Recent comments

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I enjoy this forum very much...however the self-serving diatribe coming for some of the posters is ridiculous. Beamis your causes and beliefs have merit and you are obviously educated and articulate. Your method of making your points however is offensive although I am sure that in your zealousness you feel it is justified. I believe in many of the causes you have opined on this forum, yet even having said that I am turned off by your postings. Normally I just ignore...probably should have here too.

    Peace to you brother and please be aware that the freedoms that you do enjoy did not come cheap...an overused cliche certainly but somehow seems appropriate here.

  • Where in the World is Paul Fugate?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    My father was in the western region at the time of Mr. Fugate's dissappearance. We were at the Tumacacori National Monument and as a child I well remember him as well as his disappearance. The Fugates were a wonderful couple and although we did not visit them often, it was always fun to visit. I do remember that the famous "fugate ponytail" was quite a controversy in the Park Service at that time. He was viewed (at least by my very conservative dad) as somewhat of a renagade but a very competant and knowledgable ranger also. My hope is that Mrs. Fugate has been able to move on and have a fulfilling life. Great Story

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Highline Trail in Glacier National Park to Granite Park Chalet. Continue up to Swiftcurrent Pass and down to Many Glaciers.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    My all-time favorite hike is hiking up the Zion Narrows to Wall Street. Can't beat that hike on a hot day. Hiking through the crowds, upsteam into a cool, quiet slot canyon with walls so steep you can't see the sun. Wait, I shouldn't advertise this--this is my personal place! Destroy this memo after reading!

  • Steamtown National Historic Site Schedules Leaf Peeper Excursions in the Poconos   5 years 30 weeks ago

    "Meet me at the Station"

  • National Park Quiz 65: Dunes   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I had a friend up from Florida to visit and we went to Sleeping Bear on a day the wind was whipping up the dunes. My buddy knelt down, face into the wind and started doing some kind of Zen meditation. Sat there for about half an hour while everyone else was sheltering any exposed skin. He said it was an amazing experience. I found it interesting for about one second, exfoliating for about 10 seconds, and painful the rest of the time. I guess I'm not in touch with the spiritual side of sandblasting.

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The thin-skinnedness (my new word) of many of the contributors to this forum has become somewhat ridiculous. The term to which Anon took such offense has been around for quite some time (first employed by H.L. Mencken in the early 1920's and regularly used today by writers such as Fred Reed, Lew Rockwell and Butler Shaffer) and is meant merely to connote the atmosphere or social milieu in which this particular attraction exists. Sort of like an author describing the scene at a carnival or freak show.

    No offense was intended and therefore no apology is forthcoming.

  • It's July 29, So Don't Forget to Thank A National Park Ranger Today For Their Service   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Just want to pass on a note I got from the folks at RMNP...

    Jeff's parents, and brother, are in RMNP and stopped by to visit RMNP staff. They held a small memorial for Jeff along with Chief Ranger Mark Magnuson and were shown all the cards that have come in for "Thank A Ranger Day". Jeff's parents were deeply touched and very thankful for you all that his memory is being kept alive through this day. In the words of the RMNP staff, "It means the world to all of us that you started and are continuing this tradition."

    Thank you everyone for showing your support and appreciation towards "Thank A Ranger Day".

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    For a short hike, it is hard to beat the Kilauea Iki in Hawaii's Volcano NP. Where else can you descend a volcanic crater rim through a rainforest, cross a crater floor on hard but still steaming (in places) lava and then back up to the top of the crater through more rainforest? There sure aren't any hikes like that available in the continental US.
    http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/hike_day_kilaueaiki.htm

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I thought there wasn't supposed to be name calling on this site... If you don't like a site within the NPS, that's fine - you have that freedom. However, stereotyping every person who visits the site shows a lack of maturity and respect.

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 30 weeks ago

    This brutal monstrosity was conceived in noise. How many years of exploding dynamite, thundering pneumatic drills and the constant clamor of falling granite and earth removal equipment did the quiet of the Black Hills suffer under to create this grotesque monument to government worship? It is little more than a federally funded roadside attraction at this point anyway, so let the Harleys thunder away! Besides, leather clad bikers by the thousands are good for the economy, which is probably a lot more important to cash strapped South Dakotans than the noise level at some overlook where Boobus Americanus can gawk at four dead politicians carved in granite.

  • American Recovery Act Putting Your Tax Dollars To Work in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    People always talk about preserving parks for future generations. Perhaps it's only fitting that we bill our children.

    Well said my friend, well said.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Aren't we stretching the definition quite a bit by calling the beautiful Zion slot canyons 'trails'? Man made trails have engineered features ranging from tread to large bridges. NPS management consistently confuses upgrading the engineering level with trail maintenance. I'd even include extreme examples of trail engineering like Half Dome and Angel's Landing, but I'm curious where others see the transition to 'non-trail'. Personally, I'd draw the line short of rappeling and swimming icy pools.

    Some frontcountry 'Nature Trails' and marine routes with buoys are starting to include electronic components. Are a bunch of GPS coordinates a 'trail'?

