Recent comments

  • Sailing in Place   5 years 15 weeks ago

    Nice shot!

  • Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire   5 years 15 weeks ago

    C. M. Baxter -

    Thanks for some nice perspective on the place beyond the Manson connection. As Das Trekker notes, the cabin was there for years before Manson adopted it as an occasional hideout.

    As far as the historical connection with Manson is concerned, perhaps it's greatest importance is as the place where he was captured, and his spree came to an end.

  • Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire   5 years 15 weeks ago

    Come on People, it's not like Charlie built the place with his own two hands. I am sure this building was around long before Charlie. A cabin in death valley? That in itself should be enough reason... Historical value can't be judged by good or bad. By that thought process should we destroy all things having to do with bad people?

  • Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire   5 years 15 weeks ago

    My friends and I visited the ranch just a few months ago and gathered olives from a tree in the front yard (a natural spring—a branch of Sourdough Springs—runs through the yard and keeps the tree watered). I brought the olives home and salt cured them. After giving each friend a jar, I have four jars left. Could we be the only people in the country possessing “Barker Ranch Olives?” Probably.

    I’ve made many trips to the Barker/ Myers Ranch area and camped overnight on several occasions. Yes—as one commenter suggests—it is a creepy place. There are rattlesnakes and other bitey, stingy creatures living there, but that’s part of the fun. The drive up Goler Wash from the Panamint Valley side (make sure you have a high clearance, 4x4 vehicle) is a wild and beautiful ride but certainly not recommended for the diehard city slicker. Coming from the north through Warm Springs Canyon and Butte Valley is nice as well. But watch out for Mengel Pass! There are rusty car parts strewn among the boulders you must negotiate to get up and over.

    I, for one, will dearly miss the Barker Ranch.

  • H1N1 Flu, You, and the National Parks   5 years 15 weeks ago

    This H1N1 flu virus seems to have the ability to pass easily from one human to another, but it seems to be rather mild in terms of symptoms for most who are infected. However, there might be a nightmare scenario waiting in the wings. Virus are notorious for their ability to evolve and merge with other virus strains incorporating new characteristics. A worse case could be the combination of H1N1 and H5N1 (bird flu). H5N1 is endemic in parts of Asia and the Middle East occasionally infecting humans. The fatality rate for infected humans is extreme - 70%+. If a person or animal carrying H1N1 contracted H5N1 they could become the mixing incubator for a pandemic flu of historic proportions. Sure hope that never happens.

  • Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire   5 years 15 weeks ago

    I had the same question as shicks49. Even if it hadn't been burnt I would never have chosen to go there, it seems like a pretty creepy place (They possibly thought there were more bodies there......) to me.

  • H1N1 Flu, You, and the National Parks   5 years 15 weeks ago

    Funny how 900 people get the swine flu and everyone wears a mask but millions of people get STD's and no one wears a condom?

  • Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire   5 years 15 weeks ago

    I don't understand the reasoning for even wanting to restore a place that has been connected to a mass murderer. Does it have any other significant historical value?

  • A Tough Week for Hikers and Mule Riders at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 15 weeks ago

    Anonymous -

    Sadly, it's true that three young men jumped into the river on Thursday, April 30, with tragic results. That incident was covered in a separate story in the Traveler which has now dropped off the home page, so I didn't mention it again here.

    That search and recovery mission began on the days between the two described in the above story about the hiker and mule rider, illustrating the demanding job rangers have at Grand Canyon - and many other parks.

  • Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire   5 years 15 weeks ago

    It is truly sad when a site like this is lost whether by vandals or just a careless act. Everyone losses out, not only the place that is damaged but as time has proven other areas end up being closed to access also. At 51 years old, I know of hundreds of places my kids will never have the opportunity to experience nor will I ever be able to return to with them. That is the real loss for everyone as many times it leads to over protection of a remote area.

