Daily Archives: March 13, 2021

Careless Visitors Gain Arches National Park An Ignoble Designation

New Year’s Eve Morning At Turret Arch, Arches National Park (Utah)

The National Parks Traveler has run a number of articles about graffiti in the national park units. I even wrote an op-ed for the Traveler regarding graffiti, and one commenter rightly said that the people who really need to see the articles are not the ones who read the Traveler, or probably even anything else regarding behavior and the Leave No Trace Principles in national parks, except how to make lodging reservations or how many miles away it is from where they live.

So, I thought I’d write this post and embed the link to the latest article about Arches in the image above, captured back in 2017 – a year before I retired from my day job and moved up to central Washington.

To read the article, click on the image above.

To read other articles published in the Traveler about graffiti in national parks, click on this link.

Feel free to pass this post with its links on to others. The more people that understand it’s NOT ok to leave graffiti in a national park, or otherwise trash a park unit with garbage, human waste, and pet waste, the less cleanup that will need to be done to the precious natural resources within a park unit.

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Filed under National Parks, National Parks Traveler

Steps Up The Trail

A leading line shot, Flood of Fire Trail, Foree Area, Sheep Rock Unit, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

It’s Saturday, folks! Or does it matter? For the past year, the days have all run together and I’m glad I have a calendar (a real paper one, no less) to which I can refer and find out what day it actually is ;).

This photo is looking up the very short .4-mile round trip Flood of Fire Trail in the Foree Area of the Sheep Rock Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, in Oregon. It was the last trip I made pre-pandemic, before things shut down. Not the last trip I made during the entire year, mind you, but the last regular trip I made prior to Covid.

Anyway, if you are ever looking for a nice little road trip to make, a trip to any of the three units within this national monument will allow you to stretch your legs, since the few trails in each of the units are short. I really wish there were more, longer trails, but I have a feeling that perhaps, national monuments don’t get quite the love (or money) that national parks get. Then again, national monuments probably don’t get the visitor headaches that national parks get – or do they?

Last year, I saw a post, either on Facebook or Instagram, by this national monument asking that people park responsibily in the Painted Hills Unit. Apparently there was a crowding issue, brought on by people wanting to get out and away from Covid for a little bit. Many of those people were probably the kind who are only accustomed to water parks or theme parks, and a trip to an actual, outdoor, in-the-wild-type park unit is a new experience for them – an experience for which they don’t know how to practice the Leave No Trace etiquette.

But, I digress. Central Oregon is a place of winding roads, slower driving (so as not to hit the cattle ranging freely), stunning geology, awesome landscapes for your camera, but few large towns or gas stations. If you prepare accordingly, it’s a great excuse for a road trip.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Parks, Oregon, Photography, Sony Alpha a7r IV, Travel