    Each season on Mt. Rainier, thousands of climbers on the guided 'dog' routes tramp a path in the snow across the glaciers to the summit. In recent years, the guide services have installed aluminum ladders across the worst crevasses. Is the resulting cattle path formed by this conga line a trail?

    I'd agree with Rick about the Olympic coast, though. This was considered cross-country by Park management until the early 90's, when many of the headland trails were improved with ladders and fixed ropes. This wild and rugged shoreline remains one of the most beautiful and unique hikes in our National Parks, especially done end to end.

  • National Park Quiz 65: Dunes   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Bob, more than once I have had that pleasure. It is like being stung by 3 or 4 bees a second until running for cover.
    Last time we went to SB, we took the Sleeping Bear Point trail for the first time. It was great, with beach, forest, dunes, lake views and the ghost forest. For a short trail, it had great variety and quickly became a "must do" for our next visit.

  • By the Numbers: Death Valley Weather   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Physioclimatic stress...that's a new term for me, Bob. I'll have to look into that some more. I've always marveled at some numbers, but never put a name on it. For example, the interior continental area (geographically centralized on the North American landmass) of North Dakota and some of the surrounding states tend to have the among the highest record highs (excluding only California and Arizona, maybe Nevada) and the lowest record lows (excluding only Alaska). While our tropical state Hawaii has the lowest record high (excluding perhaps Alaska?) and highest record low. So our Hawaiian friends endure comparatively low physioclimatic stress?

  • American Recovery Act Putting Your Tax Dollars To Work in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Maybe a better title for this article would be "putting your children's and grandchildren's tax dollars to work". As I understand it, the federal government is running a deficit, and the recovery act funds are coming through debt and expansion of the monetary supply, not through direct taxation. People always talk about preserving parks for future generations. Perhaps it's only fitting that we bill our children.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The Queets River Trail in Olympic. Pristine temperate rainforest with truly giant western hemlock, douglas-fir, and sitka spruce trees. The trail is usually deserted and if you do run into someone, you know it's a relatively hardcore outdoor enthusiast because the first 100 yards of the trail is a perilous river crossing....especially on a hot summer day when the glaciers are melting like crazy and the river is over waist-high on your return while it was knee-high on the way in. Not that that ever happened to me and almost killed me or anything... :-)

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 30 weeks ago

    What I want to know is what the NPS will be doing to keep the noise level down. Those bikes tend to be very loud and completely spoil the atmosphere of our National Parks.

    The NPS makes such a fuss over helicopter noise at the Grand Canyon, when the bigger problem is the noise at ground level by open pipe motorcycles, diesel trucks and buses, and car alarms. Yet no action at all is taken against any of that.

  • American Recovery Act Putting Your Tax Dollars To Work in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I just got back from the Tetons and the Jackson Hole Airport (inside Teton National Park) is being seriously upgraded with recovery funds.

    Tony Farley

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    A nice slow wander through the Grove of the Patriarchs on Mt Rainier. Majestic.

  • By the Numbers: Death Valley Weather   5 years 30 weeks ago

    My fiance lives in Death Valley (which was my winter park). I love it there in the winter but I went to visit him just a few weeks ago and it's not so nice in the summer! I've been in high temps before...it was 110 in Zion just last week, but there is no relief from the heat there and I think that's what causes so many problems. Not a lot of shade, no major water source, and even the wind is hot!

    On a side note a Korean visitor passed away from the heat just the other day

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I like the Subway in Zion. It requires a bit of map reading and compass work to get to the start of the trail. You then descend into a narrow slot canyon. In part of it, there are two fault lines that run parallel down the middle of the canyon. With the rounded walls carved by eons of water, the place looks like a subway tunnel. It requires a bit of rope work to descend from pool to pool. We found ropes already in place but replaced several that looked too worn for our tastes. This is a day hike with a steep uphill climb to the place where you, of course, have strategically parked your second car so that you can retrieve the first one where you started. Be aware: the water in the pools is cold since they hardly get any sun due to the canyon walls.

    I also like the wiilderness beach hike in Olympic. It's the only hike that I've done that the end of the day doesn't trigger your decision to camp. It is the tides since at high tide, it is impossible to hike up and over the headlands. We camped in late afternoon one day and spend the rest of the day beach combing. It's a great hike.

    Rick Smith

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 31 weeks ago

    MRC - thank you, I did mean eminent domain, not public domain.

    But also, thanks all you guys for this indepth history lesson.

  • National Park Quiz 65: Dunes   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Kevin, have you ever stood at the top of the dune and had the upslope wind sandblast the top 0.16 inch off your skin? It's very bracing, but it makes you as mean as a badger.

  • National Park Quiz 65: Dunes   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Loved this quiz. One of the few I have done well on. Also love the picture at the top of the deck at the dune climb at Sleeping Bear. Last time there, we did that the same day as the 4 miles (round trip) through loose sand to Lake Michigan. Either the beach walk or the dune climb (400 - 500 feet drop at appx 45 degree angle) is a good workout; both the same day is very tough.