Make another parking lot or five
August 25, 2015 2:35 PM   Subscribe

 
Happy 99th birthday to the NPS.
posted by peeedro at 2:48 PM on August 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


"The dirt from this is of poor quality."
posted by feckless at 2:52 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: I know what I am writing is committing a scarilidge.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:54 PM on August 25, 2015 [26 favorites]


No one goes to Yosemite anymore, it's too crowded.
posted by chavenet at 2:55 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yelp is what happens when you tell people their ignorant and uninformed opinions are just as valid as someone else's.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:56 PM on August 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


The National Park Service is both a national treasure, and a disgracefully mismanaged government agency.

A few years ago, the Washington City Paper offered a peek into why the visitor facilities at most of the DC-area parks are so unbelievably bad.

I also ranted about the Park Service's relationship with DC here a few years ago. Things haven't gotten better.

I can't speak as to whether this level incompetence is limited to the urban parks that the NPS runs, but the Park Service in DC makes our local government look like a shining beacon of efficiency and friendliness by comparison. [Note that this comment is not meant to construe any level of praise for the DC government]

Most government agencies seem to make the best with what they're given, and the vast majority of federal workers I know are competent, hardworking people who do the most with the little that they are given when the bureaucracy allows it. I am the last person to make handwaving comments about "Government Incompetency," or blame federal workers for the government's systemic issues.

With that in mind, I find the level of incompetence with which the NPS manages DC-area parks to be staggering, and defies any attempt for explanation.

So, yeah.... The park service is simultaneously a national treasure, and in shambles. Even as an avid outdoors-person, I believe these reviews.

Even a little bit would go a long way. I'd be pretty happy if the NPS put decent-quality maps on their website.
posted by schmod at 2:57 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Dear sir or madam:
Please pave paradise and put up five parking lots.

Sincerely,
C. Montgomery Burns

I like that the guy complaining about The Pinnacles literally begins his screed with "Thanks, Obama!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:58 PM on August 25, 2015 [25 favorites]


The comments about parking are particularly odious.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:59 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


GOVERMENT WORKERS wearing GOVERMENT CLOTHING while thinking GOVERMENT THOUGHTS
posted by The Whelk at 3:00 PM on August 25, 2015 [44 favorites]


Sequoia: Too many vowels. And not in the right order.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:02 PM on August 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


The NPS has problems, but those one star reviews are basically complaining about going to a really hot place in nature in the middle of summer

. . . and having it be really hot and full of nature and nature smells LOOK AT THOSE LAZY KENYAN SOCIALIST NPS WORKERS THANKS OBAMA WE COULDN'T FIND A PLACE TO PARK OUR CAR!!!!!!!
posted by joyceanmachine at 3:02 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I find this MeFi post

[   ] Useful   [ x ] Funny   [   ] Cool
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:02 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


On the one hand, striking a balance between offering parking, which makes the natural beauty accessible, and protecting the natural beauty is a challenge. On the other hand, I suspect that I have just thought about that balance more than the author of that review.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:02 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I find Yelp

[ x ] Stupid as fuck
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:03 PM on August 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I read this for the lulz, but in all honesty the lulz were minimal; that was a depressing read, and some of these people should seriously consider spending their next vacation at the food court at their local mall, where they might be happier.

However, if someone wants to stab the guy ranting about the "government leeches" working at The Pinnacles, it might improve my mood.
posted by mosk at 3:03 PM on August 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


The sense of entitlement in these reviews is sad and unreal.
posted by zarq at 3:07 PM on August 25, 2015 [6 favorites]




With that in mind, I find the level of incompetence with which the NPS manages DC-area parks to be staggering, and defies any attempt for explanation.

Living in the west, my experience is so amazingly opposite of that I have to wonder if we are talking about the same NPS.

I found the complaining about people taking their picture at Delicate Arch amusing. You have to drive 12 miles into the park, then somewhat challenging hike 4.5 miles uphill and across a cliff face to get to it. Why wouldn't people take their pictures once they got there ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:09 PM on August 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Other things you ought to be able to review on Yelp:

Citizenship in <country>
Citizenship in <country> if you're <gender|ethnicity>
Atmospheric gases (Oxygen is so overrated, I mean it rusts your car and turns your pesto brown in minutes ...)
Religions -- though on looking around some people manage it by reviewing specific churches / mosques / etc.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:12 PM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


> that was a depressing read, and some of these people should seriously consider spending their next vacation at the food court at their local mall, where they might be happier.

