Recent comments

  • Accessible National Parks, Airline Division   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I live just behind McGhee-Tyson Airport, and we can be at the Townsend entrance to the park in under a half-hour, and in the Cove in 45minutes. It's great!

  • Accessible National Parks, Airline Division   5 years 16 weeks ago

    sure you can fly into any one of these secondary airports, but what is the cost... Typically these airports are way more expensive than a "hub" airport and only serviced by smaller commuter jets. With today's economy, saving money is a major factor in vacation travel. Also the service is not as convenient so 1 must be really flexible in his/her itinerary. But thanx for pointing out these options.

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I hiked through Wall Arch in 2001. I stopped under each arch I visited and looked up wondering when that split second would happen. I missed it by about eight years.

    I hiked to a lot of the arches, and I never saw anybody on top of any of them. But people are, as a general rule, stupid. "Because it's there" mentality will always overcome good judgement.

    The one thing missing from Arches is a sign at the entrance to the park. How am I supposed to get my motorcycle poser shot with no sign?

    Could somebody mention something to them for me? Thanks.

  • Staying Safe and How Not to Become A SAR Statistic in the National Park System   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Dean -

    You've hit on some of the keys to greatly reducing the chances of becoming a SAR statistic: "hyper-prepared, informed, and ready to turn back and change my plans if things aren't going right."

  • More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead – but This Isn't the Worst Drought on Record for the Lake   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Frank_C

    Thanks for sharing that!

    I suppose it would be also possible to tout the "expanded shoreline availability" that goes along with the "reduced water reservoir."

  • More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead – but This Isn't the Worst Drought on Record for the Lake   5 years 16 weeks ago

    More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead

    Lake Mead employees have been instructed to say "reduced water reservoir" instead of "low water" level. Come on, use the newspeak!

  • Staying Safe and How Not to Become A SAR Statistic in the National Park System   5 years 16 weeks ago

    As a frequent visitor to the more rugged parks - often as a solo wilderness traveler (and previously as a climber in Yosemite many times), I might be considered at greater risk to need a SAR by some. But I am also hyper-prepared, informed, and ready to turn back and change my plans if things are going right. Being out there is more important than any particular goal. It probably also helps that since I go a lot, I'll have other chances to accomplish a goal,though I don't frequently do repeat visits except for the closest places.

  • Yellowstone National Park Video On Using Bear Spray: Is It Legal To Use?   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Bears are becoming more of an issue in North America. Think about it as the population continues to grow where are people living? They expand their living space into previously unoccupied areas-unoccupied at least by humans. In many parts of the country that is bear country.

  • Kurt's Yampa River Sojourn Marks Step for a Day   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Thanks, Omar. I was a tad suspicious about the similarity of the two sets of coordinates (see below), which is why I raised the question of river mileage traveled Tuesday. Still, I didn't put the two pieces of the puzzle together quite the way you did. Nice catch.

    +40° 29' 27.96", -108° 49' 20.28" (Monday nite)

    +40° 29' 30.84", -108° 48' 55.08" (Tuesday nite)

  • Kurt's Yampa River Sojourn Marks Step for a Day   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Prof Bob, with my trusty slide rule, abacus, slate and chaulk, it apears that Kurt spent the day exploring Starvation Canyon. Both Grids are in the approx location of each other and are probably less than a football field apart. I suspect that he might have traveled Starvation Canyon between 3 and 6 miles, up and back to the campsite. Along the way stoping to look for Gold.

    Semper Fi
    Omar

  • Kurt’s Still on the Yampa, and He Wishes We Were There Too   5 years 16 weeks ago

    [b]MRC.... I have known kurt for over 50 years. when he tells me "Anyway, my plan is to each evening once camp has been set up send out an "Ok" message." I beleive thats where his message was sent from. Now last nights message apears to be very close to the River. I realize that he is not able to receive any correspondence through "SPOT", but he obviously heard me.

    Semper Fi
    Omar

  • Do Cougars Roam Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore?   5 years 16 weeks ago

    My wife and I vacation in this general area (Watervale, on Lower Herring Lake) and have frequently driven that section of M-22 en route to Sleeping Bear or the Leelenau Peninsula. We've also canoed the Platte. I always keep a sharp eye out for wildlife, and while I've seen plenty of deer, I haven't yet been privileged to see a cougar there or anywhere else in Michigan. Several years ago, a friend of ours who is a very experienced hiker saw a cougar near her driveway in a densely wooded area on the south side of Crystal Lake near Frankfort. I find this interesting because there are houses galore in the area.

