What Are Your Natural Cathedrals?

 

slack_for_ios_upload

On Saturday night I took the picture above, showing the eastern slope of the Teton Mountains towering over the Snake River in Jackson, Wyoming. I was on one of my regular cross-country jaunts from Nashville to Los Angeles. Sure, Wyoming isn’t generally on that route but, c’mon, look at the picture — you’re going to go out of your way for that.

I can’t quite put into words what I experience every time I stand at that spot. It’s something akin, I suppose, to what Maslow described as a “peak experience.” Jackson Hole is one of a handful of spots that I regard as natural cathedrals — places that are overawing in their aesthetic majesty.

Here’s my question for Ricochet members: what sites do you regard with a similar sense of breathlessness? And — need I say it? — photos please.

Tags: ,

There are 127 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Dave Member
    Dave
    @DaveL

    Yosimite pic

    • #1
  2. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Hey, I know that spot.

    IMG_1060

    • #2
  3. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    I’ve lived with Yosemite practically in my backyard for the last 25 years and just visited for the first time a week ago. What an idiot I was. It was so incredibly beautiful and jaw-droppingly awesome. We are already making plans for our next trip.20150711_113518

    • #3
  4. user_1065645 Podcaster
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    Mt. Whitney Alpenglow

    Mt. Whitney (14,508′), tallest point in the contiguous U.S.

    6:00am from Consolation Lake. Resting at 12,040′ before our final ascent. The magical few moments during the Alpenglow.

    • #4
  5. Jackal Inactive
    Jackal
    @Jackal

    The Königsee in Bavaria is a cathedral for me.

    1625614_10102094368735209_1957067878_n

    DSC03365DSC03367

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Gray’s Beach and all of Cape Cod in winter (photograph by my photographer-son Ben):

    10954951_10100430617730646_8645499940944907386_o

    • #6
  7. user_241697 Member
    user_241697
    @FlaggTaylor

    Just posted this a few days ago. I’d consider the third picture to be applicable too.

    • #7
  8. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Mt. Chocura in NH. Note: this is a bad picture.

    IMG_1250

    • #8
  9. Mendel Member
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    More of a chapel than a cathedral, but a transcendental location all the same:

    Utah 2014 230

    • #9
  10. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Tahoe’s North Shore, from the Rim Trail (sadly, I had to steal this picture from someone else; why didn’t I take my camera with me?)dt.common.streams.StreamServer

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I heard an unforgettable sermon a few years ago. The priest was talking about the importance of the place, the physical place, in which a person first feels the presence of God nearby.

    As he went on, he tied this to the closure of many small neighborhood parishes in Boston and Cambridge in the early 2000s. Parishioners were holding sit-ins, and he was sympathetic.

    For me, that has been Cape Cod. I moved here after losing a couple of dear friends to cancer. Now it is the only place that feels right to me.

    • #11
  12. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Beaver Lake, Marble, Colorado with Raspberry Ridge in background.

    Raspberry ridge, Colorado, looking across Beaver Lake, town of Marble

    • #12
  13. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    And, for a little home town pride, the summit of Mt. Young on San Juan Island in Washington State.14742218990_ec219fe726_z

    • #13
  14. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    bryceBryce

    • #14
  15. DrewInWisconsin Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Lake Superior. Anytime.

    Lake Superior Lake Superior2

    • #15
  16. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Tahoe’s North Shore, from the Rim Trail (sadly, I had to steal this picture from someone else; why didn’t I take my camera with me?)

    Biked and hiked this hundreds of times.. My back yard.dt.common.streams.StreamServer

    • #16
  17. user_7742 Member
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    Packed away somewhere are a few shots of the Carson Canyon, Hope Valley and some of the landscape just south of Lake Tahoe. The other place I mentioned in a piece called “Do You Have A Place?” on Ricochet was Monitor Pass which you can read here.

    While in England, I was most impressed with the Lake District and in particular Langsdale. Here I am looking down on the Langsdale Valley.

    LangsdaleValley

    • #17
  18. user_1065645 Podcaster
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    2013-10-08 18.59.27

    Top of the North American Rockies. The summit at Mt. Elbert 14,440′.

    • #18
  19. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Brian Watt:Packed away somewhere are a few shots of the Carson Canyon, Hope Valley and some of the landscape just south of Lake Tahoe. The other place I mentioned in a piece called “Do You Have A Place?” on Ricochet was Monitor Pass which you can read here.

    While in England, I was most impressed with the Lake District and in particular Langsdale. Here I am looking down on the Langsdale Valley.

    LangsdaleValley

    Great spot.

    • #19
  20. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Sometimes I have to travel.

    Spilling Through the Clouds

    3GLENDA1

    Sometimes I don’t.

    golden butterfly

    Acorn's Bedding

    If you will forgive me: my budding collection.

    • #20
  21. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    10253778_10100197339312899_3019848590868150082_n

    Not a cathedral or chapel, maybe just an alcove. But this is the view off my apartment balcony in the summer.

    • #21
  22. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    20[1]

    Carlsbad Caverns, NM.

    • #22
  23. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Mendel:More of a chapel than a cathedral…

    My thoughts exactly. Cathedrals are too crowded.

    I’ve recently discovered the Endless Mountain/Pine River Gorge (aka the Grand Canyon of PA) region of Pennsylvania:

    IMG_20150710_090229_hdr

    • #23
  24. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Upper Missouri Breaks: Montana

    I spent days and days hunting in the Breaks when I was a kid.

    • #24
  25. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Nature is disgusting and its veneration is a form of idolatry. There I have said it.

    Its beauty and majesty is an illusion created by lack of proximity. We think these places ideal because we do not have to live in them. Those mountains, forests, deserts, are merciless slaughter chambers where lowly creatures eke out the barest of existences.

    The best nature is a manicured one. Which is to say one that has been tamed by man and properly arranged.

    • #25
  26. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @AnnikaHernrothRothstein

    The fjord by my childhood home. I learned how to swim here, and my youngest son is seen in this very picture, attempting to do the same. 11755918_10153052710194072_2040082154798868529_n

    • #26
  27. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Valiuth: Nature is disgusting and its veneration is a form of idolatry. There I have said it.

    It’s idolatry to adore God’s creation?

    • #27
  28. user_7742 Member
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    Valiuth:Nature is disgusting and its veneration is a form of idolatry. There I have said it.

    Its beauty and majesty is an illusion created by lack of proximity. We think these places ideal because we do not have to live in them. Those mountains, forests, deserts, are merciless slaughter chambers where lowly creatures eke out the barest of existences.

    The best nature is a manicured one. Which is to say one that has been tamed by man and properly arranged.

    • #28
  29. user_532371 Inactive
    user_532371
    @BrandonPhelps

    Coyote Mountains are in southern California’s Mohave Desert. This movie doesn’t do it complete justice but it is close. It is taken from a shorter peak just to the north of Carrizo peak, the tallest in this small range. Incidentally, the Carrizo Impact Area, used for areal bombardment training in WWII and the Korean War, is right next door. The badlands around here do not match the Arizona and Utah glories, but they have their own primordial charms. Biggest mud cave system in the world, I believe; lots of fossils; weird rock formations.

    Just next door is Carrizo Peak. It is a place of tiny life and big desolation.

    judah catcus carrizo

    • #29
  30. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    Gosh you guys have a lot of sweeping majestic photos. My wife and I just visited my parents up in Island Park, Idaho. Sadly we didn’t have time to go into the nearby Yellowstone National Park (which I’d consider my natural cathedral), but we did ascend Sawtell Peak and I finally figured out the panorama assist feature on my camera. So here’s the view:

    panorama sawtell 1

    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.