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Old 07-16-2018, 11:08 PM   #1
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Trip Out West thus far

We are taking a Griswald family vacation. We left North Carolina on July 8 and headed west on I-40 to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. This was my first time out west as in the southwest . What beautiful country I must say.

I am quirky and perhaps somewhat off balanced. Have any of you who travel 40 ever notice that is a highway of vice? In my home state we will give you tobacco. My neighbors in Tennessee will give you moonshine. The folks in Arkansas will provide you with ample adult entertainment and porn. One billboard said nation's largest adult store. So, how do they know? I figured eBay or Amazon would top them. Lol.

In Oklahoma they have you covered with casino action. Did you know Oklahoma is the 4th largest provider of casino fun? They have 4.13 casinos per 1,000 out there. North Texas is windmills, Cadillac Ranch with a touch of adult stores. New Mexico is again a casino state though their casinos are a bit smaller than Oklahoma.

In Arizona it's a bit of everything. Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma all drop the ball on rest areas with so many being closed. I don't get it.

So far we have been to Petrified Forest NP, Grand Canyon,NP and are currently in Zion. They are all wonderful places every American needs to see. With that being said, our Western parks are heavily visited by International travelers. There were places when we were at Grand Canyon where I swear my family were the only American visitors.

I have touched on this before. I am a dad to a soon to be 20 year old multihandicap blind son. We are outdoor people. My son loves the boat and the ocean. He loves being outside and camping too. I live in the shadow of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

I have been to every park in the east and most along the Rockies. I grew up just north of Disney World in Florida. I am use to a diverse group of travelers but I have to say both at Grand Canyon and Zion the European visitors are the worst. I have never encountered so many rude people. They were rude to us in the bathroom areas. Some , who were using the family bathrooms without a single family member around, just would cut us off. I was in Zion today and forgot to lock the family bathroom and 3-4 single European visitors walked into the room. I don't rant much but I have to say if you are not disabled and don't have little kids,please don't occupy those family bathrooms. Time and again foriegn visitors yae those a private bathroom while we waited outside .
The foriegn visitors cut in line, have no trail manners when hiking and today in Zion, a guy cutting in line and flat out lied that he had people on the tram. Some American visitors called him out. Tonight in Zion I was charging my batteries and running my Yamaha Genny in the designated generator hour time here and he came over to tell me to turn it off. Um, excuse me? I am in my country , in a national park that as a business owner , that my taxes support and you have the gall. We don't run the genny in the morning but come 8 AM, I might just fire it up. Lol.

The park service needs to do a better job in upgrading their bathrooms in the campgrounds to meet ADA for their entry doors and toilets. It's sad and difficult to toilet a year old in the campground bathrooms both in GC and Zion.

I am big time hiker and mountain biker. We gave hiked the South Rim Trail at Grand Canyon with our son in his ATV style wheel chair or stroller.we hiked Bright Angel Trail and today at Zion hiked the Narrows. I want to do a Rim to Rim backpack trip one year and I would love to do 4-7 day white water trip in the Grand Canyon.

We are here at Zion through Thursday then off to Yellowstone for a week.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:33 PM   #2
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All of that and you didn't even stop to stand on that famous corner in Winslow, Arizona?

It was such a fine sight to see, as I was just there a little over two weeks ago on my way back from a seven week trip from Yuma, AZ to South Dakota and back.
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:59 AM   #3
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As a member of those dreaded Europeans (although I just hit 20 years in the US) I want to apologize for what you experienced. Right now is the prime vacationing season in Europe so you'll see a lot of them in popular spots. I remember I went to Death Valley in July in 99 or 2000 and I read that the only people going to DV in the summer are European tourists, because it's so friggin hot. Sure enough there were plenty of Germans hanging out at the Corkscrew Saloon in Furnace Creek.

As for the bathroom situation, I don't know where these guys were from. It is common to make the most efficient use of, ahem, "resources" including women using the stalls in men's restrooms if there are lines which is a bit of a cultural difference. However at disabled/family bathrooms the designated users are given priority, at least where I'm from. Apologies again.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:40 AM   #4
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Hope the rest of your trip goes well.

We've met lots of European travelers who have been courteous, but the language barrier and lack of signs in different languages at the national parks can make it difficult for everyone. In our experience, the bathroom situation in most parks is less than ideal.

