Recent comments

  • National Park Service Director Bomar Scheduled to Meet With Mountain Bike Community   5 years 47 weeks ago

    WOW! I thought it was bad enough that some hikers don't want bikers on "their" trails. I didn't even realize that there was such a hard-core, intolerant segment of the hiking community that won't even tolerate bikes in "their" PARKS!

    I'm a long-time hiker, trail runner, and backpacker, and a recent convert to mountain biking, so I feel I have a balanced perspective on this issue. To tell you the truth, I've always wondered why virtually all hiking trails are off limits to bikes. Where's the incompatibility between biking and hiking? Speed perhaps? When I'm trail running on tight single track I average about 7 mph. You know how fast the average mountain biker goes over the average stretch of technical singletrack? About 8-10 mph. Not much difference. Since running and biking are both faster than hiking, should running should be outlawed on hiking trails?

    Any other incompatabilities? The "where to draw the line" argument mentioned jet skis and dirt bikes. Give me a break. They are noisy. Mtn bikes are not. In fact the only "compatibility problem" I've ever encountered while either hiking or biking is that bikes are TOO quiet and can surprise hikers and wildlife.

    What else...oh yeh, the old "bikes tear up the trail" argument. Actually the opposite is true. Studies have shown that biking creates similar or even LESS wear on trails than hiking, and not even close to the destruction from horses. If you think these studies are skewed, take a couple minutes and bike, then hike a section of soft trail. You will see that your shoes will tear up the ground more than a fat-tire bike. The problem with many trails that I see, especialy the more remote ones, is that there is not ENOUGH "wear and tear" on the trails and they are overgrown.

    The most bizarre argument Kurt makes is that there are plenty of places for bikers to ride, so they don't need any more. That's just ridiculous. I'll bet hiking trails outnumber singletrack biking trail 1000:1 nationwide. And dirt/gravel roads don't count...at all. Kurt says there are "innumeral" mountain biking opportunities. Personally, I have ONE mountain bike trail within a 50 mile radius of my house, while there truly are innumeral hiking trails within just 5 miles.

    Hikers and bikers need to cooperate. Together we can build and maintain trails, and in all but the most heavily used areas (or where the terrain is too rugged for practical mtn biking) there's no reason why they can't be dual use.

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 47 weeks ago

    But this is searching on the internet!!

    Greetings from the Netherlands,

    Monique

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 47 weeks ago

    To the person named Rachael, zero impact you say? Rub a lamp. Would you stake the next 10 years of your total income on that statement? I live in the area. Zero impact my arse.

  • Creature Feature: Texas Banded Gecko   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I have seen a few tiny lizards and do not know if they are Gecko's or Not. They are about 1 inch long approximately. Look like a salmon color with light brown wide bands. They have a wide head and suction like cups on their feet. They like my kitchen for some reason. Can anyone tell me what kind of species they are?

  • Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I think that one they shouldn't have been standing around watching a bear maul a car, Two they shouldn't decide to videotape it as Vince said, and Three who would stand around and look at a bear when it can attack and kill a bunch of people before someone could stop it! What has the world come to?!

    CJ

  • Study Touts Economic Benefits of Mount St. Helens "National Park"   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I agree, the fact the government of this area wants to throw that label on there simply because of monetary gain, kind of looses its touch and not only that but it devalues the worth of true national parks. I'm not saying that the region shouldn't be considered one, because it certainly is a great place to visit, but their motivation for it seems off kilter to me. In East Liverpool we have a state park close by that really has nothing to it. No wild life, no streams, its just some woods and a few picnic tables and some how they managed to label it "State Park"

  • Survey Shows Americans Love Bison But Largely Are Clueless About their Plight   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Betty,

    Thank you for caring for the buffalo. In Bozeman, Montana, we're trying to do more. We have an event about this on December 6, where we are going over the ABC's of the plight of the buffalo in Yellowstone as well as trying to organize people in Bozeman to volunteer in taking action on their behalf. For more information, see http://www.buffaloallies.org.

