Filed under: Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Preparation & Readiness, State & National Parks
Apolitically Correct – Camping During Earth Week at Yosemite Valley National Park
For a couple of days during Earth Week (April 17 through 25) this year, we hiked and wandered the trails and meadows of Yosemite Valley. It was also National Park Week, so it seemed as if a social eclipse were occurring. The weather was perfect for hiking, with sunny days and temperatures from the high 50s to low 70s F. Nights dipped down to freezing, and there was still snow on the peaks and in the shadows. We had not been in the valley for more than a decade and it was good to be back strolling among the fragrant cedars and high granite cathedrals.
Celebratory activities in Yosemite Valley varied widely during the week, but included food stands, art exhibits, displays of Yosemite’s hybrid-power tram that moves visitors around the valley to keep auto traffic to a minimum, talks on the bear management system and a visitor’s responsibility toward park wildlife, lectures about the natural and human history of Yosemite, and demonstrations how the Rangers use handsaws instead of power chainsaws to clean up fallen trees in order to not introduce noise and hydrocarbons into the air in the valley that visitors come from all over the world to experience and enjoy.
The campgrounds of the valley were lively, and there were people camped in every manner of accommodations imaginable. There were hundreds of different people engaged in a multitude of different activities
in Yosemite Valley that week. And yet as we walked and talked to so many people during our time in the valley, what we found was that they didn’t speak of the differences, they spoke
of how much they enjoyed their shared experiences of camping.
It reminded us of what camping is really all about—the shared experience of enjoying the majestic beauty of places such as Yosemite Valley.
Our visit to Yosemite brought us back to the essential truth that whether you are camping in a tent, travel trailer, truck camper or motorized RV is not the issue. And it’s not about whether you hike or drive into your campsite. It’s about respect, courtesy, kindness and tolerance for all wild and special places and all living things, including your fellow campers.
Stuart Bourdon, Editor, Camping Life Magazine
Article Courtesy Camping Life Magazine. Subscribe to Camping Life Magazine today!