Recent comments

  • National Parks Traveler Back On-Line, Back in Business!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    blog is a contraction of 'weblog'

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    storminator,

    Bear spray can be legally carried through Canada enroute to and from Alaska. Not every Canadian customs official is aware of this, so it may take some explanation, but they are supposed to allow it.

    Ray Bane has done a great job of explaining the advantages of bear spray, and Dr. Tom Smith's recent research into bear attacks in Alaska and the effectiveness of spray on both brown and black bears is worth reading. If you are backpacking into remote areas, consider carrying two cans. Should you need to use one on a bear, you'll want a second can ready as you get out of the area. The same reason those with firearms carry an extra magazine or speedloader.

    Air horns are effective, but spray is better. There are lots of brands out there, so do a little research and buy a reputable brand, such as those recommended by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

    I know of cases where a .44 magnum pistol (and some smaller calibers) have been used successfully to dispatch brown bears, but again, as Ray pointed out, speed and accuracy with a handgun are difficult in the stress of surprise bear encounter. More than one armed hunter has learned this in a bear encounter. The cloud of bear spray mitigates the accuracy problem and reduces the risk of collateral damage from a stray bullet as well.

    Hope you have a great motorcycle trip this summer.

  • Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek Spurns Pulitzer, Goes into Hiding   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I hope they are mixing their side action with beautiful wildlife. That is my kind of April Fool's Day:).

  • National Parks Traveler Back On-Line, Back in Business!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Great! I really enjoy it. Unlike so many "blogs" (what is the origin or that word anyway?), you not only talk about something I am truly interested in (National Parks), but you do so in a smart and balanced manner. Folks who comment here almost always do so in an intelligent, civil and well thought out manner; regardless which side of an issue they may find themselves. Rarely do we see the type of, "'Well, you're stupid!'......'No, you're stupid!'" banter so common on many other blogs. I don't know whether that is because you screen effectively, or because you simply attract a better crowd; but it is welcomed and appreciated. Keep up the good work. You guys all deserve pulitzers as far as I'm concerned, (or at least a pat on the back!)

  • National Parks Traveler Back On-Line, Back in Business!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Two weeks?

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    ".....bears don't think of us as prey- most wilderness critters don't. RACCOONS do- LOL......".........and skeeters, don't forget skeeters and deer flies. They pretty much keep me indoors in July and August. Something no other critter in the woods can manage to do! Guns, bear spray, horns, forget it! Nothing works on skeeters and deer flies! Have a great trip! Wish I was going with ya.

  • National Parks Traveler Back On-Line, Back in Business!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    doh!

  • Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek Spurns Pulitzer, Goes into Hiding   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Could be him, I suppose. Tell me, was this guy constantly banging into trees and falling off his bike? Did he seem hopelessly lost?

  • Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek Spurns Pulitzer, Goes into Hiding   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I was just in Olympic National Park and spotted a guy that looked like that. He was riding a mountain bike off trail through Douglas-fir saplings with an AK-47 strapped to his back....

  • Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek Spurns Pulitzer, Goes into Hiding   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I would look under a large piece of coral around Buck Island ;-)) OMAR

  • Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek Spurns Pulitzer, Goes into Hiding   5 years 34 weeks ago

    you actually got me with that, I googled to find more info and then realized...

  • National Parks Traveler Back On-Line, Back in Business!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Bob, I'm not coming back;-)

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    hey Frank N- great idea! i'm going to ride my motorcycle to Alaska this summer- and i can't have a can of bear spray in Canada, eh? so- the horn is a great idea. THANK YOU!

    i'm WAY more concerned with running into a bear on the Alcan than in Yellowstone. i'll be camping all the way. maybe it's because i lived in Alaska for so long- but a BROWN BEAR isn't going down with an ordinary handgun. NO WAY. not even my .44 MAG. now, a .454 Casull- maybe.

    bears don't think of us as prey- most wilderness critters don't. RACCOONS do- LOL. black bears have run away from me all my life. the moment they see me, or smell me- they are GONE.

    there is a great video on youtube of a ranger telling you what to do if a bear attacks. check it out.

  • National Parks Traveler Back On-Line, Back in Business!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Thank God! I barely was able to cope without my daily fix of NPT...
    Kurt, seriously, welcome back, in more ways then one.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Odd. I've hiked and backpacked extensively for over forty years and across the west, including quite a bit in California and Nevada. Both National Parks and forests, as well as some BLM land. I have yet to meet one person in the back country that I felt afraid of, and only a very few that I would classify as "sketchy" (and actually I was hiking WITH those!) Overall I would say that, almost without exception, the folks I have met on the trail have been friendly and helpful. They have shared water with me when I was running low (and I with them), they have shared campsites, campfires, meals, stories and adventures. They have warned me of potential dangers and pointed out wildlife, landscapes and side trips that I might have missed.
    I suppose that in the event of a bad situation, I would have no qualms using my bear spray on a person (which has been replaced many times due to expiration, but never once fired); but given my lifetime of pleasant experiences with folks met on the trail (many of whom have become lifelong friends), I certainly have never felt the need to carry a gun. Sometimes I wonder if we don't find what we are looking for?
    Glad to see the site is back up. Couldn't get in for two days.

