Recent comments

  • Park Trips: Paddling Into Yellowstone National Park   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Yogi, it actually was pretty easy. A good stout rope, some pulleys, and the ever-present bear bars made hoisting the coolers out of reach a cinch.

  • Park Trips: Paddling Into Yellowstone National Park   6 years 47 weeks ago

    I'd be interested in hearing how you hung up your cooler with steaks, pasta and salmon to keep away from the bears.

  • Grand Canyon Officials Release EA on Bright Angel Trailhead Improvements   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Re "Not that anyone would heed the advice." Some people DO heed advice, but some don't -- ever. Your know-it-all "running buddies" and their ilk are the kind who don't -- and sometimes, they pay the steepest price for not doing so.

    Claire @

  • Grand Canyon Officials Release EA on Bright Angel Trailhead Improvements   6 years 47 weeks ago

    If dehydration were the ONLY obstacle......

    Last August, while on a day hike to Plateau Point, I was about half way between the trail head and Mile and a Half House at about 6a, when two early twenties males, sans water or day packs, repleat with sandals, shorts and tank tops came RUNNING past me going down the Bright Angel. I asked them what the hurry was (in a nice tone) and as they kept running one of them answered, "Gotta make it to the North Rim by sundown". Glad to have the idiots past me, I went to the Point, had lunch at Indian Gardens on my way back up, then heard the unnerving sounds of a helicopter overhead. Thinking to myself, "Hey, this is a no-fly zone you moron", I continued my uphill ascent. Watching the copter attempt to land, I was astounded by the drafts they were fighting and they professionalism at keeping the craft stable. Just below Three Mile House, a group of rangers surrounded a hiker and were attempting to gather information about something or other, and by the number of people questioning and the distraught voice of the respondant, I could tell something was terribly amiss. Later that afternoon while strolling the "Parkway" outside the Bright Angel Lodge, I happened across another ranger and amidst the small talk, commented on my experience with the sight of the helicopter earlier in the day. The story I got was that one of my "running buddies" tripped and went over the cliff, some few hundred feet by all accounts, while his friend watched from behind. Between them they would have gladly paid the $5000 rescue tab. He died before the copter even landed. Maybe some mention as to go ol' common sense when hiking could be added to the verbage. Not that anyone would heed the advice.

  • Crater Lake, On Average, Is Deepest Lake in North America   6 years 47 weeks ago

    After checking my data and performing some additional online research, I have concluded that Crater Lake, based on a comparison of average depths, is not only the deepest in North America, but also the deepest among lakes in the entire Western Hemisphere!

    Based on average depth, Lake Tahoe is second in the US and second in North America.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Grand Canyon Officials Release EA on Bright Angel Trailhead Improvements   6 years 47 weeks ago

    How about:

    Bright Angel Trail Access: Free

    Stupendous Views of Grand Canyon: Free

    Bottled Water: $1.00

    Helicopter Rescue Off Bright Angel Trail: $5,000

    Not dying a slow parched death from dehydration: Priceless

  • Why Is The Park Service Bending Over Backwards For Developer?   6 years 47 weeks ago


    I am against developers commerciallizing our historic sites by turning old buildings into commercial use like B & B's, restaurants, etc. But, let's face it, I see so many buildings neglected due to lack of finances that they deteriate with little or no maintenance.

    The only way to safe the structures is more funding, which has been lacking in the NPS, or turn them over for economic gain.

    So much money goes to defence contractors than education, preservation, etc.

    That is how I feel.


  • Grand Canyon Officials Release EA on Bright Angel Trailhead Improvements   6 years 47 weeks ago

    I think they should have series of five signs at the entrance to each trail going down into the canyon. Here's what I'd put at BA:

    1) Though It's Fun to Tread...

    2) Where Others Have Dared...

    3) You'll Be Dead...

    4) If You're Not Prepared...

    5) Got Water?

    Well, perhaps "You'll be sorry..." or "You'll Regret..." would be a better third message -- wouldn't want to scare EVERYONE off, now would we?

