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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Huckleberries Online

High Noon: Dumb Tourist Tricks

Dennis: I went through Yellowstone the other day and I honestly have to say that I was sure I was gonna witness “Darwin’s Theory” in all it’s glory. It started with the group of tourists walking up to within 20 feet of a very large bull elk to get that “Perfect” pic. And it was R.E.A.L. clear none of them had thought out their actions and devised an exit strategy. Then there was the car load of Californians who pulled up along side of a pretty good-sized bull buffalo that was ambling down the road. The passenger thought it would be a “Good Idea” to get a close up of the big wooly. So she proceeds to hang out the wind of a very small car as it pulls along side the critter. The vehicle then stops and the passenger then starts taking pics from about 2 feet away from the bulls head. More below. (AP file photo)

Question: What is the dumbest thing you've seen a tourist (including those in North Idaho) do?

But the all time cake taker was when I crested a hill near Old Faithful and observed a line of vehicles stretching about a mile in both directions and people blindly running back and forth across the road without any regard for traffic. As I approached the middle of the line of vehicles, I looked in to the meadow and saw a group of “Tourists” (I prefer to call them brain dead idiots) moving at a trot towards a good size wolf in the meadow. Now, a lone wolf in the open in the middle of the day is not what I would consider “Usual”. That leaves me to believe one of two things, either the wolf was sick, which wouldn’t be good for any one or thing that contacts or provokes it or two, it was a female with cubs in the immediate area. With that in mind, up went my blinders and I unassed the area.

I’ve come to the conclusion that all visitors to Yellowstone coming in from the East or West Coast should be required to take and pass a “Common Sense” test before being allowed entry in to the park. The time, aggravation and money saved would put the Park Service back in the black in six months.

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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