If it’s not beneath your child’s dignity….How about a summer job at Yosemite?

I’m cynical because as I travel the country, I see many foreigner kids working at our parks. Many stutter thru English. In fact, support companies (restaurants, gift shops, motels) need to hire Eastern Euros to do the work..because USA millennials won’t. The entitlement bug has been them good.

There are firms with contracts to recruit Romanians, Croatians and Ukranians to come over en mass for these jobs – they love the work and will do it.  I commend them and tell them so.

Ditto Yosemite. And I am told that our youth will not clean rooms, slop floors, clean sheets. Limp. Yet they wait texting  hoping IBM will call. This pisses me off. AARRGGHH

READ:  Here’s a Yosemite job for your kid.

Men on mountail

Work at Yosemite – hike on your off days

These Government jobs are paying WAY above minimum wage. Expect $16-$22/hr depending on position. 300 spots are being filled for the summer of 2018.

Ask John or Jane if they want to do this. Backcountry rangers, entrance station rangers, custodial services, forestry technicians, utility systems operators, administrative assistants, traffic control rangers, etc.

See  www.usajobs.gov through the end of January. Do it now….some have application limits.

Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I saw her sitting in the rain. Raindrops falling on her. She didn’t seem to care, she sat there and smiled at me. Then I knew she could make me happy. Flowers in her hair – Flowers everywhere.” – The Cowsills
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


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NPS considers entry fee hike to pay maintenance

NPS considers entry fee hike to pay maintenance
The Department of the Interior, through the National Park Service, is proposing that admission prices be raised to $70.00 per car.  Motorcycles would go up to $50.
OK – here’s my Op-Ed take on this.
The National Parks are a resource for ALL citizens (and foreigners) to enjoy adventure, solitude and to enjoy nature away from the buzz of urban sprawl. I began my love of Yosemite in 1990, when I first hiked to the top of Half Dome. 41 more times and I am hooked.  But I’ve also added the other classic trails: Clouds Rest, Yosemite Falls, Four Mile, the original Big Oak Flat Road, etc.  The place is stellar.
About 3 years ago, the admission was jacked to $30 and camping got bumped up also. I can afford it, but I don’t go in every day.  Some do. But I must admit, my Half Dome hikes are getting darn expensive.  I stay at the Curry (er, Half Dome) Village tent cabins, since I want to get a good night’s sleep before this  massive hike (you will agree if you’ve ever done it.)  The rates for a 4-man run about $140 per night.  A 2-man is about $120.  So a 2- night adventure with admission, gas, bed and food can run push this over $400.   
So most of us are well off enough to go once a summer.  I’ve done the hike five times in 2 consecutive summers – yes, I’m addicted…..er, no it’s my passion.   But it is a hit in the wallet.  I also do  many other worldwide adventures that call for $$$.
My big societal concern is for the lower income folks. $30 per car is high enough – $70 could make a trip very, very hard for a family to go to the park. It’s OUR park…merely administered by the NPS.  Many inner city kids will be shut out.  We need a future generation to love the place and carry on when we are pushing up daisies. 
Maintenance has been improving at Yosemite and other parks. Note the work at the Big Trees. Yes, the toilets at Glacier Point are an embarrassment – what do people from Europe, China and Australasia think of us? Sheesh.   5 Million came to Yosemite in 2016.  Is that 5 million heads? How do they count? Have you ever seen anyone at the gate counting?  Hmmm – sounds like giant guess. 
Yosemite statistics show about 6,000 parking places. So that’s 6,000 cars enter.  If this is multiplied by the $40 raise, we just generated $240K right there – just in our park. The other BIG parks would also get the raise.  Grand Canyon draws 6 million. The others hover at about 4 million. You do the math. Soon, where;s all the do-ray-me going? There were over 300 million visitors to all National Parks last year. 80% goes to the park that raises it.  So we could be paying to pave roads at Moosejaw Park in Bums Knuckle, Idaho. How about the Glacier Point toilets?
Affected parks are:  Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Shenandoah, Joshua Tree and Zion. The new rate would be charged only in peak season.
We can comment on the plan – it’s only proposal, a plan, an idea, for now.  Get involved, send them a few words with your opinion. Maybe you agree. You have until Nov 23 to comment.  See the details and how to comment on the proposal here.
You have a story?  Hit the comment button…and SUBSCRIBE to these occasional Epistles off the Rock.
Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The change, it had to come – We knew it all along.” – Won’t get fooled again – the Who
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

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142nd Anniversary of the first summit of Half Dome by George Anderson

Today is the anniversary of George Anderson’s first summit of Half Dome – Oct 12, 1875

From my book, One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome –

In 1869, Josiah Whitney, the Chief Geologist for California, looked up and said: “Half Dome is perfectly inaccessible, being probably the only one of all the prominent points of Yosemite which has never been, and never will be, trodden upon.”

man standing

One of the few pictures of George Anderson

Many early settlers attempted to scale the 45-degree backside of Half Dome, including James Hutchings and Charles Weed in 1859. They brought Weed’s photo gear but were unable to ascent the steep backside. In the early 1870’s John Muir’s climbing buddy, expert climber George Bayley, also tried with the same result. This shows the difficulty of the task; Bayley was good enough to later be the first to get to the top of Mt. Starr King.  Perhaps John Conway got the closest. In September 1873, Conway, who also later crafted many trails at Yosemite, had his young sons attempt the feat. Led by 9-year old Major Conway, the “lizard like” boys scrambled barefoot up the rock and inserted steel rods into cracks to which they attached a rope.  Major reached an elevation of about 300 feet above the saddle, but father John mercifully called him back when he reached a point where he could find no projection to attach the rope.

It was just five years after Whitney’s proclamation that George Anderson set out to top out on the mountain. Anderson, like John Muir, was a Scottish immigrant and he was a former sailor. Third party accounts and writings years after the event make the facts blurry, but we believe he quietly set up his work area in a small cabin he built nearby (the location has not been discovered, but is believed to have been near a stream on the east side of the current Half Dome trail). Another cabin that Anderson later lived in at Foresta is now on display at the Yosemite Pioneer History Center in Wawona.

A tip of the hat to George.

Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I want to take you higher. Baby baby baby light my fire. Boom shaka-laka-laka Boom shaka-laka-laka.” – Sly & the Family Stone
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

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