Sunset view from the summit of Mt. Harvard (elev. 14,420') in the Sawatch Range near Buena Vista, Colorado. I had started late morning on June 28, 2014, from the trailhead & hiked w/ the heavy camping pack all the way until about 30 minutes before summit at the top, making a brief stop at the partially frozen Bear Lake. At the top there was a mountain goat that had kept me company at the top well into the night where it was a hustle of wind all throughout, though w/in the summit boulders I had made a narrow spot to camp no more than seven feet in length. I hardly slept & was more focused on the night sky to which a new moon revealed nothing but endless constellations to every corner of the horizon, a magnificient sight. To the east over Colorado Springs could be seen a distant thunderstorm. The last bit of light of the evening disappeared about 10pm & the first glimpse of morning light occurred around 4am as crepuscular rays lit up from clouds hidden below the horizon to the east. Mount Harvard was the last mountain to lose its alpenglow & the first to receive when morning came, a moment I'll never forget.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.