Recent comments

  • Missing Hiker in Yosemite Found Dead   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I'd rather die amidst such grandeur than collapse of a heart attack in my cubicle or be smashed to pieces in an auto accident. We should all be so fortunate to die doing what we love.

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    There's an interesting study that found in part:

    "through factor analysis, entrance fees do not constitute a barrier to more frequent visitation of NPS units but that the total cost of a trip (hotels, food, travel) is perceived to be expensive. When individual expenses are combined into a broader "expense package," total costs become a barrier to people with smaller household incomes and to individuals with less education." (National Park Service Fees: Value for the Money or a Barrier to Visitation? Journal of Park and Recreation Administration Volume 23, Number 1
    Spring 2005 pp. 18-36)

    I think Merryland's on to something. It's not just to the price of admission and camping; it's the total package. And if you can't afford the gas (or can't afford to own a car for that matter), these other factors are a moot point.

    The main reason I haven't visited a national park this summer is the price of gas. I can sneak around entrance stations and camp illegally (or legally in USFS land), but as a new teacher without a summer job, I can't even afford to get to the park in the first place.

    If one can afford the $50-$100 for gas (plus car payments, plus insurance, plus maintenance) round trip from Portland to Crater Lake, what's another 20 bucks for camping?

    Campers aren't at the "bottom of the food chain". That spot is reserved for those without cars or money for gas.

    Car campers who can afford gas (and all those other costs) should figure out how to circumnavigate the system if they don't want to pay fees or can't find campsites. Maybe some of us ex-park types should write a guide on how to get past the entrance station and camp illegally. I often wonder why no one illegally camped in some of Zion Canyon's side canyons. It would be free and peaceful and could be done without impact. Any entrepreneurs want to finance a book?
    ----------------------------------------
    Reform the National Park Service!
    http://NPS-reform.blogspot.com

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Tenting is not disappearing. It just depends where your are in the US will determine whether you will see more tents vs campers. Growing up in the mid-west we camped in a camper which only made sense since summer thunderstorms can ruin a trip because you can't cook in a tent. Also the mosquitos are awful. In the West where I have lived for the past 10 years you see more tents. When my daughter was young we tent camped and had a great time until my tent got sniffed by a bear in Yellowstone about 6 years ago. Since we go to bear country in Aug since it is cooler in the upper West I bought a small camper. It is very untrue that people who use campers need electricity, running water and concret pads. In the last three years I have not had any sites with water or concrete pads. Only in Zion have I used electricity (which I pay extra for). As for the dump station everyone whether they tent camp or use a trailer use the dump station it's called a Bathroom. When you tent camp and wash your dishes or go to the bathroom where do you think that waste water goes? It surely does not evaporate. Trailer's just happen to hold theirs in a tank and dumps it all at once. When ever I take my trailer I use buckets for my water (since to tow my trailer with a full water tank adds a thousand pounds to my tow weight and that sucks gas like you won't beleive I tow with empty tanks) that I use to wash my dishes and I use the bathrooms provided at the campgrounds because I don't like using the chemicals you need to use for the toliet I think those chemicals are dangerous so it is easier to use the campgound bathroom. Also being a single women it is safer to have a hardsided camper than to tent camp. So please stop complaining about trailers.

    I don't think camping is going away as long as parents like myself take their kids camping. My daughter loves it and I am sure she is going to continue the tradition of camping when she has kids. Camping has been a tradition in my family for 4 generations and I think those of us who love to camp whether it is in a tent or a camper will pass that love onto our kids and as long as we do that camping will not die.

    Constance

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I don't mind the hotels that follow the Parkitecture style... giant log cabins with huge fireplaces in the multistoried lobbies... I probably won't opt to pay for them until the day I'm too old to get up off the floor of my tent, but they serve a definite need. Grand Canyon NP did a good thing in removing the Thunderbird eyesore a few years back -- I'd venture that's a slow yet eventual trend the rest of the parks will follow as well.

