Recent comments

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I wanted to do that Fiery Furnace walk but was too chicken when they showed me the pics of it. Was it scary or fantastically worth it? I love that park so much. Wish I were there right now for the Perseid.

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    So the first lesson, honestly, is not too obvious to visitors who haven't seen this video. Who'd think a black bear could do this to a car? I don't begrudge the owners of that car, they made an uninformed mistake, and that's that. Live and learn, and people who see this should learn.

    But the folks just standing around while it happened, then getting close to the bear when it had food. How selfish and idiotic! I'd have bought that bear a cheeseburger if he chased down that woman in pink ...

    There's stupidity through ignorance, and then there's just plain assininity.

    =================================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The entire Colorado Basin is eroding at about the rate Lake Powell is filling up with mud, or formerly, at the rate the Bay of California was filling up--slower than Baja is pulling away. Sandstone buildings erode less than an inch per century. Rainbow Bridge had a stream that flowed around it till the hole broke through; then the stream flowed through the hole, so a narrower gulch formed within a wider gulch. Both gulches help to give us an idea of the Bridge's erosion rates. The rocks that have broken off over the tens or hundreds of thousands of years have turned back to sand, and washed into the sea. It's a pretty slow process. --AGF

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Their are many arches in Arches National Park that you can walk under and a few that you actually can walk on.
    It is amazing that no one was hurt when this arch fell.
    The Park service needs to have engineers study the arches that are accessible to insure their safety.

    This park is one of the most beautiful areas in the United States.

    PS It didn't take eons to form the arches. Arches are formed all over the world over a few centuries of wind, flfash flooding rain and weathering.

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Wow, this is two McInnis Canyons NCA references on NPT in about a week - that's got to be a record! Here is one of the more notable arches in the Rattlesnake Canyon area, folks climb through it though it is not an official BLM trail.

    Cedar Tree Arch from a distance, McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area

    Some more photos of the Rattlesnake Arches area of McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area are located here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmcgrath/sets/72157604318334308/

  • Sierra Club Caught Standing Atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The Sierra Club's claim that it is a "grassroots environmental organization" is laughable. The Sierra Club is not a nonprofit organization. It is a lobbying group. Lobbying groups need lots of money, so they'll do anything to raise the money they need, including profiting from national parks. This is yet another influence of lobbyists in national parks. Oh, and that free rucksack? I'll bet it's made in China.

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Where does one should store his food on a camping trip, while stopping in a day use area, if not in the car? In this case the driver left his side window open enough for the bear to get a grip. That was his mistake. But having food in the car is not a fault in itself.

    But the stupidity of all those people still buffles me. They aproach a bear to a few yards (in Yellowstone there is a 100 yards rule), they get between a bear and his retreat route. In the early stages it might have been smat to scare him away. But that wasn't an option anymore once he was in the car and got the food.

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I recant. But it will be a few days before that raven sets down on another arch in slickrock country. --AGF

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    You hit the nail on the head, Kim. Not only shouldn't you store food in your rig in bear country, but you certainly shouldn't go running up to a bear for a photo op, unless you want to be in it when the bruin turns on you.

    And, of course, the others watching this show should have, as others have pointed out, tried to drive off the bear in some fashion.

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I have to say that I saw a lot of candidates for the Darwin award! Did not one of those folks think this was not for their entertainment and that bear was a wild animal? Many of them were 'lucky' the bear didn't realize they were meat in sneakers.

  • Sierra Club Caught Standing Atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    National Geographic Adventure magazine had a cover earlier this year with a woman doing yoga on top of Mesa Arch. They got a lot of criticism for that, and I remember the editors responding that while it probably wasn't the safest/smartest thing in the world to do, they didn't break any NPS or Canyonlands laws/rules in getting the photo shot. Page down to the March 2008 issue to see the cover: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/articles.html

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    AGF - I like to think that a canyon raven, a crafty bird in all environments, landed atop the arch thus providing the last few ounces of downward stress causing this immense collapse. Amidst the din and dust the raven was surprised as his footing disappeared. No problem his black wings spread, caught the breeze, and lifted him into the blue sky. Another day in slickrock country.

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsONpZA8X3A

    Two witnesses to the collapse have come forward.

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    OK, here's a tenuously proposed triggering mechanism: the humidity was rising that night, and sandstone constitutes a semipermeable membrane. H2O molecules are lighter than N2 and O2, vibrate more rapidly, and find their way through the rock faster than dry air. This enables the rock to build up a partial pressure of water vapor faster than the total pressure of dry air in the rock can be dissipated, so that the gasseous pressure in the rock may build up a few mmHg of pressure--maybe enough to trigger a collapse. I suppose the mechanics and magnitude of such a phenomenon could be studied experimentally. --AGF

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Maybe it was only by rare chance that my husband and I--visiting Arches in May--saw a couple on top of Wall Arch. Later in the day we saw a man on top of Sand Dune Arch. The following day we saw a woman and her young daughter walk during 30 MPH wind gusts across Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, which is exposed on both sides to tremendous drop offs, so frightening to see that I had to walk away. I was so sure we were about to witness people dying that my experience was wrecked.