  • A Tough Week for Hikers and Mule Riders at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 15 weeks ago

    my wife was below the area where the mule stumbled - she saw the helicopter etc. but she said she heard that there were 3 kids that jumped from a bridge into the river earlier in the week or last week maybe and died - is that true? just curious.
    thanks

  • Mark Your Calendars: ABC TV's 20/20 To Explore Billing Search-and-Rescue Subjects This Friday   5 years 15 weeks ago

    Double jeopardy in legal terms is the liability to be prosecuted twice for the same crime. We the taxpayers pay for the search and rescue equipment and employees and now you want us to pay again? Ridiculous! And who makes the determination that a person was careless?

    Anyone in government or SAR who feel over utilized or underpaid should find another line of work instead of consistently going into the taxpayers pocket.

  • Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Scaling Back Search For Two Missing in Colorado River   5 years 15 weeks ago

    Saif, Praying day by day for a miracle. stay strongg. ♥

  • Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Scaling Back Search For Two Missing in Colorado River   5 years 15 weeks ago

    No offence, but when you knew saif like me and my whole school did, you would know that all he ever did was help others. we only knew him for a year, and then he moved to arizona. yes he made a mistake, but were all grieving for him. <333

  • Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Scaling Back Search For Two Missing in Colorado River   5 years 15 weeks ago

    We all love you saif!!! were all praying for you and waiting for you too come home!! <3333 everyone at sterling heights high are thinking of you!! come home soon! we love youu!!!

  • Mark Your Calendars: ABC TV's 20/20 To Explore Billing Search-and-Rescue Subjects This Friday   5 years 16 weeks ago

    YES, I believe those that are rescued following deliberate acts of disobeying warning signs or verbal cautions should be held liable for all costs associated with their rescue, as well as being given fines and restrictions on future access to those and similar sites. If these costs cause a financial burden, perhaps they won't do it again? Why (and when?) did we stop holding persons responsible for their own actions? Why also do these people not think of the consequences of their actions on other people? Is this a symptom of a lack of respect for others, as well as for themselves?

    It might be difficult, however, to distinguish between those that were simply unfortunate and caught in dangerous conditions accidentally and those that did things deliberately, so we will have to cater (once again!) to the rule-breaking minority and make costs apply to all. At least in this way, those of the country that don't indulge at all in outdoor activities are not having to pay for those that do through taxes...a small ray of sunshine, perhaps.

    I have been an avid hiker for over 15 years and know there are dangerous places out there. I take caution and am fully aware and willing to take responsibility for my own actions. I have health insurance, which applies if I get hurt and I have been hurt while on my "adventures", even while taking precautions. I have a friend that once required rescue due to having had an accident resulting in a broken bone and the inability to walk. Accidents do happen. Should I ever get into a situation that requires formal rescue, I want that to be an option for me and I will gladly pay if I need to. Perhaps there could/should be a general cost for insurance required at places known to have a higher degree of danger than others, with the addition of fines for cases where it can be determined that those rescued have blatantly ignored the rules?

  • National Research Council Blasts Park Service Report on Oyster Farming at Point Reyes National Seashore   5 years 16 weeks ago

    As stated, it is potential wilderness. It could stay that way with the oyster farm continuing. Just because something is potential wilderness, does not mean it has to become wilderness. They could manage it as defacto wilderness and everything would be ok. A label does not actually do anything.

  • Mark Your Calendars: ABC TV's 20/20 To Explore Billing Search-and-Rescue Subjects This Friday   5 years 16 weeks ago

    This question forces Americans to ask themselves--are we a team or aren't we? How far should the team spirit go? Taxpayers spend trillions of dollars for public employees and have to pay legal and settlement costs when they make mistakes. Public buildings and public universities spend billions--just on landscaping, and most people in the general public will never see these places. Should we spend any less on ourselves? If we billed for search-and-rescue, where would the money go--landscaping? Some families are already being hurt by $400+ traffic citations. Do we really want to ruin families with search-and-rescue fees--take everything they have and put them out on the street? If that's the case, should public workers also pay for reckless behavior when on the job?

