- Dec 23, 2013
The drowning of sorrows begins.
Did you participate in some Retail Therapy as well? I see some REI packaging on the table.The drowning of sorrows begins.
How long does it take to drown sorrows? Isn't there some kind of law against that, you know, an anti-cruelty to sorrows law or such? And I love the cat clock.
Did you participate in some Retail Therapy as well? I see some REI packaging on the table.
Also, are those a pair of Emmys in the cabinet? I really don't know my award shows, but I know one of the prizes is a golden statue.
I feel your pain Hugh. Probably not at the same level. . . but it is definitely a disappointing form of progress.
Looks like my beloved NPS is tryin to push us over to th USFS- lands of multiple abuse!
Wreck dot gov….sucks for th most part…now where’s that beer.
Oh don't worry too much about that trip report. Its just stuff you've already seen. . . in person!I see that there is a Hayden Valley Trip report that I need to take a look at. I'm sorry I didn't get to it today, but I played basketball for the first time this morning in two years, and it kicked my ass. Then we had to get Sheila a road bike, so I was out shopping most of the day. She is going to do a 100 mile ride through Logan/Cache Valley in June and her mountain bike just wouldn't cut it I'm afraid. I'm going to attempt reaching Dude Benchmark tomorrow, so I probably won't get to it then either. I should be able to sit down and go through it with a fine toothed comb on Monday. I'm betting that it is excellent.
I respectfully disagree. Rec.gov must have huge margins. It's not that complicated of a portal (no different than any of hundreds of e-commerce sites out there) and I can't imagine R&D + site maintainence costs more than what... 50 cents a permit? So at six bucks a pop, they're raking in the dough. And all that money comes straight out of your pocket and mine and goes to Booz Allen.I’m not a fan of recreation.gov, but at least the costs are reasonable. I saw a post about Rocky Mountain NP, and their reservations are $36. Everytime someone went a little bonkers about the cost, someone from Rocky responded that they’ve been charging a fee since 1969. Um, that didn’t address what people were saying. I must admit, once Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (near where I previously lived) started charging an overnight fee, in about 1998, in a few years, lots of trails were better. If they use the money to take care of the resource I’m using, and it seems an appropriate fee, I’m ok with it, I guess. At Pictured Rocks, they started by charging $15, whether one person for one night, or 20 people for 14 days. If we’re trying to protect the resource, then I think the 20 people at the group site should pay more. Eeventually, things worked out, and there was a per person fee ($4 per person, at that time). As it was initially proposed, I was especially upset because the fee to get a drive in campsite was $7.50. So I was paying $15 for a weekend night, for the opportunity to pee behind a tree, while someone with a 35 foot fifth wheel could park on a flat pad, and have a picnic table, a fire ring, potable water nearby, and an outhouse to use for $7.50. It was like the park service hadn’t noticed that was a little bit unfair.
As to only being able to make one early reservation, I can’t complain much. I live about two hours from the park, and over the last few years, have made four or five early reservations per year. Often, I got exactly what I wanted on the little form. If I didn’t get what I wanted, someone called and we talked, and I got something else—once I just flipped the dates from one trip I had just gotten word about, to another trip where the sites I wanted weren’t available on the dates I wanted. The park service folks have been great. Sometimes I got sites that, in hind sight, I probably needn’t have reserved. But if I was going to spend money in the park, better the $25 for that reservation go to the backcountry folks than the make-a-bigger-RV-parking-lot folks.
I’m also relieved to see that a person can still get walk up permits, and for a reasonable price ($5). I live by this park for a reason, and love that last summer and fall, I spent 12 weekends in a row in the backcountry. Now many of those sites weren’t superdooper. If I had come from Indiana, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to get some of those sites. But driving three hours to get a spot where I could watch steam rise from a thermal area, or eat my morning oatmeal looking at the Red Range, yay. I got to do that for low cost, and will continue to, unlike at Rocky, where the last minute permit is $36. I believe Pictured Rocks is now $24, and the last time I went to the Tetons, it was something like $45 (maybe that included how many nights I signed up for). Understand, if I had come from Indiana, those walk-in sites would have been really nice, but they didn’t lead anywhere—I just hiked back to my car and went home. They weren’t on the way to some big site, and I couldn’t later brag that I had earned a patch for walking the whole Thoroughfare. I tell friends that come out from Michigan and Indiana and wherever, that we’re better off doing two shorter trips, than trying to find one thirty or fifty mile “see it all” adventure. I show them, by walking in and getting a site where we walk by thermals, or a site with beautiful views, or a site with a neat meadow that always has bison. Then a couple of days later, we do a planned (reserved) hike to a waterfall or something that IS a destination. Walk-in permits still let me take people to see special things, but hasn’t kept people trying to do lifetime trips from having the sites they need. They reserved their site long before, I hope that the Yellowstone Backcountry folks get things settled out fairly quickly. And I hope they don’t learn too much from the parks that leave their customer service to recreation.gov. GASP.
Sorry this was so long. And, sorry if it rambled too much. When I first saw that the park was changing their reservation mechanism, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to afford my retirement hobby, and I’m relieved that that is still intact. I hope that people get the permits they truly want.
Hey, does anyone know how the outfitters are getting their permits? Actually, how did outfitters get their permits before??
I think you bring up valid points, but the lack of transparency and difficulty in locating this sort of information doesn't inspire confidence. I'd be greatly fascinated to read an in-depth analysis by a talented, FOIA-savvy journalist - because you're right that a deep look into the structure/financials of recreation.gov (and the associated contracts) is missing from the conversation. Maybe it'd be good news? But if that was the case, you'd think "they" would be bragging about it...All of this is to say that it is uncertain that BoozAllen is pocketing the reservation fee or if its profits come out of the $182 million after paying costs. I don't have a lot of respect for our legislators/government, but I'd like to think that they did not give the contractor a bottomless bag of money on top of $182 million for 10 years. I'd love to see more information about this but googling mostly returns sites with people complaining about recreation.gov and not a lot of information about the structure of the actual contract.
Drowning sorrows is like airing of grievances, it can take awhile.
I don't know if I'd say end it completely - though it's so out of control right now, maybe we do need a hard reset. I'm not sure we need a new government entity for everything the government should be responsible for, but proper funding for the government entities providing oversight and a mandatory transparency requirement for all such agreements seems like a no-brainer - at the absolute least.End government contracting to private companies ...
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