The National Park Service's Park-'N'-Drive Competition is getting intense: One tourist pulled a knife on another last fall in a fight over a Grand Canyon parking space. Already this season amid the canyon's gridlock, a woman who boldly stood in a parking space - trying to save it for her husband and their car - nearly got run over by a competing motorist who sensed an opening. She had to scramble out of the way, reports The Dallas Morning News, as the intruder pulled in angrily and claimed the coveted space. However, rangers let the perpetrators slide, making no bust in either case.
The New York Times has discovered national park campgrounds being
taken over by $100,000 RVs that are like cushy condos on wheels. In
some campgrounds, RVs now outnumber tents 3-1. In Olympic National
Park, RV-encased tourist Redman Hulse seemed amused: "A tent - oh,
for heaven's sake, are you kidding me?" More and more, the Park
Service seems aptly named.
average every day this summer in Yellowstone, one major charismatic
wild animal gets run down and killed by all the internal-combustion
traffic, reports Montana's Livingston Enterprise. Kerry Gunther has
the job of scavenging all Yellowstone's roadkill. Gunther stores
the bloody carcasses of moose, elk, bear, deer, owls, etc. in a
freezer, so (of course) the evidence can be meticulously studied.
"It's not fun," says Gunther. "It's not glamorous ... It's not what
I had in mind when I went into wildlife management." No word on
whether any of the four-legged victims were trying to occupy
parking or campground spaces.
other hand, maybe it's good that some park tourists shun the gas
pedal. In Canyonlands, the official report is that a woman "walked
away from her campsite ... under the influence of LSD' - the
mind-blowing drug. "A major search was launched," harnessing
rangers, the local sheriff's department, rescue dogs and
helicopters. "Wandering for three days and two nights in cold,
rainy weather," the woman - possibly acting out of a drug-induced
paranoia? - managed to avoid all the searchers. She found her own
way back to her campsite, and reappeared uninjured, which the Park
Service says "is surprising for the ordeal she had put herself
through." The agency spent about $9,000 searching for the wasted
it about the eerie rocks of Canyonlands? Shortly after the LSD hit
the fan, a man camping out required the attention of rangers when
he got high on hallucinogenic mushrooms. There were busts in both
drug cases. The Park Service, by the way, has a "zero tolerance
policy' - at least when tourists try to lift off.
Heard Around the West
hopes readers will send in tidbits that merit sharing - small-town
newspaper clips, personal anecdotes, relevant bumpersticker
slogans. The definition remains loose. Write to Heard, c/o HCN, Box
1090, Paonia, CO 81428 or