along the mighty Pacific. Each wonder is carefully preserved and respected by all visitors. Within California, there are forests, deserts, beaches, mountains, and valleys. And then as icing on the cake, there is a vast road network connecting them. I cannot describe the beauty of the drive on California 1 along the Pacific ocean. You would never like the drive to end.

The annual pass for national parks of America is called "America - The Beautiful". That seemed to be one hell of a narcissistic name. But, after my first trip to Yosemite, I realized the rationale behind the name. I have never been to a national park before (not even in India). It was only after visiting Yosemite did I realize its importance in preserving nature. I have never been so close to nature before.

I did a couple of hikes back in India. But I never knew hiking was such a serious business in this country. And it has to be. In America, once you are into the wild, you are on your own. You need to carry everything that you would need. There is no "tourist guide" in the wilderness. There is no one who would be taking care of your accommodation and food. You need to carry your own camping kit. You need to plan for your safety in the wilderness. Strangely I used to believe that Americans would be sophisticated. I never knew that many of them have the best nature skills. I have completed at least 10 hikes with Mt Shasta being the toughest on the plate.

Hopefully, this fight to explore nature is just the beginning. After all, I have an entire continent to explore!


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