Monday, April 18, 2016

X-Games in our National Parks?

I hope not. 

I'm here in Zion NP loving the amazing array of sandstone and color. You name a shape, it's more than likely found here. As far as colors go, I lost count on the potential palette years ago. Suffice it to say, there's a lot of shades. 

As usual, I'm hiking here with my thoughts and daypack for company. I'm happy. 

Last night, the Zion NP Foundation had its annual fundraiser. The draw was a showing of the 3-D movie, "National Park Adventure." For $20.00 I could hobnob with Zion's Superintendent or eat hors d'oeuvres. Guess what I did?

Anyway, the movie began. The film featured the world class mountaineer Conrad "I scoff at the Angel of Death" Anker, his step-son and an extremely hard-bodied, attractive young woman named Rachel (I might be old, but I can still see.)  

The "Team" (narrator's term, not mine) were on a mission to technical rock climb, white water raft, mountain bike off of cliffs, ice climb (now there's a sport I really can't relate to) and trail run. The venues were our Nation's Cathedrals of wild places. There were many whoops of "Yahoo!" I'm happy to report there were no chest bumps. That would have knocked the Ever-Enticing Rachel off of her rock perch while she performed a one-legged yoga stand. 

I found the production to be sort of sickening. The thought of our Parks becoming a source of extreme entertainment bothers me. What's wrong with walking around, letting your mind wander and gazing at the wonders of it all? No competition there. No one-upmanship. No Yahoos! Isn't that what the Parks were meant to be? A place to escape the Rat Race? 

I've had people ask me why I haven't done a Grand Canyon Rim to Rim or worse, Rim to Rim to Rim hike or run. The answer is simple. I love being down there. It makes me feel joyful to sit on a beach to look, listen and feel the River, the Canyon and the smell of the air. I don't want to rush through those moments. I savor that time. That's why I keep returning to our National Parks. 

There's plenty of BLM property available for the X-Gamers. I just hope I'm not there when they are risking life and limb.

Good night from Barley the Van living down by the Virgin River,

Those last two photos are about as extreme as I get. 

A narrow section of the East Rim trail with a death defying plunge beneath.

A step into quicksand. It's not so quick.

Then there was that recent moment of falling off a cliff...but that wasn't intentional.

1 comment:

  1. How are the crowds, and is Barley parked in one of the NPS Campgrounds? Zion is an AWESOME place!