America

Travel Terror

16 Comments 28 October 2010

Should I stay or should I go? Terrifying!!!!

I heard a rustle in the bushes and immediately tensed up; what if it was coming after me and would attack without reason? I imagined big fangs and sped up my strides. Suddenly I heard a noise above me, I stopped; looked up and wondered if I should run for cover. I picked up my pace again trying to keep one eye watching my back and one acutely aware of what danger lie above me. However, I had to slow down as I got to the edge else I may catapult to my death. Instead, I inched up to it, and carefully peered over the edge worried that my improper shoes or a sudden movement may send me to my doom. Everywhere I looked there was another sign reminding me I was in peril, my life was on the line, and it was no one’s fault but my own. Welcome to the terrifying National Parks of America.

I can eat a rat, pet a live tiger, sleep with mice, drive a motorbike in Saigon, but my recent trip to the National Parks in Arizona and Utah had me terrified of every step I made.

Warnings about falling seemed to follow me wherever I went. Whether it be about boulders falling from above or me falling down into the Grand Canyon. I wasn’t sure which way to look any more – up, down…it was all doom and gloom…and possibly death!

Then there were the animals. Lord only knows what furry or slimy perils awaited you in the parks. Snakes, lizards, and squirrels…yes squirrels. Whatever you do, watch your step and DON’T feed the animals! The photo of the disgusting squirrel bite warning on the back of one of the park shuttles was the icing on the terror cake for me!

Then there was the simple constant reminder about everything else that could go wrong – kids throwing rocks, items stolen from your car, wearing the wrong shoes, and you may even be struck by lightening!

I felt like the atmosphere of the parks was super negative everywhere I turned; don’t do this, avoid that, no this, can’t that, watch out, danger, warning!!!!! I had to keep reminding myself that I was actually in Mother Nature’s wonderland.

After spending the summer in Europe, I had forgotten about our ‘safety’ culture that exists in America. Thanks to our litigious ways, it seems that you can’t make any steps without being warned about how ‘insert name here’ is not responsible for your actions.
Luckily despite all of the ominous warnings at every turn, it didn’t take much to make those terrifying warnings disappear from my head – I just had to look at this.

Happy Halloween!

Your Comments

16 Comments so far

  1. Krista says:

    You are SO right! :-) I was just in Mexico and felt so astonished to find myself walking along a path by a stream through an eco park and looking down to see a shark and stingrays swimming by only inches from me. No guard rails, no warning signs, just them and me. :-) Amazing.

  2. Laura says:

    Haha. I like the giant bus advertisement with the gashed hand. I’m glad you forged ahead on your adventure despite all of the intimidating signs :)

  3. At the Grand Canyon I once saw a man in flip-flops carrying a baby – in his arms, not in a carrier – with no daypack or even a bottle of water, telling someone in his group that he “hoped to make it at least halfway down the trail.” All those warning signs obviously had no impact. (I hope someone discouraged him, for the sake of that baby!)

  4. You missed the worst of the signs there. It was in one of the buildings. :-) http://bit.ly/cNJw6f

  5. Steve B says:

    Reading this blog comment may result in migraine, headache, nausea, or boredom. By reading this blog comment, you release the author from any and all liability. If you recommend this blog comment to another reader, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the blog comment author from all damages, both consequential and inconsequential, even if you have advised the author and/or reader of the possibility of such damages. This blog comment is not covered by any warranty, including fitness of use for entertainment of other purposes. You agree that the blog comment remains the property of the author, and this comment may not be reproduced in any form, nor may any derivative works be created, without the express written consent of the blog comment author.

    • admin says:

      Traveling with me resulted in your migrane…but at least you can hold me responsible!
      I may have to add that legal ease to my privacy policy!

  6. Jay says:

    The sarcasm is refreshing :). Here we are always thinking and preparing for the worst. A little fatalism is needed!

  7. Lynn says:

    Okay Steve’s comment was the icing on the cake! Too funny!

    Sherry, you know Hong Kong also has a “safety first!” culture. I remember one hike with a sign saying that something very dangerous was around a bend in a creek. It was impossible to see what it was that was so dangerous, so of course we all followed the sign down around the bend to see! I have no idea any more what it was we saw, but without the sign telling us not to, we never would have gone there!

  8. Ugh! I’ve been saying this for years. We have to smear warnings across everything because if we don’t someone might sue if they get injured. This mentality does not exist anywhere else in the world. Elsewhere, people take more responsibility for their own actions. Only in the US do we immediately look for someone else to blame! It frankly disgusts me.

  9. Gray says:

    LOL! I can relate to this. I’m one of those people who does actually pay attention to warning signs, but I figure if I’m going to experience something, I want to do it safely so I live to tell about it. Still, that’s a whole lotta “thou shalt nots” going on there. That’s probably why people ignore them. The more there are, the less impact they have.

  10. Mark H says:

    Living for three months in the US some years ago, I was startled by the number of warning signs in every day life – McDonalds had warnings that the coffee is hot (I’d be annoyed if it was anything else), gas stations had warnings that it may harm pregnant people in some way. On that basis, everything is dangerous, which makes the signs completely ineffective. It seems to be a strange American thing that I assume is assocaited with the aggressive litigation laws.

  11. Anil says:

    Falling rocks and evil squirrels?? Yikes!


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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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NYC -> TBEX in Cancun

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