The Business of Scenery
March 17, 2021
“If you love a place,” a retired ranger who worked at the Grand Canyon once told me, “don’t make it a national park.” On a typical visit to Grand Canyon National Park during the summer, you will first find yourself stuck in traffic backed up a mile or more from the entrances, the idling cars belching fumes. When at last you snag a parking spot and, with everyone else, debouch onto the hiking trails, you’ll find food wrappers, toilet paper, discarded clothing, and plastic bottles, courtesy of the previous blast of visitors. You will experience, alongside the glorious vistas, your fair share of the stink of human feces and, at choice spots for taking a piss, the piercing ammonia perfume of urea.