Henry Coe Hillside at Dawn

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Dawn dew causes the green fields to glisten, in Henry Coe State Park, California.

I came across this lovely meadow in Henry Coe State Park, California. As the morning sun rose over the hills and struck the dew on the grass, the beauty of this scene paralyzed me. The oak trees clad with Spanish moss give the golden hills enough accent to make them feel truly perfect. But while these hills are beautiful, they are not as gentle as they seem. This park is filled to the brim with true wilderness. This grass may look inviting, but it is dense and inhospitable. Coe’s wilderness and remoteness is part of what makes it adored by adventurers and backpackers, but also part of what makes it under-visited in general. Thought the state’s largest park, it was among those slated to be closed during the budget cuts of the 2010s. Thankfully, many of those closures, including Henry Coe’s, never came to pass.

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