Recent comments

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I was there last month and people were hiking the trail with really young kids and flip flops. Not too smart. I didn't do it although I've hiked it 2 previous times and didn't feel like I needed the adrenaline rush this time plus maybe I'm getting old. I wanted to make 2 points specifically about Angel's Landing: (1) It's a little dangerous but most technical climbing gives people more exposure. On the A.L. trail, You have a foot or two between you and the edge and there really is no reason to fear falling except if its icy in the wintertime and I believe they close it then. The foot or two in the narrow parts doesn't seem like a lot to me when I'm hiking it but if you are careful you will be OK. My second point (2) is that Angel's Landing is the parks most famous trail but if you want beautiful hiking and views of the park without quite the extreme drop-off do the West Rim and / or Observation Point (unless you are in great shape probably not both in the same day). I've hiked all over the country and these 2 are close to the top on my list of all time favorite hikes.

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Of course it is possible to be civil and not be condescending; but if everyone agreed with everyone else there would be no point to having a forum. Some are better at being tactful than others. I for one do enjoy the articles and occasionally have an opinion to offer. This is your site and it is up to you to decide if our comments will be welcome.

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Your pretentious pontificating isn't necessary and, frankly, is belittling. Should I take you up on your recent request to be deleted from the Traveler?

    By all means, please.

    Especially if my "pretentious pontification" is more belittling and deserves harsher retribution than anonymous comments that use the phrase "illegal trash growing weed". It's ok to call Mexicans "illegal trash"? And my comments are belittling?

    And then "SOB" and "damn" and "low life" and "hell" and "low life scum".

    So, again, if my comment is so horrible in comparison, delete my account.

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Frank, what do you advocate in resolving the pot issue in our national parks? You seem to slam government at every twist and turn, and NEVER offer any concrete ideas or solutions...except mock and criticize.

  • Two Forest Fires Burning In Yosemite National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    According to the homepage of the NPS (National Park Service) at least one of the fires was the result of a prescribed burn getting out of control -- does this sound vaguely familiar???????

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Frank,

    Your pretentious pontificating isn't necessary and, frankly, is belittling. Should I take you up on your recent request to be deleted from the Traveler?

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I usually let this one go, but...

    our = possessive pronoun. Example: "This is our heritage."
    are = third-person plural form of the verb to be. Example: "We are going camping."

    Tricky homonym. And a homonym of homonym is hominem, as in ad hominem, which is an attack and goes against NPT's code of conduct, FYI.

    As for "a few" being "rather meek" about taking on those growing pot in national parks, I think Anonymous has mistaken criticism of federal drug policy for spinelessness. It is precisely these government drug policies that have led to the degradation of national park resources.

    "...taking care of a few pot heads..."

    Almost 100,000,000 Americans, or about a third of the population, have admitted to smoking marijuana. This is more than "a few" pot heads. And if cannabis were decriminalized, it could be industrially farmed, and stories like this one would disappear from the headlines. Interestingly, alcohol prohibition also resulted in resource degradation in parks, as people made makeshift stills in many parks; Mushpot Cave at Lava Beds National Monument still has the remnants of a gin still. Ending prohibition ended these practices.

    The war on drugs costs upwards of $30 billion a year, which is enough to wipe out the NPS maintenance backlog or fund the NPS for 10-15 years. Our government is teetering on bankruptcy, and the FDIC is on the brink of collapse as banks are going under at an increasing rate. How long can we go on throwing money down the drug war rat hole? Time to end prohibition.

  • Boy Lost in South Africa's Kruger National Park Among Lions, Elephants and More   5 years 34 weeks ago

    It's ridiculous to even have to write such a Code of Conduct--apparently common sense disappeared with the dinosaurs. We were on safari in Kenya when the van ahead of us got a flat tire. It was approaching dusk and in the grassland all around us you could see lions prowling--even crossing the road we were on ahead off and in back of us. They were everywhere. But instead of staying in the van while the driver fixed the tire, all of the idiot tourists in that van got out and decided to take a little walking safari. We were so astounded in our van that we were joking about the kinds of once-in-a-lifetime pictures we were about to take when the lions picked up their :"take-out dinner.". Fortunately the driver used due speed and drove the morons out of there. How do people get to be so stupid? That's no reflection on the poor boy but it's like putting on a package of sleeping pills the warning "May cause drowsiness." You actually have to tell people in a wildlife park not to stick their hands and heads out the windows? God help us.

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Sounds like a few are rather meek on thee issue of going after these SOB's (that are ripping up our national parks with their illegal pot growing). Damn right it's dangerous business going after these low life individuals that are literally tearing are parks away from us. Are we going to be intimidated and do nothing and allow this illegal activity to go on? We got poachers, meth labs and pot growers all in the business of drugging are youth, destroying families and taking care of a few pot heads...plus destroying are national parks all in the same process. What in the hell are we fearful of or waiting for!? No more small token forces to rid the noxious weed and low life scum that's keeping all of us from enjoying the WHOLE national park atmosphere and experience. And, plus not having to worry about being shot in the back for taking that extra step into the backcountry.

