17 Aug 2005

Back from Wyoming

Jessica and I just got back from our vacation in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Here are some of the pictures we took there.

We were gone from Saturday the 6th to Sunday the 14th. We drove there, covering over 2590 miles of the American west.

We backpacked for three days and two nights, hiking over 29 miles on one of the most amazing trails I've ever seen, the Teton Crest trail.
We covered over 8 miles the first day, 12 the second, and another 8 the third. If anyone out there backpacks, we would both highly recommend this one. Hopefully these pictures show some of the beauty.

Then, when we get back, I read this in the paper :
The new evaluation by the Bush administration cuts the estimated value of recreation in national forests from $111 billion to $11 billion, leading some environmentalists to warn that the study could be used to justify increased logging.
...forestry trade groups and the timber industry hailed the reassessment, saying it more accurately reflects the true value of natural resources to the nation's economy.

We spent much of our time on this hike in national forest area, as the Teton Crest trail goes in and out of park boundaries. I have to say that after having just lived and breathed this, I find it utterly missing the point to be putting a price on it at all. They say they want to be able to have numbers to compare “apples to apples”, but I don't see that as possible.
My wife and I just spent three days enjoying the raw beauty of America – saying that was worth $450 to the government is insulting to me and our experience.
That aside, if you get a chance to go on a vacation like this, consider hiking in the Tetons rather than it's big cousin, Yellowstone. I promise it is worth it. It is far more amazing than these pictures.

I think that more accurately reflects the true value of these natural resources than a dollar figure, what do you think?
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