Recent comments

  • Accessible National Parks, Airline Division   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Don't forget the San Bernardino Natl. Forest that is within an hour's drive from Ontario, CA and the Ontario Intl. Airport.

    [Ed: The San Bernardino National Forest may be well worth visiting, but alas, the recommendation is not applicable here because the San Bernardino NF is not a unit of the National Park System. This national forest is administered by the U.S. Forest Service.]

  • Kurt's Yampa River Sojourn Marks Step for a Day   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Somebody who's a lot more GPS-savvy than I am will have to answer that, Robert. I do know that Kurt has a Garmin 60CSx GPS unit with him, but I know nothing about its communication capabilities. And if you've read Kurt's article about his SPOT GPS gizmo, you know as much about SPOT communication capabilities as I do.

  • Accessible National Parks, Airline Division   5 years 25 weeks ago

    A few more to add to that list:

    Arches National Park's entrance is about 15 miles or so from the Moab/Canyonlands airport, which features direct non-stop commercial flights to and from Denver on Great Lakes Airlines. Add another 20 miles or so, and you'll be at Canyonlands National Park's Island in the Sky District.

    Colorado National Monument is about 10 miles or so from the Grand Junction Regional Airport, which features direct flights to all the major hubs in the region from all of the major airlines.

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is less than 20 miles of the Montrose Regional Airport, which primarily serves Telluride skiers more than an hour away. Several major airlines fly to Montrose from regional hubs.

    Saguaro National Park borders Tucson's suburbs, and isn't far from that city's airport.

    Finally, Rocky Mountain National Park is within view of Denver International Airport, but it'll take you nearly two hours and more than 80 miles to get there by car. Nonetheless, we on Colorado's Front Range consider ROMO to be in our backyard and an easy day trip from town.

  • Kurt's Yampa River Sojourn Marks Step for a Day   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Bob, is Kurt's GPS unit automatically uploading his lat/long to Google Maps?

    rob
    ---
    Robert Mutch
    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    www.craterlakeinstitute.com
    Robert Mutch Photography,
    www.robmutch.com

  • Accessible National Parks, Airline Division   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Is it true, Anon2, that Townsend anchors "The Quiet Side of the Smokies"? On a scale of one to ten, where Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge and Cherokee represent a ten, how would you rate Townsend on the scale of Gateway Clamor and Visual Noise?

  • Accessible National Parks, Airline Division   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I live just behind McGhee-Tyson Airport, and we can be at the Townsend entrance to the park in under a half-hour, and in the Cove in 45minutes. It's great!

  • Accessible National Parks, Airline Division   5 years 25 weeks ago

    sure you can fly into any one of these secondary airports, but what is the cost... Typically these airports are way more expensive than a "hub" airport and only serviced by smaller commuter jets. With today's economy, saving money is a major factor in vacation travel. Also the service is not as convenient so 1 must be really flexible in his/her itinerary. But thanx for pointing out these options.

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I hiked through Wall Arch in 2001. I stopped under each arch I visited and looked up wondering when that split second would happen. I missed it by about eight years.

    I hiked to a lot of the arches, and I never saw anybody on top of any of them. But people are, as a general rule, stupid. "Because it's there" mentality will always overcome good judgement.

    The one thing missing from Arches is a sign at the entrance to the park. How am I supposed to get my motorcycle poser shot with no sign?

    Could somebody mention something to them for me? Thanks.

  • Staying Safe and How Not to Become A SAR Statistic in the National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Dean -

    You've hit on some of the keys to greatly reducing the chances of becoming a SAR statistic: "hyper-prepared, informed, and ready to turn back and change my plans if things aren't going right."

  • More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead – but This Isn't the Worst Drought on Record for the Lake   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Frank_C

    Thanks for sharing that!

    I suppose it would be also possible to tout the "expanded shoreline availability" that goes along with the "reduced water reservoir."

  • More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead – but This Isn't the Worst Drought on Record for the Lake   5 years 25 weeks ago

    More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead

    Lake Mead employees have been instructed to say "reduced water reservoir" instead of "low water" level. Come on, use the newspeak!

  • Staying Safe and How Not to Become A SAR Statistic in the National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    As a frequent visitor to the more rugged parks - often as a solo wilderness traveler (and previously as a climber in Yosemite many times), I might be considered at greater risk to need a SAR by some. But I am also hyper-prepared, informed, and ready to turn back and change my plans if things are going right. Being out there is more important than any particular goal. It probably also helps that since I go a lot, I'll have other chances to accomplish a goal,though I don't frequently do repeat visits except for the closest places.

  • Yellowstone National Park Video On Using Bear Spray: Is It Legal To Use?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Bears are becoming more of an issue in North America. Think about it as the population continues to grow where are people living? They expand their living space into previously unoccupied areas-unoccupied at least by humans. In many parts of the country that is bear country.

