On our recent summer vacation we visited three of our greatest national parks, Zion and Bryce in Utah, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
However, the only thing missing from this traditional all-American vacation was Americans.
On every hiking path and overlook we encountered mostly German tourists enjoying the majestic scenery along with a few Swiss, Dutch, Japanese and French visitors.
We estimated at least 60% of the tourists at these three parks were German and about 10% were from other nations. All, regardless of age, were fit, trim, and English speaking.
Even the gangs of motorcyclists were German!
The remaining 30% were Americans.
On one occasion, after a long hike at Bryce Canyon, we were drinking cold beer on a snack bar patio surrounded by Germans of all ages, when a large tour bus pulled up and out piled about 80 people.
Before I heard any of them speak, their nationality was obvious due to their super-sized waistlines. It was apparent the only hiking this crowd was engaging in was a round trip from the bus to snack bar.
They were Americans of course!
During this 15-minute snack bar stop, it was the only time during our entire week at three National Parks that American tourists outnumbered their German counterparts.
If it were not for the Germans and the other international tourists, these great parks would have been virtually empty in mid-June.
We felt it was a sad commentary on our economy and the state of our nation.
Is it time for our government to consider selling these parks to Germany to help reduce our $14 trillion deficit?