By Eilene Lyon “We know surprisingly little about vanished civilizations whose majesty and whose ultimate demise were closely linked to liberties they took with water.” – Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water It’s no secret that the southwestern United States is a dry place—and getting drier. We’ve entered our third... Continue Reading →
By Eilene Lyon Introduction I have seen only one wolf in the wild. It was in Denali National Park. Not deep in the wilderness, but at the park entrance, crossing a road into the campground. It was big, it was black, it was unquestionably a wolf. It was one of those whiplash moments where you... Continue Reading →
The Aztec Arches
By Eilene Lyon It's been decades since I swore off of Arches National Park, though I drive through Moab regularly. Like Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Yellowstone, it's become one of those places being loved to death. Like "I want to go have a special wilderness experience...with 10,000 other people." NOT. Fortunately, the West is rich... Continue Reading →
Tracks Across Borders
By Eilene Lyon On a recent camping trip, I took the opportunity to discover portions of Colorado’s newest scenic byway (which continues into New Mexico). Called “Tracks Across Borders,” this byway follows the historic route of the narrow-gauge Denver & Rio Grande Railroad between Chama and Durango. (I’m one of those people annoyed when state... Continue Reading →
Big Bend Country
By Eilene Lyon We decided to take one last RV trip before settling in for a long, Covid-avoidance-at-home winter nap. For years I’ve wanted to visit Big Bend National Park, one of the most remote and least visited parks in the lower-48 states. I had to plan and book in advance (not normally my style),... Continue Reading →
Northern Velebit National Park
By Eilene Lyon Your first question must be, “Where on earth is Northern Velebit National Park?” The answer is “Croatia!” This park lies in the north region of the greater Velebit Nature Park. Another national park is located in the southern end. Northern Velebit is Croatia’s newest national park, established in 1981. It isn’t even... Continue Reading →
Don’t Do This…Though Your Descendants Might Wish You Would
By Eilene Lyon One way our ancestors may have left a trace of their passing is by carving their names in stone. You've likely heard how westward pioneers inscribed Independence Rock along the Oregon Trail, for example. Don't do this. First of all, it creates an unsightly mess on our public lands. Secondly, you'd be... Continue Reading →
Will This Park Be Gone in 2050?
By Eilene Lyon This National Park could literally vanish during your lifetime. The Everglades National Park was the first national park set aside to protect a threatened ecosystem. The “River of Grass” has been heavily impacted by removal of water to serve the needs of Florida’s burgeoning population. As a result, changing habitat has led... Continue Reading →
Would These Parks Exist Without the Antiquities Act?
By Eilene Lyon You may have surmised by now that I love the desert. Whether I’m counting cacti or tagging tortoises - or just taking a walk through the wilderness - the sunlight, landforms, and wildlife captivate me. Some of the most stunning American desert landscapes are now protected as National Parks and National Monuments.... Continue Reading →