Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 4, 2010

The shiny patina wears thin

Metaphor for how I feel today?


The day-in, day-out demands of working with selfish human beings is beginning to wear on me. In a perfect world, everyone would read signs, respect the resource, and obey the golden rule. In an imperfect one, like the one I work in…

… parents let their children run wild and unsupervised over our fragile biological soil crust.

… weekend warriors with a length of rope end up needing to be rescued because of their own foolishness and out-of-shape-ness.

… people in a pick-up lie about the ATV in the back of it, and their intentions. They told the entrance booth that they would not use it, and then came to me at the desk to inquire about ATV trails. ATVs are illegal in every national park.

… a throng of photographers descends on a scenic overlook, disregarding the conspicuous sign to please stay on the trail and off the crust.

… a party acquiring a free backcountry permit racks up hundreds of dollars of potential fines for flagrant violation of regulations that were clearly explained to them; it appears that they had no intention of obeying them in the first place, but just needed access to the climbing route.

I don’t know. It’s Easter. Maybe I’m just missing my kids.

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