Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Advice to tourists: don't be sucky

Trail through a green world.

We're sitting on a rock wall in the Hocking Hills catching our breath after a strenuous hike through the most sublime and wondrous landscape in Ohio when a woman stalks up to the wall, takes one look at the waterfall in front of us, and says, "This sucks."

My husband and I give each other a look--you know what kind of look I'm talking about. If that look could speak, it would say something like this:

"This sucks?" No, this does not suck. What could possibly suck about a waterfall? Granted, it's not Niagara Falls, but it's lovely and majestic and located in a ravine full of swaying ferns, birds, butterflies, turtles, massive colorful rock formations, and shade, lovely cool shade protecting us from the 90-degree heat.
Rock embraced by tree roots.

But maybe by "this" you refer not to the waterfall but to the narrow cable designed to discourage visitors from plunging into the pool beneath the soaring rock face. The cable wasn't there last time we visited, but if you lived in the area, you'd read news stories every summer about hikers venturing too far off the trail and plunging to a painful death in Hocking Hills State Park. The cable may discourage a few disasters, but if you don't like it, you can simply step over and explore the waterfall from a closer vantage point. Go ahead! Lots of people are doing it! And if you drown, so much better for the gene pool. (Wait, did I say that out loud?)

I could almost understand your "This sucks" attitude if you were a surly adolescent forced to accompany the old fogies on a visit to a natural wonder, but you look to be a thirtysomething mom with a pair of impressionable kids in tow. Great way to introduce the youngsters to the wonders of nature! "Look, kids, this sucks! Let's go do something else!"

I'll tell you what sucks: tourists who hike through this secluded ravine without any concern for what they leave behind. I wish we'd brought some trash bags with us to pick up all the water bottles, Coke cans, McDonald's containers, and other trash previous visitors dropped alongside the trails--but if we'd loaded up with other people's trash, we wouldn't have been able to squeeze through the tight spots between rocks or clamber over treacherous steep spots. 
Me watching light reflections dancing on rock face.

Somewhere under there is a great big rock.
Pollution sucks. People who treat nature like a landfill suck. People so blind to the glories of nature that they abuse its wonders suck. And if you are determined to be one of those people, maybe you'd better take your vacation somewhere and leave Hocking Hills to those of us who can appreciate it. Or, better yet, maybe you'd better sit down, open your eyes, and let your soul be sucked into submission to the beauty of nature.      

1 comment:

Credit Loan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.