  • The Yellowstone Precedent   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Excuse me anonymous, Bill Clinton did plenty for the National Parks and the environment, by far allot more then Bush, such as the:Implementation of the Executive Order 12898 for Environmental Justice, signs into law to protect the Escalante Canyons in Utah as a designated National Monument in1996, outlines a initative for quieter flights (noise abatement) over the Grand Canyon, signs the Oklahoma Memorial Act of 1997, and the establishment of the Sequoia National Forest Monument in 2000 (and something that Bush tried to destroy) and the signing of the Black Canyon as a National Park in 1999...just a few environmental accomplishments by the former President. I think by far, a more impressive record than Bush on the National Parks...and far more "environmentally significant"! You can fact check this on Clinton's record, because there's more to suggest that his record on the environment speaks well for it's self. Lack of action on the snowmobile issue in Yellowstone National Park, I agree has plenty of blame to go around from both parties. But, to exploit it like the Bush & Cheney administration has, and for the soul purpose of greed, is mind boggling.

  • New Orleans Businesses Want National Park Service to Stop Free Tours   6 years 47 weeks ago

    How awful. Please keep these tours. I've been on it and its the sort of thing that keeps people coming back to the big easy.

  • The Yellowstone Precedent   6 years 47 weeks ago

    I don't think that the Bush administration coined the phrase "Fear and Smear". It may have origionated with ties to the DNC and was shoved down the American peoples throats by the media. I can't recall Clinton doing anything environmentally significant outside of his last 60 days in office. What he did then was to place a political thorn for the Republicans...probably not environmentaly motivated.

    The fact that snowmobiles are being argued in Yellowstone lends to the fact that something is being done by somebody, agree with the results or not it is action. Action is something that did not take place for several decades prior. That leaves plenty of room to blame all sides Republicans and Democrats and NPS leadership for doing nothing.

    I give thanks today for the opportunity to work for the NPS...even with politics and ignorance it is an awesome thing

  • Olympic National Park Ready for Wolves?   6 years 47 weeks ago

    yes a bad way to kill off wildlife so more developers can come in and screw natures ecosystem with dumb condos for the bloody rich

  • Conservation Groups Will Head to Court Over Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Why is it that the idea of snowcoaches isn't being mentioned? It is my understanding that they provide much the same benefits of snowmobiles, but without the problems...
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared towhat lies within us." - Emerson
    President, CHS SPEAK (CHS Students Promoting Environmental Action & Knowledge)
    Founder and President, CHS Campus Greens
    Come be a part of the ridiculously awesome youth movement for clean energy!

  • Conservation Groups Will Head to Court Over Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision   6 years 47 weeks ago

    NICE sled Random Walker!!
    BTW, that picture was taken where all the sleds are bunched up after entering the park, they are more spread out than that, usually. Especially further into the park.

  • Conservation Groups Will Head to Court Over Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Every winter I am in the north eastern cascades on my sled exploring some great wild country.
    I do meet folks out there doing the same, though it does not happen often.
    The picture above in Kurt's post does not look like folks wanting to explore some undisturbed and natural back country.
    (For your viewing pleasure)

  • Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?   6 years 47 weeks ago

    At Rocky Mountain National Park early (c. 1915) guides put up cables on the North Face of Longs Peak. In about 1979 several of us past seasonal Longs Peak Rangers with the concurrance of the current Longs Peak crew, at that time, got together in a meeting and petitioned the park to remove the cables, which was subsequently accomplished in 1981(?), returing that route to a low 5th class (protecction from the eye bolts left in place). There is an alternative route through the Keyhole around the West Face and up the Homestretch route which requires some scrambling up a well trodden path. Several thousand climbers do so each year, making the 5,000 vertical foot treck from the trailhead. The rationale chopping the cables was in response to Wilderness Area designation in the 1980 Colorado Wilderness Bill.

    The Chasm Lake Shelter which, built in the 30s was deemed a cultural resource at the time and retained even though it was within the Wilderness boundary. None of us wanted this utilitarian and historic structure removed. In winter of '04-'05 the shelter was demolished and rearranged by an avalanche.

  • The Yellowstone Precedent   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Oh, my god! It's Dr. Gerald again...Mr. Ph.D.!. Not hate my man, but fire in the belly for riddance of the Bush & Cheney regime and their pack of liars. I don't hate anyone, but I do despise this administration for it's lack of truthfulness and integrity to the American people. When it comes to the National Parks and land ethics, I don't see how anyone can ignore the fact this administration could careless what you and I think about it's future...unless it represents rape, pillage and greed. Believe me, this is exactly what Mr. Cheney has in mind for the future of the National Parks, sell it off to the oil and gas companies....suck it for all it's worth! I don't hate Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney, they just aren't my friends (thank god). Gerald, yes I do drive and I'm in the green business as a horticultrist, and know what the Iraq war is doing to this's tearing it's soul apart. It's not the War on Terror that I'm deeply concerned about, but the fear mongering this administration tries too instill in the American people. I remember the slogan that this administration put forth not so long ago: it's called fear and smear! Nope! it won't work this time around in 2008. Vote for Obama in 08! I say to you Mr. Ph.D. in ending, "plant more trees and less bush". Happy Thanksgiving!

