Melissa just happened upon an interesting find on Project Gutenberg. The Book of the National Parks, by Robert Sterling Yard was originally published in 1919. The author describes the book this way:
In offering the American public a carefully studied outline of its national park system, I have two principal objects. The one is to describe and differentiate the national parks in a manner which will enable the reader to appreciate their importance, scope, meaning, beauty, manifold uses and enormous value to individual and nation. The other is to use these parks, in which Nature is writing in large plain lines the story of America’s making, as examples illustrating the several kinds of scenery, and what each kind means in terms of world building; in other words, to translate the practical findings of science into unscientific phrase for the reader’s increased profit and pleasure, not only in his national parks but in all other scenic places great and small.
What grabbed our attention in particular were a few of the picture included from Rocky Mountain National Park. 1919 reaches almost back to the NPS’s foundation which is being celebrated this year. And yet, these photos instantly took me back to places I was able to visit just one year ago.
The image of Flattop, Hallett and Otis is exactly the view we saw from our porch every day. Andrews Glacier, I slid down during my descent (interesting note, for some reason it actually appears larger in my photos than in these historic photos, but maybe that’s just optical trickery). And lastly, this image of Chasm Lake looking toward Longs Peak is instantly recognizable.
All this to say, it is pretty humbling to think about the roll my images of the National Parks may be able to play as part of their history.