Earlier this summer I was trying to find a place to go camping with my family, and reading the TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews of the various parks was a hoot. It's all shit like this - THERE'S NOWHERE TO PARK, IT'S TOO HOT/COLD, THERE ARE INSECTS, THE WILDLIFE I APPARENTLY THOUGHT I WAS PROMISED DID NOT FROLIC IN FULL VIEW OF MY CAMERA - and I had to wonder why people who seem to hate literally everything about nature bother going camping at all.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:13 PM on August 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


I had to wonder why people who seem to hate literally everything about nature bother going camping at all.

Because people like to fuck in the woods while their kids make s'mores.
posted by item at 3:17 PM on August 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


That is a very specific fetish.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:20 PM on August 25, 2015 [53 favorites]


Throw in a few government employees wearing government supplied clothes and you have a Rinse Dream movie.
posted by item at 3:23 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


In fairness, Yosemite really does need a harder per-day visitor cap and a better reservation system.

And dinosaurs. These parks ALL need dinosaurs.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:25 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Terrible reviews written by obviously crazy people is one of my favorite things about vacation planning. Cape Spear in Newfoundland - the easternmost point in North America, one of the most barren, beautiful places I have ever seen - got one star from somebody because the teenager who took their money wasn't sufficiently cheerful.
posted by something something at 3:27 PM on August 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


A relative told me the Grand Canyon wasn't worth a lengthy visit. It was one of my reasons for visiting that part of the world, so I'm glad I ignored him.

Posted this link on a friend's fb page. Sadly, he's in Tennessee, so I won't be able to see the frothing a the mouth. Just thinking about it brings a tiny bit of delight.
posted by theora55 at 3:27 PM on August 25, 2015


Oh and recently I read an angry review of Colonial Williamsburg in which someone was outraged because there were no signs posted warning visitors that there would be horses.
posted by something something at 3:28 PM on August 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: Terrible reviews written by obviously crazy people
posted by theora55 at 3:28 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: Came here for the sunrise. There was no sunrise.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:29 PM on August 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


Eh, just go to somewhere like Tuolumne Meadows (except not right now, it's shutdown because the local vermin have THE PLAGUE!!") instead of Yosemite Valley and it won't seem too crowded.
posted by sideshow at 3:29 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh and recently I read an angry review of Colonial Williamsburg in which someone was outraged because there were no signs posted warning visitors that there would be horses.

A... Trigger warning, as it were?
I am so, so sorry.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:31 PM on August 25, 2015 [77 favorites]


I am so, so sorry.

You should be.
posted by octothorpe at 3:34 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


entropicamericana: "A... Trigger warning, as it were?"

🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎
posted by boo_radley at 3:34 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Joshua Tree: nothing at all like the album, extremely disappointed.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:34 PM on August 25, 2015 [26 favorites]


More Wicker Man than U2
posted by Flashman at 3:41 PM on August 25, 2015


I'm not surprised these reviews exist. One of the reasons the NPS was established was to conserve sites of natural or historic interest. Hard to enjoy a place when a government agency is dedicated to protecting it from people like you.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:41 PM on August 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


To be fair, if you want a mountain to climb, Baxter State Park does have bigger mountains than Acadia. It certainly allows you to have a remote "Maine" experience. Baxter has a lot of wildlife. But, it doesn't have the variety of things that Acadia has. More importantly, it wasn't Rockefeller's to give to the US government specifically for the purpose of preservation. It still features some of the most amazing moraines, a great sound which, as I've learned living elsewhere for so many years - is a pretty rare geographic feature. More importantly, there's also a lot of non-nature things to do and amenities such has hospitals which are handy for triage when things go wrong.

Hit thunder hole on a full moon near a hurricane at the right tide and you can also see and hear one of the most amazing things. There's all kinds of Native American information you can hear about, a great beer culture, some small shops, biking, kayaking, whale watching, schooner rides, and a ton of things you can learn about Oceanography. The last time I went to find a lobster in Baxter State Park, I had to trek it from home... which, at the time was on Mount Desert Island (Acadia).
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:56 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I freaking love national parks (I just got back from a stay in Denali that was super rainy and minimal on wildlife sightings and I would still give it all of the stars in the world), but I am mostly in agreement with the Petrified Forest one - except for the petroglyphs it really is boring as hell.
posted by naoko at 4:03 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just by the by, Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places I've ever visited.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:09 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


J-Tree is awesome, especially in the winter. Still warm enough to climb, and hella cold at night, which makes it great to lie in your cozy sleeping bag and listen to the coyotes sing up a storm.
posted by suelac at 4:24 PM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Baxter is amazing and really should be a national park. But Acadia is also amazing. They are both amazing. Very different. Acadia has the ocean. Baxter has (much more plentiful) moose. Both excellent choices.