    Jim I don't agree that spending the money you have is some sort of affliction to avoid. I choose to live in a house probably half the size I could afford if I found that to be important. Thankfully I don't. The equity issue isn't the fault of the National Parks, nor is it the government's sole responsibility to equalize everything to the point where we're living under Brezhnev rule. I believe that everyone in this country has a decent opportunity (albeit not equal, but decent) to earn a respectable wage and do pretty well. I see people coming into the U.S. with absolutely nothing -- don't even speak the language. Yet after a single generation many of them are sending their kids to the college of their choice. How is that possible when people whose families have lived here for generations are absolutely stuck in their communities, unable to read, barely able to speak passable English (or any other language for that matter) and have zero or negative net worth by the time they're 30? We can go down through the same topics again -- fatherless homes, lack of "outdoor sense" (the outdoor equivalent of "street sense"), etc...

    If you made a list of the Top 20 reasons why people of limited income aren't visiting the parks, the price of admission and price of the campsite wouldn't be on it. The price of gasoline, however, would be on that list several times both directly and indirectly. In fact I'd wager that half of such a list wouldn't involve economics of any kind.

    -- Jon

  • Missing Hiker in Yosemite Found Dead   6 years 35 weeks ago

    So very very sad. A place of beauty that holds so many painful memories now.

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Car camping is for poor people (?) bull crap! Where did that come from?
    For me the hotel situation in Our National Parks is out of control. I would like to see them all removed.
    If it is the duty of Our National Park system to preserve and protect for future generations the wilderness experience, we have fallen way short.
    P.S. I have not been to downtown Yellow Stone National Park in decades.

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Jon,

    I'm basing it on the cost of a trip to Yellowstone against the income of a person who works at or below the poverty level. If that person is an hourly worker without vacation benefits, if that person doesn't have a job at all, if the person has a family, if the person has severe medical issues or medical costs, if the person lives far from Yellowstone, as most Americans do, then you will not find an easy trip to Yellowstone for you.

    What is the federal poverty line for an individual?

    $10,210 for 2007
    http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/07poverty.shtml

    How many people live below the poverty level?
    Roughly 13% officially - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States

    Those totals are believed to be significantly low for a whole host of reasons we do not need to go into.

    I'd suspect you can make above the poverty level and be considered lower class, but let's just take this particular measure for our purposes.

    How much does a trip to Yellowstone cost, staying the 3 days minimum it would take to see all or most of the on-the-road tourist sites in Yellowstone. Of course, that depends on how far you had to travel in the first place. I'd venture a guess that the average American is two days drive from Yellowstone, assuming they aren't seeing much of anything else. In my case, I'm four days of hard driving, and so two may be a low number. Anyhow, how much of a percentage of your income do you use? What's more, consider that a large number of people live far below the poverty line; others barely above it. Others lose income they have while they are in Yellowstone, some cannot pay rent while they are off vacationing. If you don't have a car, the costs rise. If you have to fly; rent a car; borrow a car from a friend.

    It's not hard to see that Yellowstone and most other national parks are inaccessible to a significant number of people no matter what they spent their money on. In fact, you can see it would be a hardship for many making twice as much money, though conceivably they could find a way some of the time.

    But, as for the issue of being frugal. Yes, I'm all for it. I don't smoke, don't drink coffee, have even lived in a house of fregans (people who eat from dumpsters). So, there are ways of saving money that I'd encourage anyone to do as a way to break consumerism, but that's not the issue. The issue is equity. There's no reason a rich person should be entitled to be able to waste all their money on all kinds of things and sleep however they want to sleep whereas a poor person is expected to be frugal, unless one thinks being rich comes with certain moral entitlements of largesse that poor people aren't allowed. If that's the case, it's hard to understand what the issue would be. Of course, fill up the lodges and take a poll of wealthy people to see what it is they want and what they're willing to spend money on. You could do a calculus that would maximize profits on a good from the greatest number of people with means. But, if people really believe that there is a public good in the parks, then the cost to poor people matters, and their particular behavior is irrelevant to any change in cost.

