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Welcome back hoss. I share a birthday with John Wesley Powell I'll have you know. And the only reason I know that is cuz one day I went to Wikipedia and looked up everybody famous born on that day. Powell not good enough for ya? Steve McQueen then. BAM!

Keep in mind that you're getting a skewed sample at the south rim. Anyone with anything else worthwhile to do is off doing it. Though I can scarce believe it's any different from say, the Wharf or the Haight or whatnot.


I think one of Kirk's points is: why would anybody drive all the way to the Grand Canyon to behave the same way they do at the Wharf or the Haight?

One of Teddy Roosevelt's points, in creating our National Park system, was that you didn't have to be an avid outdoorsman to truly appreciate nature's grandeur ... but - at the risk of sounding like the type of elitist that Teddy would have loathed - how deep is the appreciation of today's generation of tourist, for whom such scenic wonder is merely a back-drop to an iPhone send? Then again ...

... yesterday, I went with my family to 4th U.S. President James Madison's Montpelier estate, and Shenandoah National Park ... on our way there, we drove through Manassas Battlefield, site of at least two battles of the U.S. Civil War - including, apparently, the first. As we admired the pretty fields, gently-rolling hills, bucolic woods, and meandering streams now gracing the once-blood-stained soil, a family member with a degree in history pointed something out that I never learned in school: apparently tourists arrived in droves, by stage coach, to watch the spectacle of that first battle of the war - just as if it were a sporting event!

This, of course, harks back to Kirk's earlier post about people baiting grizzlies and bulls against each other at the site of the Mission District Walgreens ... but I guess my point here is that maybe today's Grand Canyon tourists aren't any more mentally removed from the spectacles they take in than tourists of the past?

I guess all any living thing ever really does is consume!
(and one day we'll extinguish ourselves in the process)


Glad you got to see the Giants win the pennant. Thanks to his 2 winning runs batted in, Juan Uribe would be my second choice for NLCS MVP after Cody Ross -- who is the equivalent of a bargain found on eBay. Giants fans will have to endure another week of torture.

Can't stand Joe Buck & Tim McCarver. (They're the REAL torture!) I had to listen to KNBR radio in real time, which turned the delayed Fox broadcast into instant replay.

I have to wait 'til I get home to watch your videos. My employer still pretends to pay me, so I still pretend to work...


That sounds almost like the trip I took this year, minus the Grand Canyon. Bryce and Zion were quite beautiful, but I was actually surprised at how much respect the people I saw there had for their surroundings. Hardly any trash, and people even telling their kids to pick up after themselves and not stomp around in sensitive areas. I can imagine the Grand Canyon being different though.

BTW, if the Colorado Pikeminnow tastes anything like our Sacramento counterpart, it would be delicious. I've actually eaten Squawfish, and the meat is perfectly tender and sweet. I would eat it more if they weren't high in contaminants and without those damn bones that fork into a million pieces. It's literally impossible to eat many parts.

Scott Parker

Too many go to see these sights hoping to get something from them. Too few realize that all we get is what we take with us. To one who appreciates the tremendous natural processes that took millenia to form these features, we are overawed. Likewise, someone who believes that these majestic vistas were created by a kind and loving god, is humbled by them.

For most, who live lives of "Quiet Desperation" without even realizing it, and not only didn't choose but never even noticed the fork for "The Road Less Traveled By", go to these places seeking fulfillment. They want a quickening and when they are disappointed because there is nothing in their hearts to quicken, their unfaith is reinforced. And we wind up with Mall of America on the south rim of the result of one of the most awesome and patiently powerful processes in the history of the world.

It's good to have you back Kirk. I have to say I've missed your posts and am happily surprised that I am so bad with dates and times (I thought you were returning THIS weekend).


If someone lives in any locality such that the Grand Canyon is between them and San Francisco, then San Francisco requires the greater sacrifice in terms of distance traveled. Such people have to drive all the way to the Wharf or the Haight, just to act like they do at the Grand Canyon. So much for that.

My point was that the Prophet Kirk -- peace be upon him, long may scholars argue over the meaning and interpretations of his Sacred Word -- knows where the annoying tourist spots are in his own town, knows what to expect, and probably avoids them scrupulously. Though granted, what people are trying to snap photos of there isn't as awe-inspiring, and therefore maybe their consumerism isn't as profane, as at the Grand Canyon.

But the proximity thing actually raises a good point: A person's appreciation for a thing tends to vary in direct proportion to the sacrifice or hardship they've endured in attaining it.

So you might argue that an easy drive to a fenced viewing platform on the rim can never really give anyone a full appreciation of anything. (Nor can, really, a DRIVE anywhere, for how physically undemanding it is.)

For the same reason, when things started to play out at Bull Run, I'll bet those war-tourists, at least the non-dullards among them, experienced a sudden increase in their appreciation for the rebels' strength of will, not to mention the vagaries, horrors and dangers of war itself.

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