Recent comments

  • Tour Company Wants to Offer Helicopter Overflights of Crater Lake National Park, But Likely Won't See A Decision Soon   5 years 34 weeks ago

    No! Helicopter noise can be very loud if directly under it. The last think our family wanted to see is a chopper overhead when we had just hiked to the top of Wizard Island.
    1500 feet above the rim road is about the same amount as the top of nearby Mt. Scott is above the rim road. When we got there, we wanted to see the view of the state quarter, not a helicopter at our eye level.
    Crater Lake has the clearest water in the world. I am sure flyovers will do nothing to preserve that status.

  • Park History: Arches National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    We were driving through Colorado, took 128 out of 50 and there, few miles down the Colorado river was Arches National Park. Frankly, If we didn't have a mobile internet and google with open panoramino we would have passed but checking the images it was a must see. It took us about another 10-15min from the entrance to reach the parking area, our car overheated the during the steep curly road, but then the arches revealed, it was amazing. It is a must see place, be sure to put it on your adventure map!

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    The Congress Trail at Sequoia. Wonderland exists!

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Does anyone want to hear about thundering convoys of motorcyclists descending on the park?
    No. :-(

  • Jon Jarvis Questioned During His Confirmation Hearing On Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I am a park ranger in a large western National Park. I am also a frequent visitor to National Parks. Part of the appeal for me is that I can go to a place that is relatively pristine and quiet and peaceful. I know my opinion may be extreme to some, but I don't believe snowmobiles should be allowed at all in Yellowstone. Nor do I think we should allow personal water craft in National Parks, or pets on trails. The United States has had the foresight to set aside millions of acres of public lands. There is a place where you can do anything you want, be it snowmobiling, hiking with your dog off-leash, even hunting and logging. Shouldn't there also be places where those things are prohibited? For the rest of us? Is it really necessary to bring a concealed weapon into a National Park? As a woman education ranger, I am already faced with the potential dangers inherent in a job that requires me to speak with hundreds of strangers every single day. I don't need the added worry that the next angry visitor I encounter is carrying a concealed weapon. Yes, most gun owners are reasonable, law-abiding citizens. Why then is it so important to carry a gun on vacation, in a place where you are not allowed to kill anything?

    I just think that by making all of these concessions to lobbyists, like the snowmobile enthusiasts and the NRA, the Park Service is denying the revolutionary ideals that led to its creation in the first place. The Organic Act has been diluted so much that enjoyment of park resources has completely overtaken our other mission, which is to preserve those resources for future generations. PRESERVE, not just conserve. There is a difference.

  • It's July 29, So Don't Forget to Thank A National Park Ranger Today For Their Service   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Some of our Rangers today recieved home made cookies from Sharon Funck and a Thank You too.

  • At New River Gorge National River, an Iconic Bridge Attracts Suicide Jumpers   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I have lived and been raised in Fayette county most of my life. The New River Gorge Bridge area was known as "lover's leap" in colonial times. The Oak Hill town archives, which are restricted, support this information. It is also recorded that "masses" were held there by local Pastors in the late 1800's. Information about number of suicides, and or related material is a taboo subject around the tourist trap area. I have know several people, and heard several stories of "completely normal" people, just one day up and jump off the bridge. At least once per year. I find the facts, and town practices to be questionable.

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Anonymous,

    Beamis was talking about Mt. Rushmore, not Yellowstone.

    Personally, I don't like cars, Harleys, helicopters (speaking of which, when are you going to cover the Crater Lake helicopter story, NPT? If you need a contribution...), RVs, generators, construction equipment, snowplows, snowmobiles, or any other mechanical object that makes loud noise in more "natural" national parks.

    But as Beamis pointed out, there's not much natural about Mt. Rushmore including its proximity to the highway, its parking garages, and its side-show, tourist-trap atmosphere.

    Thank you, and have a pleasant day.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    How about the Glacier Gorge trail system in Rocky Mountain National Park? It's one of my favorites. Beautiful lakes, stunning peaks, wildflowers and usually plenty of wildlife.

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Give us a break Beamis. I went to Yellowstone a few years ago and it was ridiculous with the pseudo Hells Angels roaring through the park on their way to Sturgis.

  • Let's Start a Tradition: "Thank a Ranger Day"   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Craig W--

    Was it Ken Patrick at Pt. Reyes?

    Rick Smith

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    If you all don't mind, I would like to nominate another trail as special. This is the old Teddy Roosevelt trail into Rainbow Bridge. Roosevelt went there before visiting a park for a president was a photo op; he just wanted to see the Bridge. Finding the trail head is tricky. It is on the Navajo reservation. It is best to seek guidance before starting out trying to find it. There is a large carin at the trail head. We left our car there. I did it quite a few years ago and I seem to remember that it was an overnight in and an overnight out. Of course, the payoff is seeing Rainbow Bridge from the dry side, not having arrived in a boat. Take plenty of water as it was a desert trail that didn't provide a lot of water stops. The scenery in and out was gorgeous.

    Rick Smith

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Devils Tower N.M. get it's share of bikers during Sturgis also.

