Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    What I'm Giving | November 28, 2014

    Eleanor Catton: IMG Eleanor Catton: What I'm Giving



    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$29.99
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside AMERC- NAT PARKS&WATERWAYS
25 Local Warehouse Travel- US General
5 Remote Warehouse Travel- US General

David Muench's National Parks

by

David Muench's National Parks Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Award-winning photographer David Muench captures the popular and iconic national parks that millions of Americans love and cherish as well as the lesser-known places and wilderness areas where few travelers venture. Ruth Rudner's moving essays coupled with Muench's visual celebration of these great lands brings to life the landscapes and features of parks. These amazing photographs include Great Smoky Mountains NP, the Grand Canyon NP, Yellowstone NP, and Yosemite NP to the more remote parks like Channel Islands NP off the coast of California and Kenai Fjords NP in Alaska plus hundreds of other unique images of the 54 national parks that David Muench has photographed.

Synopsis:

At Tremont, in the park’s northwestern section, we walked a wide path along the Middle Prong of the Little River. When David went his own direction to photograph, I scrambled down to the stream, where, two steps out from the bank on submerged rock, I found a comfortable shaded boulder to sit on. It was late in the day. For all the crowds in the Smokies, we had the path and the river to ourselves. From my boulder I could see only the stream, the forested far bank, boulders in the stream, sun on the far side, shadow on my side. Upstream, I watched sun dance on water, a ribbon of white rapid-spume dance on water. Riffles molded themselves around boulders, dancing. The colors of light and of green danced. Rippled reflections of the far bank danced. The ripples themselves danced—circling, merging, parting, merging, running swiftly, folding back, dancing, dancing in the sun, the shadow.

The air was filled with butterflies and birdsong, and the sound of water flowing.

There is a sign at the beginning of the path along the Middle Prong. In the Smokies they call this kind of path (there are many of them) a “Quiet Walkway.” The sign presents a wildness easily accessible. It invites without pressure, without challenge. Even if no one in the park seems to know who wrote the words, it states a truth about wilderness:

 

The trail has no particular destination. A short walk on this easy trail offers close-up views, subtle aromas, and the serene quiet of protected woodland. You will be walking in one of the last great wild land areas in the east, but you won’t need a backpack or hiking boots. Take your time. Have a seat on a rock or a log bench. The trail has no particular destination, so walk as far as you like and then return.

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited of our national parks, protects about half the remaining old-growth forest in the eastern United States. Among the most  biodiverse parks in the country, it has been named a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. The Cherokee, whose land this was, called it Place of Blue Smoke, for the deep blue haze hovering over dark, forested peaks and passes and the troughs between mountains. The wettest place in the United States besides the Pacific Northwest, average annual rainfall can be over ninety inches at altitudes above 6000 feet. It is this huge amount of moisture that produces the haze, the illusion of smoke. I am certain most of that moisture fell while I was backpacking there one May. The good thing about that is there were also fewer people in the backcountry than later in the season.

The Smokies include the third-highest peak in the east, 6642-foot Clingmans Dome. Even though the Appalachian Trail traverses this peak, the highest point on the trail, this is one place, with its broad paved path and elaborate viewing tower, even I can’t translate into wilderness. (The Appalachian Trail actually passes about fifty yards below the peak so that hikers can avoid the busyness at the lookout.) But fifteen other peaks higher than 6000 feet offer a chance for wilderness, as do many of the more than 650 miles of trails lacing the park. Of these, sixty-eight are part of the 2146-mile Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. The Appalachian Trail,

a National Scenic Trail and a unit of the National Park System, is one of the original two components of the National Trails System. The other is the Pacific Crest Trail.

The western escarpment of the Appalachians, the Smokies merge in the east with the Blue Ridge Mountains. Giant trees, spectacular displays of mountain laurel and rhododendron, a jumble of moss-covered ancient logs rotting into earth, glistening wood sorrel, dark violets, myriad waterfalls, the white, stark limbs of long-dead chestnut trees, their trunks swirled about, soaring skyward, all characterize the deep mystery of this place. In the omnipresent forest, something is always happening. A sudden fluttering of great wings and an owl lights in a tree beside the trail. Watching, waiting, finally lifting himself, he soars to a farther tree. A junco flitters up from the side of the path. There, where grass or moss or roots or mud hangs over to form a roof, he’s built his nest. Three white eggs lie nestled in it. A salamander, one of the twenty-seven different species of salamander in the park, slithers out of the inside of a log, then disappears beneath it. A mouse runs across the path; a rabbit munches grass in a gentle clearing; a dark bear walks quietly through dark forest; a surprised bobcat hurries across the early morning trail; a boar, which is not native and causes enough destruction that it should be eliminated from the park, roots through the understory. (Backcountry shelters along the Appalachian Trail in the park are fenced to keep boars out.)

