+

Road trips.

For some, there's nothing better. For others, they're a waking nightmare that never ends (except for the occasional stop at Denny's).


If you find yourself in the latter camp, these seven photos may very well change your mind.

All of the photos were taken on federal public land, courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior's excellent Instagram account (which far too few people know about). They're places you can go to right now, by car, if you live in the mainland U.S.

And they're all out of this world.

7. Man-made beauty and natural beauty combined in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Nothing compares to the golden hour at #GoldenGate National Recreation Area in #California. Photographer Eric DaBreo was in search of the the perfect #sunset when he took this pic of the Golden Gate Bridge from @goldengatenationalparks' Marshall Beach. Photo from www.sharetheexperience.org.
A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

6. The mind-bending scale of North America's tallest mountain in Denali National Park, Alaska

A #caribou wanders across the #tundra in the shadow of #Denali in #Alaska's Denali #NationalPark. Photo by Daniel A. Leifheit (@danleifheit), National Park Service. #nature #wildlife #animals
A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

5. The starkness of a desert lightning storm in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

An amazing display of #nature's power as a #lightning bolt tears through the sky over Grand Staircase-Escalante #NationalMonument's Devils Garden in #Utah. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument spans nearly 1.9 million acres of America's #publiclands. From its spectacular #GrandStaircase of cliffs and terraces to the wonders of the #Escalante River Canyons, the Monument is truly a treasure. Adam Haggerty captured this amazing shot in the middle of a rain storm using a 10-second exposure. Photo from www.sharetheexperience.org.
A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

4. The night sky as ancestors saw it in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

While the still blue waters of #CraterLake astonish visitors during the day, it's the dark sky with millions of #stars that leaves visitors awestruck during nights. Seen in this picture is the Sagittarius arm of #MilkyWay stretching over #WizardIsland at Crater Lake #NationalPark in #Oregon. The green light on the horizon -- that's a phenomenon called airglow. Photo by Sankar Salvady (www.sharetheexperience.org).
A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

3. A perfect spring day in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Happy first day of #spring! Now is the perfect time to start planning a visit to America's gorgeous public lands. Pictured here is a meadow of wildflowers at #MountRainier #NationalPark in #Washington at #sunset. Photo by Danny Seidman (www.sharetheexperience.org).
A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

2. A group of startled, adorable baby owls in Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah

This was our same expression when we reached 500,000 followers on @Instagram this weekend! This pic of the baby burrowing #owls at #BearRiver Migratory Bird Refuge in northern #Utah is one of our most popular -- with more than 5,000 of you commenting on the photo by Katie McVey, @USFWS. Our account wouldn't be what it without all of you! That's why this week we'll be featuring some of your favorite #publiclands. Be sure to tell us in the comments your favorite #nationalpark, #wildliferefuge or other public lands.
A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

1. The purple mountain majesties of Glacier National Park, Montana

Another spectacular photo submitted to the America's Great #Outdoors photo project. This one of Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park by @brandonmkopp just had to be shared. See the full list of photos at flickr.com/groups/summerago. #glacier #nationalpark #montana #publiclands #avalanchelake #lakes #photography #HDR #mountains #instagood #instacool
A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on



If you can't get yourself as far as Montana or California, never fear! America's national parks are in every state, cheap to visit, and — I'm using very technical language here — the jam.

According to some, they were America's best idea (though I think even Ken Burns would agree that Wrestlemania is a close second).

So, uh ... road trip, anyone?

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Artist captures how strangers react to her body in public and it's fascinating

Haley Morris-Cafiero's photos might make you rethink how you look at people.

Credit: Haley Morris-Cafiero

Artist Haley Morris-Cafiero describes herself on her website as "part performer, part artist, part provocateur, part spectator." Her recent project, titled "Wait Watchers" has elements of all her self-descriptors.

In an email to us, Morris-Cafiero explained that she set up a camera in the street and stood in front of it, doing mundane activities like looking at a map or eating gelato. While she's standing there she sets off her camera, taking hundreds of photos.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom's praise of audiobooks 'post-baby' has parents sharing how it changed their lives

'Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.'

Canva/Twitter

Let people read however they can.

Not too long ago, it seemed like you could only be loyal to one team—team “physical books” or team “e-readers.” There was no neutral territory.

That debate might have dwindled, but it echoes on as people take a stand on physical books versus audiobooks, which have become increasingly popular—nearly half of all Americans currently pay for an audio content subscription, and the average adult in the U.S. listens to digital audio for a little over an hour and a half each day, 28% of that being spoken word. Audiobooks had a particularly big surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, as listeners found the activity more comforting and satisfying than a regular book while under quarantine.

You’d think that the general mindset would be “reading in any form has great benefits, so do whatever you want!” But alas, humans do find odd hills to die on.

Keep ReadingShow less
Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Machine that bats away only green tomatoes at lightning speed has people nerding out

The automated sorter technology is fascinating, as is watching it work in slow motion.

An automated green tomato sorting machine is mesmerizing in slow motion.

For thousands of years, people around the world have been honing the art of agriculture. For the vast majority of human history, people planted and harvested and sorted produce largely by hand, gradually developing tools and machines over time that would make farming more efficient.

Many crops still have to be harvested and/or sorted by hand, but thanks to a rather mind-blowing machine, tomatoes aren't one of them. A machine that harvests tomatoes saves a ton of time and labor, but as tomatoes don't all ripen at the same time, pulling up an entire tomato plant results in a good number of green ones getting into the mix.

One solution to this problem would be to have the tomatoes transported down a conveyor belt in a factory while workers spot and remove the green ones by hand. However, an automated green tomato sorter does it right in the field as the tomatoes are being harvested, and a whole lot faster than any person ever could.

Keep ReadingShow less