My family has been vacationing in Tennessee. We have spent lovely, unforgettable days in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We have hiked, explored historic structures and spaces, and viewed wildlife. We have also been exposed to some of the people that remind us how fortunate we are to have common sense.
One of the main attractions in the Smokies is the American Black Bear. The cabin we are staying in is decorated in a bear motif, it has a bear name, bears are frequently sighted in the area. Fortunately, we did not encounter any bears on our cabin porch, but we did see some in the park.
We discovered that the easiest method of bear spotting is to look for the large numbers of idiots that have abandoned their vehicles in the middle of the road and are standing around slack-jawed, looking upward.
GMAFB, people. This usually happens just over the crest of a hill, or around an S-turn on a steep grade with limited visibility. Come around the bend, and slam on the brakes as everyone comes to a screeching halt because one yuppie mobile is blocking the way, as dad and the kids rush toward a mother bear and her two cubs (I shit you not). At one such sighting, the crowd literally surrounded mom and cubs, and then the human children stood directly under the tree that the bears climbed up. We were relieved to return to the area from a short hike to see that Park Rangers had arrived to control the stupid.
I strongly believe in the concept of personal responsibility. I think that people should have to educate themselves and know the proper behavior and actions in situations that they may be faced with. I love that GSMNP does not charge an entry fee, but, at least if they did, people would have to speak with at least one park employee before they were set loose to become potential bear bait.