You're not seeing much of Texas when you're traveling I40 and in defense of my state, they are upgrading rest areas all over the state. Some of the newer ones even have internet access. Not ideal, but it's still better than some states that have closed all rest areas because of the cost.

I enjoyed your summations of the state highway of vice.

Sounds like you are packing a lot of fun into this trip and will have experiences to last a lifetime. It's definitely a lot different than living near the Great Smoky Mountains. Enjoy your time in Yellowstone. Hope you get to see lots of buffalo. If I remember correctly, there is a small town on the north where the Elk have dinner on the grass on the town square.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:02 AM   #5
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Keep Camping,wait until you are in the MENs bathhouse that is Clearly Marked by International Signage as a MENs,and you are standing at the Urinal Naked,just before you enter the Shower when a "WOMEN" steps out of the Shower! I have NO idea what "Nationality" she was but I didn't try to strike up a Conversation either! Youroo!!
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:23 AM   #6
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Keep Camping,wait until you are in the MENs bathhouse that is Clearly Marked by International Signage as a MENs,and you are standing at the Urinal Naked,just before you enter the Shower when a "WOMEN" steps out of the Shower! I have NO idea what "Nationality" she was but I didn't try to strike up a Conversation either! Youroo!!


lol
I was in the Keys when I experienced that!

We keep hearing of entrance fee increases to our National Parks and I think it’s a wonderful idea to charge foreign travelers more. I have also noticed that they have zero respect!
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:19 PM   #7
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Our national parks are cash strapped due to budget cuts. If you can join the national park conservancy. They do a lot of lobbying for funding for the parks.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:21 PM   #8
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Out West

I stood on the corner in Winslow, Arizona 37 years ago. Very cool.

I know exactly how you feel about foreign tourists. I find Asians are much worse than Europeans. I can't tell you how many times I've been photo bombed by them and their selfie sticks. Not to mention their line jumping.
I was told by someone that they feel if you're vacationing here that it's because you can't afford to go there so they don't respect you as much as those visiting their country.

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Old 07-17-2018, 01:34 PM   #9
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I stood on the corner in Winslow, Arizona 37 years ago. Very cool.

I know exactly how you feel about foreign tourists. I find Asians are much worse than Europeans. I can't tell you how many times I've been photo bombed by them and their selfie sticks. Not to mention their line jumping.
I was told by someone that they feel if you're vacationing here that it's because you can't afford to go there so they don't respect you as much as those visiting their country.

Wow. No wonder most other countries don't like Americans. I find foreigners are no more rude than anyone else. It's all in how you perceive it.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:54 PM   #10
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Fun read. Thanks. Give yourself plenty of time in Yellowstone. It is truly a treasure.
If you get a chance take your family to the nightly Rodeo in either West Yellowstone or Cody.
Cody is a special place.
Follow US14 east and cross the Bighorn Mtns. Believe it or not their is a herd of moose in the cottonwoods up top.
Then go east to Devils Tower and the Black Hills and do not miss Wall Drug in Wall SD.
Enjoy
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:09 PM   #11
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Wow. No wonder most other countries don't like Americans. I find foreigners are no more rude than anyone else. It's all in how you perceive it.
X2

Some Americans need to travel the world and see other countries and their cultures and not be so arrogant. As a teenager I worked at a few places on the US border. We would see really nice Americans and rude, obnoxious idiots from the States. I find these “foreigner” comments to be offensive and ignorant because they suggest all visitors to your country are the same.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:15 PM   #12
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Hope you get to see lots of buffalo. If I remember correctly, there is a small town on the north where the Elk have dinner on the grass on the town square.
That would be Mammoth Hot Springs.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:43 PM   #13
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Might as well stop by Moab, Canyonlands, Arches, and Monument Valley on the way to Yellowstone. You won't be disappointed tripping over Europeans and Asians, not to mention annoying Americans along your way!


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Old 07-17-2018, 03:00 PM   #14
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If you think they're rude, you should see us.

I've encountered many 'foreigners' in our parks, but 'rude' is not a word that has crossed my mind. On the other hand, I have been embarrassed time and time again while traveling outside the US by the rude obnoxious behavior of Americans. Sometimes these are simply cultural differences. But, in general, US citizens seem to think that all countries should post signs in English, and speak English and offer 'American' food. They can be demanding and demeaning.

