Thanks for that response Jesse. realistically, I suspect that what we are seeing here is the dictum: "Bad news travels faster than good News". It only takes one bad encounter to forget the last 5 positive ones a person has had.
Great post Jesse. That's exactly what I was hoping to convey (perhaps not in my original rant, but in the subsequent comment I posted later on page one.) I wish all Park Rangers approached their role with your attitude, especially when encountering a non-threatening situation.
While it's conjecture on my part, I am nearly 100% certain that had the rangers taken a page out of your book and explained the danger and also the now understood issue of displacing silt (although I can't see how a few jumps is really any different from thousands of people swimming and splashing about daily in the Merced...but I digress) then the children and I would have a) learned something, and b) had a rational reason to desire to comply with the regulations. When respect is given, it fosters a climate of wanting to help each other. Mutual understanding created through calm, polite dialogue promotes a workable situation. All those three Rangers did on Saturday was piss a bunch of people off, who in turn wanted nothing more than to defiantly resume the misbehavior as soon as they departed in what is an all-too-human desire to resist being controlled or tormented by authority figures.
To those who have suggested I lodge a written complaint, I will be doing so today. I don't have the names of the three Rangers, nor would I want them to lose their jobs (or the like) as I'm sure they also do a lot of good in the Park and as many have said, they may have just been having an outrageously bad day or some other mitigating factor. With that in mind, the tone and spirit of my letter will be less ascerbic and more philosophical re: the nature of Ranger and visitor interactions. I will describe unemotionally what occurred and request a change in style of Ranger enforcement. It will all just amount to a hill of beans, but I'd like to know that I at least spoke up and didn't just sit back and say to hell with giving a damn about how people are treated by our public servants in our national parks...