Ansel Adams ruined Yosemite. Well …. somebody did. Probably, a bunch of people had a hand in it, collectively ruining the park by popularization. Ansel may have just kicked it off. The cool climbers that flock here just sealed its fate.
Honestly, though, why even try to take a picture of Yosemite? Ansel’s already taken a better one. You can buy a print at the gift shop. Of course, you can also take a photography class while you’re here if you’re not feeling inadequate enough already — they’ll point out all the ways you’re going wrong.
There’s just too much going on here — too many cars crowding the trailhead parking lots, too many people on the trail, too many kids running around with ice cream cones, too many people in line for a $5 shower. (I waited 10 minutes; Lisa had to wait 20 … not the end of the world, but this level of busy makes Yellowstone look damn near deserted.) There are a lot of crazies here. One refuses to drive in the cliff-side lane. If there’s a cliff to the right, she moves left and into on-coming traffic. This almost ends in her demise three times while we watch. Insanity.
But all National Parks are busy. They draw an international crowd. If you’re flying in from Europe, you’re not going to some rinky-dink State Park. You’re going to the crown jewels of the US park system, the National Parks.
Of course, I don’t know how to solve this problem. Shouldn’t be solved, probably. Maybe I’ll stick to National Monuments in the future — they’re quieter. Maybe I’ll only go to National Parks in the winter. Maybe we need a four-wheel drive truck so we can explore the dirt roads and other inhospitable corners instead of sticking along the main routes. I like this idea. Sign me up for a Wrangler!