    Yes, we have talked about this before; I have been frugal; I've found ways to go to Yellowstone at times; at other times, it was outside the realm of financial possibility for me. Now, I could afford to stay a week at the Old Faithful Inn (a few years ago, I was almost living out of my car). But, I don't think justifying my choices, justifying the choices of the poor is a reason for determining any kind of fee increase. I'd actually tend to think it works the other way around. Why are there people spending so much money so as to adversely affect the rest of us? In the parks, we see it in the price of lodging; in the cities, we see it in the cost of owning a home (in gentrification). People are being squeezed out because some with a great deal consume an awful lot. It's absurd that the good and bad choices of people without much to affect the whole system should be used to justify or not justify an increase in prices.

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

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Jim, I hear what you're saying (we've had a similar conversation before) but I don't think you can really speak for everyone who's considered to be "lower income". ("campgrounds still don't appeal to the lower class because they still cost about $18 a night"). I would say they actually do appeal to the "lower class" because they're the cheapest accommodations available in the park, hands down. On what are you basing your generalization that lower income people don't like campgrounds at Yellowstone?

    PS - People do waste a lot of money -- if someone quit smoking they could afford an entire fortnight of car camping every year for the rest of their days.

    I'll be staying in the park slums with my son at Yellowstone in a few weeks -- proud to be at the bottom of the rung. I'm so cheap I sometimes stay in a nearby state park or forest to save a few bucks, but $18 is still a great deal compared to the high-priced alternatives.

    -- Jon

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Steve, I think it's offensive to assume that lower income people are lower income simply because they are wasting their money. Or, to be fair to your point, it's offensive to say that a lower income person has no reason to balk at higher prices just because their $5 cup of coffee impacts them more than the same cup by those who can afford lodging. Either way, you don't justify fee increases by making lower income people irrelevant.

    Secondly, who said that the issue here is one of cost? The issue, if I read the article correctly, isn't the cost of maintaining campgrounds, but the profit to be made from lodges versus campgrounds. So, why make this a "raise cost of campgrounds a little to help pay for them v. losing these campgrounds altogether" issue?

    As for whether campgrounds are used less, I have no idea. I think in Yellowstone (as only one example) that campgrounds are still pretty full during the normal periods of time, just based on the samples of reports I read, but I have no numbers to back that up (visitation is up significantly this year in Yellowstone - so, not sure how that relates to other parks or what the use demographics are this year).

    No matter what, in Yellowstone, campgrounds still don't appeal to the lower class because they still cost about $18 a night, showers cost money (I believe it's about $3 a shower), and of course the entrance fees and the cost of getting to the park. It may appeal still to some lower middle class families - the larger the family, I suppose, the more bang for your buck. Last year, in late August (past the peak of season), certain campgrounds were more full than others, but I was staying in hiker/biker spots and never had a problem finding a spot (a worry, since Xanterra didn't allow any reservations for hiker/biker spots). I didn't notice that services were lacking in any respect. Perhaps, I am missing something. During my trip, I stayed in both concessions-operated and NPS-operated campgrounds.

    If I had no money and wanted to go to Yellowstone, I would stay illegally with a worker in his/her dorm (I haven't done this, but I know how relatively easy it is to do if you have an in). But, for those who aren't so fortunate, I think the problems go beyond whether someone may have spent money on a $5 cup of coffee (and whether the poor are actually prone to do that, I don't know - but it doesn't really matter, does it? - it's perhaps more burdensome that the middle and upper classes are). (I mean, seriously, this reads like people who think that indigenous peoples deserved to lose all they had because so many became alcoholics.)

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

  • The Traveler's Code of Conduct   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I guess I could describe myself as an "old timer on the Internet" as well, but I don't believe your "Code of Conduct" for this site is censorship. It may fly in the face of the "longstanding network tradition" Random Walker mentioned above, but who says "flaming" is a tradition everyone should embrace?