On an unrelated note, I live in a town with an urban national historical park site, and there is nothing I find more amusing than seeing park rangers in their full park ranger regalia doing city-things like waiting for the T or standing in line at the coffee place.
posted by pie ninja at 4:25 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The U.S. sure is a beautiful place.
posted by persona au gratin at 4:25 PM on August 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


And this reminds me to plan some trips for this fall/winter!
posted by persona au gratin at 4:28 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought this would make me laugh but it just made me sad.
posted by grouse at 4:29 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


disclaimer: I didn't read the entire article, but at least I read some of it.

I can get all the hate for people giving 1 star to Mother Nature, but I guess I read these a bit more sympathetically (is that a word?).
I value one-star and otherwise negative reviews, not so much for the rating but for the opinion.
Also I see these ratings as someone's assessment of the experience and not so much an assessment of the location itself.

I want to know if the parking sucks, and if it's too hot for my liking and if the 2 hour hike is worth it. Like art, the beauty in nature is subjective.

Sure, it's not Mother Nature's fault that there's not enough parking or that it's hot in June, but it's good for me to know these things so I plan better. It might be "duh, obvious" that it's scorching hot in early June for someone living in the southern US, but ask someone North of the 45 or in northern Europe what early June is like and you might get a different answer.

in conclusion, i think that many of the complaints are valid and would actually help me prepare for a trip if I were to take one there. however the star rating clouds these valid assessments and instead makes the visitor seem like some stupid city slicker.
posted by bitteroldman at 4:38 PM on August 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


However, if someone wants to stab the guy ranting about the "government leeches" working at The Pinnacles, it might improve my mood.

they were walking around with FULL coffee cups, people! Those government workers had A WHOLE COFFEE APIECE.

I can't even fathom the waste.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:40 PM on August 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


Many of these people would have their NP experiences greatly enhanced if they had learned of the existence of insect repellent. NPs being mostly outdoors, and all.

The person who wrote about Carlsbad, however, is beyond any hope.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:53 PM on August 25, 2015


As someone lucky enough to have visited a fair number of National Parks, I also missed the excitement of Petrified Forest. I know it's my own job to educate myself, but if anyone out there was really moved by their visit there, I'd love to hear what it was they enjoyed...
posted by tss at 4:54 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I chuckled at the first few, and then I read the review where the guy trashed Zion, and now I am ready to fight.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 4:56 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I looked up the new National Park my husband helped create hoping for a gleefully bad one-star review, but they're all four- and five-star reviews from people who appeared to LEARN THINGS from their visit and wrote intelligently about the park and its interpretation.

Not sure if happy or sad?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:58 PM on August 25, 2015


My ex reviewed the Grand Canon, with utter sincerity, as "meh."

MEH.
About the GRAND CANYON.

And when I reacted rather horrified he explained "I mean you go up to it and look down and then there's nothing to do."

He's also a MeFite, so maybe he's reading this, so sorry to shame you in pubic, but get your natural wonder appreciation in order.

Pinnacles is absolutely breathtaking, so, thanks Obama.
posted by missmary6 at 4:58 PM on August 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Those government workers had A WHOLE COFFEE APIECE.

To be fair, those government workers had to pay for their coffee THEMSELVES, in all likelihood. No federal office I've ever worked in had free coffee. But since they're lefty environmentalists, they probably have a communist redistribution of caffeine. AKA a coffee club.
posted by suelac at 4:59 PM on August 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I got really mad about the Carlsbad Caverns one. I fucking LOVE caves, they are so cool, Carlsbad is amazing, the end.

I didn't love Petrified Forest as a kid either, but it was just a stop on the way to Grand Canyon so I can't complain too much, not like it was a wasted trip.
posted by misskaz at 5:00 PM on August 25, 2015


I also missed the excitement of Petrified Forest.

You missed it because you didn't see it in the 1950s. I did, and it was amazing. I also saw it in the late '90s, and the humans had been hard at work in the interim, removing and destroying all the amazing stuff. National Park status can be a double-edged sword.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:02 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Joshua Tree: nothing at all like the album, extremely disappointed.

