Recent comments

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Reinharden, you're definitely right about the Middle Fork being a fabulous river. But, alas, it's not in the National Park System, which is the area this post focused on.

    Now, if the Forest Service wouldn't mind swapping that section of the forest to the NPS, we'll definitely add it in next year's Top 10 list!

    As for the Buffalo River, yes, it's a great stream, but I'm told it can get awful boney during the summertime, making it a chore of sorts to paddle.

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I just realized that you left of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River as well as the Main Salmon, the Lower Salmon, and continuing even further downstream, Hells Canyon (although technically at that point, we're back on the Snake).

    But *no* river list for the US can be complete without the Middle Fork of the Salmon. That's probably the crown jewel of continental rivers. Right up there with the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

    If we're hanging out in Idaho, we should also probably mention the Selway (which is impossible to get a permit for)...

    #####

    A sleeper candidate that's astounding, but much harder to catch, is the 50+ miles on Arizona's Salt River. The day trip is nice, but the full trip through the Salt River wilderness area is spectacular.

    reinharden

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Seems like any list that doesn't include the Buffalo National River system in Arkansas is somewhat lacking. Not many rivers in the lower 48 states that allow for 7+ day trips down a river with no dams.

    reinharden

  • Of Death Marches, Rain, and Misdirected Envy in Death Valley National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    In Death Valley, the months from November through March are best for cooler temperatures because all of the other months have daily maximum temperature averaging 90 degrees or higher. As you've pointed out, Easter vacation is not a bad time to be there. Easter falls on different dates from year to year (it was most recently April 12), but it's usually before uncomfortably hot weather sets in. If you make it back to DEVA, consider taking an evening meal at Furnace Creek Inn. It's a tad pricey, but a very memorable dining experience. A cheaper, but still very satisfying experience is to grab a comfortable seat in the lobby and enjoy a glass of wine or mixed drink from the bar.

  • Free Digital Photo Workshops at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Hi, Jeremy -

    Thanks for the update! I apparently snagged info from a press release that is out of date. I'll make some corrections in the story.

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 37 weeks ago

    >> Carving away at the state budget has gone way past the fat-cutting stage and is now deep into muscle, sinew, and bone. Everything is painful. Nothing is safe.

    Wow. What ignorance. How about $100K+ pensions for thousands of retired (or double-dipping) government workers and billions on services to illegal aliens?

  • Traveler's Top 10 Rivers to Ride in the National Park System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    The Alsek River at the northern tip of Glacier Bay National Park has to be in the top 10.

  • Of Death Marches, Rain, and Misdirected Envy in Death Valley National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I remember camping in Death Valley with my parents and brother and sisters back in the very late 50s, early 60s. We always went over Easter vacation from our home in the bay area. I can say that I have checked off most of the sight as you did but we never ate at the hotel. I clearly remember the frost that covered the folks car in the mornings but the afternoons were nice and warm...great for sighseeing.

  • Free Digital Photo Workshops at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Hi Jim,

    I wanted to let you know the program is alive and well in the Grand Canyon, but some of the details in your article are a bit out of date. Rob and Ann are not leading the program this year. There are, however, 8 very talented photographers that teach the courses to the small groups. There is a lot of opportunity for one on one interaction with the instructors.

    After wrapping up in the Grand Canyon on Jul 27, the program moves to Yellowstone National Park (Aug 2 - 9). Then, the program wraps up for the summer in Acadia National Park (Aug 20 - 27).

    For more detailed location information, as well as a list of the Explorers of Light scheduled to lead, check out the official schedule here - http://usa.canon.com/parks - click the 'workshops' tab after it loads up. I've been involved with this program the last two years and can tell you it is really a lot of fun.

  • Night Sky Viewing Programs at Acadia National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Thanks Jim. Nice write-up. Yes, let's have more night sky programs at other national parks. The night skies are an integral component of our national parks, many of which, have terrific viewing conditions.

    rob
    ---
    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    www.craterlakeinstitute.com
    Robert Mutch Photography

  • Jon Jarvis Finally Nominated to be Next Director of the National Park Service   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Those of us with a special love for Crater Lake National Park applaud the Obama appointment of Jon Jarvis as the next NPS Director. Jon served Crater Lake as resources managment specialist during the early 1980's. This was a special time when Congress initiated directed funding for lake monitoring and research.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I'm impressed by the photographic evidence that remote camera picked up in the Cascades. Quite a menagerie! The yellow lab was almost as surprising as the wolverine.

