Recent comments

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Capt. Kirk;

    You misread what "Whatruafraidof" wrote. He actually says that when the comb kills his daughter it won't discharge.
    Could be a malfunctioning comb.

    "Whatruafraidof (not verified)
    On April 11th, 2009
    Your comb won't accidentally discharge when if falls from your pocket and kill my daughter"

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I've done a bit of reading here and by the looks of things the topic has veered a bit off course...but that's OK. I don't have a lot of time but would like to address a few snippets that I noticed. First, when guns get dropped they don't "go off" and kill people's daughters...I hope that sets your mind at ease. Your daughter is more likely to get hit on the head by a metior than she is from a stray bullet from a dropped gun.
    Next, I'd like to comment to the person who worked in a hospital trauma ward. I believe you when you say you've seen people come in looking like cottage cheese from gun play and I'm sure you've got some images etched in your mind that might be hard to live with. I'd like you to consider this. The person that looked like cottage cheese was one of two types of people. He was either a perpetrator or a victim. If he was a perpetrator he apparently got what he had coming. If he was a victim then he may have very well benefited from having a wepon handy.
    Humans (and animals) have been killing each other since the stone ages. I'm not saying that it's ok for a civilized society to do so...just saying it's the way it is. Before guns we were killing each other with arrows, rocks, clubs, axes, poison...etc...etc. It's not the weapon that's doing the's the person. If you want a safe society you should really stop being so near sighted by focusing on the gun and focus more on the people that feel the need to kill.
    Two years ago my son was 8, we enrolled him in a state run hunters safety course and he turned out to be the youngest boy in the state to pass both the written and practical shooting test (yes, with real bullets). He's 10 now and is legal to get his own hunting license. He is the proud owner of two rifles and a bb gun. He has been (and continues to be) taught about the safe handling of guns. My 7 year old daughter is next in line.
    I gotta run so I guess this is as good a spot to stop...for now.

  • Book Review: Let's Go See:All 50! -- Visiting the 50 States Journal   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing, Imtnbke. You have my sincere admiration. By the way, imtnbke doesn't stand for Iron Mountain Biker, does it? Just wondering......

  • Mammoth Cave National Park Proposing to Rehabilitate Underground Trails   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I like the idea rehabilitations process, solar- power lights, track light on paths for in the cave , risk areas , source of power for these lights ,would be a panel , question , possible problem is wiring ., Can solar power transmitt over radio waves,? , so not to disturb national park, if so as little as possible., thats been question of that i know is possible ... sounds awesome,

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore Looking For Good Homes For 'Shackleford' Horses   6 years 4 weeks ago

    What a great article! I raise Cutting Horses and have not had any prior information on these Shackleford Horses, they look wonderful. What treasures they must be. Am looking forward to learning more about them.


    Horse blog:

  • Demolition Update: It’s One Down and One to Go at Gettysburg   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Just tear the darn thing down already. It is a monstrosity, and by moving it , it will be a huge money pit. Where will this building be moved? What are the ramifications as fas as, tying up traffic, avoiding obsticals? How much more money will be needed to restore it once it's moved? Where will the funding come from? Hopefully not the tax payers. I do not want more of my hard earned money poured into another money pit.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 2: There’s Good Reason They Call This Thing "the Death Apple”   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I am 53...and it amazes me to see an artical about a tree that is this bad. I lived in Florida for many years as a child...never heard of this tree. I have always concidered myself "in-the-know" about rare tid-bits like this. Great artical! maybe this will be a question in a trivia But, ya seems that when the Lord made such bad things...there was always a good part about them...perhaps one day...some scientist will find a cure for some ailement with the sap, fruit, or another part of this tree. One never knows. Be Well All, and God Bless!

  • National Park Mystery Plant 2: There’s Good Reason They Call This Thing "the Death Apple”   6 years 4 weeks ago


    Speaking of Columbus' visit to the so-called "new world", it is a thrill to stand in what is believed to be Columbus' first house in the Americas in Parque Histórico La Isabela in the Dominican Republic. The park is managed by the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources. All that is left is the outline of where archeologists believe the house stood and when I was there 4 or 5 years ago, part of the outlined foundation had collapsed into the sea. Nonetheless, it is an important historic site.

