Ryan's Transcendental Journey

Introduction

For my transcendental journey, I chose to travel to various popular locations on the west coast of the United States. The destinations that I have chosen are all places that I have wanted to visit at some point in my life, and having the opportunity to visit all of these destination in one trip would be an amazing experience. I believe that these destinations will allow me to experience transcendentalism, as these are places where I will be able to have a better connection with myself and the things around me. Transcendentalism means having a deep, spiritual connection with nature, and having ideas that go beyond the natural world as we see it. Going to the two national parks will give me the opportunity to be alone in nature, something that I will enjoy, and something that will allow me to be more in tune with nature and the natural world around me. Also, going to two cities that have many opportunities and great cultures will give me a whole new experience, and will give me the chance to learn more about myself.


San Francisco, California

The first place that I would like to visit on my journey is San Francisco, California. It has a population of about 826,000 people, and covers roughly 47 square miles. San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists established a fort at the Golden Gate, a strait that connects the bay to the Pacific Ocean, and a mission named after St. Francis of Assisi which was a few miles away. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. Then, after three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt in to the city that it is today. Some of the attractions of the city are the landscape made up of steep, rolling hills, and the intriguing mix of Victorian and modern architecture. Architectural attractions of the city include the Golden Gate bridge, Lombardi Street, Chinatown, and Coit Tower.


These amazing architectural achievements are one of the main reasons that I would love to travel to San Francisco. Seeing many popular pictures of Lombardi Street and the Golden Gate Bridge, I have always been drawn to the beautiful landscape and design of these attractions. I am considering architecture and design as one of my career choices, which is why it would be neat to see all of the different and creative structures that the city has. Also being next to the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean, the city has a warm climate surrounded by bodies of water which make it ideal for various outdoor recreational activities like biking on the many trails throughout the city. The Bay and Pacific Ocean provide great opportunities for beautiful cruises and amazing fishing trips as well. These outdoor activities, especially fishing, are some of my main hobbies and give me time to relax and unwind.


Tourist Website

http://www.sanfrancisco.travel




Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is a national park that is located mostly in the state of Wyoming, and also extends into Montana and Idaho. The park was founded by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, making it to be widely considered to be the first national park in the world. Before this, Native Americans had lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years. Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468 square miles, and contains many lakes, mountains, rivers and canyons. The park is also home to hundreds of different species of mammals, reptiles, birds and fish, including many rare and endangered species.


I have always wanted to Yellowstone National Park since the first time I heard about it and saw pictures of it's landscape and wildlife. After my cousins visited the park and showed me first-hand pictures of what they saw, I was very intrigued. Being able to explore the vast park would allow me to relax and connect with nature, similar to Chris McCandless. I also enjoy hiking and traversing nature, and Yellowstone is one of the most well-known places for doing these things. Seeing the popular landmarks like "Old Faithful Geyser" would be something that I would love to see in person, and being able to explore everything that this park has to offer is a major reason why this is one of my destinations on my journey.


Tourist Website

http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/index.htm

Yosemite National Park

Located in the central eastern part of California, Yosemite National Park covers 761,268 acres of land, making it the sixteenth largest national park in the world. With roughly 3.7 million people visiting each year, the park was named a World Heritage Site in 1984. This park has great historical significance because it was important in forming the idea of national parks. Well known author John Muir led a movement to create a larger national park that not only included Yosemite Valley, but also the surrounding land and forests as well. This movement helped lead the United States to create the national park system. This can be seen with over 95% of the park being labeled as wilderness, with very low human impact.


The natural sights and landscapes of Yosemite are some of the best in the United States, and this is main reason why this is a destination on my journey. In fact, it is internationally recognized for its waterfalls, granite cliffs, and diverse wildlife. I visited Niagara Falls when I was in fifth grade, and seeing the massive waterfall was one of my favorite vacations. With Yosemite being famous for its high density of waterfalls, which is due to the high number of sharp drops and glacial steps, I would greatly enjoy seeing the many different waterfalls. Viewing the diverse wildlife is something that greatly interests me about the park as well, and seeing animals such as black bears, bobcats, gray foxes, and cougars would be very interesting. Being able to drive, hike, or take the park shuttle makes the Yosemite very accessible, and would make it easy to get the best experience possible.


Website:

http://www.yosemitepark.com/

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is located in King County, Washington, and is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region. The city is located on an isthmus between an inlet of the Pacific Ocean and Lake Washington. It has the fifteenth largest metropolitan population in the United States, and is the ninth largest port in North America. The area of Seattle was first occupied by Native Americans at least 4,000 years before European settlers arrived. Arthur Denny and his group of settlers reached the region in November 1851, and it was incorporated as a city on December 2, 1869. Seattle started out as a shipbuilding center and a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Today, it is known for its sustainable development, rainy weather and performing arts.



I chose Seattle as the last stop on my journey because of its culture and numerous attractions. Seattle's icon, the Space Needle, is one of the place in Seattle that i want to visit the most. Always seeing pictures of its amazing design, and the beautiful view from the top of it has always made me want to visit it. Its famous market, the Pike Place Market is also something that I would like to experience, with its history of over 100 years and famous flying fish vendors. Also, I would like to go on one of the ferry boat tours that they offer, which are great for sightseeing and magnificent views of the skyline. Seattle is also great for the many outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and kayaking. All of this makes Seattle a city that i would possibly like to live in in the future, and visiting it would give me a better idea of if I would like to live there in the future.


Website:

http://www.seattleattractions.com/

Conclusion

While going on this journey, I plan to learn many new things about myself and the world around me. I plan to gain a better understanding of the natural world that I live in, and gain a deeper connection between myself and nature. Also, I plan on having a better knowledge on what I want to do with my future, such as where I want to live and what I want to do as a career. Overall, I believe that this journey will be very beneficial to myself personally, and will benefit me as a member of society and the natural world as well.


Works Cited

Census. N.p.: n.p., n.d. United States Census Bureau. Web. 20 Dec. 2013. <http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states>.


"San Francisco, California." City Data. Onboard Informatics, 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Dec. 2013. <http://www.city-data.com/city/San-Francisco-California.html>.


"Seattle Facts." Visit Seattle. N.p., Oct. 2010. Web. 20 Dec. 2013. <http://www.visitseattle.org/News-Room/Press-Kit/Seattle-Facts.aspx>.


"Yellowstone National Park." National Park Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2013. <http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm>.


"Yosemite National Park." National Park Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2013. <http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm>.