Ken Burns NPS extravaganza

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing


Ken Burns

Ken Burns


4 hours of the show so far. Thanks for the comments received and posted. Here’s my 2 cents.  First, I want to thank a the readers who helped me figure out how to tape the shows on my 1970’s vintage TV system. I don’t have cable TV (we just don’t watch it the US average 5 hours a day – and I am cheap). I have had an antenna on the roof for 25 years.  With their tips, I found I can use my $9.00 DTV converter box alone piped into my TV/VCR combo unit. The timer works as before, I just need to keep the TV at Channel 3 and the Converter ON. I had assumed we were going to see an hour on Yosemite and an hour on the other parks during this marathon show. Whew. It is really a chronology. $149 to buy the DVD box. So since Yosemite started it all (as the first land set aside ON EARTH for people’s use) it went first. But it did not continue the entire story of Yosemite in the first hour. It moved on sequentially to tell us about Yellowstone, Sequoia and General Grant Park) I assume the last one had its name changed to King’s Canyon? Lost me on that. Also we didn’t hear about the give-back of the Valley and Wawona by California until  the 2nd 2-hour installment. And the Hetch Hetchy issue was clouded by the National Monument discussion. One goof – while talking about the rangers at Sequoia, the screen showed the photo of dozens of soldiers on the fallen tree at Wawona. I learned even more about John Muir. I didn’t know he was involved in the Grand Canyon as well. I had hoped to hear a discussion of how the park was geologically formed. Burns touched on the debate between Muir and Whitney as to a cataclysm or glaciers, but we now know a whole lot more – people still think Half Dome was cut in half by glaciers! As much as I liked hearing all the fine details about Yosemite and the people who were involved – like Hutchings and Roosevelt – it was clear that the other parks also had their heros. Yeah, I’m fixated on Yosemite and wanted more on it. Shelton Johnson, the Black Ranger who promotes the Buffalo Soldiers did a good job adding poignant reflections of how the park impresses him. The biggest “take away” was just how lucky the US is to have the National Parks. Now I understand better why foreigners come here. What I don’t get is why Americans don’t. I know people who were born in California and have never been. May I suggest that you book your rooms NOW for next summer. As fallout from this special, I’m sure all the parks will want to be visited by people who viewed the show. Yosemite is always correctly portrayed as the “jewel of the NPS” – so get ready for the crunch in 2010.


Trivia – My book is now #49,905 in Amazon’s rankings. Gosh, a Pulitzer soon?  If you want to get a nifty “I made it to the top” T-shirt order before Oct 5; see the website under ORDERING. Also, the management and staff of Carpe Diem Experience will be on an extended working vacation until the 30th. No shipments then.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “If you believe in forever, then life is just a one-night stand. If there’s a rock and roll heaven, well you know they’ve got a hell of a band.” – The Righteous Brothers


*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –

One Response to “Ken Burns NPS extravaganza”

  1. Laurie Says:

    I saw part of episode 3 last night which talked about the Rocky Mountain National Park. Again, really interesting stuff and I think I get the box set just because there was so much info.

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