  • Interior Secretary Salazar Upholds Delisting of Gray Wolves in Part of Yellowstone Ecosystem   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I am saddened by this news. We worked hard for wolf recovery just as we worked hard for a President that would have compassion for wolf recovery. We believe it is vital to the recovery of wolves in all designated areas to be listed under the Endangered Species Act! I believe that at the very least our President and Sec. Salazar could put a restriction on shooting or killing these magnificent animals!!

  • Do Cougars Roam Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore?   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Without a doubt there are cougars in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. I saw one crossing M-22 this past summer (August 2008) 1/2 mile south of the Platte River bridge and campground.. It was 5 - 6 feet long and very dark in color.

  • Kurt’s Still on the Yampa, and He Wishes We Were There Too   5 years 16 weeks ago

    great!it's wonderful to experience to see.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Looking For Volunteers To Help With Elk Education   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I wanted to say thank you for offering a great sight for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    I have been visiting with my family off and on for the last 25 years and it has been a life long trip that has became a tradition, now my kids love to come and hike and adventure in the smoky mountain trails.

    ''Signed''

    Love the Smokies

  • That “America’s Marines” Commercial Shows Five NPS Units, Not Six   5 years 16 weeks ago

    LOL. No worries.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Cell towers in parks are "the camel's nose under the tent"?

    It's absolutely asinine to assert that THIS, a cell phone tower, will be the catalyst for a slippery slope to national park ruin.

    Anonymous [edited] fails to realize that cell phone towers are the bottom, not the top, of the slippery slope.

    Don't blame cell phones; blame roads, cars, buildings, sewage plants, garbage dumps, flush toilets, pay phones, parking lots, construction equipment, chainsaws, and every other piece of technology that impaired the parks to their current state.

    A metal tower (next to a hideous, mass produced, soulless lookout tower) will not spell the parks' doom.

    If you think Grant Grove is pristine, you've drunk too much of the special Kool-Aid. There is a sewage pipe buried amidst the Grant Tree's roots for Pete's sake.

    [Edited]

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I love Death Valley - my favorite place on earth!

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Excerpt from letter to the NPS re: SEKI cell phone tower:

    I urge the National Park Service to deny the request for a new cell phone tower in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The Park Service is charged with maintaing the character of the national parks. That includes the both the tangible and intangible resources that make a park such as Sequoia and Kings Canyon a unique place. I understand the need to provide reasonable accommodations and visitor protection, but that does not require universal cell phone/internet access throughout the park. The park has contributed to the joy and wonder of countless visitors during its existence. Those who are privileged to walk among the towering trees and drink in the small sounds of the forests should not have their experience interrupted by the harsh ringing or obnoxious mechanical musak of a cell phone. Allow there to still be places where visitors may temporarily escape the electronic immediate ties to a mechanized world.

    Ray Bane

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    That is, the lookout is NOT ugly! Bottom line is this is the camel's nose under the tent. What happens when Frank (or another wired seasonal) gets a job in Lake Clark, Wrangle, Glacier, (fill in your favorite remote park) and wants to call his girl friend or his mommy?

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    The is not ugly and Frank can get a job at Starbuks if he wants to be connected. BTW- I lived there and it was not a problem for me.

  • Staying Safe and How Not to Become A SAR Statistic in the National Park System   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Most of the SAR missions at Gateway NRA are related to their lifeguarded beachs and high urban visitation.....

  • Kurt’s Still on the Yampa, and He Wishes We Were There Too   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Omar: If you zoom in on the Google map site and switch to the terrain display, you will see, that the message was sent from a spot high in the mountains over the river. So Kurt did not send it from camp but from a hike.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Dear anon: your point is?

    I have encountered a black bear with two cubs in a distance of less than 15 feet. I have to admit though, that it happened just across the border in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada, so US gun laws did not apply anyway. I did not carry any weapon, not even pepper spray, and it took place close to developed areas while I was on an evening stroll. There was no aggression involved, just an accidental encounter on the trail that was by far too close for my taste. I retreated talking softly so fast that I don't even have a picture. The ranger I met in the valley minutes later told me that she and her cubs were well known and not aggressive at all.

    So what is your point about this issue? Are you in favor of carrying firearms in National Parks? And what good would that have done in my case? A bear with cubs coming out of the vegetation less than 15 feet away from you: If she is aggressive you have already lost. No way you can get any weapon out and use it in time. And what good would a hand gun do against a charging bear anyway?