    Or perhaps these incidents were not coincidental to our visit. Perhaps others blogging here--and park officials, even-- are naive about the audacity of visitors and the frequency with which they stand and walk on top of these fragile, beautiful arches, ignorant or inconsiderate of the harm they do. If there are rules, we saw none posted. If there are not rules and fines--heavy, steep fines--then perhaps there should be.

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I agree that the idiots watching this happen should have at least honked their horns to try to scare the bear away. But they only thought of the photo op and did not think of the safety of the bear, themselves and other visitors to come !
    As far as calling a ranger, there is no cell service in most of the Great Smoky Mtn NP and unfortunately you can spend most of the day there and never see a ranger ! Budget custs once again surface their ugly face Way too many visitors have absolutely no common sense and the wildlife always suffer.

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I grew up in the Carolinas and was a frequent visitor to Great Smoky Mtns NP and the surrounding national forests. Things may be different today, but the Forest Service and NPS did a pretty poor job educating visitors about the potential for bear encounters and their consequences. Bears were never a consideration when I went camping and backpacking in eastern forests. I was pleased to see user-friendly bear cables in Great Smoky's backcountry campsites when I visited a year ago, which is more than I can say for similar campsites in some Western parks frequented by bears. But as recently as seven years ago, back east, "bear protocol" simply wasn't part of our lexicon.

  • Is It Time to Overhaul the National Park Service and the National Park System?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I don't think that delisting should be an answer, but that NPS is ment to protect not sell of units to others like a bussiness. However, maybe a compromise would be that some parks be opterated as assocatied areas. This means that they still keep their titles, NPS still montiors and helps run them, and all laws governing the management of National Park Units still apply like with assocatied areas today.

  • Having Suffered Severe Storm Damage, a Witness Tree at Gettysburg National Military Park is Unlikely to Survive   5 years 36 weeks ago

    A "before" photo of the intact tree can be seen at this site. I'm not sure I can find an after photo.

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I agree with Jeff but would add that stupidity of the people in the parking lot is mind boggling! The only sane comment was someone yelling out that someone should beep there horn but these poor excuses for adults would rather have a photo op,put themselves(with children) at risk and unfortunately contribute to the eventual killing of the animal. I wonder if they saw a bunch of people trashing the car would they have done anything? It's a wonder the world is such a mess when people can't think about right and wrong. The guy who Filmed this should be fined as aiding the bear in the cars destruction!

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    This arch has been sitting around for half a million years or so without falling. Of course the long term cause is gradual erosion, but I suspect the immediate cause was weather and tide related: drier than normal, coupled with shear stresses caused by a temperature gradient. Problem is, August 1 had a 40 degree differential compared to a 25 degree drop Monday night, and the new moon occurred 2 days earlier as well. The winds were stronger Friday than Monday night. Did it fall two days after it cracked? I doubt it, but there must have been some reason it fell when it did. We're a month past aphelion, with its weaker tides, but the arch has gone through the worst of a summer full of expansion and contraction. Winter freezing and thawing does the long term damage, but summer probably provides more triggering mechanisms. Ice ages may set the arches up to tumble during interstadials. I think natural global warming could be the culprit. --AGF

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I don't know that these folks are all that wrong. Far be it from me to get in between a large, hungry bear and it's food. Sure, they should've contacted SOMEbody, but chase it away? Not me! What's to stop him from charging you? Some of these folks really took their life in their hands being so close in the first place.

  • National Parks in the News: Did You Say that Park Police Officer Mary Jane Hempfield is a Turtle?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    It's a shame this information was made public - now these growers will be out looking for box turtles to destroy, in case they're the "informant". I'm sure whatever they're tagged with is obvious, thus ruling out the non-"officers", but still, criminals do tend to have a cruel streak and may be nondiscriminating.
    Nice name, though, for your helper!

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The people that stood around and watched this bear break into the car were totally irresponsible. Why didn’t they chase the bear off and call the Park Service? Not only was this car damaged, but that bear may have caused trouble for other cars, campers or, possibly even acted aggressively towards some hikers. It would not surprise me if the bear had to be destroyed because it was, or became, a problem bear.

    No doubt the car owner made a huge mistake by keeping food in a car with its windows partially open. However, those people that stood around and watched the bear taught it not to fear humans. There in lies the problem.

    Jeff
    www.HikingintheSmokys.com

  • Having Suffered Severe Storm Damage, a Witness Tree at Gettysburg National Military Park is Unlikely to Survive   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Regarding this quote:
    "When a witness tree is lost, its passing is mourned, as when a storm toppled a witness tree at Antietam National Battlefield last June. "

    When I followed the link, I read that all the witness trees were spared in the June storm at Antietam; while a number of trees were lost, none were witness trees.

    Also, I would like to see a photo of the Gettysburg witness tree after the storm. We were drenched by a sudden downpour while at the Cemetery in July and I may have stood under or near that very tree.

    [Nice catch, Donna. I've edited out the flawed statement and inappropriate link. Damn that CRS! BJ]