Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
I came across a story in the local newspaper this morning, about a website called Stoodthere.com This is a website where people can log on and tell stories and post pictures of the amazing places they have visited. You can also vote for the places that are already listed -- which are then compiled into a top 100 list. The lists are in constant flux as the votes are coming in (number one is always changing) -- until the voting closes.
There are established lists for the UK and the United States, and some other areas, but they are currently compiling the list for the 100 Greatest Places to stand on Planet Earth. Some of the places in the running I have been to (the Golden Gate Bridge, the Las Vegas Strip), but most I haven't.
I love things that take my breath away, and the list of places I would love to stand on this planet is almost endless (the pyramids of Giza, Machu Picchu, the Lincoln Memorial, the Great Wall of China...).
Though I haven't been to many places, some of the places I have been are spectacular.
I'd like to share two with you, one made by the hand of man, one by the Hand of God.
First: The Salt Lake Temple.
This is the building I was married in, so it holds a very special place for me, but beyond that, the story of it's construction is one of struggle and faith and sacrifice.
More than once called the St Paul's of the American West, the Salt Lake Temple took forty years to build. It is constructed of granite blocks, quarried from a canyon twenty miles to the south. Those giant blocks were hauled -- essentially dragged -- from the quarry to the building site, sometimes taking as much as four days to haul a single block.
Today you can still walk through the meadows of Little Cottonwood Canyon and see the debris of the stonecutters -- for me it's like touching the past, connecting with my own ancestors.
Once the blocks made it to the building site, they were cut so precisely to fit together, that no mortar was used in the construction of the building. Many who laid the foundations of the Temple in 1853, were gone before it's dedication, in 1893.
Every time I stand before the Salt Lake Temple, I stand in awe.
Second: Mesa Arch, at sunrise.
Utah is full of some astonishing natural landmarks, and I've seen many of them, including some that are more famous than this one -- particularly, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park (practically our state symbol).
Mesa Arch is located in the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. It's an incredible natural arch, poised on the precipice of a 1,500 foot cliff -- and I mean RIGHT on the edge (if you fell off, you could whistle three choruses of Yankee Doodle before you hit the ground).
But this isn't just a story of where, but when. Many people visit Mesa Arch during the course of a year -- almost none of them comes at the right time.
Mesa Arch, Sunday morning, just before sunrise.
As you stand before the arch, amongst the boulders and sage brush, you are treated to a show like no other. The sun comes over the Eastern horizon like a nuclear blast. It fills the ancient valley with golden light, and blazes right through the center of the arch. For nearly five minutes it sets the sandstone on fire, changing it from brown to yellow to orange to red and back.
And the only other people I have EVER seen there, at that time, were other photographers. Those who chase the light.
So now, I'm curious -- where on earth have you stood?