  • Kurt's Yampa River Sojourn Marks Step for a Day   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Thanks, Omar. I was a tad suspicious about the similarity of the two sets of coordinates (see below), which is why I raised the question of river mileage traveled Tuesday. Still, I didn't put the two pieces of the puzzle together quite the way you did. Nice catch.

    +40° 29' 27.96", -108° 49' 20.28" (Monday nite)

    +40° 29' 30.84", -108° 48' 55.08" (Tuesday nite)

  • Kurt's Yampa River Sojourn Marks Step for a Day   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Prof Bob, with my trusty slide rule, abacus, slate and chaulk, it apears that Kurt spent the day exploring Starvation Canyon. Both Grids are in the approx location of each other and are probably less than a football field apart. I suspect that he might have traveled Starvation Canyon between 3 and 6 miles, up and back to the campsite. Along the way stoping to look for Gold.

    Semper Fi
    Omar

  • Kurt’s Still on the Yampa, and He Wishes We Were There Too   5 years 25 weeks ago

    [b]MRC.... I have known kurt for over 50 years. when he tells me "Anyway, my plan is to each evening once camp has been set up send out an "Ok" message." I beleive thats where his message was sent from. Now last nights message apears to be very close to the River. I realize that he is not able to receive any correspondence through "SPOT", but he obviously heard me.

    Semper Fi
    Omar

  • Do Cougars Roam Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    My wife and I vacation in this general area (Watervale, on Lower Herring Lake) and have frequently driven that section of M-22 en route to Sleeping Bear or the Leelenau Peninsula. We've also canoed the Platte. I always keep a sharp eye out for wildlife, and while I've seen plenty of deer, I haven't yet been privileged to see a cougar there or anywhere else in Michigan. Several years ago, a friend of ours who is a very experienced hiker saw a cougar near her driveway in a densely wooded area on the south side of Crystal Lake near Frankfort. I find this interesting because there are houses galore in the area.

  • Interior Secretary Salazar Upholds Delisting of Gray Wolves in Part of Yellowstone Ecosystem   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I am saddened by this news. We worked hard for wolf recovery just as we worked hard for a President that would have compassion for wolf recovery. We believe it is vital to the recovery of wolves in all designated areas to be listed under the Endangered Species Act! I believe that at the very least our President and Sec. Salazar could put a restriction on shooting or killing these magnificent animals!!

  • Do Cougars Roam Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Without a doubt there are cougars in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. I saw one crossing M-22 this past summer (August 2008) 1/2 mile south of the Platte River bridge and campground.. It was 5 - 6 feet long and very dark in color.

  • Kurt’s Still on the Yampa, and He Wishes We Were There Too   5 years 25 weeks ago

    great!it's wonderful to experience to see.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Looking For Volunteers To Help With Elk Education   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I wanted to say thank you for offering a great sight for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    I have been visiting with my family off and on for the last 25 years and it has been a life long trip that has became a tradition, now my kids love to come and hike and adventure in the smoky mountain trails.

    ''Signed''

    Love the Smokies

  • That “America’s Marines” Commercial Shows Five NPS Units, Not Six   5 years 25 weeks ago

    LOL. No worries.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Cell towers in parks are "the camel's nose under the tent"?

    It's absolutely asinine to assert that THIS, a cell phone tower, will be the catalyst for a slippery slope to national park ruin.

    Anonymous [edited] fails to realize that cell phone towers are the bottom, not the top, of the slippery slope.

    Don't blame cell phones; blame roads, cars, buildings, sewage plants, garbage dumps, flush toilets, pay phones, parking lots, construction equipment, chainsaws, and every other piece of technology that impaired the parks to their current state.

    A metal tower (next to a hideous, mass produced, soulless lookout tower) will not spell the parks' doom.

    If you think Grant Grove is pristine, you've drunk too much of the special Kool-Aid. There is a sewage pipe buried amidst the Grant Tree's roots for Pete's sake.

    [Edited]

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I love Death Valley - my favorite place on earth!

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Excerpt from letter to the NPS re: SEKI cell phone tower:

    I urge the National Park Service to deny the request for a new cell phone tower in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The Park Service is charged with maintaing the character of the national parks. That includes the both the tangible and intangible resources that make a park such as Sequoia and Kings Canyon a unique place. I understand the need to provide reasonable accommodations and visitor protection, but that does not require universal cell phone/internet access throughout the park. The park has contributed to the joy and wonder of countless visitors during its existence. Those who are privileged to walk among the towering trees and drink in the small sounds of the forests should not have their experience interrupted by the harsh ringing or obnoxious mechanical musak of a cell phone. Allow there to still be places where visitors may temporarily escape the electronic immediate ties to a mechanized world.

    Ray Bane