Our National Parks
This went through my inbox in June 1996 -- supposedly true stories relayed by the park rangers in Our National Parks.
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Hello? Taxi Service?
In 1994, a woman visiting from the Bay Area embarked on a solo hike to the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite. When she became lost and saw a storm brewing, she called 911 from her cellular phone and asked to be rescued. A helicopter found her barely off the trail and one-fourth to half a mile from the top of El Cap. When the 'copter lifted off and the woman saw how close she was to her summit goal, she asked the crew to set her down on top. When the crew declined, she threatened to sue them for kidnapping.
Ever Alert to Terrorism
A group of European visitors came into the Wawona ranger station in Yosemite National Park and said, "Our car is parked at the trail head and it's been blown up by terrorists." Though rangers expressed some doubt, the visitors insisted that a bomb had exploded in their car and that they could see powder residue from the explosives. Investigating rangers indeed found that a door had been torn off and a powder-like substance -- pancake flour -- was strewn about the car. "They were quite embarrassed when we showed them the bear prints," the ranger said.
Caring for the Creatures
A woman, appearing rather distraught, came into the visitor center at Redwood National Park in California to report that she had seen several Irish setters lying along the edge of the highway and she feared they were dead or injured. Rangers explained to her that these were pieces of redwood bark that had fallen off logging trucks.
Back-Seat Driving, As Always
When an elderly couple stopped to film some bears at Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone, a young bear crawled into their car searching for food. Unable to make the bear leave, the exasperated (but well-dressed) couple drove about 17 miles to the ranger station at Canyon Village with the bear in the back seat. When the husband got out to report the incident, the bear hopped over into the front seat so that investigating rangers found the woman in the passenger seat and the bear behind the wheel.
Posted June 23, 2008
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