As I have mentioned in several posts previously I have spent quite a bit of time in the USA. Lived there for two years during the early 1980s, and I have been back there four times since on various holidays.
One of the things that really gets my backup is when people automatically dismiss America as a travel destination because of its foreign policy or the fool who is currently in power over there. Although it could be argued that American foreign policy and politics are a manifestation of the national will, most Americans I’ve met don’t support Bush’s deranged and rapacious ways. Sure, Bush stole the election fair and square, but the majority of Americans did not vote for him.
As a matter of fact, a majority of Americans don’t vote at all because they have no interest in the candidates. The two party political system has left a great deal of the population feeling they aren’t being represented by either the Republicans or the Democrats, so they just don’t participate in the election process.
Americans that my wife and I met were very concerned about foreigner’s opinions of America. So often, the people that we spoke to (without us instigating any conversation about politics) actually apologised for Bush and made a point of telling us that they did not vote for him.
The average American that I’ve ever encountered is a very polite and friendly person who is happy to meet people from overseas. I was treated with nothing but courtesy and decency (with a few notable exceptions), in all the times that I have visited the States.
Some other people seem to think that because America has the largest economy in the world that it must be some big industrial wasteland and there are a quite few places like New Jersey (the “Garden State”, what a joke!), that do fit the bill, but on the whole it is an incredibly beautiful country. I particularly like the south-western states, but there is beauty to be found across the whole country. I have been to about 45 of the states and I feel that I can say this with some authority.
Because of its beauty, Yosemite is usually very crowded for most warmer months of the year. My wife and I visited Yosemite in the late summer, early autumn of 2006 and the park was almost empty.
Apparently, most people go to Yosemite in the late spring or early summer, because the melting snow creates numerous waterfalls, off the steep rock faces of the valley. There were no waterfalls when we visited Yosemite but it was still amazingly spectacular. When I was younger and I used to rock climb, I used to fantasize about climbing at Yosemite and after visiting there, I found it easy to understand why the place was such a rock climbing mecca. The whole place is just stunning.