We take a lot of things for granted hereabouts, one of them being Yosemite National Park. Next year, we are being reminded by park employees and tourism enthusiasts, the park will celebrate its 150th anniversary as the nation’s first national park.
“We want to encourage the world to come and see the crown jewel of our national parks,” U.S. National Parks Service worker Kassandra Hardy told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
She said people coming to Madera County to begin their visit to Yosemite also can see two other parks — three national parks in three days. The other two are Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks.
Tourism promoters would like to let people know that if they stay in Madera County, they will have easy access to those three parks, to the county’s wineries, to Bass Lake, Hensley Lake, Eastman Lake and Millerton Lake, the Sierra National Forest and the Sequoia National Forest.
If tourists get tired of all those beautiful woods, mountains, canyons and water, they can take a drive over the Sierra Range on Tioga Pass, descend to U.S. Highway 395 and head south through the Inyo National Forest, through Crestview past Mammoth Lakes, through Bishop, through Lone Pine, then east into a completely different sort of scenery — Death Valley National Park.
How many of us take advantage of all those opportunities to enjoy the wonders of nature? I have to admit not getting to those places very much. I take them too much for granted, and I’ve talked to many folks over the years who are the same way. I’ve talked to adults who were born here who never have been to Yosemite, Sequoia or Kings Canyon, even though they are known worldwide for their scenic magnificence.
That doesn’t seem very smart, does it?