By Brent Reynolds
November 11, 2011
I wanted to share my personal reason why National Parks are so important. In 2008, my now wife and I were married on Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park. We are not the most prim and proper people. Sure, we can get all dressed up and look like a million bucks, but we are at home in nature. When trying to decide where we wanted to get married, we thought what better "church" than the outdoors? Of course this brought so many possibilities to our mind. We had already scheduled a family vacation to California, and we were going to Yosemite and thought what better way to finish a vacation than to get married on top of a mountain? The day before we were going to get married, my wife and I hiked up Sentinel Dome to see the views. And I must say, we could not have picked a more perfect place to get married. We were the first ones up on the summit that morning and the sun was just coming up, there was a fine mist in the air and the morning sun cut through it with rays of sunlight. Needless to say, we were both speechless. We couldn't believe that we were going to be married in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The next morning we hiked up Sentinel Dome in our "attire". I had on hiking boots with what I wore, and my wife, tennis shoes and then flip flops under her dress. Our entire family hiked up with us and our ceremony took place on top of Sentinel. To this day, I can't describe the feelings that we had as we were saying our vows to each other, and having the scenery that we did. It was something that we both will never forget. We had an audience of every hiker that day, smiles, congratulations, and applause. It was almost like a fairy tale. So, National Parks have become a big part of our lives. Every year since, we have visited a national park for vacation. And plan to for many years to come. Yosemite will always hold a very special place in my heart. The picture that is attached is not a professional picture. It was taken with my little pocket digital by my brother-in-law. That is my wife and I right after we were married. I see this picture every time I walk into our bedroom. And the memories all come back.