Inside these dark forests, the park seems remote from the world, invulnerable. But this is among the most endangered of our parks. Nonnative pests and diseases are killing Fraser firs, dogwoods, butternuts and beech trees. In May 2002, park botanists also found hemlocks under attack from the hemlock wooly adelgid, a nonnative aphid-like insect that originated in Japan. Problems associated with air pollution are among the greatest in the National Park System. Regional coal-fired plants, industry, and motor vehicles create health issues and seriously compromised visibility. Nine million annual park visitors, plus traffic on US 441, the Newfound Gap Road traversing the park from Cherokee, North Carolina, to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, can bring traffic to a halt. The Cades Cove Road is often so congested it can take four hours to drive its eleven-mile loop. Polluting vehicle emissions damage historic structures and the health of visitors and wildlife. A lack of ranger staff exposes structures to vandalism. According to the National Parks Conservation Association’s State of the Parks Report on the Smokies, a proposal to build a road across the southwestern section of the park, “the largest unfragmented tract of mountain terrain in the eastern United States,” has the potential to devastate wildlife, especially bears. Other problems have to do with serious budget shortfalls and a full-time staff that is too small, but this is equally true of many other units of the National Park Service.

The presence of crowds depends on where and when you go. On that wet May, six-day, sixty-one-plus–mile backpack through the eastern section of the park (I started and ended at Cataloochee), I actually saw few other people except on a Saturday night near Mount Sterling, which is not far from the road. In more recent years, David and I have made several visits to the Smokies, specifically to hike to waterfalls. If we had chosen other times than spring, when visitors come for the flowers, or fall, when they come for the foliage, we would have seen fewer people. But even in the busiest seasons, most people walk the easily accessible trails without lingering longer than to snap a photo at a waterfall. 

By staying put in a place, I have had even the most popular areas to myself, for a little while at least. Hiking to Grotto Falls in clear, still, autumn air, I often felt as if I, alone, were involved in autumn. I had the company of leaves falling in a windless afternoon, twisting slowly to the forest floor, red and gold and orange, sounding in the stillness like a light rain.

About the Author

David Muench lives in Corrales, New Mexico.

Table of Contents

Preface by Ruth Rudner

Map of USA with National Parks

Introduction: An American Invention  

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii 

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii   

Channel Islands National Park, California 

Redwood National Park, California

Olympic National Park, Washington          

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska  

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska   

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska           

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska  

North Cascades National Park, Washington         

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington           

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California 

Yosemite National Park, California

Sequoia National Park, California  

Kings Canyon National Park, California     

Death Valley National Park, California      

Joshua Tree National Park, California       

Saguaro National Park, Arizona     

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona       

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona    

Zion National Park, Utah     

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah 

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah    

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Glacier National Park, Montana

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Biscayne National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park, Florida

Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Acadia National Park, Maine

Photo Notes  

Acknowledgments 

Sources  

Product Details

ISBN:
9780882409085
Author:
Muench, David
Publisher:
Graphic Arts Books
Author:
Kiernan, Tom
Author:
Rudner, Ruth
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Travel - U.S. - General
Subject:
National parks
Subject:
David Muench
Subject:
Photography
Edition Description:
Print PDF
Publication Date:
20130531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
180
Pages:
232
Dimensions:
12 x 8.75 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Featured Titles
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Individual Photographers » Artists' Books
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Nature and Landscape
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Americana » Forestry and National Parks
History and Social Science » Americana » National Parks and Waterways
History and Social Science » Americana » Oversized Books
History and Social Science » Americana » Rivers Lakes Waterways and Mountains
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Travel » North America » United States » General

David Muench's National Parks New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$29.99 In Stock
Product details 232 pages Graphic Arts Books - English 9780882409085 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

At Tremont, in the park’s northwestern section, we walked a wide path along the Middle Prong of the Little River. When David went his own direction to photograph, I scrambled down to the stream, where, two steps out from the bank on submerged rock, I found a comfortable shaded boulder to sit on. It was late in the day. For all the crowds in the Smokies, we had the path and the river to ourselves. From my boulder I could see only the stream, the forested far bank, boulders in the stream, sun on the far side, shadow on my side. Upstream, I watched sun dance on water, a ribbon of white rapid-spume dance on water. Riffles molded themselves around boulders, dancing. The colors of light and of green danced. Rippled reflections of the far bank danced. The ripples themselves danced—circling, merging, parting, merging, running swiftly, folding back, dancing, dancing in the sun, the shadow.

The air was filled with butterflies and birdsong, and the sound of water flowing.

There is a sign at the beginning of the path along the Middle Prong. In the Smokies they call this kind of path (there are many of them) a “Quiet Walkway.” The sign presents a wildness easily accessible. It invites without pressure, without challenge. Even if no one in the park seems to know who wrote the words, it states a truth about wilderness:

 

The trail has no particular destination. A short walk on this easy trail offers close-up views, subtle aromas, and the serene quiet of protected woodland. You will be walking in one of the last great wild land areas in the east, but you won’t need a backpack or hiking boots. Take your time. Have a seat on a rock or a log bench. The trail has no particular destination, so walk as far as you like and then return.

