Recent comments

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Kurt, I agree with your take on "glamping." How is making the outdoor experience the same as the indoor experience teaching people about the great outdoors? I agree it's very important to get people outside, but if they don't see the forest or the trees when they're there, how does that help them appreciate nature?

    Shenandoah National Park's seminars shouldn't have been categorized as glamping, though. They have the right idea - teach people how to take care of themselves in the woods. Showing someone how to pitch a tent is very different from doing it for them.

    I, too, had to comment on that article: http://www.welovedc.com/2009/08/18/glamping-oh-come-on/

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    One rarely mentioned but dear to my heart: The mist rising off the Current River in southern Missouri. Part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. No other canoes but ours. 8am. Out of the mist hovering over the river a great blue heron rises with its feathery wings and long dangling legs. There's the burbling of the springs that feed the river. The jump of the fish. The dank smell of the mossy cliffs. The slip of the paddle in the clear water. Peace.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    The beauty of so many of the above is true but to me, the first time I got a glimpse of the Grand Canyon, all I could say was" OH MY GOD..." as I stood in complete awe.
    That first sight is still the most awesome I have ever seen and one that I will never forget.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    My National Park Image is a bit smaller than everyone elses. The iconic image I have in my mind is the lowly brown sign that reads "Trailhead". It brings to mind many many hikes & walks in many many National Parks. It brings the anticipation of a great hike, and it's also the friendly sign that greets me at the bottom of the hill, at the end of a great day of hiking.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Walking in the fog and rain in Thoroughfare Pass in Denali National Park and have the skies break open and reveal a completely cloud free Mount McKinley.
    Watching the face of my students when first seeing the Grand Canyon.
    Hiking from Hermit Creek Campground to the Colorado River and back in Grand Canyon.
    Watching a wolf chase down and kill a caribou calf in Denali Park.
    The stars of the Milky Way on the rim of Bryce Canyon.
    Running the rapids of Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park.
    Standing in Lincoln's Home.
    An afternoon lounging and writing on an island in the Lewis River in Yellowstone National park.
    Trying to grasp the experience above the Little Big Horn River
    The sight and sound of a rutting bull moose in the morning fog in Denali Park.
    And so many more..........
    National Parks.....what a treasure!

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    So many sights and memories come to mind:
    1-Climbing the dunes and looking out at the Gulf of Mexico at Padre Island National Seashore
    2-The view from Zabriskie Point down into the valley at Death Valley National Park
    3-The view from the far side of Manzanita Lake looking up at Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park
    4-The expression on my husbands face the first time he ever saw a herd of cow elk and calves at Cunningham Cabin, Grand Teton National Park
    5-Watching my kids look down into the breaks at Cedar Breaks National Monument as I had done 35 years before.
    6-Looking up at the cliff dwellings from the canyon floor at Canyon De Chelly National Monument.
    7-The sandpaining at the visitor center at Canyon De Chelly National Monument, the park service arrowhead surrounded by traditional Navajo symbols.
    8-Most of all, any park service employee in green and gray, an image I saw daily as I was growing up.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    1. Like for some others, for me the image was standing down on the observation platform next the the Yellowstone Falls. It was snowing. The wind was pulling the snow down into the Canyon, and then wooshing up past us.

    It was snowing UP. It was exhilarating. Only a week before I'd been gazing at the Tetons, with a night sky with such density of stars and colors, I'd never seen before or since. But the grand canyon of the Yellowstone in the snow topped it.

    2. Much younger, as a kid in the back seat driving along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP in Virginia. This American landscape below was flowing by. I thought I had never seen such beauty, and it changed my idea of parks, and of America. The idea that "park makers" could have sculpted that landscaping inside the park to see the beauty of America beyond opened my imagination as well as my heart.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    As a child my folks took me to Sequoia National Park and we stayed in a cabin at the now dismantled Giant Forest Village. Each cabin had a grill and a cabinet for temporary storage of supplies on the porch. We bought lots of supplies and put some of it in the cabinet before leaving for a day of exploration.

