Wow, what a trip report. I loved every word and photo (great as always) of it.
I still can't get over my shock about how popular National Parks and monuments have become. All the places I never thought twice about visiting that hardly had any people — Half Dome, Mt. Whitney, the Wave — now require permits & lotteries. Imagine how insane it would be if they didn't. It's so counterintuitive to me that interest in these places has grown so much faster than the population at a time when we have so many more things to do like Netflix and video games.
The article about Katie Lee was riveting! I never knew about her.