I came across some pictures from one of our trips to California.They were of the Grand canyon , from the North Rim.
I had so wanted to share my love of the Canyon with Neill, but didn’t want to loose my early memories – from the years before it got so developed. I ended up taking him to the North Rim -since it is much less traveled. The pictures brought back a lot of those early memories. I realized that I have the same feelings about our area- the high traffic in the BNR area and at many of our beauty spots disturbs me a great deal.
On one hand I am so glad that the beauty has been preserved- yet are we loving it to death? Took some family visitors out to Hawksbill Crag last Fall- I was stunned by the traffic- cars backed up parked for over a mile both ways! Almost turned around and left- but they were here on a limited time frame so we went ahead and walked the trail. On the walk in I kept count of the number of hikers- over two hundred … when we got out to the Crag- the entire top was covered with people. My husband jokingly said “wonder what the weight limit is ?” thinking of an elevator…We wondered how many more people would fit on it before it dropped into the canyon. What happened to the leave no trace effort-? traveling in small groups , not taking shortcuts, not using hiking poles to prevent causing erosion?
This has become true of so many of our known spots.The trails are worn down, erosion is taking them out -caused by so many large groups going through. I grew up hiking these places- and the majesty- the joy of standing out there – hearing the wild sounds … seems hard to find anymore-instead we see folks with ear buds – or their music blasting – yelling at each other – having a blast-but missing so much – trying to see ten spots in a day…
I truly have mixed feelings- while I recognize how good the tourism is for our business people, I regret the changes that it brings.