Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
If you think Yosemite is getting more crowded each year – you are right. Yosemite National Park had more than 4 million visitors last year — the highest total since 1996. In 1997, the Great Flood of January 2 hit and devastated the facilities at the park. The lawsuit that followed led to the budding Merced River Plan. We’ve talked a lot about this and you can go back in this blog to read about it again. The issue is – are too many people trundling near the Merced River – a designated Wild and Scenic River – and destroying it for future generations? Hand in glove is the discussion about when to close the gates upon reaching a maximum number of humans.
The current economic down times are forcing many to “stay-cation” by driving to nearby attractions instead of spending a bundle to fly to Europe or Asia. The Ken Burns NPS show on PBS contributed to more park visitors as well. Did you know that YNP has 22 people employed only for summer who guide motorists to parking and help them find less congested areas of the park to visit? I’ve never seen them – Anyone??
In 2011, underground sensors at park gates will gauge the flow. If it all works, you will be able to get this info on your smart phone before you arrive. Then maybe you’ll hangout longer in Oakdale, Oakhurst or Fresno before driving into gridlock.
I got my first spam cell phone call today. A recording telling me I could earn up to $17,000 a month. Gosh. I listened to the whole thing so I could call back and blast them – but at the end it had a “to be removed press pound” announcement. And why would I want to take such a drastic pay cut??
My Hiking 101 class is in full swing. We’ll be doing a “lab” this Sunday up St. Joseph’s hill in Los Gatos. I might run it gain in March or April. Condolences to much of the country shoveling out after the snows. I kinda feel guilty living in sunny California. It will be 70 tomorrow. Ahhhhh
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I keep some people’s phone numbers and names in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.” – A wise old man
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com