It seems the streets actually do have names.
posted by ctmf at 5:22 PM on August 25, 2015


I've been to Zion, and had no idea there was a taco bar. I guess I'll just have to go back.
posted by TedW at 5:28 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also figure the people who write these reviews are from the same stock as those who have no qualms about going up to bison and grizzly bears to pose for photos. With their kids.
posted by TedW at 5:31 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yep, the bees are nuts at Joshua Tree. At one visitor center they were aggressively protecting a water fountain that visitors had to sprint past. On a trail, I put my ear to one giant boulder and could hear the deep hum of the hive within. Still a pretty cool place though, if overrun by music video and car commercial producers.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:34 PM on August 25, 2015


The Carlsbad Caves one is awesome! The reviewer has achieved a pure state of Zen and doesn’t even know it...

Unless you like _____, skip _____.
posted by subliminable at 6:06 PM on August 25, 2015


Not that these are not all horrible, other, people, but I think Petrified forest is one of the least interesting NPs around, built solely around tourists driving up to turnouts, reading a sign, and going to the next one. And Grand Canyon is pretty dull after about the first15 minutes, unless you go down in it.
posted by Windopaene at 6:09 PM on August 25, 2015


You missed it because you didn't see it in the 1950s. I did, and it was amazing. I also saw it in the late '90s, and the humans had been hard at work in the interim, removing and destroying all the amazing stuff. National Park status can be a double-edged sword.

Petrified Forest is a natural wonder that was amazing then and is amazing now. No doubt your memory is accurate, and no doubt you saw more petrified wood in the 1950s than you did in the 1990s. But there is still plenty of petrified wood to see. So, what changed?

There was a real fear that people were carrying out petrified wood — and indeed, some bad actors do carry out fragments — but the vast majority of it is still there. Concerns over theft led the Park Service to reduce access to some of the best concentrations of petrified wood. Over time, Petrified Forest turned into a drive-through experience that left a lot of visitors unimpressed.

That's changing. Rephotography experiments are showing that wood removal, while real, is perhaps not as common as once thought. The park is making a real effort to get people into the backcountry these days.

The hiking is spectacular. There's not a developed trail network like you would find at other parks, but the terrain is very open, which makes cross-country hiking a lot of fun. The park has published a few routes to get you started. Some of the routes are old roads/trails that were eventually closed off.

Very few people stay overnight in the backcountry, so if you grab a permit during visitor center operating hours, there is a very good chance of having an entire wilderness all to yourself. No kidding. There is a big chunk of the Painted Desert. There are beautiful badlands full of petrified wood. And there are desert shortgrass prairies that were protected early and never grazed by hungry, destructive livestock.

If any Mefites are driving I-40 across Arizona, stop at Petrified Forest. Spend at least a full day there, and go hiking. I want to emphasize that you do need to know how to safely hike and navigate in open desert. If you get injured, get lost, or run out of water, you can die. Don't overestimate your abilities, and don't underestimate the desert.

I went there last weekend with a longtime Arizona resident who was thoroughly impressed. I was impressed too. (And I hike Grand Canyon for a living!) Seriously, it is so sad that this beautiful park gets overlooked. Petrified Forest is really cool.
posted by compartment at 6:11 PM on August 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


To be fair, the guy complaining about parking at Yosemite was complaining about being charged for a non-existent parking space, supposedly because park officials are "taking $30 per vehicle with no concern as to whether you will have a place to park the vehicle or not".

I don't think the solution to over-crowding at Yosemite is to create more parking, though. More parking will just create more over-crowding. The solution is probably to advertise at the gate when all of the parking is gone, and maybe also have a way for visitors to check from afar whether the park is too crowded to visit, for instance on a website or through text alerts. But it's hard to imagine the Parks Service offering a modern service like that.
posted by subdee at 6:29 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'll just point out that I happen to live in a state with ZERO national parks.

1 star for that. No sunsets, no scenery, no annoying people running in front of the scenery or right up to the edge to take a picture of themselves, no lack of parking lots--in fact, we've got piles of them, and feel free to put a few more wherever you want, we don't give a shit--no useless rangers roaming about with their arrogant government-issued cups of coffee, etc.

-1, would not live again.

All that would be preferable to what we have, which is nothing.
posted by flug at 6:50 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


And Grand Canyon is pretty dull after about the first15 minutes, unless you go down in it.

My wife is like this. She and I drove cross country on a sightseeing vacation, and we spent a couple nights camped out on the edge of the Grand Canyon.

