Thursday, July 21, 2016

National Parks

I have no idea where this was taken, but I bought it here, in the L.A. area, and it sure looks like some of our western mountain ranges, and since these people look like tourists, well it's not unreasonable to think park.  Before the age of the automobile, visiting a national park often meant a train trip, transfer to a horse drawn coach, and a ride along a not well maintained dirt road.  In other words, people of  wealth were park visitors, working class and poor people were not.

 Visit some of the older parks like Yosemite, Glacier, and Grand Canyon, and you'll see the grand lodges, rustic building that provided a bit of luxury between views.  Over the years, I've stayed at a few of those hotels, and while the rooms are small by the standards of today, I'd bet the gourmet food in the restaurants surpass what was on the menu in 1900.   Adjust the bill for inflation, and the old lodges are still catering to the well off.

And that's the rub.  When I was growing up, families packed up their army surplus cabin tents, coolers, cots, and camp stoves and vacationed in a national park.  Where I grew up, Great Smokey Mountains and Shenandoah.   Every once in awhile, one of my classmates parents were willing to drive twenty hour days so they could spend a week in Yellowstone.  Today, because of the ever increasing cost of transportation, lodging, and equipment, once again, the working classes are priced out of the parks.

And while I'm ranting, the Republican Party Platform calls for the transfer of federal lands to the states to manage or dispose of as they see fit.  I can't imagine that working out well.

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