While I sat in the auditorium watching the winners smile as the losers fidgeted, I fast-forwarded this scene to future generations. I feel sorry for them.
In the early 30's, Everett Ruess wandered in the Southwest untrammeled by crowds or regulations. It was a unfenced landscape. There were no required permits for his wilderness sorties then. He disappeared in 1934. America's population was 126 million.
In 2015, I wander around via Barley the Van instead of a mule like Everett. Popular hiking trails are rife with people. So much for the wilderness experience. The really sought after destinations like the Wave require a permit for the pleasure of photographing them. My future outdoor plans require at least three permits for me to play in the Great Outdoors. America's population is now 319 million.
More people are reaching for the same piece of pie. Sadly, the slice is not getting any bigger.
Today I hiked Lick Wash. It was an airy, big view canyon for the most part. Certain sections even contained twinges of Zion National Park. There are no permits required except for overnight stays. I saw no one in 8 miles. I saw one snake though. I think it'll be just a matter of time before hikers will have to go online to secure a permit to see it.
I'm glad I was born in 1954 instead of 1994.
I know, a very sobering blog.