Friday, May 13, 2016

100 Years of Good Work

Capitol Reef Visitor Center

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. America's National Parks are something to be proud of, and we should be proud of the great park service that has served our parks and us so well. I paid a recent visit to a few of the parks in southern Utah. While I often seek out more remote places, I really enjoyed sharing some more visited sites with others.

Delicate Arch is not a place to go for solitude. I did have the site to myself the first time I visited it. A heavy snow storm brought about that lonely venture. The arch is a remarkable feature, and this time I very much enjoyed sharing the site with other hikers. One of the many great places to enjoy as a nation.


susan said...

Oh probably sometime around 1959 or 1960, our family took a summer road trip to the Four Corners region, and Arches was one of the places we visited. It was a National Monument then, and the roads weren’t paved. We drove over to the Delicate Arch area. There was no one else around; it was just us. We saw a trail that went up to the Arch. Because my Dad had a bum leg at the time, he couldn’t hike up there, and Mom stayed behind with him. But my brother and I and a canteen of water took off toward Delicate Arch. The day was hot and surprisingly, there was no breeze. Dead calm. When we got to the top, by the Arch, we sat down and just listened. That was the first time I ever experienced the perception of complete silence. No noise. No jets. No cars. No people. No birds. No scurrying. No wind. The stillness caused a strange pressure on the ears. I could hear my heart beating and my breathing in and out.

I don’t think I could return to Arches National Park. That time is long gone.

Geoffrey Middaugh said...

I sure hope, Susan, you have read Ed Abbey's Desert Solitaire, because he describes your experience in a beautiful way.

susan said...

Geoffrey, I read that so long ago that I might as well have never read it. It could be time to pick it up again, although it might put me into despair about over-population and the ruination of our earth.

Dan McShane said...

Yes, the solitaire at many southern Utah sites is long gone. Moab has morphed into something that could easily be viewed with despair. Although much has been lost in terms of solitude, the enthusiasm for protection of public lands is much improved if one considers the general view of public lands and the environment at the time Abbey wrote Desert Solitaire. It is a trade off that at times feels like a loss as some of my old "secret" places have been "discovered".