Recent comments

  • Search on For Overdue Hikers In Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 47 weeks ago

    This sounds like one of those very rare times when they should have been carrying a SPOT. Let's all hope that they are well and will be found soon.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Well, I believe it should actually only be 27. 17 winners from previous years can all claim a permanent "top beach" ranking, along with the 10 beaches on this year's list.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best   5 years 47 weeks ago

    No offense taken, Sabattis. (And anyway, I've been married 44 years and am quite used to punishment.) How did you derive that total of 28 beaches that can claim to be top-tenners?

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Neil,

    If you've been reading the Traveler long enough to have it on your homepage, you should have recognized a long time ago where I stood on concealed weapons in the parks, not too mention recreational snowmobiles in Yellowstone, and PWCs in some areas. At the same time, I guess it shows that not all of the articles on the site are "worthless drivel."

    I've long believed in constructive dialog on issues, for only through that can one come to see another's point of view. You might not agree with that point of view, but at least you know where that person is coming from and perhaps begin to understand how they got there. If you've been reading all the comments on the gun issue you've no doubt noticed that Fred and I stand on different sides of the issue, but we both support the national parks and we respect each other's views without feeling a need to cast aspersions.

    I've never expected each and every Traveler reader to agree with the positions we take. That's not the point, and certainly wouldn't be worthwhile. But I certainly hope that those positions spur dialog on the site for the above-mentioned reasons.

    One way or another the gun issue will pass, Neil, and be replaced by countless other issues facing the national parks. The Traveler will continue to report on and examine those issues. If you care enough about the parks, hopefully you'll want to read about those issues if only to provide another perspective.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Hi Bob - I do hope that you don't take it personally. I'm obviously only here because I enjoy the blog, but my personality does often trend towards being the resident gadfly. Thanks for explaining the "retirement rule" on this List - so I guess that means that there are only 28 beaches that can claim to be on the "Top 10 Beaches in America" list... Not so bad, I guess...

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Paula, Are you saying that you are already taking your concealed weapon w/you while you are currently going into the back country hiking , camping and hiking? So be it . From what I understand you never had a so called right to have your concealed weapon w/ you but that didnt stop you ... what is it about this proposed legislation that would alter your already established behavior/choices?

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Thanks for being honest Kurt...I called you out on the carpet and you showed your true colors. Now I (and from the comments over half the others) can remove your liberal slant from my homepage and be done with your worthless drivel.

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Would that be the backcountry of George Roagers Clark NHP? the backcountry of the Saint Loius Arch? The backcountry of the Statue of Liberty? The backcountry of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Get real. Not all parks are wild natural areas. Do we really want guns in Lincoln's Home or at Kennedy Birthplace?

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Speaking about carrying guns in the back country. I had a dear friend who was a naturalist ranger for Sequoia National Park, once confronted me with a real Scary Larry scenario in the back regions of the park. After a day's heavy hiking and ready to bed down for the night, he suddenly hears this drunken boisterous talk about shooting the place up. He investigates just over the ridge and spies on a group of gun-toting gang of youths. He sees guns going off in all directions with drunken talk of blasting things left and right. The ranger finds the situation too dangerous to intervene. He slowly escapes without being detected and heads back to base camp and reports. Moral of the story is: if you want more guns in the park, I'm sure you're going to find more episodes like...and more threatening. For safer parks: leave your guns at home!

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Nicely said Paula !! Don't forget to post your comments SUPPORTING the change of firearms regulations !!

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I am a single women and I love going into the National Parks. I love going into the back country, hiking and camping. If I can not carry my concealed weapon... (which I carry for my personal protection)... I would not use the Park System at all. I would not be paying entrence fees to enjoy America. My point is, If you take away my right to protect myself while I am in the back country, well then you had better provide me with a trained body guard (free of charge). I have a right to keep and bare arms, (even if I am a single woman). I will exercise that right along with all of my other rights.
    Sincerely,
    Paula Jean Tyler

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I cannot understand why he includes beaches in the Hamptons. Beaches open only to residents and not to the general public. At least all NPS areas are open the whole pblic. Hard to beat the beaches of Cumberland Island and Fire Island that are free from roads and parking lots.

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Kurt - thank you for your principled position on this issue. Those who support the proposal to allow concealed guns in national parks ignore professional park rangers and managers, the statistical data that show that national parks are among the safest places to be in America, and the important concept that national parks are intended to be very special places - different from the places where we work and live. Instead they are driven by self-interest and short-term personal benefits, rather than the long-term good for the population as a whole, for visitors and resources in national parks. We've had too much of that crammed down our throats in the past few years. It's time we look to the benefits of our children and their children and to saving the special places they will visit and enjoy decades from now.

