America’s National Parks are famously referred to as “America’s Best Idea” for preserving nature while making them accessible for people to enjoy their beauty.
One of the key components of the exchange between people and nature is respect, something a couple of tourists failed to understand on a recent trip to Yellowstone.
The Instagram account Tourons of Yellowstone (@touronsofyellowstone) reshared a video from TikTok of two tourists standing directly on the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. The two tourists are shot from a distance, taking photos and shouting at the onlookers, saying “Idaho is beautiful.”
A “touron”, which is a combination of “tourist” and “moron,” is a person who acts ignorantly or disrespectfully towards the places and cultures they visit, often to the offense of locals. The word even originated within the National Park Service.
These two tourons not only stepped off the designated boardwalk paths in the park, but they also mistakenly referred to their location as Idaho, when, in fact, they are in Wyoming.
While the National Parks welcome tourists from all walks of life to enjoy the beauty of nature, they rightfully require certain standards of behavior to protect people, animals, and the natural environment.
One of the most important tenets is “Leave No Trace,” which is a system of rules to help you reduce your impact on the wilderness in which you traverse.
These tourists didn’t seem to realize that by venturing off the constructed path, they are not only endangering themselves but also could risk disturbing or harming the spring they’re standing on — and no photo is worth that. A beautiful day in nature could have turned deadly, as walking on the spring is incredibly dangerous, and the hot springs have killed over 20 people who fell into them.
While everyone else is confined to the boardwalk, taking pictures respectfully, these two tourists just needed to get a closer shot. One commenter sarcastically suggested that “obviously, the ‘zoom’ on their phone doesn’t work.”
The video has gotten a lot of buzz as commenters shake their heads at the tourists depicted. It’s not the first time tourists have walked on the spring, but hopefully it will be the last. One commenter added in disgust, “this infuriates me. I hope the rangers were able to get these bozos.”
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