Summer Vacation Warning – Don’t Risk Your Life for a Photo
It's happening too often. People climb over barriers to get good vacation pictures and get badly injured, or worse. After another incident last week, there's a renewed plea for caution on summer vacations.
My daughter and I took a trip to Yellowstone last summer and explored most of the park with a tour guide. She was great about getting us right up to the line for the best viewing and photo ops without putting us in danger, and we saw some beautiful scenery including the famous Upper and Lower Yellowstone River Falls. There was a huge landing space built in and roped off for tourists to take photos and it was plenty crowded on the day we went last July, but totally safe.
In a place like Yellowstone with lots of mountains, cliffs, and unpredictable wildlife, you just never know. The tour guide told us a story or two about people getting into big trouble for passing safety barriers trying to get good pictures, and we saw one man with a camera get way too close to a bison that was fanning his tail, snorting, and digging in his hooves as if he were really annoyed. Nothing bad happened, but the risk was there.
The Today Show shared a story last week about a college student who fell to her death in Oregon after climbing over a barrier at a scenic lookout. She slipped and fell 100 feet before landing in a tree. She was alive when rescuers got to her two hours later and she died at the hospital. She was with her boyfriend at the time, and they were just trying to enjoy the day and have a good hike when things went horribly wrong.
Texas doesn't have mountains, but there are a few cliffs and other spots that could be dangerous if we get too far in. (The monument at the top of Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas.) And don't even get us started on mountain lions and wild boars. Those things sneaking up from behind would be an unwanted photo bomb for sure.
As we're traveling further out this summer there's something to keep in mind if the temptation arises to hop a barrier -- social media viewers are not so into our photos that this riskiness will impress them. Let them scroll on by, and enjoy an injury-free summer.