Recent comments

  • Traveler's Checklist: Yellowstone National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Ask Suzanne to provide an extra seat in her office because I want to complain about it also.

    Rick Smith

  • Traveler's Checklist: Yellowstone National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    A few things as background to your travel - if you've been there the past couple of days, you also experienced significant delays in the western part of the park, 1-2 hours, because bison are being hazed by the National Park Service between Madison Junction and Fountain Flats. They are doing this because there are other bison being hazed within the park by the Montana Department of Livestock (that's right, I said within the park - and by low flying helicopters), by an operation meant to rid Montana of wild bison even from areas where there are no cows and where most of the property owners support wild bison (though most of the area is public National Forest Service land). The NPS is claiming that the operations are necessary to keep too many buffalo from being in one place and because if they don't, they will surely be killed in Montana. What they aren't saying is that they operate a trap, slaughter bison themselves, and are partners in the plan that make this possible. They also haven't written a press release alerting travelers to the delays in recent days. There are several blogs that mention it, however, and I was alerted by an email from a person touring Yellowstone.

    Secondly, in late August, the critical road between Madison and Norris will close for the season. This will have a lot of effect on your travel, as you probably must split your trip into two parts unless you plan to do a day's driving to get around it. Going from Mammoth to Old Faithful (or West Yellowstone) will be supremely difficult, where right now it's relatively easy. The NPS has been holding public hearings and letting people know; it's something you should know if you are planning a late summer or early fall trip.

    Thirdly, coming from the South (the Tetons), there is a big road construction project at and near the north boundary of the Tetons. This will cost you about half an hour in delays and a few miles of bumpy travel. There's usually road construction - in recent years - in that direction.

    But, the park is huge, and there's that list of 10 and a million more things to enjoy (my personal addition might be - sit on a sand bar along Yellowstone Lake as the sun sets and the stars rise, or given my mood, go to Superintendent Lewis's office in Mammoth and complain about bison management).

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Hazing Efforts Lead to Death of Black Bear in Glacier National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    These poor animals are being killed in the very place they are supposed to be protected...very saddening.

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I love the idea as bishop love being Duvall and Woody being Seldom, But Bonnie Abzug should be Jessica Beil hands down Garofolo does not fit the attractive description that leads you to believe she could be both the hot assistant in doc's office and a troublemaker. I also like the idea if Depp playing the horseman but if you catch at the end of hayduke lives george asked the man his name and he says jack burns which is the main character in the brave cowboy another abbey novel in which he is described as a tall skinny man this could be important if hayduke lives becomes a sequel. I lovve these books can only assume it will be a flop based on the cast and director

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    PLZ PRAY FOR MY GRANDPA BOB WE ARE ALL GOING THROUGH A TOUGH TIME NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND HIM...THANX <<<>>>

  • Ride the Rails to Yosemite National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Back to the Future! In 1961, my wife and I traveled across the country by train ending up in Seattle. It remains one of our fondest travel memories. Rebuilding and expanding our national rail system is essential if we are to successfully adapt to a future of energy constraints.

  • Hazing Efforts Lead to Death of Black Bear in Glacier National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I realise this was certainly an accident as I have had contact with the Glacier NP rangers while extensively exploring this park and I know that their #1 commitment is to the wildlife and resources of the park. However somebody has to look at these "cracker rounds" to determine why its design could actually penetrate like that. The other thing that needs to be looked at is how it was used...aimed at close range at the bear? A shot that just got away from the intended aim point? It is a shame.

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    There certainly has been a rash of incidents lately, Lynn. Some, unfortunately, are to be expected at this time of year. The climbing season on Mount McKinley just got under way, and in the West high runoff is making streams and rivers particularly dangerous.

    Lightning strikes always are unpredictable, though. As for the drownings, sad and unfortunate coincidences. And I don't know what other than a terrible accident you'd call the incident that claimed the man and his horse in Haleakala.

    Hopefully the past week isn't a harbinger for the rest of the summer.

  • Hazing Efforts Lead to Death of Black Bear in Glacier National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I we think that they are the "ANIMALS"

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I think I got your name wrong. Sorry, Kurt. Inexcuseable for a former journalist. Still thinking there's something odd about this rash of accidents and deaths. First time we rode the horses down Zion, I called out, "Oh, God!" over and over again. Now I think I was right.