  • FAQs for Yellowstone's Snowmobile Decision Revealing   6 years 47 weeks ago

    You're damn right it helps them economically...what do YOU do for a living??
    These people have to feed their families too...why don't we just fence off the whole damn park. Better yet, let's just sell it off for minerals, timber and development since we can't use it.

  • Conservation Groups Will Head to Court Over Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Time to go sleddin'!!
    Here's mine:
    BTW, snowmobiling DOES allow me to go places to go that are "undisturbed and natural and which offer a retreat from the rigors and stresses of everyday life.”...I AM HANDICAPPED...I have few opportunities to enjoy the wilderness.
    So stop trying to lock up the parks for only the able-bodied. Frickin' selfish wackos....

  • Conservation Groups Will Head to Court Over Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Yada, yada, yada.
    Guess the NPS will just have to raise fees even more to cover court costs...go ahead, shoot yourself in the foot!

  • Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?   6 years 47 weeks ago

    On November 21st, 2007, Random Walker wrote:

    How about removing the cable system entirely then.

    There are certainly wilderness advocates who are in favor of this proposal. Unfortunately, the cables are considered a historical monument, and thus are also to be protected by the park. This is a case where the laws that enforce preservation of various park features are in conflict.
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  • Park History: National Parks Built Around Caves and Caverns   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Let's not forget Russell Cave NM in Alabama - which is primarily a cave dwelling used by ancient North American peoples rather than a geologic wonder like many of the others.

    The National Forest south of Grand Canyon (vicinity of the San Francisco peaks near Flagstaff) had a few lava tubes here and there.

    I think there's a Mammoth Cave in England or Australia or NZ, isn't there? It's one of those English-speaking countries...

  • The Yellowstone Precedent   6 years 47 weeks ago

    My, my Anonymous, Bush and Cheney sure are powerful...they create hurricanes, kill small certainly have a lot of hate in your heart my man! Why are so many liberals so unhinged over Bush and Cheney? Who are ya gonna hate when they leave office?
    Clinton an enviro president? You have to be kidding...what did he do?
    "Rape and pillage" are pretty strong words...maybe you ought to say the same for mother nature, who has far more destructive abilities AKA Katrina...etc., etc.
    Backroom deals...hmmm...wonder how many deals your man Algore made with the Chinese.
    I'll let ya in on a little secret...the planet is NOT dying. The planet is actually quite healthy. I know, I know, that throws ya into a panic...all those enviro doom and gloomers are gonna be out of enviros won't have anything to *itch about.
    The real agenda of the UN and other socialists is to bring this great nation down to the third-world level of prosperity by taxing anything that they think pollutes. Do you drive a car? How would ya like to start paying taxes for every mile you drive?
    BTW, we are winning the war...(actually Iraq is just one battle in the War on Terror)...the surge IS working...oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that any good news about America just really depresses ya! LOL.
    Dr. Gerald

  • Park Service Issues Record of Decision On Snowmobiling in Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Q: "What is Director Bomar thinking?"

    A: "Only a few more years until if I can just get out of here a little early to beat the holiday rush-hour traffic......"

  • Park Service Issues Record of Decision On Snowmobiling in Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Linda O'Neal, I sense your outrage and anger towards Director Bomar. I like I said before (some blogs ago) no governmental agency under the Bush & Cheney administration will thwart the advice of these two clowns. It's about greed, rape and pillage! You can read some of the most profound revelations about Yellowstone National Park by great writers and journalist (past & present) in how they describe the natural beauty of this great park system. You can feel the heart of their work and the breathing soul of Yellowstone. To see Ms. Bomar toe-the-line for the Bush regime is a slap in the face towards common sense land mangement and land ethics. Of course, with this corrupt administration, big money always speaks first over public opinion or decent values. It's a administration that has run amuck without a conscience. Vote for Obama!!