    I wish everyone had the maturity to post in anonymity without resorting to using drive-by tactics in their posts, but that obviously is not the case. Personally, I believe that perceived anonymity fosters thuggish behavior, whether it be from a 14 year old kid stirring the you-know-what in an on-line forum or a zealot in a mask spewing video-taped vitriol on an extremist website. It's a generalization, I know, but from my own experience on-line and in the real world, it's little surprise that I encounter rudeness, poor manners and other boorish behavior more often from younger people, and more often yet from those hiding behind anonymous posts, forum names and avatars.

    Personally, I welcome any reasonable attempt to inject a little personal accountability into any forum where people share opinions and ideas. There's a distinct lack of it in modern society as it is.

    Brad Kinser
    (Casually, yet cordially known to go by the handle ArizonaTraveler)

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    jbojay, what campgrounds are you spending time in that do not allow campfires?

    in my experience, it is inaccurate to say a campfire "is no longer available in most campgrounds now". even in periods of high fire danger, most BLM and USFS campgrounds continue to allow campfires because of the hazardous fuels reduction that generally takes place in these areas. i'm not sure about the NPS but i would imagine they are pretty similar.

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    if the cost of camping is raised, it should only for those with hard sided units such as RV's, pop up trailers and the like.

    realistically speaking, tent camping uses far less infrastructure (hard sided units use: dump stations! water! space demands! generator noise! increased ware and tear on park roads & bridges by heavier weights!) and if people are advocating a somewhat pay to play based scenario then i submit that there should be price structuring to reflect this discrepancy in resource use.

    additionally, i'd say raise the senior pass price from $10 to $20 and use the difference to fund park campgrounds. if this age demographic really cares about the parks, they should be up in arms that congress didn't give them the opportunity to really support them... shame on anyone who complains about a pass that *would* cost $20 for life!

    but i agree with frank:
    "I always loved the term "car camping". It's like, hey, let's load up our car with as much crap as it can hold, drive hours to the woods and then sleep right next to our car and everyone else's car, too! That's really getting away from it all!"

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I think that car camping is still great, although sometimes noisy or otherwise rude neighbors at campgrounds can make for an unpleasant visit. Even with that, I can recall few times where the behavior of those adjacent to my site marred my experience to the extent that I still remember it. What I tend to recall instead is the great time I had there, not at the campground per se, but at the park itself. The camping experience made the overall experience all the better (typically) as I spent hours outdoors that I'd usually spend in the room or a restaurant when staying in a lodge. Erratic weather, bugs in the tent, uncomfortable air mattresses, and strange noises outside of the tent notwithstanding, my experiences car camping have often left me feeling rather refreshed after struggling to sleep outdoors, ironically, and spurred me to have other unique and memorable experiences in the park that I was visiting. This is a way of visiting parks that should be sustained for generations to come.

    So, perhaps park managers should consider raising the fee to car camp, as the cost for this does not seem to have kept pace with the cost for other lodging. Even a 20% increase would translate to only a dollar or two more per night at most campgrounds, a nominal fee considering that many of the "lower income" families who might balk at this increase are the same who will gladly drop $5 for a cup of coffee at [name of overpriced national coffee chain here] twice per week. Sure, there are many others who would balk at these increases (legitimately), but if the alternative is closing the campgrounds altogether in favor of hotels, I think an increase to keep car camping alive would be well worth it.

  • USOC Feeling Overly Proprietary About "Olympic"   6 years 35 weeks ago

    The following is the text of an e-mail message that I have sent to Senators Murray and Cantwell and Representative Dicks, all from the state of Washington:

    -------------------------------------
    I assume that by now you are aware of the AP newspaper article "Just whose Olympics are they?" by Curt Woodward, Published Sunday, Aug 12. If not, you can find it at

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003832748_olympicbattle12.html

    The article documents another example of aggressive, abusive behavior on the part of the United States Olympic Committee in its overzealous "protection of its trademarks". Specifically, USOC is leaning on an individual whose greatest transgression is to publish a pamphlet entitled "Best of the Olympic Peninsula". You would think that anyone with an IQ higher than, say, my dog's, would understand that the Olympic Peninsula has nothing to do with the Olympic Games.

