Recent comments

  • With Year-End Holidays Not Far Off, Consider These National Park Escapes   5 years 29 weeks ago

    "The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Polar Express trip is nearly identical to that of the Grand Canyon Railway."

    Uh, really? Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? It looks nothing like Ohio -- trust me. The two trips are in NO WAY identical, from the temperatures, the rolling stock, the scenery, and everything else.

  • More Than A Few Ghost Stories Swirl About Crater Lake National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    "In 1958 Richard Brown, John Wirty and Warren Fairbanks took core samples from the “Old Man of the Lake” and determine that the old floating log was 273 years old when it slid upright into the Lake." I imagine there have been several "Old Men" over the years. Thanks very much for the story on an All Hallows' Eve....

    Quatrains of Crater Lake: Hemlocks

    Serene where death once pitched his camp, they lift
    Green spires against blue water far below;
    And the scarred slopes where their slow shadows drift
    Drink the cool peace that only trees bestow.

    -- Ernest G. Moll (Nature Notes From Crater Lake, Vol. 7, No. 3, 1934)

    Rob Mutch
    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    www.craterlakeinstitute.com
    Robert Mutch Photography

  • Yellowstone National Park's Interior Roads Close For Winter on Monday   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I agree with the above posts - keep it open longer. We are spending three days at Jackson Hole, and drove to Yellowstone via the West Entrance this morning. The road from Old Faithful to West Thumb was already shut down, meaning you could only drive to Old Faithful or go back to the South Entrance and start over. Really disappointed that we missed out on Canyon and Mammoth, when there seems to be no real reason for the road to be closed.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I have been able to visit 27 of our national parks, and only one ranger has ever been anything but professional. Only one out of hundreds of rangers who do a super job in our NP systems.

    This comment was edited to remove a subjective attack. -- Ed.

  • Another Cellphone Tower OKed for Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Bruce Hildreth is spouting a trick bs argument. If he'd actually looked at the coverage maps for the tower, which are in the EA, he would realize that there is no chance that any SOS distress call from the backcountry of Kings Canyon would be picked up by this tower.

    This comment was edited to remove a gratuitous attack.-- Ed.

  • More Than A Few Ghost Stories Swirl About Crater Lake National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I'd hardly call a story (and picture) of an old log more interesting than those weird ghost stories. I thought you were going to tell us that Crater Lake is a portal into another dimension next... you know, like is rumored about Mt. Shasta.

  • The Pacific Northwest Trail Will Establish Important Linkages   5 years 29 weeks ago

    This Act authorizes no funding at all for the PNT. The best we might hope for over the next few decades is a few million dollars cumulatively, for purchase of trail easements, and construction of trailheads and missing trail segments. Not from Congress, but pieced together from individual donations, foundations, and grants. That's all it would take to complete the PNT, and even that is but a dream, we hope brought one step closer to realization by the National Scenic Trail designation. But its a fine dream to strive for!

    Work to date on the PNT has been accomplished overwealmingly by unpaid volunteers, with the PNTA mustering at best a few dozen summer student trail crew members each year on a tenuous series of grants and donations. Let's hope this can continue, but at this point, it sure doesn't look good for next year...

    Anyway, National Scenic Trail designation does not include or even promise any funding. It's up to us - the public and volunteers - to see this through and make it a reality.

  • Each Generation Seems To Stamp Its Imprint on the National Parks   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Hey, I actually used a pay phone at Sequoia National Park a few weekends ago! No cell service :)

  • More Than A Few Ghost Stories Swirl About Crater Lake National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I remember my family camping there some 57 years ago. I still recall the beauty of the lake, pretty much because I fell into the water and recall it was so cold. The beauty of that area certainly made an lasting impression on an eight year old girl. Who said it isn't worth taking children to experience natural wonders? My best memories where of all the State and National Parks my parents took us to.

    Our parents taught us so much about the Creator by camping and fishing in the great outdoors.

  • The Pacific Northwest Trail Will Establish Important Linkages   5 years 29 weeks ago

    What we actually need is more CEO's running the country into the ground from the top then laughing about it on CNN, or maybe we could have put the time and money into more corrupt police forces (check out "THE BIGGEST STREET GANG IN AMERICA" on youtube) oh I got it we could build more bombs and other weapons so we can keep forcing our ideals of money and power down other peoples throats so we can strip their countries of natural resources to further pollute our world. Come on people who wants to go on a hike and enjoy the beauties of nature when we could be cutting educational costs, supporting mass genocide, or eating 99cent cheese burgers....As Americans I think we need to re-prioritize our goals of world domination and stop playing in the backyard. If we don't act now there is a chance that our kids kids could be enjoying nature as it was before we stole this beautiful country from its natural inhabitants...........I almost didn't post this because no one is paying me. I'll probably get taxed later

    I can't wait for spring I'll be heading west see you there!!!

  • A Miss is Much Better than a Mile for Hikers Rescued in Two Separate Falls   5 years 29 weeks ago

    be mindfull it's not a playground!

  • More Than A Few Ghost Stories Swirl About Crater Lake National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Strange that this article never mentions Crater Lake's most storied ghost -- the one that haunts the Crater Lake Lodge.