I've also heard it suggested that the parks charge 'foreigners' more. First, I would ask...exactly how would you enforce that? We don't have a universal national id card program. Not every US citizen has a passport. Would you base it on residency? Again, how do you plan to check ID? Not everyone has a driver's license nor do they usually carry proof of a US address. And, wouldn't this make entry lines longer?

When traveling I'm not aware that I was ever charged extra for entry to a park or museum based on my being from another country. There may be some that do, but I've been to more than 20 countries and not seen it. In Britain, many of the museums were free admission.

These welcome guests -- whom you call foreigners--spend a lot of money while visiting us. Does it make sense to ding them extra?

I'll add one caveat-- when we were in a French country, we did observe that they have a distinctly different queuing etiquette which we found frustrating and infuriating. Apparently the concept of politely lining up was not in their culture. Every man, woman and child for himself! But, we were in their country...it took overcoming some personal revulsion to using elbows, but we learned how.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:34 PM   #15
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I've encountered many 'foreigners' in our parks, but 'rude' is not a word that has crossed my mind. On the other hand, I have been embarrassed time and time again while traveling outside the US by the rude obnoxious behavior of Americans. Sometimes these are simply cultural differences. But, in general, US citizens seem to think that all countries should post signs in English, and speak English and offer 'American' food. They can be demanding and demeaning.

I've also heard it suggested that the parks charge 'foreigners' more. First, I would ask...exactly how would you enforce that? We don't have a universal national id card program. Not every US citizen has a passport. Would you base it on residency? Again, how do you plan to check ID? Not everyone has a driver's license nor do they usually carry proof of a US address. And, wouldn't this make entry lines longer?

When traveling I'm not aware that I was ever charged extra for entry to a park or museum based on my being from another country. There may be some that do, but I've been to more than 20 countries and not seen it. In Britain, many of the museums were free admission.

These welcome guests -- whom you call foreigners--spend a lot of money while visiting us. Does it make sense to ding them extra?

I'll add one caveat-- when we were in a French country, we did observe that they have a distinctly different queuing etiquette which we found frustrating and infuriating. Apparently the concept of politely lining up was not in their culture. Every man, woman and child for himself! But, we were in their country...it took overcoming some personal revulsion to using elbows, but we learned how.
Well said!
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:07 PM   #16
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I've encountered many 'foreigners' in our parks, but 'rude' is not a word that has crossed my mind. On the other hand, I have been embarrassed time and time again while traveling outside the US by the rude obnoxious behavior of Americans. Sometimes these are simply cultural differences. But, in general, US citizens seem to think that all countries should post signs in English, and speak English and offer 'American' food. They can be demanding and demeaning.

I've also heard it suggested that the parks charge 'foreigners' more. First, I would ask...exactly how would you enforce that? We don't have a universal national id card program. Not every US citizen has a passport. Would you base it on residency? Again, how do you plan to check ID? Not everyone has a driver's license nor do they usually carry proof of a US address. And, wouldn't this make entry lines longer?

When traveling I'm not aware that I was ever charged extra for entry to a park or museum based on my being from another country. There may be some that do, but I've been to more than 20 countries and not seen it. In Britain, many of the museums were free admission.

These welcome guests -- whom you call foreigners--spend a lot of money while visiting us. Does it make sense to ding them extra?

I'll add one caveat-- when we were in a French country, we did observe that they have a distinctly different queuing etiquette which we found frustrating and infuriating. Apparently the concept of politely lining up was not in their culture. Every man, woman and child for himself! But, we were in their country...it took overcoming some personal revulsion to using elbows, but we learned how.

Excellent! We've never had any issues with foreign tourists at all. If anything, they are as curious about you as you are about them. When they find out we are from Texas, they are VERY curious. Many times they have the same misconceptions about Texas that non-Texans from here have. We have had many interesting conversations and make lots of new friends.



