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Looking For An Angle at a Tourist Attraction

Long-suffering readers of this blog probably think I am such a snob about scenery-tourism that I wouldn't be caught dead in a tourist area. (And a cynical reader probably just thinks I am doing this just to give myself something to complain about...) But here I am, campground-hosting four miles outside a national park. We essentially function as an overflow bin for the national park.

And here I was, walking up a trail to a waterfall that a hundred thousand (?) other people do every year. How was I supposed to think about this?  Was I supposed to be excited about the mere act of gawking at a waterfall? What for? -- I have already seen a photo of it. (Essentially that is my argument for the fundamental uselessness of scenery-tourism.)

But it was early in the day, so the tidal wave of tourism hadn't yet hit. Nor did I get hot, as usual on a hike. It was strange how many softball-sized rocks were on the trail. Why were the tourists so lazy? They should have kicked some of these semi-rounded rocks off the trail.

But why were the rocks semi-rounded? They weren't perfect ovoids like the rocks along river valleys, whose edge-less roundedness is easy to explain. We are on the side of a wall of "fourteeners" here, rather than in a river valley.

As it turns out, this is glacial moraine country. There are some interesting You Tube videos showing the movement of glaciers, the erosion of rubble at the bottom of the glacier, and the deposition of rocks at the bottom of the glacier, that is, the moraine. What an improvement these videos are, compared to the stilted, jargon-filled verbiage of a geology text!  

So if the tourists had kicked the rocks out of the way, it would have just exposed the next rock down, which the freeze/thaw cycle would soon loosen up. So it would do no good.