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This has to be one of the cooler things I've done on a shoot, flying on a helicopter past Half Dome and other gorgeous landmarks at Yosemite National Park as part of the White House traveling press corps. Pictures really don't do the experience Justice. Here the Marine One helicopter carries the first family to land at Yosemite National Park, followed by a support helicopter. #potus #waitingonpotus #todaysoffice #helicopters #halfdome #yosemite #nationalparks #california
A crowd had gathered just beyond the field behind a rope barrier set up by the Secret Service, but the field itself was mostly empty as the first family prepared to exit the helicopters.
The president's trip, timed to the 100th anniversary of the creation of the national park system, is aimed in part at highlighting his administration's efforts to preserve federal lands and the environment. The use of the presidential helicopters came in for some criticism on social media for the noise and disruption to the environment in Yosemite. Obama is expected speak about the importance of the parks on Saturday.
After exiting the helicopters and walking about 30 yards through the grass, the Obamas stopped to speak with park rangers and staff, then greeted the crowd briefly before entering the presidential motorcade for a short drive to their lodge for the night.