The debate of over noise in national parks always seems to center on snowmobiles in Yellowstone. It’s a worthy debate, to be sure. And since you asked, I think the practice should be eradicated. Winter in Yellowstone is an excruciatingly difficult survival scenario for the majority of the animals. With food at a minimum, every expense of energy needs to be spent on locating calories, not running from the buzzing curiosity of tourists on gas-powered sleds.
I’m growing somewhat tired of the crazy-feat-for-charity thing. And what would make someone more tired than running from the North Pole to the South Pole?
However, I’ll temper my cynicism based on the cause. And this is one of those times. Pat Farmer, of Sydney, Australia, is an ultra-runner about to embark on a fund-raising run to generate an ambitious $100 million (US) to bolster Red Cross clean water efforts around the world. Having recently read Water Wars: Drought, Flood, Folly and the Politics of Thirst by Diane Raines Ward, I can’t help but support the effort, having now at least a pedestrian knowledge of this growing global dilemma. It’s big time folks, and things aren’t getting better.
How many times have you tried to re-pack a tent, bag or sleep pad into its original stuff sack only to be stymied by the realization that the only time the blasted thing was ever efficiently stuffed into this shallow, tight bag with a narrow opening was just before shipping, most likely by some guy snickering with his buddies on the line, “Let’s see ‘em get this back in there. Stupid backpackers.”