In offering the American public a carefully studied outline of its national park system, I have two principal objects. The one is to describe and differentiate the national parks in a manner which will enable the reader to appreciate their importance, scope, meaning, beauty, manifold uses and enormous value to individual and nation. The other is to use these parks, in which Nature is writing in large plain lines the story of America's making, as examples illustrating the several kinds of scenery, and what each kind means in terms of world building; in other words, to translate the practical findings of science into unscientific phrase for the reader's increased profit and pleasure, not only in his national parks but in all other scenic places great and small.
part of the intellectual pleasure of comprehension and you have the equipment of the average intelligent traveller of to-morrow. To hasten this to-morrow is one of the several objects of this book.
To see in the carved and colorful depths of the Grand Canyon not only the stupendous abyss whose terrible beauty grips the soul, but also to-day's chapter in a thrilling story of creation whose beginning lay untold centuries back in the ages, whose scene covers three hundred thousand square miles of our wonderful southwest, whose actors include the greatest forces of nature, whose tremendous episodes shame the imagination of Doré, and whose logical end invites suggestions before which finite minds shrink--this is to come into the presence of the great spectacle properly equipped for its enjoyment. But how many who see the Grand Canyon get more out of it than merely the beauty that grips the soul?
So it is throughout the world of scenery. The geologic story written on the cliffs of Crater Lake
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