Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Yesterday, I discovered Zach A's Evolt blog. And was both amused and exasperated by the most recent post. Somewhere out there is a tourist who feels they were fleeced by a tourist destination. You see, there's now a skywalk out over the Grand Canyon. And he'd read that the cost of going to see the skywalk was $25, not including the cost to get onto the reservation where the skywalk sits. Turns out the cost of getting to it is $50 - basically, a tour of the reservation plus lunch, since they don't allow outside cars in. For an additional cost, you don't even need to drive your car to the parking lot, but can arrange for a bus to pick you up and bring you in. Cool.

Anyway, our tourist says fine, and pays the $75 for tour plus skywalk, but has gotten so angry over the whole thing (despite reading the brochure, which I thought explained the situation.) that he's not enjoying any of it, including the skywalk. So he posts a rant about the whole experience, which gets a ton of commenters. Zach asks if this is perhaps because it allows people to cast the whole thing in their minds as "see, those Indians cheated this guy, so we get to ignore how our whole nation has cheated the Indians." And that may be how it's being perceived, except, well, it's so not a rip-off, people!

$75 for a tour plus lunch is standard going, if just a bit low. Anything below that, if you get a lunch at all, you can bet it will be awful, and the vegetarian option won't be much better, if there is a vegetarian option at all. If y'all chose not to just relax and enjoy as much of the tour as you could, that's certainly not the fault of the folks selling the tour. If I were faced with a tour that turned out to be more expensive than I thought, I would either find something else to do with the day or else figure I might as well get my money's worth. As I mentioned in my comment, the horse ride is a serious bargain, by the looks of it, and the overnight accomodations look reasonable to me. I find myself wondering when their off season is.

Last night, I mentioned the tour to a friend of mine and she agreed that we'd have a ton of fun if we went. Mind you, this is the friend whom I've frequently talked into going on tourist adventures with me - hey, look at this, only 4 hours away is a hot spring that was famous just before the Civil War. You can still go bathing in it for $14. Wanna go? And across the street is a historic hotel that was converted from a jail just before the Depression when they hoped to hype the spring again. Reasonable rates, and a shuffleboard court, too. With homemade breakfasts... Or we could stay in a caboose in Pennsylvania, right next to a short line railroad and a train museum...

I love heading to obscure tourist destinations. Local museums, oddments of history, all that kind of thing. A ride on a paddleboat along the Ohio, a train park in West Virginia, camping in state parks, a canoe trip down some river that runs only waist deep in places, and I am so there. Someone's got a tour of an old jukebox factory? Cool! Hey, Rae, check this out...

And yes, I know this isn't obscure. That's why I want to know when the off season is.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Canine Diamond said...

Dude--I wanna go on a road trip with you! I love that kind of stuff.

4/13/2007 2:07 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Hey, I was looking around the site, and realized I might want to arrange to stay overnight there just for the sake of staying on old route 66 (plus, well, come on, there's horseback riding, whitewater rafting, a cowboy village, an American Indian museum and visitor's center, and the Grand Canyon.) What's not to like exploring?

I've gone a good ways on the Old National Road (Route 40) essentially, from Columbus, OH to Baltimore, MD. And up and down Route 1 at least in the Mid-Atlantic. I've driven on back roads throughout the region and stopped in all kinds of places because they looked interesting. And I love checking out little local eateries like the pizza joint I found in the basement of one of the old inns along route 40 that had been set up for the westward bound travellers along with the old stone mile posts. And they brewed their own root beer and ginger ale.

I also love finding people who love to go on my kind of road trip. It sounds like you'd be fun.

4/13/2007 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Quietpaths said...

I would love to hear about the paddleboat trip. And, how are the state parks out your way? What little comfy perks do they have? Ours are pretty much just water and privy. In Michigan they actually have showers!

4/19/2007 7:25 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Actually, I've been on a few different sternwheeler trips, most for just an hour or two along the Ohio. I enjoy watching the big paddle at the back, and seeing the fish. Also, paddleboat trips tend to be relatively quiet sorts of tours, which I very much appreciate.

State parks vary a lot. I know one in West Virginia that provides Roman baths from a warm spring for a very moderate price. (They also have clawfoot tub baths, massages, and steam cabinets - either like the one in "I Love Lucy" or the kind that look like Iron Lungs. There are state parks with golf facilities, fancy lodges, not-so-fancy lodges, campsites, only restrooms, etc. Around here, if they have camping, they mostly provide showers, and hot showers at that.

4/23/2007 11:32 AM  

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