    Rick Smith

  • Stones River National Battlefield Recovering From Tornado Damage   6 years 4 weeks ago

    hello i think damage to the parks have to stop beacuse they might close them yes CLOSE them this is serious
    the wildlife is suffering the pollution and the footpaths are being eroided by to many people walking along them think about it please

  • Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Thank you, Season, for adding another fascinating element to this evolving story. When are we going to see that book? Enough with the labor pains, let's see that baby! Of course, if you think you could use some practice, we'd love to have you write an article or two for Traveler.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 2: There’s Good Reason They Call This Thing "the Death Apple”   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Great article! Some fascinating information that was new to me.

  • Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?   6 years 4 weeks ago

    This battle resonates still. I ran into the dawn patrol April 6, 2005 at dawn and having sneaked in myself I felt quite Confederate when I encountered them unexpectedly. Like so many I had at least one ancestor thereRebel) during the battle ,and trying not to be mystical, still gave in to a reincarnation deja vu. Since then I came into possessesion of some quartermaster documents of the 6th Division with the names and signatures of those first engaged on the Union side, Col.Benjamin Allen, Cpl. H.M Woodyard, Col. Madison Miller, and Gen. B. M. Prentiss himself. Now I am addicted. I also have numerous orders and requests of Captain A.S. Baxter, General Grant's quartermaster, that shed a clear light on why General Lew Wallace never got a clear message about what road to take, took the Shunpike, and ended up writing BEN HUR because of the decision that ruined his military reputation. Can my book be far behind? See you nest year at Fraley Field in the pre-dawn.

  • Upon Further Review: A Cat on a Leash   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Betty -

    Thanks for your comment.

    I agree that if people want to travel with a cat, having it comfortable with a leash is a real plus.

    During my years in the parks, I had several situations with visitors who had a pet escape and become lost. If the cat isn't found right away, those are always bad situations for the animal, the owners and the area that has just acquired a cat.

  • Upon Further Review: A Cat on a Leash   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Funny story but a serious subject. In my opinion, the only way to take a cat on a trip is to have it comfortable walking on a leash. Cats, more so than dogs, have a mind of their own and get spooked easily. Unfortunately, many cats have been lost when they were let out of a vehicle, tent, rv, etc to exercise or a potty break. Domestic cats have a very low survival rate in the wild as they are not the same as feral cats.

    I had an inside cat for 18 years. I took her out in the yard occasionally on a leash. We never had a problem and she lived a safe, healthy life. Pets are great companions and deserve to be well taken care of. A cat on a leash may get some funny looks and comments but it is a safe cat.

  • National Park Quiz 51: Administrivia   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Thanks, Anon. I'm sure you understand that it's impractical to include all exceptions and examples in every explanation accompanying quiz answers -- there's just not room for them all. If there are many instances, I try to include enough to make the point. CACA was replaced with CAVE a good while back -- and for the reason you think (it's Spanish for poop). COSW became obsolete in 2003 when Congaree Swamp National Monument was redesignated Congaree National Park. (These are not all of the redesignations that prompted new alpha codes.) Sequoia NP and Kings Canyon NP have the same alpha code, SEKI. The NPS 394-unit count doesn't include any national cemeteries, and that's why I didn't mess around with cemetery alpha codes. No NPS units in the National Capital region that I know of are identified by more than a single alpha code. There is, of course, some double counting of units going on (I've already written about that), but each unit still has its unique alpha code..

  • Fall Into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Kills California Woman   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I also have read nothing in years of daily covering the news. I can say that that spot is a place where a real accident really could happen. During ski season, it's a scary descent there on that narrow road. At any time of the year, an accident could happen ... or ... . That's no doubt part of the difficulty; you just wonder what came of the investigation. It was mysterious at the start, and then silence ...

