I may have been a little hard on the State of Washington Parks in the previous post. Okay, I was. They are just trying to survive. Funding for the Park program was severely cut back years ago and in 2011 the Parks department initiated the Discover Pass along with all the other fee hikes in an attempt to regain loss funding revenue. And so goes the same story with all the city and state parks in the country, and the National Park Service too is not immune to reduced funding.
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is 129 miles long stretching from Grand Coulee Dam up the Columbia River to Onion Creek. I took a walk around the campground and came upon the amphitheater. By the looks of it the venue hasn't been used in years.
Paint was peeling on the benches, moss was growing in the aisles where no one has tread. It was sad to see and I have seen this sort of thing more and more everywhere I go. The disrepair, neglect, and discontinuation of services in all our parks while fees continue to rise.
I can remember taking my family to programs put on by Park Rangers at campground amphitheaters. They'd give talks about the park and the critters who lived there, show some slides, invite audience participation in sing-alongs and games and even at one state park they gave out free hot chocolate afterwards. Now campgrounds rely on volunteer help to keep functioning. You rarely see a Park Ranger. Volunteers get to stay for free at the campground. So that is a good thing for those who live on the road full time in their RV. I couldn't do it. First of all I have too much nomad in me and get itchy feet wanting to move on. The other thing would be dealing with the people.
I'll not get started on that.
If I have witnessed this much deterioration in our park systems in just one generation what will the children of today have to show for their children? Complete ruin? Locked gates? Total abandonment?
I continued on with my walk and ended up at the boat ramp.
Now you must pay a fee to launch your boat.
Never in my day when we had a small boat.
Well at least you don't have to pay to clean your fish.
In fact in some cases they will pay you! Imagine that.
"I think we're going to need a bigger grinder" (a take-off from the movie Jaws)