While I don’t think the US deserves to have the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone as part of its geopolitical sphere, I say to those who have not been there, consider going.
1) snow-capped peaks
2) Bison grazing wildly near a road
4) clear streams driven by snow melt that one could possibly drink from
5) trams to mountain peaks such as Mt Rendezvous in Teton Village, Wyoming where you can touch and throw snow in June.
6) Swiss-like scenary of lakes surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
7) views of forests below a highway as if one is in a dream.
8) no tailgating, or crowds, or lots of people. Just nature of inestimable beauty.
9) Being enshrouded with tree-pollen mist as one sees a red squirrel scamper.
10) The oil baron and entrepreneurial thief John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and moving force in the emergence of big oil (yikes), through his various progeny donated a huge chunk of the Grand Tetons including the Rockefeller Preserve. I went on a three-miles hike with a tour-guide of the National Park Service. Her name is Cathee. She read poetry, passed out epigrammatic literature, had us throw a ball of thread that made a network of criss-crosses symbolising our symbiotic networking with humans and nature. Note: this was a government employee leading a group of ten down to Phelps Lake or up to it. She was a throwback to the days of contemplation and Thoreau-like respect for nature. President Obama did provide some funding in his stimulus package to this area: at leat 23 million extra and so the government while broke except for its war spending, did commit to keep this paradise open and thriving.
The Rockefellers stole their wealth from other companies through spying and robbing railroads through rebates and driving out competitors through predatory practices. Read Ida Tarbell’s The History of Standard Oil. John D. Jr bought with his blood money gobs of this area for fun and recreation and then gave peacemeal to the US. What about his workers? What did they get?Yeah, I am glad Laurance, one of the Rockies, gave this preserve to the government which has been open for only three years in the Grand Tetons: which are south of Yellowstone. They owned thousands of acres and again, how did they get their wealth?
Yet aside from critical thinking, there are few places on earth as pristine, well-managed and beautiful as this area. It is literally a wonderland. One day I imagine, they will probably nuke it as a test-range and have generals on Meet the Press talking about national security but until then, go see it if you can and you will see what I mean.
Phelps Lake: Rockefeller Preserve within Grand Teton National Park.
Yet it is disgraceful that one has to pay $25.00 to enter either Grand Tetons or Yellowstone: although both are good for the pass. Yes it is valid for a week but I spoke to some hotel staff near the area that could not afford it. I gave my pass to Lauren, a pool attendant at my hotel, which still had a few days left on it. She said: “Oh, thank you. I will give it to my father and we can go into the parks.” I thought to myself: they live here, work here and given this country’s economic venality, have to rely on guests to get a pass to see their own area where they labour their lives away serving vacationers.