On the nature trail
Introduction To Act I
Today on TUNING IN THE U.S.A., Richard and his wife Marilyn are visiting one of America's national parks-Glacier National Park- in the northwestern state of Montana. They are taking a tour of the park on horseback with a guide and a group of other visitors. They admire the scenery-the tall trees, the streams, the mountains, and the lovely wild flowers. When Marilyn asks the guide about a particular wildflower, another park visitor has the answer.
Mike: All right, folks. Before we saddle up and begin our horseback trip through the park, let me introduce myself. I'm Mike Swenson, and I'm your guide this morning. Let me tell you a few things about Glacier National Park. It's our most northern park outside Alaska, [His voice grows softer as he rides away.] and there are more than two hundred lakes and fifty glaciers.
[Later, Marilyn and Richard arc both on horseback.]
Marilyn: Richard, look at the snow on top of the mountains!
Richard: It's hard to believe, isn't it, Marilyn? Snow. And it's so sunny and warm down here. [He takes photographs.]
Mike: [He speaks to Richard.] That's a fancy-looking camera you have there.
Ri: I'm a professional photographer, Mike.
Mike: There's lots of wildlife in this park.
Ri: What kind of wildlife? What should I look for?
Mi: Moose, elk, black bear, eagles. [calling] Okay, everybody. We're going to stop and take a little rest right here. [He gets off his horse.] Can I help you get down, Mrs. Bella?
Mrs. Bella: Thank you, Mike.
Marilyn: Excuse me. What is the name of that little pink flower?
Mi: We call it a calypso. But I don't know much more than that. Why don't you ask Mrs. Bella? She knows all about wildflowers. She and Mr. Bella are regular visitors to the park. They come every summer to spend a couple of weeks with us.
Mrs. Bella: To answer your question, young lady, the calypso is a kind of orchid.
Ma: I love the name. I'd like to pick one.
Mr: Oh, no, please! The National Park Service asks you not to pick the wildflowers.
Ma: Why? There are so many of them.
Mr: True, but there are Hundreds of thousands of visitors to park every year. And if each one picked a flower, they would soon disappear.
Ma: I guess I don't know much about wildflowers, Mrs. Bella.
Mr: If you're interested in learning more about them, I can show you some excellent books on the subject.
Ma: That's very kind of you.
Mr: My husband and I have spent probably half our lives looking down at our feet.
Ma: [she laughs.] You mean looking for… unusual types of flowers?
Mr: Exactly. Perhaps you would like to stop by the campground this afternoon? We could have a glass of lemonade, and both of us could learn more about the calypso.
Ma: I would enjoy that very much!
Mr: Then I'll see you at the campground!
Introduction To Act IIThis time on TUNING IN THE U.S.A., Richard and Marilyn Stewart are in a campground at Glacier National Park. They are paying a visit to Mr. Bella, an older, retired couple. For several months each year, the Bellas enjoy traveling in a motor home. For them, it's the perfect way to travel because it offers all the comforts of home.
Marilyn: There's the campground. I can see it through the trees. Mrs. Bella wrote her campsite number on a piece of paper. I have it somewhere. Oh! Here it is.
Richard: Hmm. Marilyn, can you imagine Mr. and Mrs. Bella sleeping in a tent? They must be seventy years old!
Ma: [she laughs.] Oh, no, Richard! The Bellas aren't really “camping out.” They don't sleep in a tent. They sleep in their own bed.
Ri: Their own bed? How can they do that?
Ma: The Bellas travel in a motor home.
Ri: Oh. They call them RVs, don't they?
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