National Public Lands Day is tomorrow, but I’m going to be off the grid with no service, so I wanted to share something relevant today. But really, every day should be public lands day, because these places are always there for us, so the least we can do is learn more about the best ways to protect them for years to come…
Earlier this year, I drove thousands of miles through Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and California with @im_nicolemarie, and over the course of 41 days, we made it our mission to see the beauty of these places for ourselves — and learn more about them so we could tell a story that matters. A story that others will want to pass along, and one that creates a meaningful dialogue. We chatted with guides, rangers, locals and foreign tourists, and we discovered what these towering rock formations, sparkling dunes and flowing rivers represent to them.
Half of the national monuments we visited are currently under review by the federal government to be reduced, so there was definitely a sense of urgency. Because they’re not as heavily trafficked as nearby national parks, we felt it was especially important to bring awareness to this issue. When we finally hit the road back to California, we were exhausted, sunburnt and filthy, but we left with full hearts and a deeper love for the desert, which can be just as inviting as it is desolate. The American southwest is full of both magic and lessons, and it will always leave you thirsty for more — no matter who you are or where you’re from.
Wherever we are, we have to remember that we’re almost always within the boundaries of someone’s backyard. Setting aside politics, it’s important to be respectful of the areas we visit, and that starts on a very basic level. And the more we educate ourselves, the better position we’re in to speak about these things — and engage in discussions with others. It’s on us to protect and preserve our public lands, so future generations experience this same sense of wonder too. Big ups to @merrell for backing this project and taking a stand too. Link in bio to my blog, with a 5 minute video that we didn’t plan on shooting — but wanted to share with y’all anyway.