Tag Archives: Park Service

National Park Service Manages To Regain Ionic Yosemite Names Like ‘Curry Village’ & ‘Ahwahnee Hotel’ — Albeit For $3.8 Million!

by Anura Guruge


Click to access the ‘LA Times’ story.


This is GREAT News.

Shame that it cost the National Park Service $3.84 Million. They are short of funds.

This should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.

I wrote about this, in reference to beloved ‘Curry Village‘, after my last visit in 2016.

Good News. The Park Service owns the names now.


Click to access my post.


It all had to do with who owned these iconic names like ‘Curry Village’. The National Park Service had not made an effort, in the past, to make sure that they owned them. That was the problem.

The prior Concession Holder to the Park held the rights to the name and only now parted with them after a total payoff coming to $12 million.

But, the National Park Service will, in essence, own the names going forward. That is GREAT news.

But, this issue is happening or going to happen in other Parks too. Concession Holders ‘trademarking’ iconic park names. The Park Service has to stop this.


Related posts:
Search ‘parks’.


by Anura Guruge


Canyon de Chelly: Horseback Riding With “Justin’s Horse Rental”.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE the Pictures & Map.












From 2015 When We Did A 2-Hour Ride.


Horseback riding in the Canyon is magical. It is so quiet and peaceful. We did a 2-hour ride 3-years ago (in 2015) and loved it. So, we were definitely going to do it again. And we did. Except this time we made it a 3-hour ride.

In 2015 we went with “Tso’s Horse Tours” — the first ‘compound’ you come to when you enter the Navajo area at the mouth of the Canyon. That worked out quite well for us and we went back to them. They are NOT doing horse tours this year.

Appears that in 2018 the ONLY company, permitted by the Park Service, to conduct horseback tours is Justin’s! Has to do with ‘insurance’ and the lack thereof.

All the Navajos are ‘related’ and Justin is supposedly an uncle of “Tso’s”.

We had no trouble with Justin or the guide he provided us, 29-year old, local Urwin Yazzie. We got a 2:50 minute tour for $140 and my horse ONLY try to roll over me ONCE! But, I was too quick for it. Luckily it was in DEEP sand so there was no damage and I kept kicking it away so it would not roll any further onto my body. It could have been serious, but it was not and I was cool.

The next day, Teischan and I did a 4-hour 6-wheel ‘Jeep’ tour with ’40-year’ old Daniel Draper. He knew much, much more about the Canyon. So, between the two tours we learnt a lot.

Definitely recommend horseback riding in the Canyon. All tours into the Canyon are expensive. Given a choice I would do horseback THOUGH, of course, you see (and learn) much less.


Related posts:
Search ‘Chelly’ & ‘Navajo’.


by Anura Guruge

Our “White Mountain National Forest” Celebrates Its Centenary TODAY.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Mountain_National_Forest


So, the park was established on May 16, 1918. Neat.

This was just 2-years after the U.S. National Park Service was established — and around the same timeframe as the founding of Acadia.

I am not sure how widely this was marked and celebrated in New Hampshire. It should be a BIG deal. We, the State, make a LOT of money from the Park.

Well, the next time I am there, and I am sure to visit this year, I will tip my hat and remember that this is the Centennial Year.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘New Hampshire’.


by Anura Guruge

Acadia & Mount Desert Island Facts From The Back Of A Fridge Magnet.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


The front of the magnet. Click to ENLARGE.


I like this magnet. I have two of them bought on two different trips — one on our last trip, the 8th, in June 2017. I buy them at the ‘Hulls Cove Visitor Center‘. I can never leave that place without getting something. I justify it by thinking I am helping the Park Service. {SMILE}

Nothing profound and nothing you can’t find anywhere else — but I wanted to capture it (for my sake if nothing else. {smile}). After I scanned these I mounted this magnet on my bathroom door, with velcro, at eye level. Now I can look at it while I brush my teeth.


Related posts:
++++ Check Categories ‘Acadia’ >>>>
>>>>
Search ‘Rockefeller’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Acadia National Park 100th Birthday, Friday, July 8, 2016 — In 18 Pictures & Few Words.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

All taken with the Fuji X-T1 I rented.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

Acadia National Park 100 years Anura Guruge Fuji X-T1

Sieur de Monts spring Acadia National Park Anura Guruge Fuji X-T1

“Sieur de Monts” spring. The park was established on July 8, 1916 as the “Sieur de Monts National Monument”.

Mother Earth’s Creations Pow Wow artifacts Anura Guruge Fuji X-E2s


Jordan Pond Acadia National Park Anura Guruge Fuji X-T1


It was definitely very low-key, unstated and there were no fireworks of any sort. The Visitor Centers had some small stickers and tattoos with the Centennial logo lying inconspicuously on the counter while the main center, at Hulls Cove, and the gift shop at “Jordan’s Pond” had some Centennial merchandise. I, as is my wont, spoke to a few people and they had no idea that they were visiting the Park on an auspicious day. Once I told them they were, as was to be expected, tickled. The locals knew but were not making a big deal about it. One motel in Bar Harbor updated their roadside notice board to wish the Park a happy 100th birthday. That was about it. It wasn’t a great day weatherwise. Though there wasn’t much rain it was overcast, gray and gloomy all day. But we still had a good day — since it is neigh impossible not to enjoy yourself while in Acadia.