You know, if I go to another country it is learn about them and their nation, and enjoy their food. If I want American food, I need only drive across town, not half way around the world.
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Old 08-02-2018, 04:40 PM   #17
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Guys,
I hike a lot and bike a lot. My observations about rude behavior are based on my experience and expectations on the trail. The bathroom issues are real. I tried to meet with the Yellowstone park superintendent about it. I ended up meeting with 2 landcape architects about ADA issues. On Monday I am going to meet with staff from my congressman office.

We went to Norris Geiser basin one day. My wife reported feces in a stall, used tampons on the floor and dirty feet squatting on the toilet seat. Last time I checked American women don't crap on the floor, discard their bloody tampons on the floor and squat on the toilet. I don't mean to be so direct but that's my experience in Yellowstone.

My son turned 20 yesterday. For 20 years I have strived to give him a life of dignity and respect. It is my experience that in our national parks, mainly the campgrounds , that we have a long way to go in providing outdoor recreation opportunities for the disabled in a respectful and dignified way. It was my experience that some , not all foreign travelers, showed little respect to our needs and to our parks , especially in the bathrooms.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:35 PM   #18
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Guys,
It is my experience that in our national parks, mainly the campgrounds , that we have a long way to go in providing outdoor recreation opportunities for the disabled in a respectful and dignified way.
I will admit to being totally unaware of the challenges the disabled face in our national parks until recently when friends and family started having mobility problems due to age and disease. Now that I'm aware of the issues, I'm totally frustrated by the challenges.
Since many of the faciities were built by the CCC back in the 30's, they were built to the standards back then and are totally inadequate to the needs of todays travelers.

Most of the services, like cleaning restrooms, are contracted out. With a bit more money, they could provide better services, but the parks seem to be way down the list on funding.

State parks and Corps of Engineers seem to be trying to upgrade their facilities to conform to ADA standards. However, I think they need to actually get in a wheelchair or walkers, try to assist someone in their facilities and see if their designs work in the real world.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:07 PM   #19
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Guys,
I hike a lot and bike a lot. My observations about rude behavior are based on my experience and expectations on the trail. The bathroom issues are real. I tried to meet with the Yellowstone park superintendent about it. I ended up meeting with 2 landcape architects about ADA issues. On Monday I am going to meet with staff from my congressman office.

We went to Norris Geiser basin one day. My wife reported feces in a stall, used tampons on the floor and dirty feet squatting on the toilet seat. Last time I checked American women don't crap on the floor, discard their bloody tampons on the floor and squat on the toilet. I don't mean to be so direct but that's my experience in Yellowstone.

My son turned 20 yesterday. For 20 years I have strived to give him a life of dignity and respect. It is my experience that in our national parks, mainly the campgrounds , that we have a long way to go in providing outdoor recreation opportunities for the disabled in a respectful and dignified way. It was my experience that some , not all foreign travelers, showed little respect to our needs and to our parks , especially in the bathrooms.


Fishing Bridge is closed next year for sure, maybe they will do a upgrade on the bathrooms. National Parks just don't have the money for many upgrades. Yellowstone takes in more money than some parks but it's a huge park, lots of roads. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park but it takes in very little money as it is a open park.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:16 PM   #20
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Guys,
I hike a lot and bike a lot. My observations about rude behavior are based on my experience and expectations on the trail. The bathroom issues are real. I tried to meet with the Yellowstone park superintendent about it. I ended up meeting with 2 landcape architects about ADA issues. On Monday I am going to meet with staff from my congressman office.

We went to Norris Geiser basin one day. My wife reported feces in a stall, used tampons on the floor and dirty feet squatting on the toilet seat. Last time I checked American women don't crap on the floor, discard their bloody tampons on the floor and squat on the toilet. I don't mean to be so direct but that's my experience in Yellowstone.

My son turned 20 yesterday. For 20 years I have strived to give him a life of dignity and respect. It is my experience that in our national parks, mainly the campgrounds , that we have a long way to go in providing outdoor recreation opportunities for the disabled in a respectful and dignified way. It was my experience that some , not all foreign travelers, showed little respect to our needs and to our parks , especially in the bathrooms.
I have no idea why you continue to blame foreigners for things you have not witnessed. How do you know who made those messes?! You make unreasonable assumptions that the conduct of your fellow Americans in a public bathroom is better than “foreign visitors”.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Yellowstone but I recommend you spend some time travelling abroad to widen your narrow views.
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