Recent comments

  • Dog Owner Cited After Pit Bull Attacks a Deer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Use that can of Counter Assault in most NPS areas (save areas where bear spray is specifically allowed), and you could be cited for illegal possession/use of a restricted weapon. Perhaps the dog owner gets charged with a violation of leash laws.

  • Art in the Park: The Return of the Condor   5 years 35 weeks ago

    y-p-w

    Yikes, you're exactly right! Not sure where that came from, but I've made the correction. Thanks for the catch :-)

  • Art in the Park: The Return of the Condor   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I realize that a local Congressman is trying to get a National Park designation, but as far as I can tell, it's still Pinnacles National Monument.

  • Dog Owner Cited After Pit Bull Attacks a Deer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Any dog running at me will promptly be sprayed with Counter Assault! Not being a dog person the idea of taking my pet on vacation with me and the restrictions and limitations it would put on me wouldn't be worth it. I am sensitive however that others don't feel the same way. Regardless, be courteous and keep your dog on a leash!

    I recall many years ago, a dog jumping into one of the hot pools in Yellowstone and the owner jumped in after him to save him. Needless to say, they both died.

  • Backcountry Hiker Falls 300 Feet To His Death in Grand Teton National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    It should be known that Eliot was a very experienced hiker and climber, it seemed to me as if he was trying to hike every great natural wonders of this country and even the world. He was a true rugged outdoorsman, and had plenty of experience from his geosciences background. Unfortunately this was not enough to prevent whatever happened up there, it may have been a careless fall. I hope it is a lesson to everyone reading, planning trips, and adventuring out there that no matter how far you've gone, however much experience you have, you can never be too careful. Eliot was a joy and a true lover of the amazing wonders of this world. His energy, passions, and laughter will not be forgotten. Hopefully it can be a warning to everyone to always double check themselves. While many people have said to me "he died doing what he loved" that is simply not a fair way to go.

  • Going to Denali National Park? Check Ahead – the First Serious Snow of the Winter Has Fallen   5 years 35 weeks ago

    My wife and I recently returned from a cruise to southeastern Alaska. There was a distinct hint of winter in the air. It comes early and fast around Denali. Pretty soon they will be able to shift from the wheeled cart to a real sled for exercising the park dog team.

  • A Tough Week for Hikers and Mule Riders at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Cindy H--

    Glad you are recovering!

  • The Hunt for Red (and Yellow) October. It's Officially Fall - Let the Quest for Color Begin!   5 years 35 weeks ago

    This is one area where the midwest really puts the Pacific Northwest to shame. I haven't seen it in fall but Effigy Mounds is supposed to be cool for fall colors.

    http://www.nps.gov/mwr/customcf/apps/pgallery/photo.cfm?pid=1375&aid=132&gid=132

    Devil's Lake (WI State Park and an NPS Affiliated area) is also supposed to be good

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I reckon Marshall Dillon has the best suggestion of a forum.

  • A Tough Week for Hikers and Mule Riders at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    regarding the mule accident on may 5, 2009: i am the woman who went over the cliff with the mule. he tripped and fell. i did not pull him over. there are witnesses to that fact.
    i broke several bones. e.g, ankle, leg, ribs, wrist, shoulder and fractured c1 and c2.
    i am blessed that there was a retired emt person and a wilderness first responder on the trail. they stabelize my neck and other various injuries. i practically fell at thier feet!
    i was at flagstaff medical center for 9 days, then flew to a rehab facility in california.
    the short haul rescue and subsequent medical care at both facilities was amazing. following a lot of physical and occupational therapy i am blessed to be up and around again. are things back to normal? no. will they ever be? i hope so.
    i too would like to know what has happened to the mule. in my opinion it was not the mules fault that he went down.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I'd love a forum. Is there a forum for all concerned about the NPS that many of you visit? I'd love to have even more info, and have a place to ask off-topic questions. A forum being added to this site would be phenomenal, but I know that would perhaps take away from what you're trying to do here, Kurt. Do you have a public one that you visit? I have spent days and days browsing the Yellowstone.net forums, and love it, but I'd love to get that passion and excitement from all over the country, not just Y-net.

  • The Hunt for Red (and Yellow) October. It's Officially Fall - Let the Quest for Color Begin!   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Heh. We've been looking at fall colors here in Denali for almost six weeks now. They were beautiful this year, especially from the air, pic's really don't do it justice. For me it is the tundra colors that set us apart from anywhere in the lower 48. It is mostly over now with some stubborn aspen and birch leaves hanging on underneath the snow that fell Monday night. My wife and I will be in Anchorage this weekend which is in a completely different weather zone and hope to catch them all over again!


  • The Hunt for Red (and Yellow) October. It's Officially Fall - Let the Quest for Color Begin!   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I would strongly recommend the 35 mile drive from Calumet, MI to Copper Harbor, MI along US 41 through the heart of the Keewenaw Peninsula in the NW portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The color peaks the last half of Sept and the first half of October. Along the way are old mining sites affiliated with the Keewenaw National Historical Park, which tells the story of the "Copper Rush" that occurred at the same time as the CA Gold Rush. US 41 is a narrow 2 lane highway with little or no shoulder and the foliage litterally overhangs the highway in many places. If you are a fisherman, bring a boat and fish Gratiot Lake, a small lake a few miles off US 41. That time of the year is prime fishing time for Northern Pike and I once caught a 43 inch 22 lb pike out of that lake the first week of October.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I hear you RangerLady - I have no wish to visit bad karma on you or anyone. Enjoy the last day of your season!