    Clearly the USOC wants to have complete control of the use of such terms as "Olympic" and "Olympus". I resent that, being someone who lives on the Olympic Peninsula and daily sees the Olympic Mountains (weather permitting).

    I pass this comment on, just in case you might be interested in doing something about the matter.

    --------------------

    I also sent a copy of this e-mail to the USOC (media@usoc.org, ), with the added comment: "For my part, I do not plan to contribute to the USOC in the foreseeable future. It wouldn't surprise me if a number of other residents of the Olympic Peninsula feel the same."

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    For many years my wife and I have been flying into various places from Baltimore to Las Vegas with a cooler and camping box. We rent a car and go explore national parks for our two week vacation. One of the highlights of these trips is to camp and be able to hike, often from the campsite. To wake up in the wild in a small tent, not in a box of aluminum. No tv, radio or even a cell phone just the natural setting surrounding us.

    One time in Bryce with the camp sites full, and rv sites available, we were told that we could have rv a site if no one showed up by five PM. There should indeed be sites for tent camping. As global warming gets worse rvs and more hotels are surely not part of the solution.

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    It's not the proximity to the venue that car campers are seeking, for the most part, it's the experience of NOT staying in a bed every night, with conveniences like institutionalized food, gift shops, over-crowded walkways and the ever present hunt for the almighty parking spot close enough to the lodge to enable one to lug in the suitcases without the associated hernia. Camping, whether it be backcountry, short backpacking treks, or dispersed in the national forest (or BLM lands) will continue, and maybe even thrive if the lands nearest the parks evolve towards total commercialism. And the further ones gets away from the development, the better the experience at the park will be, albeit slightly less convenient.

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I always loved the term "car camping". It's like, hey, let's load up our car with as much crap as it can hold, drive hours to the woods and then sleep right next to our car and everyone else's car, too! That's really getting away from it all!

    Car campers still have the best option available: free camping in the National Forest as dispersed campers. You can still sleep next to your car, but you don't have to sleep next to anyone else's, and best of all, you don't have to pay 25 bucks.

    ----------------------------------------
    Reform the National Park Service!
    http://NPS-reform.blogspot.com

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Having raised my children with tent camping, which included a small open campfire (this is no longer available in most campgrounds now) each night upon which to bond with hot dogs and marshmallows roasting. I still enjoy getting out of the urbs as often as I can. Age has caused me to shift from a tent to a hard body due to creature comforts. Cost of storage has caused me to sell the hard body and I have begun utilizing in park lodgings. At the Grand Canyon South rim a "historic cabin" at Bright Angel is under $70 a night, a motel type room in the wooded area at Yavipi is just over $100, and it offers Air conditioning. The North Rim has "fronter" cabins $100 and motel type lodging tho the price becomes beyond my budget.
    In most cases the lodging at the parks is within reason if you compare to a Holiday Inn or the like. At Yellowstone, there are reasonable acomidations outside of the park. Also the Forest service rents remote cabins (several miles off the main road) I have enjoyed the seclusion of one of them near Flagstaff, AZ
    If I use the tent I now have difficulties moving and enjoying the parks, If I use a cabin or room I can get around the park and really enjoy the of our natural wonders. As our population grows with seniors, empty nested, a few well located (blended in) cabins or rooms are a great thing .

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    This guy's complaints center on the reduction of campsites in Yosemite Valley. One of the largest campgrounds in the western United States is at Tuolumne Meadows. There's another large campground on the road to Glacier Point. But he wants to camp like his grandfather did right along the Merced River. Yosemite Valley is a small area. The campgrounds that were removed after the flood of 97 should not be replaced.

  • The Fight Against Fees Losses a Champion   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Thanks for letting us know what the bill will entail. It was a noble effort waged by Mr. Funkhouser and we all do appreciate his hard work. My most heartfelt condolences go out to his family.

    He will be hard to replace.

  • The Fight Against Fees Losses a Champion   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Thank you Jeremy for posting this. I will make sure his family sees it. For the most part, they had no idea how important Rob's political work was. He was just their brother and uncle. They are coming to realize, through his untimely death, how many others valued him.