So that was Friday, July 8, 2016 on “Mount Desert Island” — Acadia National Park


Related Posts:
++++
Search ‘Centennial’ for other similar posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

The Grand Canyon Experience Keeps On Getting Better Over The Decades. Better Now Than It Was A Decade Ago.

Dec2013x125


..

by
Anura Guruge


A few of you may have noticed that I had not done any posts for nearly 5 days — finally doing one late last night. That was because we were at the Grand Canyon, this having been vacation week in northern New Hampshire. It was the first trip to Arizona for Deanna and the two younger kids. I, on the other hand, have spent a lot of time in AZ starting in 1980 — doing a ton of work for ITT Courier (in Tempe) and POS equipment manufacturer Hyperterm. I can’t remember whether this was my eighth or ninth trip to the Canyon since I used to do daytrips from Tempe to the Canyon and back. I first visited in the Summer of 1980. My last trip prior to this was in February 2001, with the two older kids, when we took a helicopter from Las Vegas to Western part of the Canyon. My last time to the South Rim village was in 2000.

The Canyon, of course, despite the inevitable but not perceptible erosion, remains unparalleled and breathtaking. That is my metric. It took my breath away the first time I saw it, though I had steeled myself to be ‘cool’, and it has taken my breath away each time I have seen it since.

But, the whole Grand Canyon tourist experience has got much better over the years and I am so delighted by what I saw and experienced this last 4 days.


South Rim, from the Village, opposite Bright Angel Lodge, with the Lookout Studio (with the white roof) to the left. All pictures (or at least 99.5% of the 1,571 that were on the 3 digital cameras) by Deanna. All the pictures will ENLARGE if you click on them.


Teischan’s first view of the Canyon. She wasn’t sure how to frame and process what she was confronted with. She seems to be pointing at it. This is smack dab in the middle of the Village. Right opposite Bright Angel Lodge.


From my perspective here are the things that have changed for the better (and all involved, in particular the Park Service and Xanterra South Rim LLC (which runs all of the hospitality services including the lodges and eateries) deserve kudos.

1. Concerted emphasis on ecology, conservation and all things ‘green-related’: A lot of what they (in particular Xanterra) is pushing and enforcing at the South Rim should be the order of the day right across the world. They no longer sell bottled water at the South Rim and proactively discourage the use of plastic straws — with the servers at some of the restaurants wearing big ‘STRAW FREE’ pins. I have never understood people’s fascination with bottled water. Now at the South Rim they were enforcing what I have always believed in and advocated. Use reusable bottles and fill them up from a tap (and here I am talking as one who nearly died, when I was about 12, from drinking contaminated water from a rainwater barrel).  I had never really thought about the straws but that makes a lot of sense too. Altogether the unremitting messaging about conservation and saving the planet was positive and was never grating. This messaging should be universal and not just limited to the Canyon. I have never been prouder of the Park Service — and I have always had a soft spot for them.

2. Total eradication of noise pollution: Wow. The thing that I most savored was the deep, profound silence of the Canyon. You could hear the silence. The total absorbance of sound was magical — and it isn’t as if I am subject to much noise on my dirt road in rural, central NH. What they have done, as they had wanted to do for decades, was to ban sightseeing helicopters and planes from the 50 mile, main section of the Canyon. What a difference. In the past you could never get away from the constant and annoying buzz and drone. Now, just white noise level ‘nothing’, occasionally punctuated by the harsh call of black crows (which they call ravens out there). We saw helicopters, but they were being used to haul heavy material to Phantom Ranch at the bottom for the start of the season. But, they flew far out and were not around for long. In marked contrast, sunset in Sedona was like being at an airport.

3. Proliferation of wildlife: The first morning as we drove up to the Village we saw a herd of Elk grazing by the railway line and the mule corrals. I first thought that we had lucked out. Not so. Elk abound. We even saw an Elk grazing away on the lawn of the famous El Tovar Grand Hotel. It has become like Yosemite or Skyline Drive. Come dusk Elk everywhere. Talking to a Ranger I discovered that the deer and the Elk have actually become a problem. Devanee heard that they are planning to plant a different type of grass in the Village to curb the migration into the very midst of the main tourist area. We also got to see a condor.



4. Reasonably priced food: The food prices, in general, were not that different to what you would pay at McDonalds! That was a pleasant surprise and respite. Makes a total mockery of the prices charged by NH ski resorts like Gunstock and Loon. The Grand Canyon really is in the middle of nowhere. Hauling stuff to it is expensive. So they could justify expensive prices. That they don’t is great. It is a pity that our ski resorts (and the NH Highland Games) just want to exploit the punters.

5. Use of natural gas powered buses and encouraging people to use them.

To be fair there was just one thing that I was not impressed about and it is one of my perennial issues with contemporary life – lack of a dress code in fancy restaurants. We made a reservation and went to dinner at the El Tovar. Now the ‘El’ is billed as one of the Grand Hotels in the U.S. and the dining room is classed as ‘Grand’. Well, the dining room and the service was immaculate, BUT having hobos coming into dine in shorts and T-shirts just detracts from the experience. Yes, I complained verbally and in writing.

The other thing that I noticed and bemused me is the mobile device addiction. You are at the Grand and people have their noses stuck on a small screen. It is a pity — though watching people take pictures using a 10″ iPad was cool, given the large viewfinder so to speak.

Overall it was a great few days. Deanna is still going: ‘Wow, Wow, Wow …’. The kids were overwhelmed.