    On the American Bison Society, we just received extensive notes from their recent conference from one of our friends, who attended it. A lot of interesting presentations, though curiously, the overall impression he was left with was that the conference lacked "humility," and as I'm going to see this person this weekend, I'll ask him what he meant by that curious remark.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Glacier National Park Coffee Shop Honored For Its Mission 66 Style   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Of course the building is very different from anything else in the compound, which includes the lodge (with a beautiful stone fireplace large enough to walk into (fires of uncertain light), a "motel", housing for staff, a gas station and general store, and a few other odd buildings. I especially like the graphics on the face of the building, something that you might expect to find on a Sears Silvertone transistor radio from the era.

  • Survey Shows Americans Love Bison But Largely Are Clueless About their Plight   5 years 47 weeks ago

    What a sad situation this is. Only a handful of these animals survived the dreadfull, mass killing of millions of the wild bison. And today, we are mistreating them again !

    Hopefully, the national news media will give some attention to the terrible situation just outside Yellowstone National Park this winter. The killing of these wild, magnificant animals as they roam (migrate) outside the park to lower elevations/less snow simply so they can SURVIVE is a national shame !

    The American people need to know what is happening to our symbol of the wild, free west. Wild bison (as well as elk, deer, antelope,etc) must migrate to survive. They simply cannot find food under 2-10 feet of snow ! Let the buffalo roam----let wild animals survive !

  • Study Touts Economic Benefits of Mount St. Helens "National Park"   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Kurt:

    I appreciate that your comments focus on the report's economic arguments, but the report itself is tiled Mandates, Economic Impacts, and Local Concerns: Who Should Manage Mount St. Helens, and the report addresses all three issues not just economics. Indeed, the Report's states as its first premise:

    Congress established Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to, “protect geologic, ecologic, and cultural resources,” while simultaneously recognizing the irreplaceable opportunity for scientists and tourists alike to observe the natural recovery of a devastated environment. These purposes require both protection of the Mount St. Helens landscape, as well as development of access to the educational and recreational opportunities the mountain has to offer. We conclude in this Report that these dual goals would be best achieved if Congress placed Mount St. Helens under the management of the National Park Service (“NPS”). The NPS has the appropriate mandate, the appropriate funding mechanisms, and the appropriate management experience to properly balance the competing interests of use and preservation to meet the goals that Congress established and the promise that Mount St. Helens holds for future generations.

    There is more of course, and your blog report contains comments from NPCA addressing the economic arguments, but I encourage your readers to read the entire report.

    Cheers,

    Michael

  • About The National Parks Traveler   5 years 48 weeks ago

    My wife and I are senior citizens and have visited many parks around the country over the years, are favorite vacations. Some years ago we took my ill mother-in-law in to live with us not wanting to put her in a "home" and it has altered our lives. Caring for her meant not being able to vacation, or spend anytime away from home. It has been difficult, however one of my favorite pastimes is visiting the parks through you. I get swept away by the photos, webcams, stories and places and though not quite like being there has given me much joy, so let me say thank you for letting me enjoy my "travels" until the real thing comes about.

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 48 weeks ago

    You'll have to referee your own contest. Providing and facilitating the exchange of information and ideas pertaining to America's national parks is a core purpose of this webzine. We'll continue to do that as we see fit, and you may rest assured that we have no plans to begin interrogating Traveler readers as to their motives for visiting our site.

  • National Park Service Prepares to Host Millions of Visitors for the Presidential Inauguration and Parade   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Russ: I'll take a knowledgeable ivy leaguer any day running this country, then a bottom rung college graduate from the Naval Academy or a five college drop out like McCain & Palin. Both smooth talkers and no show! Sounds like you live in some kind of mental state called paranoia that fears change. Step out of your small world (and thinking) of guns and fear mongering and help with the transition of positive change.

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 48 weeks ago

    slim, Jan...

