Americans have been cooped up at home, stifled by the stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions. Well, at least the ones who have allowed themselves to be controlled by the fear the media and the left perpetuates.
However, for the average traveler, creativity has exploded and they’re finding ways to explore the United States while still maintaining a safe distance from one another.
But are these once-hidden gems of our nation sure they want all the company.
Last year, Proud American Traveler spoke on “overtourism” and how some countries were instilling measures to deter the floods of tourists flocking to see their popular destinations.
Then the “pandemic” hit.
And with citizens all around the world thinking they were going to die if the person next to them exhaled, tourism hit rock bottom.
What was the result of the government forbidding travelers from coming and going as they please?
A mass exodus into God’s country – otherwise known as the good ol’ outdoors.
The inherent nomadic pull in the wayward traveler led people by the thousands to areas such as the Madison River in Bozeman, Montana.
Those looking for adventure swelled into the beautiful flowing river coming out of the Yellowstone plateau.
The last couple of seasons were a sight to behold as fishermen lined the river from bow to stern.
Carl Hamming, a board member of a local chapter of Trout Unlimited, recalled the event to The New York Times:
“You’re in a flotilla with five boats in front of you and five in back of you. It seems like everyone was flocking to Montana this summer.”
And a writer for a Montana wilderness journal called the flux of people drawn to the watery bed a “Rivergeddon.”
But isn’t this what Montana has wanted all along?
Residents and travelers alike have boasted about Big Sky Country and its therapeutic effects on the soul with all the wildlife, jagged snow-capped mountains, and rugged adventure of the untouched west.
According to The New York Times, Bozeman and Jackson, Wyoming are considered “the largest nearly intact temperate ecosystems in the world.”
Residents are afraid this title will be no more if the 14,000-plus commercially-guided fishing trips down the Madison River are allowed to continue.
Kirk Deeter, a former guide and head of communications for Trout Unlimited in Steamboat Springs, Colo., says, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
He blames the surge of visitors on the fact there are “no T-ball leagues or theaters, or malls” to go to.
While nature is extremely resilient, and we could all use a little more sunshine in our life, the traveler looking to connect with nature will have to expand their horizons beyond Montana’s best fishing spots.
We recommend exploring one of the more remote destinations like Madagascar for a truly serene experience.
But don’t discount the rest of Yellowstone National Park either, because with 3,741 square miles of pristine land, you’re bound to find a peaceful nook to call your own…well, along with a few woodland creatures, of course.