Sunday, August 14, 2016

Related imageAre you still on vacation? A summertime trip to a National Park is an American tradition but at some point it is time to leave the place. Thousands of stressed out over civilized people pack up a camper and go to the mountains to clear their head and feel insignificant in the broader sense of this world.  You spend all year trying to be somebody to be better than someone else to get that better job better car bigger home. You must unwind to the wilderness to be humble again and see that we are just specks rambling over the surface of this beautiful earth waiting to just shake us off at its will.
The wilderness is a necessity. There was a great book written in 1901 called Our National Parks by John Miur that is a collection of essays describing the various places designated for underdevelopment by our Nation. Since then not like thousands of people have flocked to our National Parks but more like 300 thousand people flooding the parks lately. In 2015 that was a record breaking number of visitors. UTAH has many National Parks and Zion Park there has broken records lately with the amount of people that have visited it lately. In the last 5 years visitors have increased by 35%. Zion is one of the mighty 5 National Parks in Utah. Getting more than a million extra people there can be annoying.
These beautiful mountain ranges parks are Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands and Zion. With low gas prices and terrorism in Europe staying home to a National Park seems to be a good idea for a vacation lately. These parks in particular have become bucket lists for destinations. Tourists from all across the world are increasingly visiting here. How do they deal with crowd control? On Memorial Day Weekend this year they shut down the entrance to Arches National Park for two hours because the traffic jam was so bad. During peak season cars aren’t even allowed in Zion National Park anymore. The park instituted a shuttle bus system.  Now lines to get on the bus can be over an hour long. I went to a National Park to get away from the lines like at Disney!
The shuttle system has become too busy. The seating comp asity of 68 people in the peak season runs loads of 100 people on the bus. Yes, like at work, standing on the bus. Sigh! People will largely say they had a good experience because somehow they still got to see places like The Grand Canyon. They need crowd management specialists now. Should there be permits or timed reservations? This year lining the landscape is Port-a-Potties sadly badly needed. Not something you want to see but with no privacy bring out those smelly plastic toilets. Ugh! The maintenance of those things the Park Rangers like to contract out.
Arrive early enough and wander far enough and it is still possible to escape the crowds. If you do have to wait a bit well, there are worst places to be stuck in traffic. 

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