Recent comments

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    man, this is totally flogging a dead horse with the same people commenting the same gripes and no one is giving an inch.

    zeb, your comments are as inwardly focused as those "greedy" hikers you talk about. i'd say mtn bikers are just, if not more, greedy than those hikers... as such...

    1) discriminated? how!?
    there is no federal legislation defining any sort of rights when it comes to recreation, so you mtn bikers aren't being "discriminated" against. look it up... that's why the alta ski area can deny snowboarders on federal property, albeit USFS. so discrimination? on what existing legal grounds?

    2) as one myself, mtn bikers only really care about the "flow" of the ride and aren't typically out to enjoy nature or show up to repair trail. i've said it again, i'll say it before, they don't show up to volunteer trail repair days... too busy riding, i guess? you don't ever really see them checking out the spring wildflowers or stopping to admire a rattlesnake...

    3) in terms of trail impact?
    mtn bikers reek havoc on trails... mind you, not as bad as horses, but they have far greater impact than hikers. especially in mud. AND, the new type of bikers, the downhillers go beyond creating new illegal trails, they even build structures with local materials! scant use or not, zebby, this goes much farther impact wise than hikers... additionally, having created illegal trails (not downhill) while mountain biking in the past, it's just so much easier and such a greater reward to do so on a bike, at least until the trails get ruined and you have to find another adventurous route to create.

    4) share the trail?
    that's a novel idea, if the bikers would ever slow down, like they are supposed to, and not push the hikers/trail runners/flower sniffers off the trail... not being the fastest of riders i've been damn near pushed off the trail myself from more aggressive (i do have a better word but this is a family site) riders. so share the trail? you mean completely yield it to mt. bikers when they want to pass, right? that or you mean ME FIRST, right? i have a bell on my rig and slow down and often let those on foot pass, but i have plenty of friends who won't and don't. they can, but please. now, you can judge this and come back and say "all of my friends" blah blah blah but honestly you'd be lying if you did. period. it sucks to slow down on your bike and i'd say most people won't for walkers/hikers/etc. admit it. that, or if you disagree, you aren't a solid mountain biker and are a tortoise on your bike, pushing on the uphills and walking the downhills because yer scared.

    it's time all trail users realized that they have an impact, but mountain bikers especially. i've been mountain biking for at least 20 years, depending on how pre suspension mountain bikes really qualify in that definition, so it's not like this doesn't come from some sort of rounded perspective. while they are relative newcomers (again, which i am one) they don't see their impact, but in terms of user experience and impact on the trails. maybe because they are moving too fast?

  • Yellowstone National Park Relocates the 45th Parallel   5 years 30 weeks ago

    My brother & I spent a week in Yellowstone camping last August 2008. We took our picture at the said sign, but have also seen the 45th sign on our way north on I75 headed to Petoskey where our sister lives. Our family lived and grew up in Clarkston MI, our parents have lived in the same house for 58 yrs. We used to have a cabin 7 miles east of Grayling on M=72.

  • March 1st was a Big Day for More Than One Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    GREAT article on the Buffalo River! It's one of the areas BIGGEST and best kept secrets, although the word is getting out! :)

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Random Walker: your argumentation is rather pathetic and illogical. Let me explain why:
    - Based on your argumentation, hikers are the majority of park users and therefore should have unrivaled access.
    1) horse riders are a very tiny minority of the park users. So, should we kick them out as well?
    2) this implies that a majority has a right to discriminate against the minority. Wow. What a modern way of thinking!!
    3) the majority of users are not hikers, the overwhelming majority are Sunday strollers. They come in, walk for a couple miles and go back to their cars. By default these people would not be affected much by a bunch of cyclists going out for a 20 miles ride far from the trailhead.

    As for for your comment about money. This makes no sense, the Sierra Club, and its ilk, spends way more money on lobbying its "preservationist" agenda than any other industry I know.