  • Does the National Park Service Need a Quota System for Peak Seasons?   5 years 16 weeks ago

    One of the primary functions of the National Park Service is visitor use management. We have 391 park units collecting data 391 different ways. Until we can get an accurate description of who, what, when and why our visitors are visiting it makes it a mute point to discuss long term solutions. Far to often we fail in our visitor use management strategies with short lived solutions that lead to significant operational problems that have significant impacts on the heros that greet our visitors each and every day. Having completed multiple traffic control shifts at the Lower Yosemite Falls intersection that required me to ice my elbow at night well over 10 years ago, it makes me sad when I see a park service employee doing the same thing. What about a traffic light? What about a pedestrian bridge? All way to controversial in a Crown Jewel. Get your traffic vest, water bottle and whistle.

  • Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Scaling Back Search For Two Missing in Colorado River   5 years 16 weeks ago

    miss u saif hope a safe return were praying for u buddy please come back we all miss u

  • Would a Change in Gun Laws Be a Threat to National Park Bears?   5 years 16 weeks ago

    HA. bears are THE biggest predator on LAND.. and people give them food. theres a reason they dont fear us.. i for one have no problem with wolves.. do not percieve them as a threat.. and i do not play with fire as in going to veiw bears and feed them. if i moved to alaska i would go with my ccw. and should a bear try to attack me.. whether i was in my car, at my house or throwing away trash. i would shoot it. dead. period. bears are not predictable.. and will turn on you in a split second. why do you defend them?

  • Does the National Park Service Need a Quota System for Peak Seasons?   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Having been a manager in several national park sites in administration, budgeting and strategic planning, I can assure you that the big parks are NOT underfunded. My last stint was with Yosemite and they have so much money that they cannot perform the necessary EIS planning to spend it - leaving tens of millions on the table every year.

    Recreation Fee monies are quickly becoming a bane to the big parks. There's only so much money you can spend, only so many development / redevelopment projects to undertake, only so many employees to rationalize the spending through planning efforts.

    In any case, you cannot spend your way out of a finite resource (or damage created by recreational overuse).

    Rationing is the future.

  • Bear #399, And Other Grizzlies, Are On the Prowl In Grand Teton National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I saw her last June, I am returning to Grand Teton in August I hope she will be around

  • Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Scaling Back Search For Two Missing in Colorado River   5 years 16 weeks ago

    You don't know the circumstances. Knowing Saif personally, I can easily say he was the nicest guy I have ever met. If you died like this, would you want people saying stuff like that about you? And also basically mimicing you? Get some maturity, grow up. You must'nt have a concience.

  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Lands Windfall In Donation of Historic Buildings, Memorabilia   5 years 16 weeks ago

    It is true that they have no original artifacts from the building in 1898. However, nor did they have anything for the Mascot Saloon, yet they completely recreated EVERYTHING in the saloon to match the way it looked in 1910. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park has little devoted to the most famous character in the history of the city, and in fact has no buildings (to my knowledge) devoted, inside and out, to the 1898 era, like that of the Mascot display (1910). In my opinion, the best plan would be to restore the Parlor to the way it looked when Soapy owned it, and place the Rapuzzi collection in any other building. As I have said before, people write me every year expressing their disappointment in not being able to go inside "Soapy's saloon." I am not sure of the Park's exact plans but I am sure many Soapy fans will be somewhat disappointed that the building represents anything other than Soapy Smith.

    I have been inside the Parlor when Rapuzzi owned it, and then when Brown had it. I guess the most important thing is that it is still standing. It was beginning to lean to one side so thank goodness Brown finally sold it. I have actually made offers to buy the Parlor in the late 80s and 90s from her, and she once told me that she wanted enough from a sale "to sit in a rocker for the rest of her life." Glad it did not go the way of the Pullen Hotel. It will take close to a decade to complete the project and if I'm still around I'll have to drag myself up there for the opening day.

    Watch my sites below for the coming biography! Did you know Soapy was murdered? That Frank Reid did not kill him? Got to love history.

    Jeff Smith
    Soapy Smith website
    Soapy Smith blog