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • National Park Quiz 51: Administrivia   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I _wish_ #9 was almost true!
    and 2 others I keep forgetting and get tripped up by.
    The Alaskan parks that are also preserves each have 2 codes for some purposes: the park & the preserve.
    And don't get me started on the multiple codes for different hierarchical levels of National Capital Region Parks.
    Also, Gettysburg and many battlefields have a second code for the national cemetery.

    Note that there is not a single "official" set of park codes, even though the lands office uses codes, I&M uses codes, the park-specific websites use codes, etc. I think that the only true statement is that all NPS units, including training centers and administrative facilities, have at least 1 code (not necessarily unique).

    #8 has many more examples: Grand Staircase Escalante NM, Santa Rosa Mountains NM, Parashant NM, Canyhon of the Ancients NM, etc.

    Plus, there are several National Monuments where NPS administers but owns none of the land: Canyon de Chelly and Navaho NM.

  • Fall Into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Kills California Woman   6 years 4 weeks ago

    These tragic overlook "accidents" always make people wonder about them for years to come, especially when you cannot find any follow-up to the story anywhere. Surely someone has more information available on this. Surely an investigation must have taken place. Or maybe there is only suspicions and therefore no one will respond. Same goes for the Michigan woman. No one there but her husband and the kids stayed back in the car, seems like. Strange. The reason I am saying this is we were at Canyon de Chelley when the same thing happend. Woman went over the edge of one of the overlooks while trying to find her dropped contact lense, supposedly. Husband was wanting his picture taken with the Superintendent while the Rangers were out in the canyon trying to find her body, talked about his time in Vietnam, had his plans already made for the funeral, just having a jolly old time while the body hunt was going on. Made us all wonder, but there wasn't anything anyone could do about it.

  • Fall Into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Kills California Woman   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Anything new on this? Was she buried in Illinois? How come no obituary?

  • National Park Quiz 51: Administrivia   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Thanks Dan, Bob, and Rick. The "inside scoops" are especially appreciated.

    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    Robert Mutch Photography,

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Jewelee, there is no way I could possibly understand the trauma of rape. I have known rape victims, but that certainly does not make me an expert on the issue. I have had verbal threats to my life, had a plane that I flew sabotaged with the intent of causing loss of control after takeoff and have been attacked and injured by an individual high on meth. Prior to retirement I held a law enforcement commission and am trained in the use of firearms for self protection. I support the right to own legal firearms. However, I feel no need to carry a concealed firearm for personal protection, and I cannot support the carrying of concealed sidearms in national park settings.

  • What Not to Do with an Old Cannonball   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Anonymous -

    Excellent comments. It's easy to become complacent on matters of safety and security, especially in the kind of situation you described in Washington.

  • Alexander Hamilton's "Country Home" on the Move in New York City   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I was happy to find this page. I am visiting New York for the first time in ten years, and the other day I decided to drive through the neighbourhood where I grew up. I was very disturbed when I drove past where Hamilton Grange had always stood since my boyhood. I did a search and was gratified to find out that the house still exisited and would be renovated. When I was very young I went through the house on a class trip and over the years until I left New York I watched it slowly deteriorate, closed to visitors. I will follow the pprogress of this project and hope to visit a building in much better shape when I return to the city.

  • What Not to Do with an Old Cannonball   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I worked in visitor services, for a while, at a museum that topped the list for Washington D.C. terrorism targets. Our security protocols required us to treat every unattended package, camera-size or larger, as a potential threat. We would call out, and if nobody in earshot claimed the item, we immediately evacuated a discrete portion of the building, and called up the bomb dog. (We had our own, full-time.) This has been the practice since the museum opened, and each and every one of the thousands of times it's happened, the item was inspected and remanded to the lost & found. No camera has yet exploded.

    It is an act of will and courage to actually follow a policy like that, especially after the third or fourth package in the same area in the same day. I am sure that the ranger's common-sense instinct was to stash the thing behind the VC and quietly call the bomb squad; that probably would have been fine. But let's honor Ranger Lynch for taking the appropriate precautions, and following procedures even when the danger was minimal.

  • What Not to Do with an Old Cannonball   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Sounds like a good time to do an article on Fort Smith NHS ;-)

    Semper Fi