Recent comments

  • Shock-Synthesized Diamonds Unearthed in Channel Islands Reveal a Death-Dealing Extraterrestrial Impact   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I'm familiar with these studies, MRC, and I've also seen the Nova and Discovery Channel documentaries (but not the History Channel one). Your point is well taken. I should have taken more time to relate the Channel Islands findings to the extant knowledge. My bad.

  • Shock-Synthesized Diamonds Unearthed in Channel Islands Reveal a Death-Dealing Extraterrestrial Impact   5 years 34 weeks ago

    That's not really news as in new: the first publication on findings of synthetic diamonds in a horizon that matches the end of Clovis was published in Nature on May 17, 2007. The following news report in the New Scientist can still be found online: http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn11909-did-a-comet-wipe-out-prehistoric-americans.html - last year the same issue made news again: http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Exploding_Asteroid_Theory_Strengthened_By_New_Evidence_999.html

  • National Park Mystery Spot 2 Revealed: This Is One Very Big Basket!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    My condolences, Green Envy. But look on the bright side. You've got a great reason to revisit Death Valley! :o) BTW, I'm afraid that puuns (or whatever) are in the hard wiring. I suggest that you just try to ignore them like everybody else does.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 2 Revealed: This Is One Very Big Basket!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I'm infuriated to be reading about this now. I drove by Scotty's Castle many times and would have loved to visit this place had I known about it. Now I live on the east coast!

    P.S. Terrible "puuns" in that quizz by the way (if that's what you can call them).

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

    Of course, every view at the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone are forever in my head. But, as a young girl, I grew up in NJ and drove to the California desert and lived in 29 Palms. We would go to Joshua Tree every weekend and it took my breath away--so different from anything I had ever seen.

  • Bronze Spike Ceremony Marks Trail Completion at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Thanks for pointing that out, Mark. Actually, we left that out intentionally to see if you were still reading the Traveler;-)

  • Bronze Spike Ceremony Marks Trail Completion at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Let's not forget that many of the Whiskeytown trails are managed for shared use by hikers, bikers and equestrians. The Redding Mountain Bike Club was a key player in providing the resources to build Shasta-Trinity trail. Park Superintendent Jim Milestone recognized the Redding mountain bikers at the recent opening ceremonies and called their involvement "instrumental" in the park's volunteer efforts.

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

    Sequoia NP - Giant Forest - A trail moseying between giant sequoias and a carpet of ferns.

    I also like the idea of the simple engraved 'trailhead' sign.

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

    C'mon. Nobody has said anything about the most obvious image one thinks of with the National Park Service.

    It's not a place or view.

    It's that felt or straw campaign hat with the leather band. With a special fitting plastic cover, it becomes a rain hat. It's something that one can see at any NPS unit and instantly turns the wearer into an expert guide. :)

  • 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

    We were at the Schoodic Portion of Maine about two weeks before this tragedy happened. We were on the point--we were on the white rocks and my son was about 6 feet down in front of us--not at all near the spray or splash--in my mind a safe spot. Park Ranger Megan came down on the rocks and told my son and a bunch of people who were further on the point than him that they needed to back up. She then spent about 15 minutes talking to the kids about the danger of the waves. She shared with the kids that usually once a year someone gets swept off the rocks and they aren't allowed to go in and try to rescue them and that the waves are unobstructed as they travel the Atlantic so rogue waves can potentially happen. It was a lesson my son and daughter would never forget. When the tragedy happened, their only question is why didn't ranger Megan tell those kids to get back--not realizing she wasn't at that location and certainly couldn't be everywhere all at once. I wrote Megan a note to thank her for the lesson and express my sympathy to all of the park rangers and the families for the tragic events. The park ranger's job cannot be an easy one, but my experience at Schoodic showed that they were being more than responsible by providing information and education. The fact that she took the time (not just to yell at them--but to educate) is something I will remember for my lifetime. I have no doubt if Ranger Megan saw anyone on the rocks in a too-close position in Schoodic during this storm--they would have been moved--and educated on the power of the ocean.

  • National Park Mystery Spot 2 Revealed: This Is One Very Big Basket!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    @gandanks: Thanks for the kind remarks. We'll post the next Mystery Spot quiz on Wednesday, September 23. Get there early and maybe you'll be the first to solve it. Remember, we post a quiz of one sort or another every Wednesday. September has a pretty good lineup. September 2nd will feature a quiz on the theme of "Fishing," September 9 will present you with a be a mystery photo to solve, September 16 will offer a quiz on "Camping," September 23 is that mystery spot quiz I just mentioned, and we'll wrap up September with another "traditional" quiz. The quizmeister hasn't chosen a theme for that one yet.

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 34 weeks ago

    This is a victory for common sense if management of the volunteers is simple, direct and light-handed. However, if it is heavy-handed and over-regulated, common sense will have been compromised in the deal. Responsible adults who volunteer should be screened for basic proficiency with a rifle, trained on the rules of engagement, and trusted to act ethically in accord with the rules of this non-typical outdoor opportunity. Assign park service personnel to supervise and oversee the activity in the field, and manage the process like any other large scale field operation. I think everyone will be satisfied with the efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of skilled volunteers who genuinely want to help solve a problem in an ethical manner. North Dakotans are by nature an honest lot. They do the right thing more often than not. They can be trusted to do the right thing in the field. They understand the long term consequences of actions better than most. Light oversight and simple rules to manage their activity afield should be the order of the day. Only then, will common sense have prevailed.

