Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Tourist Watching Tourists In Yosemite National Park

Ahhh, the joy of getting out of the city to get away from it all.  To breathe in the fresh air, see the mountains, look at the beautiful trees...oh yeah, with everyone else driving from the city to do the same.  I love our National Parks, as many other Americans do, but sometimes the crowds can rival those in metro areas. This was one of those weekends.

You know the stories of extremely rich people wanting to go to outer space alone and are willing to pay big bucks to do so?  I wonder what it would be like if you could do that with a National Park.  Can you imagine being at one of these parks alone? Now I just need to win the lottery to see if it's possible.

As I toured through Yosemite, I wondered if Ansel Adams could handle the crowds that tour the park today.  I was laughing to myself thinking of him setting up his camera and waiting for the light as 20 tourists stood behind him snapping away.  It is pretty insane how many people line up to wait for a parking space and then walk fifty feet to look at a waterfall.  Don't get me wrong, the scenery is so beautiful and amazing but when you pair it with sitting in traffic to park just to walk behind a herd of people, you start thinking to yourself, "this better be the most beautiful waterfall ever!...or else!"

I took pictures of the scenery, but I also enjoyed snapping pictures of the tourists.  Once a bear was spotted in the field, the traffic was jammed up for miles, there was a ranger directing the traffic and yelling at people to keep moving, the same ranger was yelling at people to stay on the road as the crowd tried to inch closer and closer to the grazing bear.  I cracked up as I saw a family turning to take a family photo. This is how the mother would describe the printed picture to someone: "Here's the last picture I have of my husband and kids when they turned their back to the hungry bear in Yosemite."

Oh, and after the hike to the waterfall, there was also the line ten people deep to use the "bathroom."

I spent the day driving on the road that took me through the entire park.  After touring the valley, it was time to go back to the campsite for some quiet time with Max.  The following morning, we left our site around 7:30a.m and the line to get a site was out of the door at the reservation house.  Oddly enough, I wasn't the only one who thought it would be a good idea to camp at Yosemite this weekend.


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