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Dear Bob,

    In Holland we are playing an online search game on internet (it's the quiz that Jan mentioned). At the end there are nice prizes to win. One of the game rules is to find the answers only by searching on internet. It's even forbidden to phone or to mail persons/organisations for the answers.

    We like to play a fair game. We will be very greatfull if you remove the postings from Jan Pieters and your answers. If you are interested we will send you next friday 28th november the answer where Bill is buried.

    with kind regards.

    Admin

    coordinator Nationale Krakercompetitie

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Dear Bob,

    In Holland we are playing an online search game on internet (it's the quiz that Jan mentioned). At the end there are nice prizes to win. One of the game rules is to find the answers only by searching on internet. It's even forbidden to phone or to mail persons/organisations for the answers.

    We like to play a fair game. We will be very greatfull if you remove the postings from Jan Pieters and your answers. If you are interessed we will send you next friday 28th november the answer where Bill is buried.

    with kind regards.

    Admin

    Coordinator Nationale Krakerc Competitie

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Shame Jan uses you to cheat on a competition. We are all trying very hard to find the information the honest way.

    You are very friendly for answerring him.

    Irma, Nederland

  • National Park Service Prepares to Host Millions of Visitors for the Presidential Inauguration and Parade   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Mr. father of a (wow...an ivy leaguer!):
    I'll keep my guns, money and freedom...you can keep the "change!"
    P.S.: Have fun trying to find a clean toilet at "the one"s inauguration...lol.

  • Got Quiet? Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has Plenty   5 years 48 weeks ago

    And, climbing the dunes was a hoot! What fun on a June day; I felt like Lawrence of Arabia. High up on the dune field, I heard the sound - the wind hits the resonant frequency of the dune and there is a low, perceivable rumble. It's like walking on top of a subwoofer.

    Then, when I got down - that little river is one of nature's rewards for a good hike. As the previous poster noted, the water is only ankle deep. But, it ripples and swirls around your feet as you walk over the soft sandy bottom. I didn't want to get out of that river.

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Gordon Wissinger (Gordon_Wissinger@nps.gov) is the Chief Ranger at Shenandoah National Park. Try asking him for help. Chances are that he or someone he knows can at least get you started in the right direction to get the information you need.

  • Study Touts Economic Benefits of Mount St. Helens "National Park"   5 years 48 weeks ago

    There is no doubt in my mind that the historical, geological, and ecological significance of Mt. St. Helens makes it worthy of full national park status. The economic benefit to local communities due to enhanced tourism is an obvious side-effect, but it should not be the primary reason to consider changing the status of and administrative responsibility for this most important volcanic landscape.

    Having said this, I must ask, is there a single National Park, including Yellowstone, where the economic benefits of enhanced tourism was not a major factor that was considered by Congress prior to establishing an Act creating the park?

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Thank you very much for your quick response. Unfortunately I get all the time an error when I try so send an emailvia the link you mentioned. The reason for the error is not stated.

    Regards,
    Jan

  • Happy Valley In Saguaro National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Great place with fabulous sunsets. The Desert Museum right down the road from the West side of the National Park is great too.

    OnDaRoad http://www.midlifeonwheelsblog.com

  • Got Quiet? Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has Plenty   5 years 48 weeks ago

    My wife and I had a ball on our first visit to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. I have never seen such a place of contrasts. Imagine if you will these huge, glistening white, sand dunes with snowcapped peaks immediately behind while a beautiful little river flows right in front of the sand dunes. Wading barefoot in the ankle-deep "river" made us remember childhood days as the water surged down in waves from the mountains. This is a must-see place for anyone traveling in southwestern Colorado.

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 48 weeks ago

    I don't have the information you need. Try contacting the Public Information Officer at Shenandoah National Park, which is where Ranger Roy Sullivan worked. The park's general information phone number is (540) 999-3500 or you can send an e-mail by visiting http://www.nps.gov/NER/sendmail.htm?o=%3B6.