Reader Participation Day: Have You Ever Called A National Park In Search of Information?
When I was a volunteer at the desk at Oconaluftee Visitor Center at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most frequent question on the phone was, "Is US 441 open through to Gatlinburg?"
That was easy to answer officially, either "yes" or "no."
But they were not all that easy. A woman called and asked if I knew where in Cherokee, North Carolina, the movie Digging to China was filmed. She was looking for the motel in the film. My first thought was, "It's a good thing that I answered this phone. I just happened to have seen this obscure movie."
I don't call a national park lightly. I scour the website several times for the information before I telephone. Then I ask to talk to someone who will know the official answer. And if the right person is away, he or she has actually called me back -- something that rarely happens when I call a company or store.
So the question is: Have you ever called a national park with a question that was not answered on the website? What has been your experience? Has anyone in the park called you back, if needed, with the information you requested?
Bonus question: If you work for the National Park Service and have worked in a visitor center, what was the most unsual question you've ever been asked?