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Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

Tucson, Arizona
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for Dusseldorf
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Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

It is totally amazing to me that most of the posts on this forum are about driving a car quickly acros the terrain in an efficient manner to see all the "Big" sights, and then be gone. Have we all forgotten that this is a national park that is huge that to really see and know it requires the use of our feet on the ground, and a bit of effort and time.

Oh, you have driven through Death Valley, now you can add it to your list, "Ive done it" "I've seen it" really? Really?

Do we remember the word "Explore"? Aren't the parks supposed to slow us down? Breathe? See? Smell? Touch? Sweat? Walk?

ZB

California
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1. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

Well sweat is surely appropriate for this time of year!

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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2. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

I'm afraid that is what it's about, Zabby. Various reasons, I think. It's summer, and people are less likely to want to hike in hot weather. Many people are from outside the US and are on a rush trip and feel they have to cram in as many sights as possible, so they have time only for a few drive-by shootings. Many overseas visitors are not fully aware of the sizes and distances in the American West as a whole, and they may bite off more than they can digest in terms of a day's travel. Folks don't always realize how huge Death Valley is (the entire park is as big as Luxembourg and Lebanon combined) and how much there is to see. And Death Valley, while renowned worldwide, doesn't quite have the "sex appeal" of Yosemite, so folks tend to think DV is just a place to break up the drive between Las Vegas and Yosemite. (It drives me crazy to read that someone wants to get from Yosemite to Las Vegas in a day and then spend 4 days in Las Vegas).

Whatever other reasons people have for allowing too little time, and too little time out in the fresh air, I also think humans in general are less in touch with nature than in years past. We have too much information coming in and overloading us, so when we see the real place, our reaction might be, "Hmmm, BTDT."

Humans are subjected to a lot of sensory stimuli and a lot of information, much of it virtual. If we see several videos about Rome, we figure we've seen it, so when we actually go there, we may not give it the physical attention it deserves. All the TV, internet, and other ways that we learn about the world around us are good if they truly whet our interest so we want to make our own discoveries, rather than letting the electronic things govern what we discover.

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

Many people even don't know how big Luxembourg and Lebanon are F-R ;)

Tucson, Arizona
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for Dusseldorf
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4. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

I think you mean Tet that many Americans don't know? Frissy, great explanation.

ZB

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

Not sure only Americans ZB, esp for Lebanon.....

So Cal
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6. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

People are sedentary these days. How many times have you pulled up to a trailhead or overlook, super crowded/loud/peoplepeoplepeople, walked about a quarter of a mile down the trail and...silence.

Or:

At the Grant Grove (already not really a "trail", IMO, but a paved footpath, very easy to walk), we were approached by a dad who asked us how much further to the General Grant. "About 5-10 minutes? 15 at most?" we guessed. His reaction? "Fifteen minutes!?! Hey son, look at that tree, it's big."

And I'm thinking, you've driven all this way, you're less than 15 minutes from the second-biggest* living thing in the entire freaking world, and that's too far to walk? Seriously?

/shrug/ Part of me wants to say, well, if you vacation that way and still enjoy yourself, then..okay, I guess. The other half says they're not just missing out on a lot, but they're utterly disconnected from the natural world. Since we impact that world and it impacts us, that disconnect is troubling.

*Yes, I know it's since been knocked down to third place

Edited: 09 July 2013, 02:03
San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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7. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

** "they're utterly disconnected from the natural world." **

This was part of what I was thinking. As people become more and more dependent on technology and machinery, they become less and less in touch with the real world. By real world, I mean air, water, sunshine, stars, rocks, bugs, and so on. And with other people.

Jenazz mentioned people missing out on a lot, the same folks I talked about for whom a few videos about Yosemite = BTDT. They are so out of touch with nature that they don’t even KNOW they are missing out. Thanks to all the new and modern ways we have of looking at the world, their world is virtual and they live in a reality some of us wouldn’t recognize.

I've mentioned before the excellent book "Last Child in the Woods." The author uses the phrase "nature deficit disorder." Humans are wired to need contact with the real world, real people, and elements of life that cannot be found on a screen. Recent generations of humans have been divorcing themselves from those and it is affecting people's mental, emotional, and spiritual health (not to mention physical; just look at any TV picture of people walking around on the Las Vegas Strip and you can almost hear them huffing and puffing).

Santa Ana, CA
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8. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

How about a 500 page book on Hiking Death Valley:

barnesandnoble.com/w/…

Seattle
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9. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

Well, if it makes you feel better, I got out of the car and hiked. Sure I did my fair share of driving, but I got up to Darwin Falls, WAAAAAAY out into the dunes, up Golden Canyon, down to Salt Creek and well past the Natural Bridge. Mind you, later in the day I tended to enjoy the pleasures of the AC - but I did make an effort before the heat struck me down!

Uden, The...
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10. Re: Have We Forgotten Our Feet?

Good show Tardis-Geek!

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