This past October an opportunity arose for me to take a trip to San Francisco with my wife. It wasn't a trip we had planned on taking in advance, but when we found out that she would be traveling there for work and that I could fly out to meet her and explore the scenery, I jumped at the chance. I have always heard wonderful things about that part of the country from friends and family alike, and was excited about the opportunity to experience it firsthand.
As we planned our days in San Fran, we realized that Yosemite National Park was a short 3 hours away. We have some close friends that have spent a good part of the past few years traveling the country visiting and documenting audio from the National Parks and we were thrilled to be able to get a taste of what they had experienced over that time. To say the least, we would not be disappointed.
From the very moment we entered the park, our minds would be continually blown away. The sheer size of everything we encountered in Yosemite has a way of making you feel all at once insignificant and part of something so much larger than yourself. From the size of the trees to the impossibly expansive view, it simply just cannot be put into words how majestic, awe-inspiring and breathtaking this part of the country is.
Upon recommendation, we were told we had to visit Glacier Point inside the park and that the view would be well worth the hour long drive through twisting and tiny mountain roads. It was here that I witnessed, hands down the most amazing view that I have ever seen. From the lookout at Glacier Point you can see the famous Half Dome rock formation and countless peaks and valleys that spread through the park. I can't think of another time in my life in which the scenery was just so overpowering and expansive that my eyes could simply not take it all in at once; beauty so far reaching that it goes beyond your periphery and consumes you.
For me, this place and this experience stood out in 2014 more than any other. In an age where technology and digital art is so ever-evolving and ubiquitous, it was so important for me to be reminded that nothing can trump the beauty and power of nature (especially when you are sharing the experience with those that you love the most). It also served as a reminder for me to embrace spontaneity and risk. San Francisco for us was not a trip that we gave a lot of forethought to and was not a location that I had ever really made a priority to visit, but by embracing spontaneity and heading West, I was rewarded beyond my wildest dreams.
Today's prompt: "What place stood out for you this year? Outdoors or indoors; a huge gathering or a tête-à-tête? Where were you? Who were you with? What feeling did you have when leaving? Were you inspired? Refreshed? Or...confused and glad to be gone? Whether it was exciting...or awkward: give us a hall pass out of our own room for a few minutes."