Recent comments

  • Acadia National Park In the Round   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Beautiful. I'm a fan of his pictures and Glacier, anyway. Will be visiting Acadia in 3 short weeks. Can't wait.

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I'm glad the Yahoo traveler writer didn't get out of his vehicle in the Petrified Forest. If he would have stopped at the visitor's center he would have learned something. I have visited the site many times and am planning to go again. It is beautiful but you have to get out of your vehicle and explore the wonderful trails in the park. After hearing how Yahoo Traveler writers "explore" travel sites I know why their site isn't exactly helpful in planning trips. I'm glad Mr Harper didn't get out of his vehicle. He can stay on the interstate highway systems and miss the wonders of Arizona.

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 28 weeks ago

    To understand Petrified Forest you have to get out of your car and walk! The spectacular parts are not scenic views from your car. The beauty of the landscape becomes evident when you lose yourself amidst the rolling terrain of arroyos and hills. There are places where dinosaur fossils literally lie on the surface if you know what you are looking for. The Yahoo travel writer had no idea what to look for. Perhaps he should have stopped at the visitor center, read a guide, or talked to a ranger!

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Why Niagara? To have at least one out of ten locations in the northeast? Erosion is covered by Grand Canyon. And what else can you see (regarding geology) at Niagara? And I'm not sure if the La Brea Tar Pits should be "the" fossil site of the list. Dinosaur National Monument or John Day Fossil Beds National Monument might be better choices, even they are much more out of the way. Maybe they included the Tar Pits because they are easy to reach for many of their readers.

    And regarding Petrified Forest: I'm fine with it, if those who rely on Yahoo for information don't go there. The park is not crowded by any means, but having the Mr. Harpers stay on the interstate highway and pass it without stopping, can only improve the experience for everyone else. This park is for those who enjoy walking among the Blue Mesas, explore the fossilized wood and the other fossils of the park or just hike into the badlands of the southern or the painted desert in the northern part of the park.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I just wanted to clarify that I didn't notice my username after I tried posting (it was the anonymous post earlier) and I posted again after I was logged in. There was a certain similarity since I was trying to recreate the same line of thinking. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I'm using sock puppets to bolster my own posts.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    He said he hadn't been to the Grand Canyon since he was 11. I am his age and I've been there something like 6 or 7 times and I've never lived close by.

    He's into basketball as his sport, rather than hiking. It's not a bad thing. But national parks are not his thing.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Why in the world does the right-wing continue to realize that you lost. We won. And to whine about Obama visiting our national parks and other treasures of the west tells thinking Americans that you were sound asleep during the eight years of the worst presidency in the history of this country. The bumbling failures are so obvious I don't need to list them. And what about Georgie Porgie spending a huge amount of time, spending a huge amount of OUR money, jetting back and forth between DC and Texas, or even DC and the family compound in the ultra, ultra community of Kennebunkport Maine. Fair is fair. You are not.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    That dog and pony show goes with him no matter where he goes, from Broadway to Sunset Blvd, from Glacier to Okeefenokee. Once you're in the office you can't get away. You either stay in the White House and isolate or you go out, impose on the people around you, and chose those things you highlight.

    If you don't like the guy, no matter what he does it can't be right. The New England frat boy masquerading as a brush clearing cowboy in Texas was like that for me. I still wouldn't cross the road to get out of his way.

    Obama has a lot of people inflamed about him. It's six months in. He's trying hard. If you don't like him, for his politics, for his race, for his age, or whatever, no matter what he does he'll give you something to complain about.

    As far as I'm concerned, he spent some days putting attention on the parks. It was superficial, but I don't really think the Secret Service will let him hike into the back country for a couple of weeks. I like him, I like his nominating Jon Jarvis, and I like him vacationing in the parks.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Obama visited the USS Arizona Memorial last Dec. Being from Hawaii I'd think he's probably been to Hawai'i Volcanoes NP and perhaps Haleakala. He said that he'd been to the Grand Canyon in his younger years.

    The President of the US always shows up with a phalanx of reporters. I'd prefer not to get too political, but sheesh - Ronald Reagan wanted to be seen chopping wood every chance he got, and W bought a ranch in Texas and seemingly spent more time there than the White House. Every president is well aware of his image and will plan time off with a mind to protecting it.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Obama claimed that he had visited the Grand Canyon as a youth with his family. Last year before he entered the office he visited the USS Arizona Memorial and visited Hanauma Bay (not a national park but could have easily been an NPS unit).

    All US Presidents choose their photo ops. If this visit helps increase awareness of our national parks, I think it's a welcome photo op. I think credit should be given for someone who goes into places where he may not be popular and faces his critics, compared to a previous POTUS (who I won't name) who would carefully choose where he went in order to face friendly audiences.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Kathy, I truly hope we can inspire more black families to visit the national parks instead of it being a white dominated phenomenon. Perhaps we can also recruit more black rangers into the national parks as well. With President Obama visiting the national parks this past weekend is a very good start. By the way, after seeing a few news clips on the Obama girls visiting Yellowstone National Parks, it appears they were throughly enjoying themselves.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I think you're crawling out on a limb, Kathy. Do you know what the Obamas did for vacations before he became president? Before he became U.S. senator?