    The good news: the kids are not hiking, they're riding their bikes. Years from now, we'll be the majority and we'll get access to wilderness whether you like it or not.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I feel this law needs to be broken, just like the Bank Executives do to the tax code. I think a person has the fundamental right to protect themselves and their family against a bear attack. I believe this what is called civil disobedience, set forth by Henry David Thoreau. I still plan on carrying my .480 Ruger while backpacking in Glacier.

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Here is an idea... Perhaps a suggestion system could draw attention to overlooked parks. Much like Amazon.com, iTunes music store, and Netflix gives users suggestions about what books, music, or movies they may like. It could be interesting to see something like that for public lands. You could go to NPS.GOV and answer a few quick questions (rate things like "I like to learn about History"). You could go even further and build in a rating system.

    As for finding out what people are searching for, check out http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q It is a google tool that allows one to look at search volumes and who is searching. The numbers are sometimes difficult comprehend but still interesting. Also, there are no raw numbers for searches but you can compare places and get relative/proportional data.

  • Yellowstone National Park Roads Opening to Cyclists Sans Automobiles   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I'm going to try and bike in Yellowstone, weather permitting - we had one great weekend last year; so neat to run into friends 100 miles from home, everyone had the same idea.

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

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Personally I am against mountain bikes on any trail in designated Wilderness and National Parks.
    Here in my neck of the woods, on federal lands only 45% of the trails are machine free, this by being in National Parks and Wildernesses.
    In all of the surveys I read the (overwhelmingly) most preferred activity on federal lands is camping/sightseeing and walking/hiking by large percentages.
    I despise MTB's corporate industrial lobbyists forcing their commercialism into Our National Parks and Wildernesses, tritely thinking that the $'s they have will give them a guaranteed contract legitimizing their illegitimate abuse.

    "We revere the trail for what it does, not for what it is. We honor the volunteer weed-whackers, but not to the point of wishing to "promote" them to professionals; trail work can be a form of privatization, as it most surely is when undertaken by those who do it to facilitate their wreckreation.” ~Harvey Manning~

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 30 weeks ago

    that is the dumbest thing i've ever heard...mandatory safety? there are warnings all over. if one sticks to the chains they will stay safe. its usually the avid hikers that die because they think they are more experienced than they really are...thats when mistakes happen

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Well here we go again. While staying in a popular California resort, a competent legal carrying gun owner just left his loaded 45 under a pillow for the housekeepers to find. Then he checked out and left the property. Then he ask us to mail it to him in a bubble wrapped package so it won't get damaged. Need I say more?

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Good suggestion, RW. Environmental historian Alfred Runte has written a number of books that bear reading -- and rereading. One of my personal favorites is "Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness." The 1993 paperback edition is still widely available.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I highly recommend a little book titled "National Parks: The American Experience" by Alfred Runte
    Which one can read online here, though I prefer the hard copy, a comfortable chair, fire in the fire place and a glass of old brandy.

  • Yellowstone National Park Roads Opening to Cyclists Sans Automobiles   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Thanks for the correction, MRC. I have used the tunnel twice going into the park. I put my bike in a van and took it out on the other side. It's an interesting ride down from the tunnel into the park.

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 30 weeks ago

    P.S. -- MRC, if you use the Traveler's search function, you'll find a few more articles that reference Gauley River.

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Soooo, should the NPS rid itself of Gauley River NRA? If only 298 folks visited the site in February (and I'm not sure how Wikipedia counts those hits), is that indicative that the NRA doesn't belong in the National Park System?

    Don't misunderstand. I'm certainly not suggesting that Gauley River's website be as rich as Yellowstone's. The content simply isn't there, no matter how strong the resources. And I clearly pointed out that larger, more prominent parks such as Yellowstone certainly have more needs to meet than smaller units such as Gauley River.

    But how do you build interest in a unit of the National Park System? By ignoring it? If the 391 units of the National Park System are presented as the best of the best and viewed as treasures that should be preserved, don't they all deserve some even-handedness in how they are presented by the NPS? Shouldn't there be a basic amount of content across the board?