Morning happens, and we get up. I make breakfast and go sit by the canyon and chuck rocks over the edge and just generally watch the sun rise and fill the lower canyons with light. Probably 2 hours there, alone with my breakfast and my thoughts. One of the best experiences of my life.

My wife says "while you were sitting, I got this and that done and folded this and moved that and reorganized this and... how can you just sit there when there is so much to do?"

And I replied, "how can you drive 2000 miles to one of the greatest natural wonders on the planet and do dishes ? When is the next time you'll get to watch a sun rise over the Grand Canyon ?"

Opposites attract, I guess.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:18 PM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


The best thing about gazing at natural beauty for hours dreaming of eternity is getting out of doing the dishes.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:21 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


@flug: based on your profile, I suspect you may have overlooked the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, which is at least some flavor of national park and well worth a visit (esp. by canoe or kayak if possible) regardless of its federal recognition.
posted by tss at 7:25 PM on August 25, 2015


So many of our national parks are best experienced by actually hiking into them. It's amazing how little of a hike one needs to do for the crowds to thin enormously. One of the last times we camped at Zion we stayed in a walk in site - seriously maybe a 200 meter walk from parking area and it was EMPTY in an otherwise very full campground. While most of these reviews are hilariously clueless there is one major factor that is a huge problem - use of the parks has vastly increased while Congress has cut their budgets in a big way over the last decade or two. Definitely makes it harder. And Grand Canyon is certainly not alone in being far far more interesting and beautiful if one ventures into the back country - views from the rim don't even scratch the surface. (so looking forward to backpacking there again next month!)
posted by leslies at 7:39 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like every state should get a National Park, like the all star game.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:52 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think the solution to over-crowding at Yosemite is to create more parking, though. More parking will just create more over-crowding. The solution is probably to advertise at the gate when all of the parking is gone, and maybe also have a way for visitors to check from afar whether the park is too crowded to visit, for instance on a website or through text alerts. But it's hard to imagine the Parks Service offering a modern service like that.

The solution is actually to ban private autos from the park. Railroads are forbidden, why do automobiles get a pass? In the old days, you could take a train to the boundary of Yosemite. It is insanity that you can't do that today and rent a bike, or mobility scooter, or take a shuttle.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:02 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: "I feel like every state should get a National Park,"

Every state DOES have at least one National Monument, which is a park or historic site managed by the National Park Service and often referred to as a "national park." (Delaware and Illinois were tied for last, with one each. (Delaware had none until 2013.) But now Illinois is back to its rightful place as #49, we have two!) These are created by the President. To step up to the official "National Park" designation, Congress must declare it. Typically they reserve it for sites with several major points of interest (and also, so far, mostly for sites of natural beauty and wilderness rather than historic interest, but sites can go from "National Monument" to "National Historic Park" or things like that), and then of course Congress has to be in the kind of mood where it's actually accomplishing things and thinks the government should, you know, manage things like parks.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:05 PM on August 25, 2015


I make breakfast and go sit by the canyon and chuck rocks over the edge

I understand that there's a totally natural desire to throw rocks, but please don't do this. It can kill people. I have a friend whose wife was very nearly hit in the head by a thrown rock. Even in remote areas, there are people out climbing, backpacking, canyoneering. There are also all kinds of critters in the path of that rock.
posted by compartment at 8:07 PM on August 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


A few years ago, the Washington City Paper offered a peek into why the visitor facilities at most of the DC-area parks are so unbelievably bad.

A few years ago (2009?), I went to Fort Washington, which was generally awesome. We went to the Visitor's Center, where they had the expected orientation video. It seemed pretty decent, describing not only the history of the area but also contemporary things to do, like playing tennis on the tennis courts. They totally had me until they showed someone playing tennis, using a wooden racket.
posted by Melismata at 8:17 PM on August 25, 2015


Oh, and when the HELL are they going to reopen/increase hours of some of the sites in Salem, MA? Grrrr
posted by Melismata at 8:18 PM on August 25, 2015


My seven year old would probably give five stars, or at least four, to every crappy campground I've taken him to this summer. Staying up past anyone's bedtime with his head sticking out of the tent, watching Dad attempt to make coffee with the cooking equipment he managed to remember, hiking overgrown little trails to nowhere, sneaking away with the one and only flashlight -- it's all nothing less than magical. I can only imagine what he'll think when we finally get him to someplace as grand as Yosemite. There won't be enough stars.

