The Buzz of Summer

What ever happened to the nice, quiet vacation?

We checked into a hotel a few years ago on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and peered out the window into majestic, blue-ish prehistory--one of the planet's more powerful astonishments. A family checked into the room next door, and a moment later, through the thin walls, we heard the sound of the television coming on. Loud.

Later we pitched our tent in Chaco Canyon, just at dusk. Presently there rumbled into the campground five or six rhinoceros RVs, behemoths with generators on their roofs that hummed and groaned all night to power the people's TVs and air conditioners. They...

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