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    First let me say I love your site and browse and read almost every article. It makes me long for new parks to visit and repeat places I have been. I would be interested in more facilities for camping to be reviewed.You do a lot of articles for the great lodges but many of us RV. I am sure some of you think that is not camping. Call it what you want, but we all use our parks differently. Also the person that said they wanted a calender of events could be a side bar on your page with a combined events calender that you could try and update every so often. Maybe you just pick and choose what you think is important and readers may submit things they think you should include at your will. Also great tv shows about the parks could be on the calender like Ken Burns show this week end. I also gain insight from many comments from readers and really enjoy your format. I also am curious is this site all volunteer or do you get paid for your great effort? I also love the politics of the parks and enjoy your stories and insights of this.

  • Yellowstone, Grand Teton Officials Searching For Snowmobile, Snowcoach Solution   5 years 35 weeks ago

    "As for the national forest lands, why is it OK to ride there and "scare the wildlife" and "damage the soundscape" (give me a break!) but not in the parks? "

    In the first place, scaring wildlife with snowmobiles is never OK, no matter where it is. Parks are special places, the best of the best, set aside to be "Unimpaired" for future generations. Forests, by definition, are "multiple use" areas. There is a BIG difference.
    I agree, Jim says it all in his post. Air quality is worse in the winter, plain and simple. You can talk all you want about the cars and RVs in the summer. Go to West in July and take a deep breath, and go in January and do the same. You will be convinced.
    Studies done by the NPS at West Yellowstone and Old Faithful have found that, "Even though summer traffic volumes are nearly 60 times higher than winter traffic volumes, the highest hourly CO concentrations at both locations occur during the winter."

  • The Hunt for Red (and Yellow) October. It's Officially Fall - Let the Quest for Color Begin!   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Don't forget Zion. I think it is beautiful here when the cottonwoods and maples start turning. Not as dramatic as the Appalachians, but still beautiful. A nice contrast against the red cliffs.

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

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Bat, since I'm officially unemployed by the NPS at 3:30 today, I guess that means I can answer any questions about working for the NPS truthfully.

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

  • Yellowstone, Grand Teton Officials Searching For Snowmobile, Snowcoach Solution   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I totally agree with Jim Macdonald on this issue !

  • Yellowstone, Grand Teton Officials Searching For Snowmobile, Snowcoach Solution   5 years 35 weeks ago

    When will they limit the number of cars that go in there during the summer? Or how about only allowing hybrid or clean burning cars in there during the summer?

    Come on, the problem is not just what happens 3 months of the year.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I'm a huge fan of the parks and I have learned so much from your articles. It's a selfless public service you do, please accept my thanks! I'm glad you welcome comments; sometimes I get the sense of being out of my depth, but have enjoyed participating when I have something relevant/intelligent to say. I check in with you guys at least every other day to read the latest & greatest, good and bad. I enjoy the quizzes, even though I've failed nearly all of them. (Shhh. Don't tell Prof. Bob) If I had a request, I'd like to hear more about what working in the parks is like. Is a job in the NPS worth pursuing? Bet that would generate some comments.

  • Traveler's Gear Box: When You Need To Stop Bleeding Fast....   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Asoul--

    If your patient is conscious, it is always good to ask him/her to what he/she might be allergic. Most people have a fairly good idea about this. I never even give anyone an aspirin or a excedrin without asking. Most of the products that Kurt mentions are safe for almost anyone. But the operative word is "almost".

    Rick

    Rick Smith

  • Traveler's Gear Box: When You Need To Stop Bleeding Fast....   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Asoul, I'm not an expert, and this isn't medical advice, but the manufacturer says the product utilizes a "chemically inert" material, so I'm not sure what allergic reaction might be possible.

    As for where you can find these and other Adventure Medical products: REI, Cabella's, Dick's, and Eastern Mountain Sports are among the main outlets.

  • Mammoth Cave National Park Follows Ken Burns' Documentary With Its Own Film   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I hope that maybe other PBS affiliates pick this film up for use in other markets. I would love to see it!

    On a similar note (but not with the intent of digressing this post of course), there was also a high-definition film shot in 2006 of the Gateway Arch that explores its purpose and meaning. See website at http://www.archdocumentary.com/
    This film is incredibly excellent and really well done. The only thing is, JNEM has not done anything with it. I believe the producers sought to provide it as a gift to the park.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Aspect(s) of the National Park System Do You Want to Read More About?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I live in metro NY and this is my favorite blog. It is the one cyber-stop I make each day that lifts my spirits and reminds me about all that is wonderous in the United States.

    I love hearing about the wildlife. And maybe I'm part sadist but that story about the European visitor on the payphone in Yellowstone getting some air thanks to a Bison was hilarious. I'm sure the Rangers out there have some funny stories to share.

    Why not do stories about the unusual Parks (i.e. I bet most people don't know there's a NPS facility on Wall St where Obama spoke from last week).

    I especially like hearing about the parks in the Rockies. And I am always interested in stories about people having accidents or getting lost (and hopefully found). But I think that comes from having lived in the Colorado wildnerness for years and I know how easy it is for something to go wrong in the backcountry. There's valuable lessons in each of these stories.

    But I also want to stay current on the NPS and Dept of the Interior politics. How is Salazar doing so far?

    Most of all thank you for doing such a great job! I look forward to seeing your daily headline feed on myYahoo each morning.