We can discuss many of America’s national parks as if they were celebrated paintings, featuring the colors of Impressionism, the wild shapes of Cubism, and the luminosity of the Hudson River School. Some parks are masterpieces of filmmaking rather than works on paper or canvas. These parks move – through places, through time periods – and have the scope and visual allure of a blockbuster motion picture.
Recently, the Getaway series proudly presented the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Like an historical drama or an adventure movie, this route takes a visitor through more than one spectacular setting. In the desert Southwest and along the Pacific coast, the true story of the 1775-76 Anza Expedition unfolds.
In southern Arizona and San Diego County, Calif., the landscape is desert. Looming cacti, colorful wildflowers, scrub, and rock formations meet the eye. Then the trail jump-cuts to the lush blue of the Pacific Ocean and the meadows and rocky highlands of its shore. The final scene of the trail features the Golden Gate Bridge and other San Francisco landmarks.
For an even better idea of the route named for expedition leader Juan Bautista de Anza – for an even better trailer for the trail – see www.nps.gov/getaways.
Each week, the Getaway series introduces readers to places where they can connect with nature, history, family, and friends. This week’s destination is the 106th to be featured in the series. From www.nps.gov/getaways, you can access an archive of the 105 previous articles. Each park profiled in the series is rated G, for general audiences. The critics have given them all “two thumbs up.”
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