    When we got back there was a hush in the village and some people were talking about a bear wandering through the area. Lighting was poor and we all had flashlights - just the common Eveready 2 D-cell types. I shined mine in the distance and could make out the side profile of a black bear walking away with a plastic bag hanging out of its mouth. That was the first (but not last) time I saw a bear without some sort of zoo enclosure between it and me.

    Strangely enough, a park ranger took our report and the village handyman repaired the cabinet with glue and twine. We weren't fined for improper food storage and weren't even asked to pay for the repair. This was certainly a different time, when it was OK to store food in the trunk, although positive seal metal coolers (Coleman still sells some) to reduce odors were recommended. They were still using standard metal trash cans without any bear resistant features.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Monument Valley is impressive alright, TJ, but let's be clear on the fact that it isn't a national park. Monument Valley is on an Indian reservation (Navajo Tribal Trust land).

  • Storm at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Swamps or Damages More Than a Dozen Boats   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Sorry about that - and thanks for the catch. I corrected the text. Must have been that new naming series for southern hurricanes: Billy Bob.

  • Storm at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Swamps or Damages More Than a Dozen Boats   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I wondered that too...Hurricane Bill maybe?

    That is horrible what happened at Glen Canyon - thank goodness there were no injuries!

  • Men Who Allegedly Poached Deer In Yosemite National Park Were Cornered By Their Own Records Of the Hunts   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Evel Knievel was once a hunting guide and apparently guaranteed trophy elk. His technique was to guide hunters into Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    We drove into Monument Valley one summer afternoon. As we got out of the car we observed the shadows that stretched out from the majestic rock formations as the summer clouds drifted slowly overhead. The quiet almost hurt our ears as we watched a lizard scurry under a dessert bush, with its glorious bloom.
    As we stood motionless for a few moments we felt we were intruding in an almost holy place.

  • Men Who Allegedly Poached Deer In Yosemite National Park Were Cornered By Their Own Records Of the Hunts   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I hope the park press release had a typo. If they were really using GIS, not just GPS, they're way more sophisticated than other poachers.

    Alas, poaching is a problem for many National Park units: even plants in Saguaro and along the Blueridge Parkway. There's still low-level subsistence poaching, but also more sophisticated trophy poaching like this (& the salt & feeding stations to lure big game just out of YELL and GRTE), and large scale commercial poaching.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    The iconic image of the Grand Tetons on the approach to the park is a fave of mine!
    Also unforgettable is watching the sunset and sunrise from the Grand Canyon North Rim...our camping spot was maybe 50 yards back and I was scared I'd wake up in the middle of the night to take care of business and just whoops right over the edge.

  • "Wilderness Wal-Mart" Near Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Gets Go-Head From Virginia Officials   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Hi Bat,

    I'm not sure of the legal protocol--I think it depends on if what they find are human remains or just artifacts. If they found human remains, that would definitely put a temporary halt on the project until they could be studied and removed, but I don't think it would be a permanent stop. As for artifacts, I know of an instance near Harpers Ferry where a developer was digging a trench and dug up some artifacts--they were removed (and probably sold) but no archaeological study was done--they just kept right on digging.

  • Storm at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Swamps or Damages More Than a Dozen Boats   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Hurricane Bob?

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    There are so many iconic images that come to mind -- Hurricane Ridge in Olympic NP immediately comes to mind. But the one image that pops into my mind with some frequency is from the Everglades. I don't know where we got the nerve to walk amongst the gators, but there were so many within sight of the trail, it required a certain sense of Zen to take that little tour!

  • "Wilderness Wal-Mart" Near Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Gets Go-Head From Virginia Officials   5 years 27 weeks ago

    WOW...someone else with some brains and thoughts.. I totally agree with you. Greed and power and patriotism is dead. No respect for this country and its past and heritage. Shame on you Virginia for letting something like this surface much less be approved.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Several parks and scenes come to mind:

    1. Climbing a dune at Great Sands National Park in Colorado while admiring the snow-topped 14,000+ ft. peaks of the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains and overlooking the natural lakes to the south and west. Where else will you see snowcapped mountains, 750 ft tall sand dunes and natural lakes all together??

