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In 1963, when my parents took my brother and me on a six-week odyssey, visiting our national parks, they didn’t realize to what extent they were cultivating my love of being on the road in America.
Now, fifty years after that first trip, whether I’m 280 feet below sea level in Death Valley’s Badwater Basin, or at the summit of Mauna Kea, on The Big Island of Hawaii, I have a romantic vision of all things American.
It’s not just me, either! When you’re on the road, you meet people from all walks of life; retired people in RVs, motorcyclists, college kids, and families, and they’re all chasing the same dream.
I always seem to strike up conversations with visitors from other countries, drawn here by visions of John Wayne, Route 66, or Old Faithful. One of the first things everyone seems to mention is the overwhelming scale of the United States. They just can’t get over how much open space we have, especially out west.
One particular time, while waiting for the right light in Yellowstone Park, an Austrian couple introduced themselves to me. The husband was actually laughing, barely able to contain himself, talking about all of the places they had visited. Like most people who previously have only experienced America in pictures, being there is almost a religious experience.
This Fourth of July, take the time to enjoy America; hit the road and appreciate what we have right under our feet.
George Diebold is an American fine art photographer specializing in landscapes and still life photographs. If you want to see more of his work, visit his galleries by clicking here.
TENACIOUS DESERT PLANT, White Sands, New Mexico © George Diebold
Surviving in the desert is a challenge, but thriving there is nothing short of a miracle.
DESERT CALM, Alamogordo, New Mexico © George Diebold
A surreal environment created by the ocean that once covered this American desert, White Sands
National Monument is an ever-changing panorama of shapes and color. When the day’s light
is all but gone, an incredible palette of blues and purples takes over, turning
the dunes into a surreal and otherworldly environment.
YELLOWSTONE SPRING SNOWSTORM, West Yellowstone, Montana © George Diebold
A late May dusting of snow in Yellowstone Park, combined with a few seconds of surreal lighting and,
of course, being in the right place at the right time, produced this mysterious scene.
MAUNA KEA CONES, the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii © George Diebold
If you’ve ever looked out your window while flying and imagined what it would be like to float above
the clouds without the confines of an aircraft, that’s the reality of visiting the summit of
Mauna Kea. Hawaii’s tallest volcano is a brutally cold and windy environment compared to the
tropical paradise fifteen thousand feet below, but it’s one of my favorite places on earth.
PALOUSE SPRING, Palouse, Washington © George Diebold
In this land of few fences and even less pavement, the new spring growth takes hold, tinting
the rich soil a spectacular green. For someone like me who appreciates
uniformity and uncluttered composition, not many locations can top The Palouse.
DESERT PHONE LINES, Pahrump, Nevada © George Diebold
Traveling across the Nevada desert, where the atmospheric conditions are perfect for optical illusions,
mirages constantly appear on the horizon. As I watched the afternoon light silhouette
these Desert Phone Lines, I decided reflection was the order of the day.