I’ve never surfed a day in my life despite the many vacations on the Jersey shore. So, maybe you’ll understand why I’m at a loss for words about the first time I saw a Stand Up Paddleboard in action. What was that contraption? And, why paddle a SUP when you can run rivers and cross lakes with canoes, kayaks, and rafts?
Some stories, whether focused on travel or a specific issue, deserve a longer treatment.
When Albert Johnson had his villa built in Grapevine Canyon in what is now Death Valley National Park, floods likely were not factored into the design. Nevertheless, the Mission Revival-influenced "castle" held up remarkably well during the torrential rains and flooding of last October. The same, however, cannot be said of the infrastructure surrounding the 32,000-square-foot mansion.
Millions of visitors flock to Yellowstone National Park each year to see its steaming geysers, iridescent pools and carved, rugged landscape. For the last five years, Jim Gardner, Kenny Befus and a team of undergraduate students from the Jackson School of Geosciences have been among them.
San Francisco has long been our favorite U.S. city to visit. The city is compact, enjoys excellent public transportation, offers great vistas, and is home to outstanding dining, shopping, and a wide variety of attractions. San Francisco is a great walking town with lots of parks and small restaurants where you can rest or purchase a cup of coffee. It's only right that Tony Bennett left his heart in the city by the bay.
As we celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service in the year ahead, activists will be working to create a new generation of national parks for the next century.
Planning to hike the entire Appalachian National Scenic Trail this year? Then you might consider a flip-flop, or going against the tide of hikers coming north from Springer Mountain in Georgia.
I noticed it in a Traveler article around Thanksgiving. A short mention of two nights in December when Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree House in Mesa Verde National Park would be lighted by luminarias.
How are we to act in a national park? That might seem to carry an obvious answer, but it's not always so obvious these days. As different generations, different racial groups, and different cultures enter the National Park System, not all seem out to enjoy the natural beauty on display in the landscape parks simply by walking about and gazing at the setting, hiking or backpacking, paddling or climbing, or watching wildlife.
From record visitation to devastating flooding, 2015 was a year packed with news from throughout the National Park System. Here's a look back at some of the top stories.
The delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is imminent and this we should celebrate (‘’’’dancing’’’’). Now that our happy dance is complete, we must insure the grizzlies’recovery is permanent. To insure “continuity of achievement,” the grizzlies need a firewall to protect the success of this achievement from human foible.
My first partner in my first job with the National Park Service was a dark bay mare. I was extremely popular with the kids when I’d show up at the General Sherman Tree or Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Park riding Sweets. So you can imagine the shock and horror I felt last August when I learned that three NPS horses were on a feedlot in Colorado, waiting to be shipped to a slaughterhouse in Mexico.
A man in Raleigh, North Carolina “re-discovered” a cache of 34 letters in January 2014 while cleaning his garage after a water pipe began leaking. After nearly 30 years, the correspondences remained tucked inside manila archival folders labeled “miscellaneous stationary, 1934-41” and stored flat in a cardboard box with other paper collectibles, including a World War One naval aviator certificate. Now he claims the letters provide connections between known but seemingly unrelated events in Texas history and ultimately reveal the largest unknown political conspiracy of the Great Depression.
Record Visitation Strained Some National Parks This Year, Creating Concern Over What 2016 Might Bring
"Find Another Park." That twist on the National Park Service's "Find Your Park" campaign leading into the agency's centennial year was voiced this year in some parks as record visitation strained staff and impacted resources and left Park Service managers wondering how high visitation might go next year, according to a sampling of parks by the Traveler.
The Jeep maneuvered nimbly, but my nerves were definitely rattled. St. John’s rolling and pitching landscape features narrow, weary roads with blind curves and overhanging vegetation. Those challenges were compounded by driving on the “wrong side” of the road. It made me wonder just how much insurance coverage I had.
For 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been a successful conservation tool for protecting America’s national parks. Unfortunately, this important fund, which enjoys strong bipartisan congressional support, is threatened by a proposed U.S. House bill. Congress should reject it, and instead permanently extend the program.
Summers in Yosemite National Park traditionally are crazy, busy and frenetic as throngs of visitors are in a hurry to recreate. But winter here is like being in another world. A crystal-white blanket covers the iconic valley’s floor, waterfalls are rimmed with ice, and the high granite domes have toupees of snow while the backcountry has a thick layer of snow.
We recently returned to southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park for a third time. The previous visits took place a number of years ago and were rushed affairs when we were headed for other destinations. In each case we made a short stop at the park’s Oasis Visitor Center just outside the town of Twenty Nine Palms and drove south through the park to Interstate 10 without another stop of any consequence. Mostly, we were there to see the unusual trees (actually, they aren’t trees) that serve as the park’s namesake with little time for exploration. Unfortunately, we missed the largest concentration of trees and failed to appreciate much of what Joshua Tree National Park has to offer. That was our loss.
One of Alaska’s most treasured bear-viewing sites is about to be turned into a destination theme park, sacrificing grizzly bear habitat on the altar of commercial development. After a decade of development planning, EIS and public input, once aimed at major improvements in resource protection, the National Park Service has aborted earlier plans for removal of facilities at Brooks River in Katmai National Park. Protection of a unique population of bears at this premier site is now seriously compromised, going against 50 years of research-based recommendations
Kenya is a land of great natural beauty, where exotic animals roam: fearsome predators like the big cats; massive and powerful rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and elephants; elegant and graceful giraffes, zebras, and antelope; unusual animals like wildebeest, topi, and cape buffalo; colorful and amazing birds; unique carnivores like the hyena. Kenya has more than 50 national parks and reserves and is the most popular safari destination in Africa. It is a great place to visit and one of the best places in the world to observe wildlife.