  • National Park Quiz 65: Dunes   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Thanks for the feedback, Mike. There are many NPS units with singing sand, and I regret that space didn't permit listing all of them in that quiz item. Somewhere in my "to-do queue" I've got an outline for an article on singing sand. When I get around to writing it, I'll be sure to mention Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

  • Let's Start a Tradition: "Thank a Ranger Day"   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I thank my fellow Rangers everyday and am thanked by many visitors. Currently an Interpretive Park Ranger at Grand Canyon North Rim. People are so happy to be here and it's a pleasure to help them connect to this amazing place. Many people envy us our jobs, as maybe they should. And most Rangers I've worked with are passionate about what they do, it's certainly not for the money even if it's a career job. When a visitor thanks me I respond with thanking them for giving me the best job in the world working for them.

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Getting back on point. Mt. Rushmore is not Sequoia or Muir Woods. So in my view Harleys howling by enormous granite images of dead presidents is not such a sacrilege in the grand scheme of things. This place is set up as a roadside attraction and this sort of use does not seem out of whack with its intended purpose.

    Peace to you brother and please be aware that the freedoms that you do enjoy did not come cheap...an overused cliche certainly but somehow seems appropriate here.

    You're right. Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be paying for the follies of today. A point well taken Mr. Cameron.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    On of my favorites is the relatively short hike up to the top of Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park...it will get your heart pounding pretty good and on a clear day (without forest fire smoke) the vistas are just amazing.

  • National Park Quiz 65: Dunes   5 years 34 weeks ago

    FYI, Apostle Islands also has singing sand.

    http://www.nps.gov/apis/planyourvisit/upload/Stockton-Island.pdf

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    My kids are two so we can't do long hikes just yet but here are a few of my favorite short hikes as of late: Fern Canyon in the Redwoods. Its is so lush and green that it makes me feel like I am in Jurassic times. Navajo Trail in Bryce Canyon: to be able to walk among the hoodoos with my little ones is something I won't soon forget. Hidden Falls and INspiration Point in Grand Teton: Can we say view? Having my kids sit on a boulder and look down at Jenny Lake and the vast wilderness below and actually squeal with excitement was one of my most proud moments as a parent.

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 34 weeks ago

    OK, folks, this is the point where the moderator wades in to say that the give and take is indeed getting a bit out of control. As the saying goes, "it's not what you say, but how you say it." There are some good, and certainly diverse, viewpoints being expressed. However, I must agree that some of them are being delivered with the subtlety of a sledge hammer.

    From the very start of the Traveler four years ago the idea was to encourage discussion and debate of issues across the National Park System. But, and this is the big but, that discussion has to be constructive and delivered with a measure of respect. We don't expect everyone to agree with another's point of view. But that's no reason to come across as condescending or outright mean.

    As several folks have noted, the Traveler has a Code of Conduct that is fairly minimal in its expectations. Can we monitor each and every comment that comes through the system? No. The workload around here is pretty hefty. But we can require everyone to create an account in order to comment, or even turn off comments. Do we want to do that? No.

    So, be nice and play well with others, OK?

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Not sure if I have a favorite, but our rafting guide told us about the Cattail Falls trail at Big Bend, which is not advertized or marked on the maps. You have to take a turn down an unmarked road on the RM Scenic Drive, and even then this "road" consists of giant rocks. But you eventually end up in a parking lot with an alternate Window Trail and the Cattail Falls Trail. Imagine a somewhat strenuous hike through a rocky desert area only to emerge in a lush green oasis with a nice tall waterfall as the centerpiece. It was pretty cool and was one of the highlights of the trip.

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Thanks Beamis! The thin-skinnedness has been something of an issue, however, also an attraction with free admission, like a moth to flame, rubber neckers to accidents, and whiners to the NPT comments section, there is always somebody with a complaint about some "other" user group trying to make use of their taxed contribution to relaxation.

    Sticks and stones.... (insert rolling eyes here).....

  • First Greenpeace, Now Motorcyclists Drawing A Bead On Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I enjoy this forum very much...however the self-serving diatribe coming for some of the posters is ridiculous. Beamis your causes and beliefs have merit and you are obviously educated and articulate. Your method of making your points however is offensive although I am sure that in your zealousness you feel it is justified. I believe in many of the causes you have opined on this forum, yet even having said that I am turned off by your postings. Normally I just ignore...probably should have here too.

    Peace to you brother and please be aware that the freedoms that you do enjoy did not come cheap...an overused cliche certainly but somehow seems appropriate here.

  • Where in the World is Paul Fugate?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    My father was in the western region at the time of Mr. Fugate's dissappearance. We were at the Tumacacori National Monument and as a child I well remember him as well as his disappearance. The Fugates were a wonderful couple and although we did not visit them often, it was always fun to visit. I do remember that the famous "fugate ponytail" was quite a controversy in the Park Service at that time. He was viewed (at least by my very conservative dad) as somewhat of a renagade but a very competant and knowledgable ranger also. My hope is that Mrs. Fugate has been able to move on and have a fulfilling life. Great Story

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park Trail?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Highline Trail in Glacier National Park to Granite Park Chalet. Continue up to Swiftcurrent Pass and down to Many Glaciers.