What's the Point of Rangers?
Rangers are indispensable. They teach you about the landscape, help you select your adventure, and answer that most important question: "Where's the bathroom?" The internet is a treasure trove of rangers pointing at things. Enjoy.
To educate, assist and inspire people to fall in love with our public lands. They're scientists and educators, advocates and rescuers.
Whether you're visiting national or state lands for your first or 50th time, rangers are indispensable to your experience (even when you don't see them). They can teach you about the landscape you're traveling through, help you select your adventure while you're visiting, and even answer pressing questions, including, "Where's the bathroom?"
All this knowledge is conveyed using the helpful art of pointing. What information would the phrase "Over there!" hold if it was uttered without an accompanying point?
Luckily, there's a movement afoot to capture this valuable gesture in all its varied forms.
- You can find a collection of photos at this aptly named (if seemingly abandoned) Tumblr: Rangers Pointing At Things.
- The Twitter hashtag #rangerspointingatthings has even more images.
- Instagram has a growing collection. It gets funnier the more you look at it.
Video: The art of pointing
For a more interactive experience, watch this short instructional video by Ranger Kenny Points (yes, that's really his name) of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
Be sure to watch all the way through, past the credits and color blocks.
Have you snagged a photo of a ranger pointing at a thing? Be sure to post it to Instagram or tweet it and add the hashtag #rangerspointingatthings. If you tag us, @washingtontrails, we can see it, too!
A hat tip to Kim Brown and Gwen Tollefson (pictured below), members of the WTA community who have taken this delightful internet phenomenon to heart. As volunteer wilderness rangers with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, they're well qualified to point things out.