The National Park Service Turns 100 Today!

Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service

Deremer Studios Fine Art Photography - Out West

Sunset from Cape Royal on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Way back in the summer of 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act that created the National Park Service – a federal bureau designed to protect the 35 existing national parks and monuments (the first national park, Yellowstone, was founded by congress in 1872, with the remaining added in the next 40 years).  Fast forward 100 years, and America’s parks system encompasses 413 areas (with Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument being added just yesterday!).  Of these, there are  59 national parks, 84 national monuments, and 78 national historic sites.  In total, the Parks Service oversees over 84 million acres, with land in every state.

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A Bull Bison crossing Geyser Hill in Yellowstone

Over the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of visiting many of the national parks, from Cape Cod to Bryce Canyon.  This past autumn, we took a grand circle tour of 6 of the great western national parks: Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Arches and Mesa Verde.  In total, we covered over 3,600 miles in just 10 days, but we packed those days plum full of adventure.  Each park was spectacular in its own right, but if we had to choose a favorite, it would be the granddaddy of them all – Yellowstone.  We spent four days in that park, two in and around Mammoth and two days around Old Faithful.  We even had the great honor and luck of staying in the original 1903 portion of the Old Faithful Inn.

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Spruce House dwellings at Mesa Verde

Since then, we’ve been on a few other national parks as business trips have brought us nearby.  This past winter, I visited the Grand Canyon and Arches again, and for the first time, visited the Colorado National Monument and its epic Rim Rock Road.  Just a few weeks ago, we took our family to explore another first for us, the Cape Cod National Seashore.  All in all, we were blessed with spectacular weather throughout – including more than one sky-on-fire-gorgeous sunset.  This year may have marked our first big foray into the national parks, but rest assured, Lord willing, it will not be our last! Happy birthday National Park Service – and here’s to many, many more centuries of success and joy!

Deremer Studios Fine Art Photography - Out West

Glowing Aspens and Vibrant Blue Skies in the Grand Tetons

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Summer Wanderings Part 3: Massachusetts

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Autumn in the National Parks – The Roads Between

Deremer Studios Fine Art Photography - Out West

Having wrapped up our individual posts on the national parks, I wanted to turn to the roads between – some 2,500 miles of them – that we explored as we went from park to park.  There’s no question in my mind that our national parks contain some of the most beautiful, unique and picturesque places in our country, and yet they do not hold a monopoly on natural beauty.  From the geological wonders like Horseshoe Bend (above), to the stunning wildlife along the way, like this pair of bald eagles (below) outside of Ft. Collins, CO – beauty abounds.

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Having spent so much time on the road over the course of our trip, we got to see a lot of the country.  From plains and mountains, cities and wilderness, modern wind farms and ancient settlements – the manifold glories of creation made the long hours on the road well worth it.  On our first day of travel from Denver to Yellowstone, for example, we encountered the pair of bald eagles, not one but two stunning mountain rainbows, massive wind farms, a stunning canyon road, the massive Wild Bill Dam, and our first view of snow-capped mountains.   Our last day on the road was equally thrilling, with the autumn colors of the Colorado Mountains shimmering golden yellow as we made our way from Mesa Verde back to Denver.  As sunset approached, we happened upon the scene below, with a grove of glowing aspens reflected in the calm waters of a pristine pond.  It was truly a glorious end to a breathtaking trip!

Deremer Studios Fine Art Photography - Out West

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Autumn in the National Parks – The Roads Between

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Autumn in the National Parks – Grand Tetons

Deremer Studios Fine Art Photography - Out West

After four wonderful days in Yellowstone, we left Old Faithful Inn in the rear view mirror quite early on the sixth day of our trip – headed south on Highway 89 toward Grand Tetons National Park.  Our first glimpse of the Tetons was just as first light was casting its pinkish hue on the mountains, far off in the distance.  The morning was cold enough for mist to be rising off of the Lewis River, perfectly completing the composition.  As we continued south and the sun rose over the horizon, the pastel colors gave way to vibrant blues behind the ever-growing vista of the Grand Tetons.  Though we only had about 4 hours to spend in the park, it was a morning well spent, gazing at these rocky monoliths rising 5,000 feet above the valley floor, and accented, as in the photo above from Colter Bay, by the golden glory of the autumn aspens.

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We chose to venture along the less-traveled Teton Park Rd which runs along the lakes that border the Tetons.   Being more or less acclimated to the utter flatness that is Florida, looking out just over a mile away to see a summit, nearly a mile above us, was a pretty spectacular contrast.  Near Moose, along the southern edge of the park, Bryn suggested we stop by the village of Menors Ferry – a pioneer settlement built around a ferry crossing along the swift-moving Snake River.  Preserved much as it appeared 120 years ago, the collection of buildings includes a few small homes, a general store, and an Episcopalian Chapel (above).  The general store is run by the national park and offers many period-true items for purchase, and in the adjoining rooms there’s a museum offering a glimpse into frontier life at the base of the Tetons.  During the summer months, you can even take a ride on the ferry.  One last note – if you stop by, be sure to check out the small poll barn on the property.  The barn holds three wagons – two Yellowstone tour wagons (used to take guests to the park from lodge to lodge up until 1913) and the covered wagon the Menor family used to cross over the Tetons into this valley.

As always, please feel free to download as many photos as you like – they are full HD images, 1080P, and perfect for your computer, tablet or television – and if you enjoy our photos, please follow us – and for extra bonus points, share this blog with your friends to help us get the word out!

Purchase Fine Art Prints

Interested in buying some of our fine art photography or just want to see some more of our work? Check out our Out West collection at our site: http://fineart.deremerstudios.com
Autumn in the National Parks – Grand Tetons

Check out our Deremer Studios site:
Commercial | Fine Art | Wedding & Portrait | Blog
Copyright 2015 Deremer Studios LLC – Jacksonville, FL
904-744-1103 | info@deremerstudios.com