On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip Everyone has heard of Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks. The iconic regions are breathtaking benchmarks of the American west, protected and established alongside the inception of the National Park Service in 1916. However, there are plenty of other phenomenal camping areas scattered throughout the United States that are perfectly apt for taking to the trails and pitching a tent if you want to skirt less popular destinations or are merely in search of something different. Whether you’d prefer to walk among the tallest old-growth trees in the world, survey a pod of Orcas from your vantage point along the shore, or climb 150-meter dome of pink granite amid the rolling skies, there’s no better time than Memorial Day and the upcoming summer season to enjoy the great outdoors. That said, the Manual has kindly put together a list of some of our favorite places to camp, from California to New York. As John Muir once said, “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.” And I don’t think we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.Channel Islands National Park, CaliforniaThe aforementioned Yosemite receives most of the hype (and rightly so). However, California is a laudable treasure trove of camping spots, with Channel Islands National Park ranking among the best. Nearly 20 boat-in campsites scatter the nine regions located around the leeside shore of the island, providing a truly secluded experience nestled 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles. Moreover, the island offers a bevy of pristine beach — notably Brisas del Mar and Bahia Azul — both of which provide gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and access to fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling.Other alternatives: Redwood National and State Parks, Sierra National ForestBig Bend National Park, TexasAmerican author Edward Abbey always heralded the desert for its beauty and expansiveness. Encompassing more than 800,00 acres in southwestern tip of Texas, Big Bend National Park is a prime of example of what the writer was talking about, a rugged landscape peppered with limestone pinnacles, desert oases, and roaring rivers. More than 150 hiking trails line the mountain and weather-beaten desert, providing grounds for phenomenal horseback riding and backpacking — if you don’t find yourself mercilessly gazing at the robust selection of birds and the star-laden sky.Other alternatives: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Padre Island National SeashoreOlympic National Park, WashingtonA vast region of varied beauty regardless of the season, Olympic National Park is a mecca for camping in the Pacific Northwest. More than 40,000 people flock to the old-growth rainforests and glaciated mountain vistas of the region’s wilderness annually, taking in the tidepools and wildflower-adorned meadows along the way. The park touts more than 900 different campsites and hundreds of hiking trails throughout its interior, with remarkable fishing punctuating the region’s three distinct biospheres. However, ensure to always check the weather given the region is prone to rain.Other alternatives: San Juan Islands, Mt. Rainier National ParkAdirondack Forest Preserve, New YorkThe Adirondacks are a classic staple of upstate New York. Consisting of more than 6-million acres — 2.7 million of which remains state-owned land — the region tempts campers with a bevy of high peaks, an amazing assortment of biodiversity, and thousands of snow-fed lakes. You can fish for trout along the girth of cascading streams or watch for migratory, boreal birds as they flock home to the park. The preserve also provides some of the best whitewater rafting on the East Coast during the summer, and a vast network of waterfall-strewn hiking trails regardless of the season.Other alternatives: Catskills Forest Preserve, Allegany State ParkMohican State Park, OhioMohican State park may only cover just over 1,000 acres, but the adjacent forest offers more than 5,000. The region is uniquely beautiful, dappled with hemlock groves and cut with the Mohican River, the latter of which provides opportunities for canoeing and renowned bass fishing. Formerly the hunting grounds for the Delaware Indians, you can also hunt in the abutting forest with a valid license, or simply traverse one of the six hiking and mountain biking trails for spectacular views of the area’s surrounding waterfalls or the scenic wooden bridge crossing the Clear Fork Gorge.Other alternatives: Burr Oak State Park, Malabar Farms State Park The Best Lodges in the U.S. for Drinking and Relaxing Editors’ Recommendations Your Guide to a Road Trip Across New York State 12 Reasons South Dakota Deserves Your Attention The Best American Liqueur
GATINEAU, Que. — Investments needed to expand Canada’s Internet grid would slow to a trickle if the big service providers were forced to allow smaller players to access their so-called fibre-to-the-home networks, Bell Canada says.At hearings that could determine the future of Internet service in Canada, executives from Bell are urging the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to let market forces drive competition.“If there are rules in place that make building (networks) in the first place unprofitable, we will not build to a community,” Bell executive vice-president Mirko Bibic said Wednesday.“The consumer will suffer from that, because they’ll have the choice of only one high-speed network, which is the cable network, or none at all.”Companies making community-by-community investments to improve Internet access and speeds would simply turn off the investment taps, Mr. Bibic warned.The Canadian Network Operators Consortium, representing independent Internet service providers, dismissed that argument, predicting that Bell, a division of BCE Inc., and other telcos would continue making investments in fibre in order to compete with cable companies.“They have a natural incentive to build wherever there is a cable carrier because otherwise the cable carrier will eat their lunch,” said Chris Tacit, the consortium’s legal counsel.Bell’s arguments stood in stark contrast to those of fledgling player Primus, which has called for regulations to allow access to the so-called “last mile” of the Internet connection highway: the fibre-optic lines that are being installed into people’s homes that can dramatically improve Internet speeds.Primus has called on the CRTC to regulate the entire wholesale Internet market to “disrupt the broadband duopoly” that it said exists in Canada.“We do not believe that a marketplace of two incumbents is good enough for Canadian consumers,” Primus CEO Michael Nowlan told the regulator Tuesday.But there is already stiff competition between the big players for consumer dollars, and more time is needed to determine whether further regulations are needed to spur competition, Mr. Bibic said.“None of the evidence supports mandating access to our fibre-to-the-home networks now,” he said. “So, today, don’t mandate access.”“If (the CRTC) feels down the road … three to five years that you want to look at it again to make sure our predictions are correct, look at it again.”Mr. Bibic pointed to regulations imposed on the industry in 2004, saying the rules effectively shut down investments that would have otherwise been made because the CRTC artificially reduced prices, making it cheaper to lease infrastructure that competitors already had in place.There are more than 500 Internet service providers across Canada, yet the top five players — Rogers Communications Inc., Bell Canada, Shaw Communications Inc., Quebecor Inc. and Telus Corp. — account for the vast majority of market share.CRTC hearings being held in Gatineau, Que., this week and next are the final of several reviews aimed at finding a balance between customer access and the need of telecom services providers to make a profit. The review of Canada’s wholesale “wired” Internet market is focused on whether cable and telecom companies should be required to share with smaller competitors the infrastructure that brings Internet services directly into homes.The big telecoms have been investing in fibre-optic technology, which offers the vastly improved broadband speeds needed to stream videos and place phone calls over the Internet.Until recently, copper phone lines and coaxial cable were the main means of providing Internet services to home customers.The CRTC also conducted hearings earlier this year into the future of television and Canada’s wireless industry.While the regulator hasn’t ruled yet on whether wireless firms must share cell towers, it has forced the telecom companies to allow customers to terminate their services without making them pay cancellation fees.