  • Evergreen Lodge Near Yosemite National Park Offering Holiday Packages   5 years 29 weeks ago

    There are a couple of sequoia groves within 10 miles (as the crow flies) from Evergreen Lodge. They're not vehicle accessible like Mariposa Grove, but they're closer to Yosemite Valley. Both are fairly short hikes from the road but they still receive relatively few visitors. They could also take people to the Mariposa Grove although it would take longer to get there and often the road is closed from Wawona Road in the winter.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merced_Grove
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuolumne_Grove

    I was at Badger Pass a couple of years ago for a guided snowshoe walk. It's still fairly low key. Lift ticket prices are still reasonably low and they generally cater to less experienced skiiers. I don't ski but I've visited a few ski areas in the winter just to play in the snow. Badger Pass wasn't terribly crowded.

    Here's their pricing:

    http://www.yosemitepark.com/BadgerPass_RentalPricing.aspx

  • Evergreen Lodge Near Yosemite National Park Offering Holiday Packages   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Steven--

    1: There's a bit of perspective in the photo: sequoias get to be 4-5 person lengths in diameter, but the person in the photo is a bit behind the tree relative to the camera.

    2: I could be wrong, but I don't think that sequoias get up north near Hetch Hetchy. The southern end of the park (Mariposa Grove) is a more likely place for that tree. Yosemite is a great place to go cross country skiing, including Mariposa grove. Badger Pass in the park at least used to be a nice low-key downhill ski resort; I can't vouch one way or the other for its current status.

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    We've been following that story closely, RangerChris. Watch for us to post an article on it soon. The bison, BTW, are scheduled to leave WICa for Mexico by 11:00 a.m. Monday.

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    As a former Wind Cave employee, I'm quite proud of what our little park is doing with bison conservation. See also this year's Wind Cave bison reintroduction to a Mexican Nature Conservancy reserve: http://www.nps.gov/wica/parknews/10292009pr.htm

    Tallgrass Prairie is definitely worth the visit. It's a beautiful park in a beautiful area!

  • How Interstate 40's Closure Is Affecting Travel To Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I posted on here a few weeks ago that we would be going to Great Smoky Mountains for our honeymoon. We enjoyed our visit, but spent a lot of time one day in slow-crawling traffic on the Newfound Gap Road due to other drivers stopping to look for bears, which caused a miles-long traffic jam. It was very busy of course due to the great fall foliage, but this bear-peeping was one aspect we didn't really anticipate. The other downside was that we both came down with the flu and didn't get to do any hiking as a result of lack of energy. Well, they say after all, "in sickness and in health....."

    We thought we might make it over to Asheville, but (as per above) we didn't. And it is a good thing, too, with the referenced rockslide. It would have been a serious headache, and I was dealing with a smaller one already! ; )

    We plan to go back sometime in the future - just maybe during another season. The park was beautiful and it is close enough to our home here in St. Louis to be accessible.

  • Search Under Way for Missing Hiker on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    My brother Mike is currently part of the search for your Uncle. He heads the Montrose Search and Rescue team here in the LA area, but they were requested to join the search starting yesterday. He spent the night on the slope last night and they resumed the search this morning. We are all praying they all come back safely!

  • Coalition Calls for Sen. Feinstein's Rider Extending Life of Oyster Farm at Point Reyes National Seashore To Be Stripped   5 years 29 weeks ago

    As was stated in a more recent article, the full appropriations bill (with the latest language on the oyster farm) passed the House and Senate and is now waiting for a signature from President Obama.

    Despite all the cantankerous debate, it's not a certainty that the Secretary of the Interior is going to approve the extension of the "Reservation of Use". I consider Point Reyes a special place, including the oyster farm. In the end it's going to be more than just "wilderness" status that keeps Drakes Estero as a healthy ecosystem. And if Secretary Salazar extends the RUO, the farm has a financial incentive to take care of the issues brought up by the California Coastal Commission.

  • Congress Boosts National Park Service Budget by $130 Million to $2.7 Billion   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Please keep us posted on the Everglades, if possible. I've tried to stay kind of up to date, and despite the initial good news, it seems like it's still been a rocky road toward the goal there.

  • Congress Boosts National Park Service Budget by $130 Million to $2.7 Billion   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Maybe this will allow "my park" to keep its original 1039 hrs agrrement with its seasonals...We are being let go 2 months early so that the park can hire seasonals next year?

  • Fall's Arrival Means Fewer Open Roads and Campgrounds To Use at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    The rock slide was at mile marker 3 in North Carolina right before the NC/TN state line.

  • Search Under Way for Missing Hiker on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    It's trickier than people think to navigate up there even though much of the trail is above timber line. I lost the trail coming down from Mt. Whitney and ended up scrambling up and down some dangerous slopes to find it again. I had come up the Mountaineer's Route on a dayhike and went down the main trail. I was a mile south of the summit when I made my error. Only cost me time. Hopefully Wade will be found safe.

  • Search Under Way for Missing Hiker on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    When I first heard about my brother I wondered why. The highest mountain in the states that is why. Now I understand as Wade could never turn his back on a challenge.
    We keep Wade, Jeanne and the family in prayer.

  • Yellowstone National Park's Interior Roads Close For Winter on Monday   5 years 29 weeks ago

    The last couple of years there hasn't been much snow until Thanksgiving. I wish the Park Service would consider keeping these roads open another week or two. I was hiking yesterday in Pelican Valley and there wasn't more than a heavy dusting with many clear areas. At Canyon, way less than a foot. Roads clear everywhere. What a shame. I understand budgets and planning, etc., but I can dream!