I've written a new article for the Frommers.com newsletter. This one is called 'How Do You Keep a National Park from Becoming a Parking Lot?'. When I set out to write this piece, I was coming at it from a jaded angle, with the feeling that shuttles will encapsulate the park experience, and that they will repackage the potential adventure found in parks into a safe, time-managed, ordered, auto-tour.
But, after talking with friends and reading about the positive things these shuttles are doing, my feeling changed quickly. The very real benefits of park shuttles far outweigh my original shortsighted vision. As mentioned in the article, the shuttles have the potential to actually enhance both the natural landscape and the experience of visiting the park!
It's been said before, Americans have a love affair with the car, the manifestation of our national free-will; I will go wherever I want, whenever I want, because I can. With this personal attachment to the car, I imagine there are a lot of people out there like me that shrug at the thought of climbing on board a bus at the park. My new found excitement for the shuttle exists because my love of parks outweigh my love for the freedom found in the car. How about you? What has been your shuttle experience?
By the way, Kurt's got an article in the current Frommer's park newsletter too. His is called 'Spending a Night in a National Park: Lodge, Tent or Open Sky?'.