Monday, July 1, 2019

ISO: Solitude

Living in a place that tourists flock to year round has some advantages.  We have an airport, for one.  We have lots of restaurants and services and bike paths.  There is a ski area and there are farmers markets.  Plus if people want to come here, you know you live in a pretty nice place.

There are plenty of downsides though. Traffic is increasing every year.  There are people everywhere downtown.  Probably the worst impact is how visitors are crowding the local national park. 

They arrive in hordes.  An enormous parking lot at an alpine pass is full by 9 am most days.  The popular trails are mobbed.  Cars are bumper to bumper on the park road.

While I appreciate that so many people are enjoying the natural beauty (maybe some will be moved to support efforts to save and protect public lands), it makes it difficult for the locals sometimes, especially those who remember more tranquil times.  

Seeking solitude, we flee to places outside the park that are less known.  Here we hike for miles, in scenery that rivals the spots the tourists flock to, seeing hardly anyone.  

Are they welcome here?  Sure, but do your research: don't post looking for advice on Facebook; that's lazy.  Don't geotag.  Leave these beautiful places as you found them.  



 

10 comments:

  1. It's hard living in a place everyone wants to visit. The Columbia River Gorge near where I live is getting this way too. And I agree with your philosophy about posting for advice on Facebook. Yes, do your own research - that's what I always do.

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    1. Yes I can't believe the people who say, we are going to be in Glacier for four days next week, what should we do and where should we hike?

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  2. I have lived in a tourist town and there are some downsides for sure!

    At least you have found other places to go enjoy nature away from the crowds! Judging by your pics, I think you do a great job of that!!!

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    1. Yes we do, luckily between my hiking partners and I we do research and all know of different, nice areas to go. It makes me laugh to look at photos on social media of very popular park hikes with one person in the frame, when I know dozens are lurking in the background!

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  3. You describe our town, too, on a smaller scale. A big beautiful Great Lake, a National Lakeshore, a National Recreation area much advertising as "bike towns" and kayaking meccas and voila! We, too, find other spots but with a touch of resentment as in "hey, we were here first!" One of our hopes is that visitors will not see the area as just as backdrop for their recreating but as an environment worth protecting....off the soapbox now. The places you find and your photos are beautiful.

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    1. It is hard. It's probably not right, but locals feel resentful sometimes too. We put up with the harsh gloomy winters and then we feel chased out of the park. Hopefully the visitors appreciate the area.

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  4. I can understand how you feel. I don't like being anywhere crowded. We like to hike the Adirondack high peaks and the Catskills. They are actually getting overcrowded and there is no parking. Somewhat related - last weekend we were driving to the Berkshires and a group was pulled over on the Mass Pike to take selfies in front of the "Welcome to Massachusetts" sign. Gee!

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    1. It's happening so many places even the secluded spots I used to go to! So many people!

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  5. Growing up in northern California, I so get this...you want to share all of the beautiful places and yet you don't want everyone to find out about them, LOL. And that was BEFORE Facebook!

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