One of my bucket list items is to visit and photograph all of the national parks in the United States. I have visited California many times and I never seemed to have enough time to visit Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park. Both parks are contiguous with one another although a bit remote. When I planned our family vacation to Yosemite last year, I decided to finally visit them. Kings Canyon possesses the deepest canyons in North America amid the rugged Sierra Nevada. In fact, it's canyons are deeper than the Grand Canyon. The park was virtually empty so we had the run of it. I am told that the crowds visit it's more famous neighbor to the north, Yosemite. That's a shame as the scenery, while not quite as well known, is still outstanding. To find out more about the park, see its NPS webpage.
As we were driving through the northern portion of the park, I noticed this lone tree on the side of a mountain. I wondered how long it has been there. I am sure it has endured years of storms; rain, snow and ice; and a climate that ranges from scorching heat to subzero temperatures. The conditions when I took this shot were not ideal: it was mid-day; the sun was shining brightly at a bad angle and it was extremely hot. I threw on a ND filter to cut down on the light. While I would have loved to capture it during the golden hours, I was still happy with the result.