Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates


10-20-2008: Frustrations With National Parks!

We are here to get you out of your cars and onto your feet, bikes, skates, kayaks, skis, etc... Anything that is powered by the beautiful machine that is you!!!

We made it to the Grand Canyon, YAY!!!! One of the major goals of this trip (at least for me). It is very beautiful. The shades of brown, pink and white have a magical essence about them. It's too bad that it is so overrun with tourists. Yes, yes I know we are tourists too, exploiting the beauty, the scenery, the natural wonder. And, even though it's sad to see it so overrun, everyone we've talked to has been very nice.

I'm going to regress, I am very upset at something I learned today and you should be too. For one car to enter the park is $25.00, for one bike to enter is $12.00, at first that may sound reasonable, a bike pays half the price of a car. However, when you take a closer look it means that a group of four friends riding into the park on bikes has to pay twice as much as four friends driving into the park in a gas guzzling SUV. For Dan and I to enter the park it cost us $24.00 pretty much the same as if we would have driven in. In addition to that, the park had very little in the way of bike facilities. For instance, there were no bike lanes or multi-use paths. In actuality the shoulders inside the park were narrower and in worse condition than the shoulder on the highway (64) which leads to the park. The only facilities that the park had were a couple of bike racks at the visitors center and at the library. So I ask, what is it that cycilists are paying for? Why should a group of cyclists have to pay double if not more than that than a group in a polluting SUV? I'm sorry, but this made me extremely frustrated, we should start a campaign for cheaper entry fee for groups of cyclists entering National Parks. There should be incentives for people who are entering National Parks using environmentally friendly, alternative modes of transportation. National Parks are our countries beautiful, natural, environmental treasures and they are being destroyed by mobs of automobiles, currently they are built to accommodate cars over human-powered commuters. Why punish people who are trying to visit the parks in a more sensitive way? It boggles the mind, making absolutely no sense. Alright, I'm done b%$ching!

For the most part, today was really fun. We were treated like mini-celebrities. People were so excited to see the dogs in their Doggy Ride. Tons of people were taking pictures of us and some people even took their picture with us. I wish the dogs could go on the trails here, we would stay for a couple of days and do some hiking, but since they can't we are only making it a day trip.

So we've been thinking, instead of going back on highway 89 we are going to take the Arizona Trail which is dirt roads. It'll be nice, the dogs will be able to run, so far on this trip they haven't been able to run much at all (we've been on highways). It will be nice for us to get out of the traffic, dirt roads are always cooler and not being so concerned with the traffic, you get to enjoy the scenery so much more.

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