Recent comments

  • How Will the Next Administration Deal With the Environment?   6 years 3 weeks ago

    From audubonmagazine.org
    The Presidential Candidates Face-Off

  • How Will the Next Administration Deal With the Environment?   6 years 3 weeks ago

    A recent issue of Audubon magazine, probably the current one, has an excellent article on the candidates' positions on environmental issues, including the national parks. In this interview article, Obama and McCain respond to the same ten questions about environmental issues and alternatives. I'd love to report the gist of it, but I no longer have my copy of the magazine. Perhaps a Traveler reader could help?

  • It Breathes   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Elvis?

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Teton Cowgirl, I agree with your comment in whole. It is Very well stated. Sounds like Mr. MacDonald's comment is "sour grapes." I too 'salute such visionary, grand-scale philanthropy' of the Rockefeller family. Thank you Rockefellers.

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   6 years 3 weeks ago

    What an ingenious thing to do! It looks like we don't need sophisticated techniques to compete with drug dealers, they can be tricked just like little kids. If only this would be true in all cases perhaps my little brother wouldn't be now in a drug treatment center recovering from drug addiction.

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   6 years 3 weeks ago
  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Thank you Rockefellers ! Thank you for our Grand Teton NP.

    I, too hiked the trails and enjoyed the views and wildlife. I also saw "my first" hybrid vehicle reserved parking spaces at the L Rockefeller Preserve. Forward thinking.
    The Preserve seems to be a safe, quiet place to hike and enjoy.

    At least this rich family gave something back to all of us.

  • Just Another Snake Story   6 years 3 weeks ago

    I'll yield to your expertise on whether or not these snakes are a major threat to humans. They do have the potential to wreak havoc as an introduced species in this ecosystem. Its unfortunate so many people think they want snakes or other animals as "pets," and then just discard them into the wild when they become too much trouble to keep at home.

  • Skyline Drive Designated as a National Historic Landmark   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Frank_C,

    Thanks for your kind comments! It was a beautiful day and the foliage cooperated, giving us gorgeous views the entire drive. If you're ever in that part of the country, do take the trip. It's an eye-opener for certain.

    Page_Co, I share your wonderment as to why this "Celebration" was so underplayed. No mention was made at the Ranger Station/Entry point, no signs posted, flyers given out, nothing. If not for the article here on NPT, I would never have known about it.

    Frank, I hear you on your sentiments about the celebration of roads, and know where you're coming from. I won't open Pandora's box on that aspect of this particular road.

    But I will say this: It is truly amazing just how well this road resides within the wilderness. You simply cannot see most of the roadbed from anywhere except the road itself or an aircraft. Special care certainly was taken during construction to minimize the impact on both the ridgelines and the flora and fauna of the area, even in an era where this was not of chief concern.

    Here's a photo I took attempting to capture a stretch of the road from a neighboring ridge. This was the best and only long-view vantage I could get in the 40 miles that we drove:

    You can see how the road just vanishes into the trees and ridges. The Appalachian Trail parallels the road for the most part as well, and is equally invisible.

    It is my sincere hope and firm belief that one day soon, we will celebrate both this marvelous roadway AND a newly introduced zero-emissions mode of transportation that would whisk us and the generations to come along its path silently and cleanly.

  • Just Another Snake Story   6 years 3 weeks ago

    these snakes are'nt that bad. many think that they are agressive (exspecially burmese pythons) but they are actually gentle and are very relunctant to bite a person because they do not see us as a food prey. i own a ball python (i know ur probably saying its small compared to burmese) but burmese pythons (like the one featured in the picture) are actually pretty docile in nature. i handle my ball python all the time and he has never tried to strike ever... he still only a baby at about 1.5 to 2 ft long. i think people should actually give snakes a chance exspecially pythons only a few certain types of pythons are "agressive" such as the emerald tree python and the blood python. i would'nt say that they are "agressive" they are just defensive in nature and they strike out of fear for themselves. please people give these snakes a chance.

  • Skyline Drive Designated as a National Historic Landmark   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Dapster, those are some beautiful photos! They really make me want to visit.

    I feel like such a hypocrite because I'd certainly love the drive; there's a nagging part of me that thinks we--and the NPS--shouldn't be celebrating roads. Page_Co, I was at a road celebration at Crater Lake, and it had a very strange vibe to it; I won't go into details here. But it felt almost sacrilegious to celebrate the fall of wilderness to industrial tourism. Maybe someday we'll celebrate the re-dedication of NPS roads as trails for bikes, horses, and pedestrians.

  • National Park Quiz 25: Threatened and Endangered   6 years 3 weeks ago

    So, Nannette, does hubbie Jim score as well as you do? I'd be interested to know whether there's a wager involved here. :-)

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   6 years 3 weeks ago

    I disagree entirely with Mr. Macdonald and question his sources on the "swindling," - an easy word to throw out, but does he have any hard evidence of illegal practices? Or merely landowners who, in hindsight, wish that they had held onto their land? Nobody forced them to sell - they cashed out. The Rockefellers don't owe you anything, Mr. Macdonald. Personally, I salute such visionary, grand-scale philanthropy. Thank you, John D Rockefeller, Jr. and Laurance Rockefeller - I don't begrudge your enjoyment/stewardship of your property at JY Ranch. My husband and I hiked your trails last Friday and saw a magnificent display by a male grouse. The Preserve is also a more direct route to access Open Canyon.

