Juxtaposition: New Jersey and Yosemite National Park

What possessed me to take my “Weird N.J.” cap to Yosemite National Park? I guess my subconscious mind was trying to make a statement about the breadth of the American natural experience. Whatever the motivation, I wore the cap yesterday on an absolutely gorgeous fall day. This was my third trip to Yosemite, and the weather finally was clear. That made for some great photos. I shot this one of my cap on a snag in the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees near the south entrance to the park.

The cap is a souvenir of my New Jersey days, from a story I did on the two Jersey guys who publish the “Weird N.J.” magazine and Web site. They had just come out with a book by the same name, and they’ve since branched out into writing about all things weird across the United States.

The “Weird” book on New Jersey playfully reports on all the wacky sites in the Garden State, which once you get away from the refineries hard by Newark airport turns out to be a varied and charming place. I’ve visited 46 of the 50 states, and New Jersey must be the most unfairly lambasted of them all.

Yosemite, on the other hand, is one of the most praised locations in the United States, if not the world. After a warm day there in the November sunshine, I can state unequivocally that the park’s reputation is in no way overrated.

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