Recent comments

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Darn! I was right but I second guessed myself! Does thinking the right answer count?

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • The Pacific Northwest Trail Will Establish Important Linkages   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I'm with you Kurt. Hiking the AT is on my bucket list, but like many I simply can't afford to take 6 months off of work. I'd return to find my car towed away and bill collectors knocking on my door. PLus no one will babysit my evil cat for that amount of time. Although I'm sorry that people are losing jobs, it's nice that the trails are there so people can get back to the simpler things.

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Dinosaur National Monument Superintendent Favors Law Enforcement, Maintenance, Interpretation Over Paleontology   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Paleontologists typically make between $20,000, with a college degree and $50,000 dollars a year with a PhD. You will need to take 4 years of college majoring either in Geology or Biology, 2 year Masters of Science Degree in either subject, and 4 to 5 years for a Doctoral degree. A Post-doctorate is highly recommended. Paleontologists typically work either for non-profit museums or universities (teaching anatomy or geology), but a growing number of paleontologists work for various companies conducting fossil surveys and savage for industry compliance. Currently there are more opportunities for paleontologists in China and Europe so you might pick up a foreign language. If you interested in science, paleontology is clearly worth all the effort and heart-ache. Clearly the most fascinating subject science has to offer is paleontology, the study of ancient life across the incredibly long history of our amazing planet. Money, well who cares, as long as you are doing what you love.

  • The Pacific Northwest Trail Will Establish Important Linkages   5 years 30 weeks ago

    For what it's worth --thread drift, for sure -- there was a story the other day in the Wall Street Journal about the sour economy spurring an increase in the number of AT through-hikers.

    "I wouldn't do this if I was employed," Dan Kearns, a 32-year-old construction worker who decided to hike the nearly 2,200-mile AT end-to-end, told the Journal. "I couldn't find any work, so I just decided to take a walk."

    According to the article, a typical year sees about 1,000 through-hikers leaving Georgia each spring on the AT. This year the number was a bit closer to 1,400, with "hundreds more following behind through early summer."

    A through-hike on the AT was something I thought about often growing up in New Jersey, but I never found the time to do it. These days I wish I had made the time. Of course, no one is wishing unemployment on folks to force them to get out and experience nature. But as George points out above, even the long-distance trails harbor gems for day hikers to experience. I second his comment that the "A.T. inspires all of us," and hope the PNT does the same for those on the West Coast.

    These trails, and all the shorter trails that are sprinkled throughout the country, play a vital role in the country and should be recognized for that role. They help connect us to nature, they provide a portal to solitude and reflection, and they can help ease the troubles on our minds.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Bingo! Nice going, Michelle. The mystery spot is indeed Mt. McKinley. Watch for a full explanation of the clues in tomorrow's edition of Traveler.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Nope, not Gettysburg.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Mt. McKinley

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    How about Gettysburg?

  • Is Glacier National Park At Threat From Proposed Mining Operations in British Columbia?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Here we are again facing selfish ignorance, greed, power, money with the ability to ruin precious things for the rest of us. Petitions, letter writing, and protests feel like such feeble attempts to save such a grand treasure - it seems so unreal that upstream mining could even be proposed. Prayers go out for those who are there to argue for the safety of a wild majestic beauty that should never be challenged by this sort of rape.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    This is a great site, even for those of us who comment only every once in awhile. The feedback, such as in this article, is one of the reasons its worthwhile reading. It gives perspectives not mentioned, or personally, not thought of. I do like the interactive spots, like the Mystery Quiz - always fun. You are a very considerate person to request of your readers what they would like to see appear here. Thanks for a wonderful website.

  • The National Parks: America's Best Idea   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Hi Kurt ... I haven't been to your site for a while, but I knew you'd have something good on this. I, too, look forward to next week's PBS series and I hope it helps people discover your work, too. Cheers!

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The history behind some of the great American (and European) artists and there paintings which made the national parks such a grandeur to see...like Albert Bierstadt, Horance Kephart and others. Poets and writers would suffice as well.

  • Driving Trail Ridge Road and Other Fall Travel Information for Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The plows are out today, or at least will be shortly! Snow all the way down into the foothills around Denver, and a bit in Estes Park. Nice photo ops for green to yellow aspens with an inch or 2 of snow.