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 3 weeks ago

    I just returned from a trip to the Grand Canyon. What a beautiful and breathtaking site. However could not help but notice the dozens of people standing too close to the edge to get that perfect picture or climbing over and beyond the railings. One person climbed all the way to the tip of a rock cliff with a drop of about 300 to 400 ft. while onlookers stood by and watched. It would not improve the situation by building a fence or a wall around the intire canyon , It would obstruct the view and certain individuals would climb over anyway. It is a National park not Disneyland, and certainly not upto the NPS to stand guard over every individual that decides to visit the park. Exteme caution should be taken when being involved in outdoor activities such as this, and even in our best efforts a tragedy can accur. Thoughts and prayers to Steve and his family.

  • Skyline Drive Designated as a National Historic Landmark   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Considering that this is the highest honor that can be granted to a historic site in the United States, I am surprised that the Park did not bother to celebrate---- or AT LEAST acknowledge --- this milestone on their website, or in a press release. Sad really.

  • National Park Quiz 25: Threatened and Endangered   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Bob, I did pretty darn good on this one! Looking forward to the next quiz.

  • Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Tom,
    Yes, I am that same person. My Dad's nickname was Red all his life until he turned white headed and then he always said they called him Frosty. How are you and Sherry doing? Have you done the Half Dome hike before? My email address is so please send an email and I will respond. I look forward to hearing from you. Art

  • Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Half Dome has many faces. I really like the Glacier Point view. From Cloud's Rest you look down at the big rock and get a full-on view of the ants going up the cables. I am never disaapointed with the view from the top of Half Dome itself. The valley below, El Capitan, The Ahwahnee, Tenaya Canyon and the distant mountians are a rush. Don't forget to get your photo taken standing out on the Visor. I also love to crawl out to the edge and look down the face - 2,000 feet straight down.

    Capre Diem - Seize the day!

    Rick Deutsch
    Mr. Half Dome
    www.HikeHalfDome.com

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Frnk--

    You missed my pointa--"The River Wild" has as little to do with this debate than does "Deliverance".

    Rick Smith

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Ah, "The River Wild". I haven't seen it since 1994, but isn't it about a pair of armed robbers who have a gun (probably WITHOUT a concealed weapons permit) and hijack a rafting boat? The boat guides are unarmed (by choice or by law, we don't know), and one tries to steal the gun from the criminals while they're asleep, but the criminals wake up and shoot at him. Seems like there's just one cop for miles and miles, and he ends up getting killed by the criminals. The situation is resolved when the protagonist struggles for and gains control of the gun and shoots the bad guy.

    If the good guys had concealed weapons (and corresponding permits), they could have forced the bad guys to give up their weapon rather than trying to sneak away from the armed bad guys.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Nate--

    You ever seen "The River Wild"?

    Rick Smith

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 3 weeks ago

    have any of you people seen the movie Deliverance? nuff said if you have

  • Upon Further Review – The Whirlwind Tourist   6 years 3 weeks ago

    They should have just purchased the DVD........oops, sorry, forgot the timeline. They should have just purchased a packet of postcards........they would have "seen it all". What a tremendous waste of time and effort. I feel mostly for the kids. With parents like that, I'll bet their family reunions are held in a fast-food franchise's parking lot.

  • Park History: Biscayne National Park   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Biscayne Bay has snorkeling, but I'm assuming you want to see reefs, and the reefs are not in Biscayne Bay. Perhaps your real question is "Which has better snorkeling, Key Largo or Biscayne National Park?"

    The reefs off Key Largo are about 3-5 miles off the Florida Keys. So are the ones in Biscayne National Park, but the park also protects the Keys and the Bay, so the distance from Parking lot to reef is more like 12-15 miles. The reefs at Biscayne get far less visitation, and are regularly included in lists of the best "unknown" dive and snorkel spots.

    While the prices in Key Largo may be less expensive, consider entrance fees (Biscayne doesn't have one) and equipment rental costs (all additional at Pennekamp, but all included at Biscayne). The Biscayne trip is longer, but the reef is farther away...both trips offer the same amount of water time.

    All that said, if it is windy, snorkeling on a reef is going to suck. Biscayne has bay snorkeling alternatives that the lower keys (Key Largo to Key West) don't have. You won't see reefs, but there are cool things living in the seagrasses and mangroves.

    By the way, to correct some errors in the story above: the park has not had 2 glass-bottom boats since Hurricane Andrew 16 years ago, and the island's correct name is Boca Chita, not Boca Chica (that one is down near Key West).

  • Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Art,
    Was your Dad called Red? And, retired from the Navy?
    If so, you recognize my name. Repy and I'll pass on what your sister is up too.
    Tom Huxtable