    [Edit of post, as per author's request. We'll learn a lot more about the Baucus bill this fall I hope. ~jersu]

    That is all I have time for. I leave in a few hours to begin my trip to Vermont for Rob's memorial service. I thank all those who have sent such kind messages of sympathy and support. On Friday, August 17 at 11 am EDT please stop for a moment and send your thoughts and prayers toward Dorset, Vermont.

    Kitty Benzar
    President, Western Slope No Fee Coalition

  • Vice President Cheney To Dedicate Grand Teton Visitor Center   6 years 35 weeks ago

    One more story lagged in on this today. As a grassroots organizer, 200 is no insignificant number for an impromptu protest; we would be very happy with that number for a local protest here (even though more people live inside just the city of Washington than in all of Wyoming); given the summer population of Jackson, this represents about 1 in a 100 people there; in DC, that translates to about 6,000 people (and actually more than twice that given the metro area and visitation - which I took into the Jackson figures). Only once did we as local anti-war organizers (as opposed to national organizers) get that kind of percentage, and that was at the counter-inaugural in 2005. This is something else altogether. There are a lot of advantages organizing outside of Washington - too many to go into right now - but on Cheney's home turf in front of his home, that's not an insignificant barometer of how upset people are in the Jackson area.

    It's interesting that there was an anti-war theme to this as well; you don't see an environmentalist theme. One of the problems in the various movements opposed to the Administration is an inability to communicate and organize across issues. Even so, if I were on the ground, I bet I would have seen an interesting cross-section of interests. Yet, at the organizing level, something else is at work. Whoever these organizers are, they have money we never had to be able to put full page ads in two Jackson newspapers.

    There are a lot of interesting subtexts; I wish I could have been on the ground to experience the ins and outs of it because it's a whole world of intrigue and politics unto itself. One paper said that one of the co-organizers is in fact a Republican. But, you can get little sense of the organizing process from a newspaper and whoever served as group spokesperson. These groups can have all kinds of organizing means and ways of dealing with the media. Given the speakers and the march process, it seems like it lended itself to a more mainstream approach (an effigy of Cheney may seem radical, but the same event had Democratic office holders speaking) - anyhow, I could speculate and comment on and on. It makes me excited to get involved at some level either with a group like this (if it is viable and open) or with a different affinity group working in solidarity.

    8/14/07 Protesters show up in force near Cheney home (by Whitney Royster Casper Star-Tribune)

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

  • Fire Continues to Keep Yellowstone's East Entrance Closed   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Road re-opening at 8 AM today.

    8/14/07 Yellowstone's East Entrance to reopen Tuesday morning (press release by National Park Service)

    There are a lot of stories about this and other fires in the Yellowstone area in the Yellowstone Newspaper linked below. If you are traveling, however, and want to do something different, Kurt is right about the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. Now that traffic on it should recede, you're all in for quite a treat.

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

  • How is Secretary Kempthorne Doing After Year One?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    I think he comes into the administration at a good time -- a time when the president is attempting to polish up his legacy and Kempthorne is there to wave the flag on his behalf. There's only so much the head of the Interior can do... he or she is basically a puppet of the president with some limited ability to package and present it with his or her personality. That being said, I was present last December when he addressed the crowd at Antietam on a very cold evening during the battlefield illumination. The power went out on the loudspeaker system and he kept on going without hitch. Turns out he had a great-great-grand-somebody who fought on that battlefield and it was a rather moving speech especially with no amplification. Kinda made me feel like I had stepped back in time to the Civil War days when someone of importance stepped up on the soapbox and gave a speech there on hallowed ground, with all the onlookers inching closer trying to hear what he had to say. I enjoyed his speech very much.

    -- Jon

  • Fire Continues to Keep Yellowstone's East Entrance Closed   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Watch for elk in the roadway, especially pre-dawn. We came upon the backsides of several small herds which were headed in the same direction as our vehicle.
    We were fortunate to experience a bravura sunrise that morning as we headed westward.