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited of our national parks, protects about half the remaining old-growth forest in the eastern United States. Among the most  biodiverse parks in the country, it has been named a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. The Cherokee, whose land this was, called it Place of Blue Smoke, for the deep blue haze hovering over dark, forested peaks and passes and the troughs between mountains. The wettest place in the United States besides the Pacific Northwest, average annual rainfall can be over ninety inches at altitudes above 6000 feet. It is this huge amount of moisture that produces the haze, the illusion of smoke. I am certain most of that moisture fell while I was backpacking there one May. The good thing about that is there were also fewer people in the backcountry than later in the season.

The Smokies include the third-highest peak in the east, 6642-foot Clingmans Dome. Even though the Appalachian Trail traverses this peak, the highest point on the trail, this is one place, with its broad paved path and elaborate viewing tower, even I can’t translate into wilderness. (The Appalachian Trail actually passes about fifty yards below the peak so that hikers can avoid the busyness at the lookout.) But fifteen other peaks higher than 6000 feet offer a chance for wilderness, as do many of the more than 650 miles of trails lacing the park. Of these, sixty-eight are part of the 2146-mile Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. The Appalachian Trail,

a National Scenic Trail and a unit of the National Park System, is one of the original two components of the National Trails System. The other is the Pacific Crest Trail.

The western escarpment of the Appalachians, the Smokies merge in the east with the Blue Ridge Mountains. Giant trees, spectacular displays of mountain laurel and rhododendron, a jumble of moss-covered ancient logs rotting into earth, glistening wood sorrel, dark violets, myriad waterfalls, the white, stark limbs of long-dead chestnut trees, their trunks swirled about, soaring skyward, all characterize the deep mystery of this place. In the omnipresent forest, something is always happening. A sudden fluttering of great wings and an owl lights in a tree beside the trail. Watching, waiting, finally lifting himself, he soars to a farther tree. A junco flitters up from the side of the path. There, where grass or moss or roots or mud hangs over to form a roof, he’s built his nest. Three white eggs lie nestled in it. A salamander, one of the twenty-seven different species of salamander in the park, slithers out of the inside of a log, then disappears beneath it. A mouse runs across the path; a rabbit munches grass in a gentle clearing; a dark bear walks quietly through dark forest; a surprised bobcat hurries across the early morning trail; a boar, which is not native and causes enough destruction that it should be eliminated from the park, roots through the understory. (Backcountry shelters along the Appalachian Trail in the park are fenced to keep boars out.)

Inside these dark forests, the park seems remote from the world, invulnerable. But this is among the most endangered of our parks. Nonnative pests and diseases are killing Fraser firs, dogwoods, butternuts and beech trees. In May 2002, park botanists also found hemlocks under attack from the hemlock wooly adelgid, a nonnative aphid-like insect that originated in Japan. Problems associated with air pollution are among the greatest in the National Park System. Regional coal-fired plants, industry, and motor vehicles create health issues and seriously compromised visibility. Nine million annual park visitors, plus traffic on US 441, the Newfound Gap Road traversing the park from Cherokee, North Carolina, to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, can bring traffic to a halt. The Cades Cove Road is often so congested it can take four hours to drive its eleven-mile loop. Polluting vehicle emissions damage historic structures and the health of visitors and wildlife. A lack of ranger staff exposes structures to vandalism. According to the National Parks Conservation Association’s State of the Parks Report on the Smokies, a proposal to build a road across the southwestern section of the park, “the largest unfragmented tract of mountain terrain in the eastern United States,” has the potential to devastate wildlife, especially bears. Other problems have to do with serious budget shortfalls and a full-time staff that is too small, but this is equally true of many other units of the National Park Service.

The presence of crowds depends on where and when you go. On that wet May, six-day, sixty-one-plus–mile backpack through the eastern section of the park (I started and ended at Cataloochee), I actually saw few other people except on a Saturday night near Mount Sterling, which is not far from the road. In more recent years, David and I have made several visits to the Smokies, specifically to hike to waterfalls. If we had chosen other times than spring, when visitors come for the flowers, or fall, when they come for the foliage, we would have seen fewer people. But even in the busiest seasons, most people walk the easily accessible trails without lingering longer than to snap a photo at a waterfall. 

By staying put in a place, I have had even the most popular areas to myself, for a little while at least. Hiking to Grotto Falls in clear, still, autumn air, I often felt as if I, alone, were involved in autumn. I had the company of leaves falling in a windless afternoon, twisting slowly to the forest floor, red and gold and orange, sounding in the stillness like a light rain.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.