The High Sierras.
It's hard to explain these places. Upland meadows. Hidden lakes in the sky. The unblemished vitality of the mountains.
There's this weird sense of health and vibrance that ekes its way into your marrow as you scrabble tractionless against the scree, huff sleepily in the trail's dust, or pull your lungs tight against the thin and climbing altitude.
We camped in the recesses of the High Sierras last month, and what was so fascinating about the experience is how one must submit to the mountains' articulation of everything. The immense shadows that the peaks cast effectively dictate the length of the day. Their height may or may not snag a passing cloud and drench the valleys (and their inhabitants) in rain or fog. The mounded black bulk of them frames the night's constellations as they reel past.
Fellow campers regale you with stories- how the Sierra Club requires a team of mules to deliver its fannypack-touting members their immense wine delivery at their destination. These chuckling campers detail the delicate choreography of porters and planners and guides involved in such events.
And, admittedly, while I don't think that that sounds like a bad time, I must say; lugging too much food, a two-person tent, and a heavy medium format camera into the wilderness sounds like a much, much better one.