  • March 1st was a Big Day for More Than One Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    My family & I live in the Buffalo River area. We hike, canoe, swim & camp. After 30 years, it's amazing beauty is still revealing itself to us. It is one of America's best kept secrets. I am always surprised when people tell me they never heard of it!

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    It was an obvious move that the NRA would appeal. I personally cannot see how CCW impacts the environment at all. But the fact is the DOI failed to do this study, which is required. So the judge was right on the law. Unless the appeal is ready to argue the environmental impact any or none, I do not see this injunction to change.

    The bigger argument is whether the DOI has any authority as a federal agency to regulate a constitutional right. That is more questionable since the 2 A was explicitly against the federal government. I would address the constitutional basis of the original ban.

    But any rule change has to go by the procedures and impact studies are part of that procedure.

    Kurt , I thought you were going to drop this issue. Gun rights activists will not chnage their minds and anti gun naturalists won't either. The shouting turns off the middle folk who do not have strong opinion.

    It would be real nice if people would stop trying to dictate to others about our self defense options, sports and risks we are willing to take. From the anti snowmobile, Mountain bikers to CCW carry in NPS it seems the nanny types want to to stop others from enjoying the parks the way they want.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    This comb analogy is ridiculous - no one can possibly do me any harm with a concealed comb versus a concealed weapon. Additionally, here in the SW it is incredibly easy to get a concealed carry permit. Whose to know, any one of these people, with perhaps mal-intent, may enter into a National Park. Presently, I do not have a concealed carry permit and thus do not enter a National Park with a gun. So yes, the "fuss" is worth thinking about!

  • How Not to Launch a Boat at Catoctin Mountain Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I have driven that route a few times and if MD allowed CCW then the change in NPS rules would make a great deal of inconvenience go away. BUt MD has very restrictive Carry permits and it would not make any difference in reality.

    I like the story and I am sorry for the boat owner who had a really bad day. A flat, damaged boat, cost of removal and any fines for discharge of pollutants.

    So glad I am not that person. Next time it pays to strap the boat to the trailer and chock the wheels for the trailer. I have had flats on boats trailer and horse trailers and it is no fun to have that happen while loaded.

  • How Not to Launch a Boat at Catoctin Mountain Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Good memory, Kurt!

    The book includes several boat launching escapades at Lake Mead - although in those cases, the attempts to lead a boat to water took place at an actual boat ramp :-)

  • National Park Foundation Launches 2009 Junior Ranger Essay Contest   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Your child is lucky to have such insight and access to our national parks. Just maybe, this contest is to encourage other children to become involved. If more children become involved the better the chances that wild places stay wild. Nepotism may have something to do with it also. God bless ;)

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Well heck Beamis, I am not all that surprised that you find too many sketchy characters out in the wilds.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    It's not the four-legged critters that make me nervous, it's the two-legged variety. I've run into too many sketchy characters out in the wilds, especially in states like California, Nevada and Florida. Most wild animals know well enough to leave me alone and respect my space, except for the occasional field mouse in my gorp or snake curled up in my boots. Hey, as they say, I'm a guest in their home and should expect such behavior from the hosts.

    I agree with all of the comments about the futility of a handgun against a bear or even a cat. Again, as I've said, they ain't the problem.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 34 weeks ago

    " it's not just brown bears. Most handguns will put down a black bear....but we're also talking wolves, mountain lions (kill people every year here in Colorado), rattlesnakes (which we're allowed to shoot in state parks here), and coyotes." Colorado.

    Anyone who believes a handgun is adequate protection against a bear attack has never been charged by an adult bear. Insofar as the other critters are concerned, a handgun, particularly one that is carried concealed, is likely to cause more problems than it solves. I have had close encounters with bears (black, brown and polar), wolves, moose and other large wildlife. As a hunter I harvested a fair number of large animals, some at close range. I strongly advise any backcountry travelers anxious about wildlife encounters not to rely on a handgun for adequate protection. Common sense is your best line of defense. It is almost ludicrous to imagine that a handgun will dispatch a rattlesnake before it strikes. If you have time to pull out a pistol and aim it at a snake, the chances are that you could more easily and safely simply back away. The typical sidearm is designed for one primary purpose, to kill people at close range. Even then it has distinct limitations (accuracy, range and stopping power).

    In terms of backcountry hazards you are far more likely to be injured or killed by accidental falls, hypothermia, thirst, falling rocks, drowning, fire, storms and avalanches than you are by a wild animal. You are better off carrying a good knife, folding camp saw or small ax as a survival tool.

  • How Not to Launch a Boat at Catoctin Mountain Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    You know, Jim, this sounds eerily familiar to one of the "boat launching" stories you recount in your book, Hey Ranger! Wasn't that one at Lake Mead, or the Buffalo River?