Photo of the day: Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park, near the Texas/Mexico border, is a lot of things. It is beautiful, but it is harsh. It is expansive, but populated by sharp nooks and crannies. It is dusty, but the Rio Grande flows through it. It is a backpacker’s dream and simultaneous nightmare. And that is why I love this photo by Keith Pennington.

As his backpacking companion sits on a jagged cliff’s edge, undoubtedly contemplating the edgy beyond, many of these elements are caught in this still. The gorgeous landscape is captured, but the tumultuous path is also illustrated. The obligatory bright, hazy Texas sky illuminates a terrain that is, I am sure, just a little bit more daunting through the night. Kudos to the backpackers who brave Big Bend. I hope to one day join their ranks.