    2 Delicate Arch at Arches--as well as the Three Gossips.

    3. The Upper Falls of the Yellowstone.

    4. Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I live in Montana in the backyard of Glacier National Park. I go into the park 7 to 9 times a month durring hiking season and 2 to 3 times each month in the winter. I have hiked many trails and have seen lots of wildlife. I enjoy my time in the park and on the trails knowing that I am armed and can protect myself. I am a 115 lb woman who hikes alone. I fear that I could run into a bear that can and would disable me in a heartbeat, or a mountian lion that could stalk me and catch me totally off guard. The most fearsome beast in the woods is another hiker who would see me as a victim, easy prey. My desire to be out in the woods is greater than my fear and I have fortunately not had the need to expose my firearm. I will continue to carry it for protection and once the 2010 hiking season comes around not fear that I will get in legal trouble for my preference to support my constitutional right to protect myself. I am aware of my presence in the beautiful park that I love and cherish, the right to protect myself should not been seen as a problem to the environment. I am not in the woods for target practice nor do I intend to expose myself or wildlife to unnecessary and undo harm. If you have never hiked a trail that is frrequented by grizzly bears and sat on a ridge to see the sun splay the most amazing colors across the sky I cannot imagine you have any input on this discussion as you are not making a statement based on the inherent dangers of being in the wild.

  • Rare Motion Pictures Show Civil War Veterans at the 75th Gettysburg Battle Anniversary Reunion   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Great pictures/videos, can't wait to see more!!! ;]

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Lots of great answers. Some bring wonderful memories to mind. Some bring reminders of places I still want to see.
    For me, three pop to mind immediately.
    1. Views of or from Wizard Island in Crater Lake.
    2. Anywhere below the Tonto plateau in Grand Canyon, but especially for some unknown reason, the trail area between the silver and black bridges over the Colorado.
    3. The top of Chimney Tops in the Smokies.

  • An Untimely Accident Fatally Injures a Colorado National Monument Bicyclist   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Stanley Dodson also co-authored one of the 5 textbooks used in undergraduate courses in ecology. It's a literate, different textbook: more a set of 8 essays by thoughtful ecologists explaining fields of ecology than an attempt at comprehensive coverage.

    My condolences to his family, his students, and his colleagues. I only met him once at a scientific meeting, but it would have been fun to interact with him about crustaceans in rock pools in the desert and Colorado Plateau.

    I want to go out like that: doing what I love in a place I love. I just don't want to do it until I'm 98 or so.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Iconic national park images that I relate to would be:

    (1) my first view of inner caldera of the collapsed Mt. Mazama revealing the deep blue of Crater Lake and the exposed cinder cone of Wizard Island,

    (2) Zion's Great White Throne,

    (3) Zion's Great West Temple and Temples and Towers of the Virgin as viewed from Oak Creek Canyon, or the rear veranda of the old Zion VC, and

    (4) the view of Yosemite Falls in early June from the meadows on the south side of the Merced River.

    I'd agree with Kurt about the iconic view of Half Dome from Glacier Point, but the view of this great granite monolith from Sentinal Bridge in Yosemite Valley with the Merced River in the foreground is perhaps the most familiar image. Of course, the sight of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View is simply unforgettable.

    I'd also vote for the view westward into the Grand Canyon and its inner gorge by morning light, while descending Cedar Ridge in winter, hiking towards O'Neill's Butte via the South Kaibab Trail.

    Another familiar iconic view of the Grand Canyon, but one that is not seen by the average tourist to this great park, is the vertical view over the Colorado River from Toroweap Point, an observation point on the north side of the Colorado River reacheable only by considerable driving on dirt washboarded roads from Hurricane, UT or Fredonia, AZ http://www.zionnational-park.com/toroweap.htm.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830