Y is for Yosemite
We’re nearing the end of our Read Your World adventure on the A to Z Blog Challenge. It is day 25, the letter is Y and I don’t have to look far from home to find the perfect field trip spot – Yosemite!
I was blessed to be in a family that didn’t hesitate to load the station wagon and head off somewhere. At least once a year we went to Yosemite and my love affair with this amazing park has never ended. All through high school and college I went with friends and I go there with my family often as possible. I’ve hiked, cycled, encountered bears, and been lost at night in the back country cross country skiing. I’ve attended weddings, seen a moonbow, and been snowed in because we forgot to carry chains. It is a very special place that almost wasn’t protected. Here is the story based on true events documented in letters between John Muir and President Roosevelt, newspaper articles, and Muir’s books:
The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks
By Barb Rosenstock (author) and Mordecai Gerstein (illustrator)
Dial books for Young Readers
Picture book for all ages
It begins “Teedie and Johnnie didn’t have much in common – but they shared a love of the outdoors. They both loved a good story, too. And that was enough to change America.”
(Teedie was the nickname given to Theodore Roosevelt by his family)
President Roosevelt read a book by John Muir and was surprised by the ending when Muir made a plea for help in saving the vanishing forests. Roosevelt thought, like most people in 1903, that America’s forests were so vast that they couldn’t be used up. He wrote to Muir and said he wanted to come and see for himself. Muir agreed to be his guide and the president traveled by train to California for a camping trip.
Isn’t this a joyful illustration?
Teedie (now called “Teddy”) and John rode off into the mountains. They slept under the towering redwoods and shared stories. When they reached Glacier Point and looked out over the vast valley that had been carved by a river of slow moving ice, Muir explained how it was being destroyed by people clearing the forests, prospectors mining gold, and companies planning hotels and shops throughout the valley.
“If they keep building, the wilderness won’t last another ten years,” said Muir.
“How can I help?” asked the president.
“Keep it wild,” Muir said, “and protect it forever.”
Roosevelt returned to Washington D.C. and pushed Congress to pass laws to protect the wilderness. He created national parks, forests, and wildlife sanctuaries.
Aren’t you thankful? I am.
I know that my love for the for open, natural places was instilled in me by my parents and grandparents. Do you take your children to wild places? Do you have memories from your own childhood about being in the mountains and forests?
This is a photo of me with my father and brother, Bob.
Still in love after all these years (with my hubby and Yosemite).
Here’s how you can see a moonbow in Yosemite.