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I am deeply sceptical. My opinion is that America (especially Hollywood) has done precious little favours to great American literary works over the years. I think Panama Red and Rudolf the Red have it right. This film sounds like a good idea, but in the end true justice will not be served, leaving this Bible for the Champions of the Underdog, the defenders of the American West from the slow, stranglehold of Walmart death that is gripping the last fabrics of the fragile quilt that is/was the American Dream, a scar that shall never heal. Much like our fabled Route 66, what seemed like a timeless, right of passage, TMWG has now entered the doldrums of Pop Culture Nostalgia. At least Robert Redford went horse back riding with Edward Abbey; he could probably give a little grit to a film that already sounds like its missing teeth. Cathy better get it right.

  • St. Louis Man Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Did Barry Goldstien graduate from Parkway North? If so, I was friends with him in highschool.

    B

  • Jon Jarvis Finally Nominated to be Next Director of the National Park Service   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Jon Jarvis is indeed a special choice for Director of the National Park Service. He appreciates good talent, even with people who have different perceptions than his own. He respects unique parkscapes, such as his time at Craters of the Moon where he showcased old wagon ruts from some historic trail to the public. Jon values employees, in a way that is respectful and genuine. He also knows how to handle more salty political types commonly found in Washington. Wrangell St. Elias however is his gem, community engagement, polished new facilities all a big part of his legacy. But he has always loved the lesser-known Prince William Forest Park, a unit under the NPS, where he secured his professional credentials with resource mgmt and law enforcement. I truly admire his character. However, he will need to bridge the divide with other NPS wings, and he does not yet have the background for the really big political battles which could come down the pike. As one of his professional biographers, I look forward to writing about his new post and the challenges that loom ahead...

    Ben Lord

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Thanks for this encouraging report, Bob! A wolverine was also recently photographed near Mt. Adams, far south of their supposed range in the Cascades: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009390936_skunkbear27m.html

  • Night Sky Viewing Programs at Acadia National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    In honor of this International Year of Astronomy and the special opportunities presented to visitors of national parks to view the night sky away from the pollution of city and suburban lights, I would hope that the NPS promotes programs like this throughout the national park system.

    Parks are places where the full glory of a dark and starry night can be enjoyed by anyone curious enough to stay out after dark. If there are scheduled NPS interpretive programs with knowledgeable naturalists of the sky equipped with telescopes and astronomical binoculars, so much the better.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Thanks for the link to the photos, Aaron. Those are great shots, particularly in light of the elusiveness of wolverines.

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Well that looks like the critter I saw.We had the dog chained to the trucks bumper and she went nuts.We couldn't figure out why till a paserby pointed towards it.I'm from MA and have never seen one up close but will testify that's what I saw.The second time when it left the bush leaving it postured like a Komdo Dragon.That was because the dog was on alert.So I can say it was most likely a wolverine.I've been coast to coast and seen a lot of critters but never one like this one.So to see this article made want to post this commentary.I beleive it was off the RT 36 side.We were coming from Lafayette.

  • Jon Jarvis Nomination As Next Director of National Park Service Imminent   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Jon was superintendent at Mt. Rainier during some of the years I was a seasonal wilderness ranger there. I am very pleased we will see a truly qualified and conscientious Director of the NPS after the last dismal 8 years.

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Here is a link to the website of the photographer who got the shot of the wolverine in RMNP - http://www.ray-rafiti-photography.com/-/ray-rafiti-photography/gallery.asp?cat=120422&pID=1&row=15

  • Jon Jarvis Nomination As Next Director of National Park Service Imminent   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Jon Jarvis is an excellent choice for this critical position. He listens well. He is a good administrator. He "reads" people well and he makes excellent personnel choices.

    Congratulations to Jon.

    Bob Aegerter
    Past President
    Mount Rainier National Park Associates

  • Grand Teton National Park Rangers Rescue Father and Son From the Snake River After Their Raft Springs a Leak   5 years 37 weeks ago

    These folks are a good illustration of one of my favorite quotes. The novelist Will Henry wrote,

    “The Lord pours in the brains of some with teaspoons, and still gets his arm joggled even so.”

    I glad the outcome was positive, and hope these folks learned something from the experience. Given the circumstances, they were very fortunate.

  • Technology a Key in 3 Recent Rescues at Yosemite National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I happened to be at the Volgelsang camp on July 6 and was able to personally witness the expert and brave work performed by the SAR Group in extracting the injured hiker off of the face of Vogelsang Peak. It was a sobering reminder that we are all just one slip or fall away from possible catastrophe. I am thankful for the SAR Teams

    Scott Denney
    Nashville, Tn.

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I was about fifteen feet from it.We were fishing the shore in the park by the outlet towards town.We didn't notice a radio collar and I didn't think to use my phones camera.It went into a bush and then reappeared about a half hour later.It was headed across the picnic area towards the road.I thought it might have been a badger but when I got home I looked it up and was convinced it was a wolverine.So interesting to come across this article.