Enjoying the Golden Hour Photographers of ever skill level from DSLR to smart phone, soaked in the splendor of the South Rim. All those cameras and not a single selfie was taken! Yet as the Golden light faded the dreaded bus loads of tourist arrived.
Like a cloud of locusts consuming all in their sight the masses grew. And with this plague arose self-righteous egocentric behaviors. Adults cutting in line, pushing, throwing trash on the ground, feeding wildlife.
To me Nature and our Parks are like a sanctuary or chapel. Those seeking solitude were quickly surrounded by droves of Selfi Stick wielding tourist. Is there a better way to enjoy the majesty of the Grand Canyon than to speed through it with a knock off GoPro on a dollar star Selfi Stick hanging from your window? Who cares about the history, ecology, vast splendor, or awe-inspiring views when you have two followers on snap chat! (YOU’RE A KING AMONG MEN)
The white-noise endless banter sounded as an air horn in the middle of a symphony. I found myself hating these people. These ignorant, selfish, consumers. Like sheep flocking from viewing point to visitor center, leaving waste and refuse in their wake. I don’t use the word hate liberally, but with every rock thrown into the canyon, or piece of trash on the ground by blood boiled. Another moron pushed through the crowded narrating a low quality You Tube video. Lauren and I joked, “Ken Burns watch out. This year’s best documentary goes to (THAT MOUTH BREATHER WITH A SMART PHONE)”
The best part of the Grand Canyon, as the name implies, is it’s Grand. The lazy “tourist” wouldn’t walk more than a mile down the rim trail, thus leaving long stretches between shuttle stops and viewing areas unspoiled. In these quiet spans, I calmed down. Believing National Parks are places for all people to experience the awe inspiring grandeur of nature, I was really struggling to find my happy place!
We’re all looking at the world through a key hole. Some however, have a very small pin hole view. Within such a limited perspective, the world exists solely for their entertainment. This doesn’t make them bad, evil, or stupid, just ignorant. Life’s about growing, learning, developing, expanding ones “keyhole”. As such I spent the rest of the day asking myself a series of questions, while gazing into the vast expanses of the Grand Canyon. Questions regarding how we use our parks, resources, and nature.
Does sustainable hunting on Federal Lands anger me? This will probably make some people mad, but legal, hunting doesn’t bother me. I don’t enjoy the ideal of killing an animal, but doing so is the reality of eating meat! There’s not a corndog plant, although I’ve often tried to convince people cattails are natural, all organic, corndogs!
Does logging National Forestry bother me? Not if it’s down wisely, replanted, and sustainable. Most structures are built with lumbar. Paper is a major part of our daily life. Do I hate seeing trees cut down, of course, but I also used lumbar to plank out our campervan. If you want to cold turkey toilet paper be my guest!
Do I love the ideal of oil fields on public lands? Not really, but I also use gas, own a plastic kayak, and I’m currently using a plastic laptop. You can’t say the oil industry should be shutdown unless your riding a bike everywhere and lubing the chain with organic hand pressed sunflower oil.
Do I love man made reservoirs and damns? Of course not, and may I add some of them are very impractical. However, if you have a house connected to grid power your more than likely using power created by hydroelectric. Not to mention flood control.
I understand that speaking openly will probably cost me followers, I can only quote Clark Gable from (Gone With The Wind) “frankly my dear I don’t give a dam”. Because, this experience of living out of a van, has widened my “keyhole”. Clicks, follows, shares, or emoji comments aren’t what’s important . Telling the truth is.
The truth is Lauren and I started out collecting fridge magnets and taking selfies with a point and shoot camera. We still collect fridge magnets, and sometimes still take selfies just with way more expensive cameras. We once looked at nature through a pin hole. It was time in the wild, life experiences, and adventure that gradually widened our perspective. The final lesson I walked away with is, were all learning. Progress is progressive. Just try to be a little better tomorrow than you are today. Use less, try not to waste, say a kind word, feed a hungry person, be patient in line, and enjoy everyday…