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The National Parks by Ken Burns on PBS

I hope everyone has had a chance to watch at least some of Ken Burns' PBS series, The National Parks. the photography is terrific, and he manages to balance human stories with nature's grandeur. I'd also recommend the companion book by Burns and Dayton Duncan, which is loaded with historical photos and artwork, interviews and a poster of Yosemite.

I'm a sucker for this stuff. I've been fortunate enough to visit a number of the parks, and carry powerful memories: rock climbers suspended overnight on the sheer face of El Capitan in Yosemite, a caribou sauntering along a streambed in Denali, the piercing call of a marmot on Mt. Ranier. And when I have to pay my federal taxes every year, recalling those moments makes it a bit less painful.

But as good as the series and book are, they can't do justice to the feeling you get standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon or on the floor of Yosemite Valley. So get out there!

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