    Gauley River is just one example of the inequities that exist when it comes to NPS web presence. And you don't have to drill down too far into the "designations" to find such inequities. Check out the websites of Badlands, Isle Royale (which on its face appears more Spartan than Gauley River), or Cape Lookout National Seashore.

    As for the costs of updating these websites, there are plenty of web design schools across the country that surely could be involved with a little outreach.

  • Yellowstone National Park Roads Opening to Cyclists Sans Automobiles   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Not in the eastern part of Zion. Bicycles are not allowed in the one mile Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel, no pedestrians either. Meaning you can't enter or leave the park towards or from Bryce Canyon. Of course you might try to hitchhike with an RV driver. Some might give you a lift through the tunnel.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Anonymous (not verified)
    "On March 20th, 2009
    There's not enuf rangers to enforce the stupid rule...so do as I do...keep on bikin'!
    I've been bikin in national parks on trails for 3 years and have never been caught!"

    Interesting attitude. I wonder how you might feel if you found that dirt bikers where cutting trails across a piece of property that you happened to own. Just fair warning, if I see you illegally on a park trail I will tell you so. If I have a camera, be sure that you will be reported. I figure that it's my park you are damaging.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The need to carry a concealed weapon seems to be at issue. There is absolutely no need to do so. If safety is the primary issue for those proponents of carrying firearms into these areas, then BEARing them in the open makes the most sense. The need one feels to be secretive serves no purpose of promoting safety. If more people entering the parks are obviously armed, then the bad guys will be less like to inhabit these areas themselves. Hidden arms are more likely to lead to confrontation. BEAR your arms in the open proudly. Appear to be a proponent of safety and not paranoia.

  • Yellowstone National Park Roads Opening to Cyclists Sans Automobiles   5 years 30 weeks ago

    When it comes to cycling in the parks, Zion National Park is perhaps the most accommodating. In addition to restricting the use of private vehicles, bicyclists have the right of way on the park road. Shuttle busses will not pass a cyclist unless he/she pulls over to the side.

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 30 weeks ago

    More data: The NPS has no public access statistics for their website, but Wikipedia does. In February 2009, the article on Yellowstone was accessed 35873 times, The one on Gauley River 298 times. Money is tight, there is high demand for experts time. How should the NPS spend their budget for web development and content creation? On Gauley River NRA?

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I too think this comparison is a bit silly. Yellowstone had 27 times as many visitors as Gauley River in 2007. Don't you think it might be appropriate to invest more time and money into its website? And not only actual visitors count: How many students in all grades and disciplines write papers on Yellowstone and how many on Gauley River? And here on the Traveler 169 articles are tagged Yellowstone National Park, two for Gauley River NRA (both today and including this one).

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Well Kurt,
    I’ve carried a concealed weapon for over forty years and there has been no environmental impact, however, there has been an impact on crime! I’m pretty sure who’s trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

  • Brady Campaign Sues Interior Department over Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I think a more realistic way of saying it is:

    How sad that criminals exist. But they do exist. Thank Goodness that reasonable, intellegent, honest, law-abiding citizens have their God-given right to self protection guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitutions Bill of Rights. But how sad that so many fools would gladly give up not only their individual rights to self protection, but also plot to take these rights away from the sensible people as well.

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 30 weeks ago

    This is a pretty weak argument, Kurt. I'd love for the smaller parks to have better websites, but there's no way that a smaller unknown unit like Gauley River would ever have a website like Yellowstone's. And, boy, I'd be pissed if they did because I bet the web traffic is probably 50-1 for Yellowstone and let's be honest, they don't have that much to post up there.

  • Forget the Camp, Send Your Kid to Yellowstone National Park This Summer   5 years 30 weeks ago

    This is an amazing way to teach youth about nature conservation. And at the same time, helping the citizens of the place maintain Yellowstone National Park. Oh and nice summer job, too!