Freitag, 17. Oktober 2014

Reminiscing those good old days

This year I am visiting the United States for the 19th time. The first time I came here I was a teenager and it was a big exciting adventure for me. At that time almost 40 years ago I didn't know anybody who had been to the States before. Or had been on a jumbo jet. Or tasted a Hamburger...
We had been a group of adolescents and young adults traveling with a rented Greyhound bus 16000 km through the western states of America.

Over the years I have been revisiting many of the places I had been back then, some of them for several times.
But on my recent journey I happened to come to a lot of places I hadn't been to since those teenager days. How the world had changed!
Nature still is beautiful but formerly peaceful places are way too overcrowded now.

People carry their cameras or GoPros on a telescoping pole now taking selfies everywhere. So if you want to take a look into a canyon or at a beautiful landmark you should make sure to stand in the first row. Or otherwise your sight might be blocked by mobile phones, iPads or cameras on a stick being held up as high as possible.

I remember the Visitor Center of Death Valley being not much more than a cabin with a little pond outside. (I spent the night in this pond because it was so hot...). Next to it had been a little bar.
The bar has turned into a village with stores, inns and restaurants. Buses parking outside. The visitor center is a huge, air conditioned building now providing information for busloads of people.

There hadn't been bear proof dumpsters or food containers in the parks. In the mornings, when we climbed out of our tents we always found traces of bears having visited our camp. We didn't care. Blessed be the innocent!

When I first climbed the Mesquite dunes there were hardly any other human traces. Now you have to walk a long way to find any unspoiled dunes. On the other hand there are people nowadays who don't even bother to leave the parking lot..... They have a drone that takes pictures for them..You know I really love technical devices to play with. But this definitely is a step in the wrong direction.
The most peaceful place will lose its magic, if there are noisy drones flying over your head.

Water levels have dropped so much that lakes are only half of their former size, and shorelines have moved far away from where they used to be. A campground having been situated right at the shore of Lake Mead now is quite far away from the lake. Marinas had to be moved hundreds of yards.

You don't hear Scott Mckenzie's anthem in the streets of San Francisco any more.

One thing that really has changed for the worse is that people can make reservations for campground sites via Internet or phone. It isn't possible any more to decide spontaneously where to stay for the night. Campground sites are being booked months in advance. That's a shame for travelers who don't want to plan every single step of their trip ahead but want to make camp where they feel like it. So you better have a reservation or hurry to find a space at one of the rare walk-in campgrounds on first-come first-served basis or you might end up boonedocking at Walmart's.

Don't get me wrong. This still IS a most beautiful country with awesome places to visit and I will probably come back for my 20th visit. I just feel sad that it isn't possible any more to enjoy all those gorgeous places peacefully and on your own. And of course I am feeling a bit nostalgic.
Those were glorious, innocent, carefree days of youth. That journey changed my life and I became a longing soul always eager to travel to new places. And I am glad and grateful that I had the opportunity to visit all those outstanding places when they still were unspoiled.
Too many people want to see them now, too. And I can't blame them.

Kommentare:

Bente-I like to QuiltBlog hat gesagt…

Hi Dagmar,
ich kann deine Wehmut verstehen...
Es gibt heute fast nichts was nicht möglich ist, so lange man Strom hat wohlgemerkt. Wo soll das hinführen und wann gibt es keine Steigerung mehr...? Doch dann entdecken die Menschen wieder die einfachen Dinge und das Schöne daran, wenn sie dafür Zeit haben wohlgemerkt...
Ich wünsche dir viele schöne Momente auf deiner 19. Reise das Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten und die schönen Stoffe *smile*
Liebe Grüße
Bente

Linda hat gesagt…

"If nothing ever changed,
there'd be no butterflies"
- unknown

;)

Sandra hat gesagt…

Ja, ein schwieriges Thema... Das Reisen ist in den letzten Jahren halt immer einfacher geworden, es ist ein enormer Wirtschaftszweig und von daher wird alles für den Tourismus nutzbar gemacht... Das hat ebenso viele Vor- wie Nachteile... Ich war nach der 11. Klasse (also schon vor einer Ewigkeit) mit Freunden die ganzen sechs Sommerferienwochen in der Türkei. Wir hatten - so wie Du damals in den USA - eine unvergessliche Zeit mit unglaublich schönen Erlebnissen. Wir haben in einer Ruinenstätte gezeltet - das ginge heute nicht mehr, weil Du von all den Touristen zertreten werden würdest... Ich möchte dort heute gar nicht mehr hin, weil es für mich zu traurig wäre, diese Erinnerungen dort nicht mehr finden zu können. Da behalte ich sie lieber in meinem Herzen :-) Bei anderen Orten merke ich die Veränderungen schon auch, aber das war damals einfach so ein spezieller und schöner Urlaub...
LG, Sandra

Jeanie hat gesagt…

Oh Dagmar, you notice all the things that we notice -- and I find them sad. I see it at my little town where the cottage is, when I travel (it's getting hard to find a "mom-and-pop" motel now, as almost all are chains or even condos). I'm glad you're having a good time but sad that you discover what we've known all along.

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