"Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. -- Jonathan Jarvis assumed the helm of America's national parks this month, but not before he made two important pilgrimages.
The first was to the home of 19th-century conservationist John Muir, in Martinez, Calif. 'I stood under the trees Muir planted and hoped some of his wisdom would find me in the shade,' Mr. Jarvis says of the man who helped turn national parks into a worldwide phenomenon.
The second was to Yosemite National Park, where the new park service director, his wife, and two adult children made an arduous trek up the back side of Half Dome ridge. No rangers were allowed to accompany their new boss and smooth his way to the top, per edict of daughter Leah. Each one lugged his or her own pack."
Todd Wilkinson reports for the Christian Science Monitor October 25, 2009.