I think President Trump is trying to make me cry. Trump has signed yet another ridiculous executive order targeting our shared environment. This one is putting the national monuments created by Presidents Clinton, George W. and Obama "under review." That pretty much means they want to allow gas and oil exploration at some of these monuments, in particular, The Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears.
Here are a few of the places that he has asked The Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to "review":
- Bears Ears National Monument
- Grand Staircase-Escalante
- Berryessa Snow Mountain
- Sonoran Desert
- Giant Sequoia National Monument
- Grand Canyon-Parashant
The Sonoran Desert
I've only been to a few of the national monuments on that list, but when I saw the Sonoran Desert, my heart dropped. My then boyfriend, now husband, and I went there for one of our first road trips. It's funny how some places and days stay with you. Seventeen years later, I still remember falling in love with the desert that day.
The desert is majestic and mysterious. It feels dead and alive at the same time. It's simple and gigantic. You have to work at loving it. Almost like you have to strain your eyes to really see what it has to offer. It's not the kind of in your face beauty that lives at the beach. It's more subtle. Quiet and unrefined. Once you feel it though, it stays with you, even if you spend most of your time there complaining about the overwhelming heat the way I did.
On the drive home, it must have been well over 100 degrees, and my Jeep Cherokee started over heating on the freeway. So we blasted the heat and drove with the windows down the whole way home. It's funny the things that live in your memory.
I remember fighting in the car, probably because it was so damn hot. I remember feeling like the desert was the most beautiful place on earth. I remember being so in love and thinking there couldn't possibly be anything better than a day in the desert with my perfect boyfriend, even when it's 120 degrees in a heated car driving through the desert.
These Places Hold Our Memories
I'm sure there are thousands of other memories created there. Other perfect days for young couples. These places are more than just national monuments. They live in our memories until we come back to them.
Here's another memory. This one from the Grand Canyon.
Roy and I trained for months to hike all the way down it and then all the way up it again in one day. We thought we were in pretty good shape. Feeling pretty good about ourselves. Then we got lapped by a guy training for Iron Man. He passed us on the way down, then he ran all the way up to the other side, and still passed us on the way back up again. Ha! So much for us being in great shape!
Share Your Own Memories From National Monuments and Parks
Do you have memories from our national monuments or parks like Yosemite? If so, I'd love to hear them.
Post your memories in the comments section below or on the EarthyB. Facebook page. Tell me how these places made you feel. Did you fall in love on a hike through the Giant Sequoia National Monument? Snorkel with your kids near the Pacific Remote Islands in Hawaii?
Maybe if enough people have enough memories and motivation to save these places we can stop their destruction? If not, they'll just have to continue to live on in our personal histories.