    I'm not saying he is a strong parks advocate or not (although he picked a pretty good candidate for NPS director, and that says something), but I think it's a stretch to say "they just don't like the outdoors or the national parks...."

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I don't think Obama was much of a national parks visitor BEFORE he became president either. Michelle takes the kids to Paris and London and Rome but not to any of the national parks. They just don't like the outdoors or the national parks and this trip was purely a photo op.

  • Fatal Fall from Angels Landing in Zion National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    We are so sorry to hear about this tragic accident, and send our condolences to this family. As avid hikers who value the unparalled access to nature that National Parks afford, we have a deep respect for Zion and other parks like it.......most of which harbor some intrinsic danger. Being "on the edge" of Nature has that inherent risk. I think the parks have the responsibility to educate all users on the possible dangers and risks, possibly even including details of recent accidents to drive home the points (as the story of the marathon hiker of the Grandview Trail in the Grand Canyon did for me), but I would regret anyone deciding whether I thought these risks were worth taking. Part of what the National Parks stand for is preservation of Freedom, and it is a profound contribution to modern life that these spaces are free for us to roam--with care and respect.

  • Traveler's Checklist: Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Many a time I have stood on a battlefield, now just a plain old field of course, looking out and imagining what took place there. My wife thinks I am day-dreaming, and she is right.

    I do not celebrate the events that took place at sites like these. That men (and women) still suffer and die in warfare to this day is a great human tragedy.

    Nevertheless, I imagine and admire the courage, dedication, and determination of those who sacrificed themselves for causes that they believed in, ideals so much larger than themselves and their everyday lives, and I wonder if I could ever do the same.

  • A Silly Way to Die - Friends Don't Let Friends Teak Surf   5 years 28 weeks ago

    His father said after the tragedy, "Had I known this was dangerous, had I heard of the dangers of doing this, I would never have put my son or myself at risk."

    *sigh*

  • Our National Parks: "For the Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People" (If You Don't Mind the Entrance Fee)   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The reason that Great Smokies does not charge an entrance fee is due to a clause in the TN donation of the land encompassing Newfound Gap Road (the main road between Cherokee and Gatlinburg) and Little River Road (the road between Sugarlands and Cades Cove) that prohibits charging a toll on those roads. A toll is considered a fee and therefore Congress could not decide to establish an entrance fee without an amendment to the donation made by the state of TN. That amendment could only be made by the state of TN.

  • The New National Parks Index: 2009-2011 is Now Available Online   5 years 28 weeks ago

    We live to serve. :o)

  • The New National Parks Index: 2009-2011 is Now Available Online   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Bob, my thanks for the info, and for the links.

  • Our National Parks: "For the Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People" (If You Don't Mind the Entrance Fee)   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Asleep after 6 AM? Well if you're doing that late night stargazing until midnight, you might want to sleep until 8-9 AM. Plus the sound of bear harassment techniques may wake one up in the middle of the night. It's still pretty difficult since much of the campground is already awake and making plenty of noise since it's no longer "quiet hours". I've been making breakfast between 9-10 AM and there are plenty of other people just getting up.

    I like early morning, but I now make most of my visits with someone who isn't much of an early riser.

  • Our National Parks: "For the Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People" (If You Don't Mind the Entrance Fee)   5 years 28 weeks ago

    If you can stand one more comment from me, I'd like to say how mystifying it is to me to see the huge RV's complete with TV, internet, all the comforts of home at the campground. It's like bringing your house with you! IMO that's not camping. And when I go camping I don't care to hear their generators or their loud music, thanks very much. I like my gadgets and all - i'm still learning how to use my GPS, for example - but as far as I'm concerned, i go camping to lighten my burdens. Why on Earth would anyone want to tote it all along?

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Global warming is real. Human culpability is undeniable. The rate of change is increasing and may be on the verge of a tipping point that will send it beyond any hope of mitigation. Denial seems to be a common human response to an unpleasant reality. Many European Jews in the late 1930s could not believe that the German Nazis could be capable of the Holocaust. It was literally unthinkable. Denial contributed to the death of millions. This time its consequences could be infinitely greater.

  • The New National Parks Index: 2009-2011 is Now Available Online   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The index is revised every two years to reflect congressional actions.

  • Our National Parks: "For the Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People" (If You Don't Mind the Entrance Fee)   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I think the nighttime is best - so much is happening! So many animals come out at night to feed and hunt. And high-elevation stargazing has got to be the greatest show on Earth.

  • The New National Parks Index: 2009-2011 is Now Available Online   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Question: How often is the Index published? Every three years? Every five? Just curious...