Thoroughly entertained by these reviews, but by God my child will not grow up to be these people.
posted by vverse23 at 9:16 PM on August 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wonder what National Park has the best Yelp reviews. The only one in Vermont has a 4.5 star average, which must be difficult to beat.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:32 PM on August 25, 2015




I, too, am not surprised these reviews exist. Yelp is an extortion racket: you pay for your site's Yelp account to gain the ability to weed out these slam pieces.

I mention this every time Mrs. Hobo brings up yelp reviews in conversation. "Oh wow, they must be very successful to afford those kind of yelp reviews." or "Good on them for not paying the Yelp Ransom!"

For some really great ones, JWZ used to keep an archive of his favourites for the DNA lounge. One memorable ramble appeared to imply that going to the DNA would force you to question your own sexual orientation.

Damn introspection! ONE STAR!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 12:51 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh and recently I read an angry review of Colonial Williamsburg in which someone was outraged because there were no signs posted warning visitors that there would be horses.

4-Year Williamsburg resident here.

It wouldn't kill them to remind visitors to watch out for horse poo.
posted by schmod at 5:31 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder what National Park has the best Yelp reviews. The only one in Vermont has a 4.5 star average, which must be difficult to beat.

That's as good as the DC Dump, which seems like a joke but actually it is a really good dump.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:36 AM on August 26, 2015


I think these reviews say something quite interesting as to our relationship with the outdoors and many seem to come from a place that equates a national park to a theme park; I'm here, dammit, now entertain me. This is “nature” commodified, a disneyfied land to be guided through rather than the yin to the cityscapes yang of modes of existence. We’re retreating ever further from the land and whilst that is all necessary and predictable and beneficial in many, many ways, the tunnel vision we’re beginning to have of ways it is possible to exist is worrying.
posted by fatfrank at 5:40 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh my god the bears thing. I hate people.
posted by agregoli at 7:53 AM on August 26, 2015


All these reviews pretty much boil down to:

I went to a national park and had to deal with nature. News at 11.

But then again, I'm not sure what else I would expect out of national park reviews on yelp. Although I take everything I read there with a grain of salt, I do check out yelp sometimes for restaurants, but it never would have occurred to me to read or post reviews there about the Grand Canyon or any other national park.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:00 AM on August 26, 2015


Yelp really is the best named website there is. I mean, naming a customer review site after a short cry of pain you are compelled to emit after suffering a surprise injury is just genius, really.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:17 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


All that nature and nothing to do. This is no place to take your kids.
posted by mule98J at 9:49 AM on August 26, 2015


"This was an expensive trip to not get to see bears."

I was tempted to ask our Denali bus driver if the animals weren't out because the rangers put them inside when it rains, but my boyfriend convinced me that this would be decidedly unhilarious.
posted by naoko at 11:34 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I went to a national park and had to deal with nature.

And other people.

Such as the complaints that people are lining up in front of the view to take pictures nonstop, destroying everyone else's ability to enjoy it. Parking issues. Etc.
posted by zarq at 11:42 AM on August 26, 2015


Last year I planned to go camping in Assateague Island National Seashore. Since I research everything to death, I read reviews about the camping there, the ponies that come up to your tent, the amenities. And I got a huge kick (and a LOT of eye-rolls) from those who complained that there was horse POOP all over the campsites, the beach, the road. Um, yes. You are in a park where horses run free. Horses poop. Hello, realism! Also - bugs! I still get the giggles from the horrified reviews about NATURE and her nerve to have a hot sun and bugs where people may encounter them.
posted by annieb at 3:16 PM on August 26, 2015


The writer on a one-star review of Joshua Tree: "But maybe it shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise that the desert gets hot in the summer. This is like downgrading a restaurant because you went there on a hunger strike."

Amazing. Love it. Joshua Tree is fascinating. I was out there and visited the main visitor area for some day hikes but kept trying to figure out WTF there was in the eastern half. Turns out it's pretty wild -- found a blog post from a couple guys who tried to summit one of the Coxcomb mountains, and when they asked one of the park rangers what it was like out there she said "We've never really been out there."
posted by mostly vowels at 4:19 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Connecticut Mefites, keep a look out for a new National Park to be located in ... Hartford. (Well, a National Historical Park -- but a lot of the news stories conflate NHP with NP.)

My wife and I have a goal of visiting all the NPs, while implicitly treating NHPs, etc. as second-tier. I admit it seems snobby: for us visiting an NHP can be fun, but "doesn't count".
posted by kurumi at 8:06 PM on August 26, 2015


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