    Bill Wade
    Chair, Executive Council
    Coalition of National Park Service Retirees

  • Rare Letters Stolen From Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace By Historian Recovered   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Wow, this gives historians a bad name! And Theodore Roosevelt had their collection in a vault, no less. Meanwhile, at Blue Ridge Parkway, it has taken years to get the archives into a safe place with proper climate control, security, and organization. I've just written about this over on the Blue Ridge Parkway blog at: http://www.blueridgeparkwayblog.com/super-scenic-motorway-a-historians-parkway/history/adventures-of-blue-ridge-parkway-archives

    Just goes to show that our rare national archival treasures -- the raw materials of history -- need as much attention, funding, and care as our natural treasures do.

    Anne Mitchell Whisnant, Ph.D.
    Historian & Author of Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History
    Chapel Hill, NC

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I'm no expert, but my only argument here is that CHNS deserves to be higher up on the list! Where else can you find such an unspoiled, fragile ecosystem? Perfect vacation spot. Dreaming of the day I retire to a quiet cottage in the shadows of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse... I'm open to offers to take a B&B off a frazzled innkeeper's hands as well! :)

  • Creature Feature: The American Marten   5 years 47 weeks ago

    All this time, and with a fairly interested view of wildlife, and I've never even heard of this animal before. Color me deprived.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Add this to my list of "must do before too much longer." I feel so deprived. ;-)

  • National Park Entrance Fees Frozen at 2007 Levels   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I suspect it won't matter that rates are kept the same if visitors are down due to these exploding gasoline prices. I do know that less visitors mean less revenue means less ability to maintain that which is there.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Sabattis, it seems like every time I turn around I find you yanking my chain. :o) OK, here's the deal with that "no-repeat" rule. A beach that attains the number one ranking is retired from the list. Ocracoke Island's Lifeguard Beach was ranked number one in 2007, so the no-repeat rule rendered it ineligible for consideration this year. If Cape Hatteras Beach is ever ranked number one, it too will be retired from the list. Meanwhile, it is eligible to be be listed every year, and so is every other beach that has never been ranked number one.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches Among Country's Best   5 years 47 weeks ago

    No doubt that Cape Hatteras has some great beaches - but if "Dr. Beach" has a "no repeat" rule - doesn't that meant that there are about 180 beachs out there now that can claim to be one of the Nation's "Top 10 Beaches'?

  • Creature Feature: The American Marten   5 years 47 weeks ago

    If this animal is rare then i think you should protect it.........

  • Creature Feature: The American Marten   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Great info, Chance. You make a sighting sound very unlikely, but I spotted one in Yellowstone last week during a book update research trip, in broad daylight, scampering into the cozy confines of the rafters of the "Old House" section of the Old Faithful Inn.

    Happy wildlife watching + best of luck with the NPS ranger ambitions,
    ~ Andrew, author Top Trails Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks
    Winner, 2005 National Outdoor Book Award, Best Adventure Guidebook

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Kurt -

    I can see where you spent a HUGE amount of time on this article. Your love for our National Parks is blazingly obvious. Where do you find the time? Do you sleep? Although we disagree strongly on this issue, I commend your tireless efforts to make your case known.

    You may have forgotten that the NRA has actually been working on this issue for more than five years:

    "Starting in 2003, NRA staff began meeting with officials at the U.S. Department of the Interior to change this regulation and allow state law to govern the carrying and transportation of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges -- as it does in national forests and on BLM lands. There was little resistance to such a policy change but also little action to make this change. Bureaucrats involved in this issue would move on and others would replace them, needing to be educated from scratch about the need and importance for this change."

    http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=3529

  • Bear #399, And Other Grizzlies, Are On the Prowl In Grand Teton National Park   5 years 47 weeks ago

    What a legend these bears have become. It's so great and I feel so fortunate to have seen them last week. I was in Grand Teton National Park on a guided tour. Taylor with EcoTour Adventures was our guide. He was so informative about the area which really added to our trip.. Any way we were in the north part of the park and we saw momma 399 send her cubs off on there own. It wasn't but an hour latter that we saw a large boar grizzly mount 399. Maybe we will have three new cubs next spring. The tour was great and I strongly recommend Taylor and his services. http://jacksonholewildlifetours.com/

  • National Park Entrance Fees Frozen at 2007 Levels   5 years 47 weeks ago

    National Parks are not an "entertainment option" like movies, sports, or dining. They are the birthright and heritage of every American and must be kept affordable so all Americans who want to can visit them. Just because $25 is not a lot of money to you does not mean everyone is so comfortable. I remember my folks making significant financial sacrifices in order to take us kids to visit National Parks because they thought it was important to give us a sense of ownership and pride in them. When they are just another commercial option, they have lost their constituency and purpose.
    The "politics" that got entrance fee increase plans put on hold consisted of elected officials listening to and responding to the individuals and businesses they represent. I for one applaud them for doing that and also thank NPS Director Bomar for doing the right thing.