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

    Ofcourse the Grand Canyon. It simiply takes your breath away at first sight. I will never forget that experience. You really cannot grasp the enormity of it until you are standing on the edge looking down at the Colorado River. Pictures of it and the shows on the travel channel don't do it justice. You must go there!!!!

    Cades Cove in the morning when the sun starts to rise....just amazing!

  • National Park Mystery Spot 2 Revealed: This Is One Very Big Basket!   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I have never answered a quiz here, but I wished that I had. I would have gotten it correct. This is one awsome site in person.

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

    Several thoughts come to mind.

    The beautiful blue of the water surrounding the island in Crater Lake.

    ANY view of Mt. Rainier.

    My view looking up at the snout of the bear entering my pup-tent in the Shenandoah's back in the spring of 1969.

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

    Standing on top of the Half Dome is my most lasting memory.

    A close second is standing on top of Carthew Ridge on the Carthew-Alderson Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada a week ago.

    Third would be the first time I happened upon the afternoon 400 ft rainbow across Nevada Falls viewed from below on the Mist Trail at Yosemite.

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

    Watching a barred owl fly through heavy fog at Big Meadows in Shenandoah. The colors of autumn foliage along Skyline Drive. Mather Gorge at Great Falls in spring flood. The rainbows seen at Niagara Falls. These are the memories I cherish.

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

    So many! Climbing into Hidden Valley off the Itkillik River in the Gates of the Arctic. Driving a dog team up the frozen North Fork of the Koyukuk between Boreal Mountain and Frigid Crags in Gates. Coming face to face with a brown bear on the trail to Brooks Falls in Katmai. Landing on Surprise Lake in the caldera of Aniakchak. Cycling along the edge of Bryce Canyon. They are all special.

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Kurt, I agree with your take on "glamping." How is making the outdoor experience the same as the indoor experience teaching people about the great outdoors? I agree it's very important to get people outside, but if they don't see the forest or the trees when they're there, how does that help them appreciate nature?

    Shenandoah National Park's seminars shouldn't have been categorized as glamping, though. They have the right idea - teach people how to take care of themselves in the woods. Showing someone how to pitch a tent is very different from doing it for them.

    I, too, had to comment on that article: http://www.welovedc.com/2009/08/18/glamping-oh-come-on/

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

    One rarely mentioned but dear to my heart: The mist rising off the Current River in southern Missouri. Part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. No other canoes but ours. 8am. Out of the mist hovering over the river a great blue heron rises with its feathery wings and long dangling legs. There's the burbling of the springs that feed the river. The jump of the fish. The dank smell of the mossy cliffs. The slip of the paddle in the clear water. Peace.

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

    The beauty of so many of the above is true but to me, the first time I got a glimpse of the Grand Canyon, all I could say was" OH MY GOD..." as I stood in complete awe.
    That first sight is still the most awesome I have ever seen and one that I will never forget.

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

    My National Park Image is a bit smaller than everyone elses. The iconic image I have in my mind is the lowly brown sign that reads "Trailhead". It brings to mind many many hikes & walks in many many National Parks. It brings the anticipation of a great hike, and it's also the friendly sign that greets me at the bottom of the hill, at the end of a great day of hiking.

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

    Walking in the fog and rain in Thoroughfare Pass in Denali National Park and have the skies break open and reveal a completely cloud free Mount McKinley.
    Watching the face of my students when first seeing the Grand Canyon.
    Hiking from Hermit Creek Campground to the Colorado River and back in Grand Canyon.
    Watching a wolf chase down and kill a caribou calf in Denali Park.
    The stars of the Milky Way on the rim of Bryce Canyon.
    Running the rapids of Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park.
    Standing in Lincoln's Home.
    An afternoon lounging and writing on an island in the Lewis River in Yellowstone National park.
    Trying to grasp the experience above the Little Big Horn River
    The sight and sound of a rutting bull moose in the morning fog in Denali Park.
    And so many more..........
    National Parks.....what a treasure!

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

    So many sights and memories come to mind:
    1-Climbing the dunes and looking out at the Gulf of Mexico at Padre Island National Seashore
    2-The view from Zabriskie Point down into the valley at Death Valley National Park
    3-The view from the far side of Manzanita Lake looking up at Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park
    4-The expression on my husbands face the first time he ever saw a herd of cow elk and calves at Cunningham Cabin, Grand Teton National Park
    5-Watching my kids look down into the breaks at Cedar Breaks National Monument as I had done 35 years before.
    6-Looking up at the cliff dwellings from the canyon floor at Canyon De Chelly National Monument.
    7-The sandpaining at the visitor center at Canyon De Chelly National Monument, the park service arrowhead surrounded by traditional Navajo symbols.
    8-Most of all, any park service employee in green and gray, an image I saw daily as I was growing up.

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

    1. Like for some others, for me the image was standing down on the observation platform next the the Yellowstone Falls. It was snowing. The wind was pulling the snow down into the Canyon, and then wooshing up past us.

    It was snowing UP. It was exhilarating. Only a week before I'd been gazing at the Tetons, with a night sky with such density of stars and colors, I'd never seen before or since. But the grand canyon of the Yellowstone in the snow topped it.

    2. Much younger, as a kid in the back seat driving along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP in Virginia. This American landscape below was flowing by. I thought I had never seen such beauty, and it changed my idea of parks, and of America. The idea that "park makers" could have sculpted that landscaping inside the park to see the beauty of America beyond opened my imagination as well as my heart.