Coyote Buttes, Ariz. | May 6, 2012
My daughter carried this gold dress in her backpack during an eight-mile hike under the sweltering sun to the Wave, a sandstone rock formation along the Arizona and Utah border. To preserve the area, the Bureau of Land Management limits hiking permits to just 20 per day, drawn by lottery. After entering several times, we finally won and flew there for the weekend. I had done the hike once before, but this was my daughter’s first time, so we wanted to make the picture special. The few hikers in the area, including our guide, were a little confused when she did a quick change from her hiker gear to a party dress, so I could snap the photo, but it was worth it.
— BARRY COHEN, New York
Zion National Park, Utah | July 17, 2012
This summer my husband and I spent two months traveling to Bryce Canyon, Zion and Redwood National Parks. One was more magnificent than the next. Mixed in with the amazing natural beauty were some very interesting sights that I’d call “Western kitsch.” I found this “shoe tree” completely captivating. Who started it? Why? What possesses people to leave their shoes behind? Why in a place of such iconic beauty as Zion National Park? It simply made me laugh, and I had to stop to document it for others with equally bizarre senses of humor! My thanks to those of us who retain their appreciation of the absurd and find ways to make us all smile, if only for a moment in time.
— TINA SCHELL, Kiawah Island, S.C.
Lagoa Comprida, Portugal | April 4, 2012
My girlfriend and I had been living in Argentina before we moved to Lisbon last year so she could finish her master’s degree. She is Argentine-French and I’m Portuguese, so I thought that while we were living here, it was a good opportunity to visit places from my childhood. While touring the region of Serra da Estrela, we stayed for a night in the village where my father was born, Loriga. The next morning, we woke up to a very thick fog but, undeterred, we drove up the mountains to see the Torre, or Tower, the highest point in mainland Portugal. On our way back down to the city of Seia, we stopped at Lagoa Comprida, where I snapped this shot of my girlfriend admiring the lake’s marvelous landscape.
— JOÃO PINA, Lisbon
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