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.
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.