It's hard for me to pick just one, there are so many different kinds of beauty, so I'll break it down like this:
1. Monument Valley, AZ
Watched the sunset turn to twilight and then to night, and sat on the balcony of our room at The View hotel looking up at the stars silhouetted by the mesas of this gorgeous place...
2. Grand Canyon during a lightning storm -
This was absolutely spectacular, took place the day after our visit to Monument Valley.
3. Bonneville Salt Flats in early spring-
It was just after the runoff from snowmelt flooded the salt flats with a few inches of water, as far as the eye could see. A light breeze meant that the water was largely still, and acted like a gigantic mirror stretching to the horizon, reflecting mountains and sky, and causing the interstate to appear as if it were floating in the air. All this bordered by gorgeous white salt, giving the appearance of a white sand beach on a mirror sea. Unfortunately, the photos I took of this have been lost to time. Instead, an image is given of my visit to the Salt Flats last August, when they were dry.
4. Arches National Park on a sunny day -
Beautiful landscapes. Was packed with people, though. Here my fiancee stands below a giant arch.
1. Pacific coastline between Tillamook and Seaside, Oregon. This was on a drive in 2004 that began in Portland, went to Corvallis, then over to the coast and north through all the little seaside towns up to Astoria, then across the Astoria bridge and back to Seaside, Oregon. Some of the vistas onto the beaches below the coastal highway here were absolutely breathtaking. Sadly, no pictures remain of this trip due to theft of my computer in 2005.
2. Glenelg Beach, Australia.
Just south of Adelaide. Was sunny and beautiful with the sun hung low in the sky when I visited. Would love to go back.
3. Sydney, Australia.
I flew over the coast here, the views were stunning and I hope for a chance to return and explore the shores south of the city.
4. New Zealand -
The shores of New Zealand that border the Tasman sea, just after takeoff from Auckland. It was dawn, the landscape was very green and the mist still in the air from morning gave the scene an ethereal kind of beauty.
1. Lake Yellowstone - Yellowstone National Park.
The most memorable scene was one night after twilight, sitting on the sandy beach of Lake Yellowstone near the Lake Yellowstone Lodge, and watching the nearly full moon rise above the mountains far to the east. As it did, it reflected on the rippling water, with gentle sounds of the current accenting the scene. In the background, distant faint voices and laughter of campers and patrons of the hotel as they began to settle in for the night.
2. Yellowstone National Park.
(Yes! This is in Yellowstone!)
From waterfalls to canyons to geysers to sweeping vistas and breathtaking lush forest, Yellowstone is the ultimate in mountain beauty that I have personally witnessed so far. The only reason I put the park as a whole just beneath the scene at the lake is that the lake is perhaps my most memorable moment in Yellowstone, but despite that, the rest of the park has been filled with memories and great moments for me personally, and I never cease to be amazed at the beauty that lies so close to my door. Yellowstone is a place that must be experienced by everyone at least once in their lifetime. I have photos that would take your breath away.
3. Fremont Peak, Flagstaff, AZ
- This mountain is like an Oasis in the desert. As you drive along AZ
state highway 180 from the Grand Canyon, you realize that this area doesn't look at all like one's image of Arizona as a desert. No. On Highway 180, you feel as if you've been transported to the Cascades of Oregon, with a thick forest of pine and deer all around (saw several as it got dark, standing in the road), but most importantly, a huge, lofty volcano off to the East that looks like it shouldn't be here at all. This area is called the San Francisco volcanic field, and it seems a world apart from Arizona. Absolutely beautiful.
If you throw in skyscapes, things I've seen while flying at cruise altitude, the list gets even longer. I've flown over the Grand Canyon at sunset, over the Tasman Sea with a squall line stretched out below in the early morning sun. I've flown over the Pacific at the crack of dawn with the sky bathed in glowing blue and turquoise light, over greenland with a huge green ribbon of Aurora waving far above the ground below, and over Ireland during a brilliant red dawn. I've flown over Mt Hood and Mt Rainier bathed in snow, and weaved and dodged thunderstorms towering higher than cruise altitude, at dusk, with each head flickering like a flourescent bulb in the night. I've seen clouds covering landscapes for hundreds of miles, and then seen towering peaks shredding those clouds and rising above them all in a show of defiance to the weather below. The list goes on and on.
There is so MUCH beauty to our world.
[Edited 2010-12-12 00:10:02]