As I continue working on the religious history of Yellowstone National Park, I have considerable ambivalence about Horace Albright. On the one hand, he is a much lauded figure in national parks history, to some degree the brains behind the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916 and an early leader of the agency […]
The National Park Service’s management of nature offers America’s wild places as contrived experiences to meet the spiritual expectations of the consumer public.
Claims that tourism involves colonization, terrorism, dispossession, commodification are valid, but these are reasons to take tourists more seriously and study them more carefully.
Visitors who delight in nature and stunning scenery at places like Acadia National Park often do not realize their aesthetic debt to Protestant reformer and theologian John Calvin.
The detourist welcomes unanticipated changes in course, regards the derailment of one’s intentions and ambitions as a normal and agreeable opportunity.
Cars have been both a blessing and a curse for national parks. They are how most of us get to the places we love, but they also hurt the places we love.
Those who made the effort to witness sunrise from Mt. Cadillac in Acadia National Park in the 1960s could become certified members of the “Sunrise-From-Mount-Cadillac Club.”
Travelers seeking the authentic in the places they visit are looking for evidence of an authentic self. They desire authentic experiences that reveal a meaningful essence inside themselves.
The difference between pilgrims and tourists is a perennial question. The best answer I have found came from a conversation with Peter Brown.
Review of Permanent Vacation: Twenty Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks, edited by Kim Wyatt (Bona Fide Books, 2011), an assortment of short recollections by writers who lived and worked in national parks. Sometimes adventurous, even frightening, often poetic, this collection offers intimate views rarely experienced by the millions who enjoy American national parks each year. ♨