7 absolutely stunning nature photos that will make you want to take a road trip ASAP.

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?

True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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Photo by Tod Perry

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