  • Wet, Rugged Conditions Make Search Tricky For Missing Backpacker at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    if i can be of help to those searching for mr. briggs i am available horseback for the weekend. i also have a smart dog that will stray no further than 20/50 yards from where i am and come when ask. available at 865 828 4500.
    would love to help. bruce

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    The pot industry is dangerous and profitable simply because it's illegal. . . . Too bad the powers that be don't see the logic of this; but then again maybe they would lose too much money if it were legal?

    Exactly. Nice to be in agreement with you, Bat. Ditto, Paul.

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    The other major impact of this large-scale organized (cartel) pot growing in National Parks (and National Forests, too) is that the growers are well-armed to defend their substantial investments, which makes it very dangerous to hike in the wrong place and stumble on growing operations. I haven't been willing to hike the backcountry around Mineral King for over a decade, although few hikers have been shot at and I don't think that any have been killed.

    Next spring when guns are legal in parks, it will be even harder for rangers and law enforcement officers to fight the cartels, as their guns and fertilizer and camping equipment will all be legal if they are stopped at roadblocks.

    I hope that folks who want to carry in parks will avoid areas with growing operations: experiences with armed hikers might change the behavior of the growers from non-lethal warning shots to shoot first, and in encounters between groups of armed growers and armed hikers, the growers will have all of the advantages.

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    The pot industry is dangerous and profitable simply because it's illegal. If pot were decriminalized it would instantly take the profit away from organized crime, my tax dollars would not go to support people in prisons, and it would cut the personal risk for law enforcement and anyone else involved. Legal growers could have their own plantations and wouldn't need to use national parks. Too bad the powers that be don't see the logic of this; but then again maybe they would lose too much money if it were legal? ;)

    P.S. The new captchas are hilarious! I just got "86 Grandma"!

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Barky, in all do respect...why? Even if it's a temporary stop gap, it's better then letting the parks run wild with these lawless renegade pot growers. At least bring in the National Guard to get a better control of the situation until the lackadaisical courts decide what to do next...in regards to legalizing weed. It's getting pretty late in the game in stopping wildlife poaching and illegal pot growing in the national parks. In the meanwhile, wildlife and are precious natural resources are taking a severe beating from these illegal activities. Again, why wait?

  • Beneath the Surface of Cape Cod National Seashore   5 years 34 weeks ago

    http://www.bookseedstudio.wordpress.com

    a vision in lovliness. such beauty can only be seen in clear water.

    as pressure continues to abandon the clear, relatively clean water in florida that would be
    compromised with offshore oil exploration & drilling in the gulf of mexico off florida...

    thanks for the great image. thank you florida wildlife federation & others for keeping the rigs away.

  • Boy Lost in South Africa's Kruger National Park Among Lions, Elephants and More   5 years 34 weeks ago

    ...no part of the body may protrude from a window or sunroof or any other part of the vehicle...
    Please take this to heart. My safari guide witnessed in his youth -- the pride approach from one side while another lioness plucked a child out of the car window on the other side. The father raced out and punched and kicked until the lioness retreated. But it was too late!

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Anonymous, sending in the National Guard to stormtroop through national parks isn't a great idea, either.

    =================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Frank, so how do you resolve the immediate problem with illegal trash growing weed in our national parks? Sit on are cans and do nothing. Immediate action is needed now! To completely legalize weed in California will take a coons age to resolve, in the mean while national parks become a drug haven for pot growers. Precise and deliberate action is needed now and not for the courts to drag on a legalization process that will take infinity to resolve. And again, the national parks become a strangled hold by the drug cartel and their little peons. The word "peon" is not being used here in a insulting fashion but being used in the same terminology and context as a illegal and unskilled farm worker.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    My wife and I, since we have been retired, have been trying to visit all of the US, including as many of the NPS sites as possible. To date, we have seen more than 75 NPS sites, including most of the big ones. All in all, we have seen some magnificent, awe-inspiring sights. However, in the parks that we have seen, the one setting that is burned forever into my memory is right after we entered the southern entrance to Grand Canyon NP in the late afternoon, around 5:00. We first encountered a heard of Elk with a resident 6 point bull who posed for us. That was pretty cool. Moving on, we tried to find our lodge, the Yavapai. Of course, we missed our turn-off, so we contined on the South Entrance Rd trying to find another way to the lodge. The road made a turn to the NW and then, past some trees which blocked the view, all of a sudden, right in front of us, was the Grand Canyon. It was so unexpected; we had no idea we were that close to the canyon. It was a jaw-dropping experience. We found a parking space, grabbed our cameras, and rushed over to the rim, which was just a few yards away. We found we were at Mather Point, which is one of the prime viewpoints of the park. It was around 5:30 pm on an early October day, so the sun was beginning to lie low in the west and the rocks were just on fire. The colors were just spectacular. I guess the thing that made the sight so indelible in my mind was the unexpectedness of it. It was a great way to start our visit to the park. It makes me wonder how the first Americans felt when they came upon the canyon several thousands of years ago, as they were moving down the continent following the game. I wonder what that first hunting party said to the chief upon their return to camp. Probably something to the effect: "Chief, we are going to have to find another way". Another view that had almost the same effect was Artist Point at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. In the other parks, the views were visible from aways back, so you anticipated them. Here we were just slapped in the face.