  • Seasons Greetings! It's the Autumnal Equinox -- or Maybe the September Equinox   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Sorry Bob--

    My bah humbug was pretty lighthearted, too, even if the last day of summer was more like the first day or spring in weather as well as day length around here.

    I try to see both sunrise & sunset outdoors for both equinoxes and solstices, preferably from a National Park. I recommend that over sending cards, although you've convinced me to make sure I add a good beer to the tradition. [I'm partial to ales over lagers, but both New Belgium & Fort Collins Brewing have nice Octoberfests this year.]

    What's your take on the SC DOT plans to rebuild the causeway for 601 through the Congaree floodplain?

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    As a regular reader, I appreciate all the hard work that goes into this website. Thank you! Wht I would like to see are more articles on the lighter side. These are the kind of articles that make you feel good about our national parks or make you want to visit or learn more about a particular park. There is no doubt that our parks are being threatened from many fronts, and there is a lot of politics involved. And there is no doubt that this is important and this is the appropriate place to talk about these issues. But sometimes, I just like to feel good after I read an article and not feel like I have to go out and change the world. So, what I would like to see is a little shift in the balance to articles on the lighter side.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I just discovered this site recently, and I am thrilled that you guys are doing this. In other words, thanks! What I'd like to see somewhere -- and have thought about doing myself, but lack a forum for it -- is an occasional in-depth analysis of some individual parks. Is the park staffed properly, what are its strengths and weaknesses, what would you change if put in charge and given enough money, what would your priorities be if the money weren't there, how is the concessionaire doing, what should a visitor do on a short visit, what should they do on a long visit, etc., what do the park employees feel about the place, etc., etc., etc. This doesn't fit your format, but it's the kind of "white paper for the public" that I'd love to see done by an independent group, followed up by an NPS response.

    Otherwise, I hope you find the opportunity to expand and do more to-do articles, off-the-beaten-path features, and wildlife and ranger anecdotes. The mystery photos do nothing for me, but others may like them.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    First let me say that I really enjoy reading your forum. I especially enjoy reading about the current happenings at the National Parks that I am familar with. I also like subjects where you get comments from your readers. So, I would like to see more subjects that ask for reader feedback. I thought of a weekly list of five things. Like your five favorite hikes in Glacier or your 5 favorite spots to take photographs or the five trips you would love to take but you know you never will. It could be as broad or narrow as you like.

    Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading more.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Yes, McKinley was the 25th president. No, President McKinley is not the mystery spot.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I don't know a specific name for this, but is it President McKinley? He was the 25th President, but his tomb is somewhere along the Ohio and Erie Canal Historical area. Maybe someone can come up with the correct name, if this is the answer.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Often times I will read a great article ie Condor release. However, the date is always 3-4 days away (too soon to try to plan a trip for the event) It would be great if there were some avenue in which to learn about events that are a norm for a park such as annual events etc (even if specific dates aren't included but maybe general time frames) so that we can plan on attending those events. One year I read about the Padre Island Turtle release but only after all the releases were finished. We did go the following year (and it was wonderful) but it would be great to know about events sooner. I,too, want to thank you for a great forum. It is a part of my daily reading and I always look forward to all the interesting information.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Nope; it's not Arlington National Cemetery.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 3: Do the Math   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Arlington National Cemetery

  • Seasons Greetings! It's the Autumnal Equinox -- or Maybe the September Equinox   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Gosh, tomp, this whole thing was supposed to be a joke -- just a little lightweight fare to start the day. But it looks like I may have tapped into a reservoir of pent up emotion. Maybe it's time to turn this whole thing over to Glenn Beck.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Thanks for the encouragement, Kevin. Your comment about the valuable contributions of the Traveler community is spot-on. The breadth of experience and expertise that this community represents is amazing, and being able to draw on it is certainly a main reason to make Traveler part of your daily routine.

  • Seasons Greetings! It's the Autumnal Equinox -- or Maybe the September Equinox   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I'm partial to Sam's Boston Lager myself, Bob, but somebody digging through my fridge might come up with a bottle of October Fest (or is it Octoberfest?) if I happen to buy the variety pack. Now then, on the matter of the autumnal equinox. I do realize that many people forget to schedule parties, send greeting cards, and exchange "Happy Autumnal Equinox" greetings when they meet. We here at Traveler are trying to fix that, and we'd appreciate your help.