When I first became a parent, countless people came forward with advice. Almost all of it was useful and appreciated but none of it had the enduring quality of what my brother calls his First Rule of Parenting—never leave home without a coloring book and a bagel. In other words, if you want happy children, keep them fed and entertained.
These days I think of this rule every time I drive in Yosemite National Park. Thanks to the nation’s tax dollars, the south end of the park is getting a newly asphalted, spiffed-up road, complete with gutters and freshly painted double lines. What that means for future visitors is smooth roads and easier driving. For now, what that means is weekday traffic delays and congestion, with stops sometimes totaling more than an hour.