  • Prescribed Fire In Yosemite National Park Out of Control, More Than 20 Times Its Intended Size   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Empathy for what, d-2? Nothing has been lost yet. Sounds like nothing is even in particular danger. And there sure is no need for empathy towards the trees...they need it.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Indelible Image Best Reminds You of the National Parks?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    These are the most indelible images of national parks for me:

    1. Scenery along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Growing up in South Carolina, my family would take frequent trips to the Parkway on our vacations. Few places symbolize the National Park System for me quite like the Blue Ridge Parkway. The tunnels and the topography and the were all fascinating to me as a kid. The Museum of North Carolina Minerals, Devil's Courthouse, Crabtree Meadows, Craggy Gardens and the Folk Art Center are all images emblazoned on my mind as being part of the quintessential national park experience.

    2. Delicate Arch at Arches National Park. There are few other natural wonders in the U.S. that by themselves symbolize to me the treasures held in trust by the NPS more than Delicate Arch.

    3. Longs Peak at Rocky Mountain National Park. They even put Longs Peak on my bank debit card. It's everywhere out here in Colorado, and right now at least, every time I look out my window, Longs Peak is there as the ultimate symbol of the sublimity of the national parks in the Rockies.

    As an aside, to "Anonymous," who said:

    A smiling Gale Norton and smirking President George W. Bush sitting in front of an iconic NPS arrowhead at some function or another. I successfully fought off the wave of nausea that struck me and took it in stride. Now I have it pinned up in my office as a reminder of why my job is important.

    I ran into Interior Secretary Ken Salazar yesterday right after a White House clean energy forum in Fort Collins. In typical Salazar style, he was sporting a bolo tie (sorry, Bob, no cowboy hat this time)... an NPS arrowhead bolo tie. Let's hope that portends good things to come.

  • Prescribed Fire In Yosemite National Park Out of Control, More Than 20 Times Its Intended Size   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Tomp, thanks for your in put and it does shed a better light on the dynamics of a prescribe burn. With wild fires in California as they are today, I thought a prescribed burn would be pretty dicey...at least wait until late fall. But, your comments are most informative and does explain some the vegetation mechanics behind a prescribe burn.

  • Updated: 7-Year-old Dies At Acadia National Park As Hurricane Bill's Waves Wash Three Into Atlantic, Injure 13   5 years 34 weeks ago

    The park staff does not exist to babysit and handhold each visitor that comes to visit. Everyone needs to take personal accountability for their own actions (and in this case, accountability for their children’s actions). I would wish this tragedy on nobody. However I cannot stand the mentality of people transferring blame because of their own stupid, ignorant actions. If you ignore warning signs, and repeated requests from Rangers (according to several first-hand posts above) to back away from the surf, how is the Park Service responsible for a rogue wave? Is the Coast Guard responsible for not anticipating and tracking this wave? Is the National Weather Service responsible for not warning the park while tracking the hurricane?

    Maybe at every entrance to a park we should post a sign that says 'If you are going to act dumb.....you better be tough' - take responsibility for your own actions.

  • Glacier National Park Announces Winding Down of Concession Operations   5 years 34 weeks ago

    ...now the prospect of snows closing it back down isn't too terribly far off.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Glacier sees record snowfall this winter.

    We're still in the pits of the deepest solar minimum in a century. From spaceweather.com:

    According to NOAA sunspot counts, the longest string of blank suns during the current solar minimum was 52 days back in July, Aug. and Sept. of 2008. If the current trend continues for only four more days, the record will shift to 2009. It's likely to happen; the sun remains eerily quiet and there are no sunspots in the offing. Solar minimum is shaping up to be a big event indeed.

    Some scientists have considered a repeat of the Dalton Minimum possible, while others have not ruled out another Maunder Minimum.

    A recent study, "Small fluctuations in solar activity, large influence on the climate", has found that "sun spot frequency has an unexpectedly strong influence on cloud formation and precipitation."

    Be prepared for a cold, snowy winter.

  • Prescribed Fire In Yosemite National Park Out of Control, More Than 20 Times Its Intended Size   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I have been on several prescribed burns in the Sierra's and they routinely get bumped becuase of air quality restrictions. Not sure if that is the case here, but it is common.