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Hi, Kirk. Is it just me, or have there been an unusual number of tragedies at the parks so far? Seems like every tiime I check into this site, somebody's missing or dead. It's getting kind of spooky. Have things increased or are we justhearing about them more?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Congrats to Mark and Dottie, who, just minutes apart, figured it out.

    The formal name for the building is the "Stonewall Jackson Shrine." As the Park Service explains things:

    The "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine is the plantation office building where General Jackson died. The office was one of several outbuildings on Thomas C. Chandler's 740-acre plantation named "Fairfield." This typical frame structure saw use primarily by the men for recreation as well as for work. Chandler kept records in the office and one of his sons once practiced medicine there, but with three of the Chandler boys away serving in the Confederate Army, the building no longer witnessed its ante-bellum level of activity.

    The office stood bare, except for a few items in storage, when Jackson's ambulance arrived. Although offered the use of the Chandler house, Jackson's doctor and staff officers chose the quiet and private outbuilding as the best place for Jackson to rest after his long ambulance ride. If all went well, the general would soon board a train at Guinea Station and resume his trip to Richmond and the medical expertise available there.

    Today, the office is the only plantation structure remaining. The Chandler house burned at some point after the Civil War, and its shell was dismantled in the early 1900's. Once established as an historic "shrine," the office underwent restorations in the 1920's and the 1960's, and still retains about 45% original fabric. The National Park Service has augmented some of the items used during Jackson's stay with other pieces from the era, along with a few reproductions, to recreate the scene of those tragic last days of his life.

    Jackson's doctors and staff officers both worked and relaxed in this room during the General's stay. Five different physicians examined Jackson, and these men probably discussed their conclusions here over cups of coffee. Jackson's chief surgeon, Dr. Hunter H. McGuire, was the only physician present the entire six days. McGuire had performed the surgery on Jackson in a field hospital near Chancellorsville where he amputated Jackson's twice wounded left arm and removed a ball from the General's right hand.

    Jackson's chaplain, B. Tucker Lacy, had a brother who owned a house near the hospital, and took "Stonewall's" severed limb to his brother's family cemetery for burial. Lacy comforted the pious Jackson, holding devotions with him for the first two days spent at Guinea Station, but the chaplain soon returned to army headquarters. He requested that General Lee send another doctor to relieve the weary McGuire, who tried to provide round-the-clock care. In their conversation about Jackson's condition, Lee told Lacy, "He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm."

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Stonewall Jackson memorial?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    The house at Guine Station where Stonewall Jackson died ?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Nope.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Kurt...last try! Booker T. Washington National Monument!

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Right state, wrong answer.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Patrick Henry birthplace?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Neither one, I'm afraid.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Let's see...It's either Frederick Douglass or Harriet Beecher Stowe birthplace. Kurt, this one is tough!

  • Ride the Rails to Yosemite National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I used Amtrak to get to Yosemite last summer. I thought it was wasteful to rent a car because it would be sitting at a trailhead for nearly 2 weeks. I had no problems with ticketing or planning the trip. The train station in Sacramento is at the end of its light rail line (which unfortunately does not go to the airport). Once in Merced, I took a YARTS bus into the park, and it let me off at the lodge in the Valley.

    On the way back, I took Amtrak to Richmond and rode the BART into San Francisco. I was ticketed on an Amtrak-chartered bus from Oakland to San Fran but chose to take the BART because of a "police incident" in Berkeley. All-in-all, it was a big money- and worry-saver over taking a car into the park, struggling to find parking, and dealing with the other drivers.

  • Ride the Rails to Yosemite National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Thanks for the information Kurt. I learned to love train travel while in the Navy (down in Long Beach before the base was closed). I would travel up and down the coast. Much less crowded than buses (except during commuter hours), more comfortable, and more of a view (especially in the upper view decks).

    National Geographic just had a interesting inside history on Grand Central Station (Inside Grand Central Station) and part of it touched on the change from train travel to our love of cars.

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

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Not a bad guess, but not the right one. Lee's birthplace was much more substantial. You can see it here.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Is it the birthplace of Robert E. Lee?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Still in full swing every autumn. Always a good time with goodies and folks you only find here in Texas.