[Cdt-l] Fw: America's national parks weigh solitude against cellular access

Scott Williams baidarker at gmail.com
Sun Jan 20 23:04:21 CST 2013

Much of what we all experience in the wild has changed dramatically since I
was a kid hiking the JMT in the 60s.  But most of that is in the gear I
carry, the lightness of my pack, tent and bag, not cooking any longer
thereby not having the fire that seemed obligatory at the time.  But the
one thing that hasn't changed is the experience of the beauty of the
mountains and the solitary nature of the trail itself, often being alone
for days at a time if I hiked the less popular trails.  Most of the CDT
seems to fit into that category.

I can choose to turn on my cel phone or not, but no one else's use of one
on the CDT this past year ever had any influence on my enjoyment of the
moment.  If it brings more wonderful young folks out on trail, I wouldn't
mind.  We are so darn lucky to have the long trails we do, the only country
in the world with this kind of richness of wilderness access, and ours a
somewhat elitist experience of that wilderness, that I don't mind a few
more microwaves in the woods if it brings more potential supporters outside
with us.


On Sun, Jan 20, 2013 at 5:53 AM, Dan Bedore <mr_dan_bedore at yahoo.com> wrote:

> To me the National Parks are a compromise we need to make as lovers of the
> wild in order to enlist our future allies in political battles to save our
> long trails and wild areas. As we are a democracy, and long distance hikers
> are a distinct minority, we need people from cities, who know nothing of
> nature but what's on tv, to support environmental issues. And the front
> country of national parks is designed to allow people who know nothing of
> the wild to enjoy it safely.
> The boardwalks, the signs full of rules, the crowds, and so many other
> things at the signature tourist sites certainly intrude on the wildness
> that we superhikers love so much. But they are necessary to save the
> tourist from the park and to save the park from the tourists.
> Once you've walked a quarter mile from the parking lots and from the main
> attractions, the litter thins out, the talkers are quieter, and the
> rudeness in general lessens. I guess some people get more respectful, but
> mostly I think the rudest people are too lazy to walk 5 minutes.
> So I think that cell phone yackers won't take over the whole of the back
> country.
> Also, in mountainous terrain, a tower that covers a popular area won't
> have line of sight for other nearby valleys.
> So, in conclusion, if a few cell towers in the most popular areas of the
> parks draw in potential new wilderness afficcionados, maybe on the balance
> it's a good thing.
> My 2 cents worth
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