Shut Down

I had to see for myself.


Sadly, they were not joking around.

I understand that with poaching and other shenanigans this is probably necessary, but it is nonetheless sad that one of the “essential functions” is keeping LE rangers on the job to keep people out.  It’s easy for most Americans to go about their lives largely ignoring the shutdown, but if we give ourselves enough time, there is bound to be something which hits us personally.  For me, and I would imagine many Westerners, it is public land.  Everyone rightfully likes to bitch about the particulars, but it’s only the true nuts who advocate doing away with them.  Public lands are America’s best idea, with National Parks as the training wheels, more supervision required, Disneyland version.  I do think the current debate is worth shutting down the government, but not being able to go into my park (especially during my favorite month, when the hordes are gone) bugs me on a petty, gut level.

10 responses to “Shut Down”

  1. You’ll just have to pick more obscure access points… ford the North Fork or Middle Fork…We attempted Chief a few weeks ago from the rez side. That’d be doable. I know you’ve done it on skis but that Running Rabbit, Snowslip, Shields loop is lovely when the larch turn. They couldn’t stop you from doing that.

  2. “I do think the current debate is worth shutting down the government”

    You’ve been living in the great northwest a little too long.

  3. When the WIC payments stop and the states run out of money, it will hurt the kids at more of a gut level, but it won’t be petty,

    But yeah, I’m whining because we have had freaky cold weather in Washington State (for this time of year) and Paradise (on Mount Rainier) has plenty of snow, but you can’t get there because of the shutdown. There are a lot of things to not like about this shutdown — many of them won’t be noticed by most people for years.

    1. I’ve got quite a few clients who will be in a pretty bad spot if this goes on for much longer. Makes my concerns very small.

  4. As a non-essential employee, this hits me in a much worse way than having to worry that national parks are closed.

    Yes I won’t have a paycheck while this is ongoing. Yes it will hurt the economy in lots of ways, and for a very long time.

    However this absolutely destroys my morale, and motivation. I know what “non essential” means, and I don’t want to take that personally. But the fact of the matter is, that to these politicians, we ARE nonessential – they really do not care about us at all.

  5. My brother just hit Montana this morning….He sent the news! crazy

  6. I like the Economist’s take: “As midnight on September 30th approached, everybody on Capitol Hill blamed everybody else for the imminent shutdown of America’s government. To a wondering world, the recriminations missed the point. When you are brawling on the edge of a cliff, the big question is not “Who is right?”, but “What the hell are you doing on the edge of a cliff?” “

  7. Dave,
    I’m going to be staying in Hungry Horse from October 7-14, for my family’s first trip to Montana. I had planned to explore as much of GNP as I could during our stay, so this is a big set-back. The initial motivation to come was to run in the Grizz 50, but a summer of plantar fasciitis didn’t allow me to train enough. The Grizz 50 had to be rerouted due to the shutdown as well. Now, it’ll go from Polebridge to the Canadian border and back. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS: run to the border on the course & raft back?

    1. That is unfortunate. I hadn’t thought about Le Grizz being rerouted. I came out of the west side Hungry Horse road this afternoon, and there were are least four FS law enforcement people checking peoples firewood (no idea why). Glad that counts as essential. That revised Grizz course will be easier and much more boring than the traditional one.

      As far as rafting goes, the recent rains have put the rivers into good shape. I packrafted the South Fork from Big Salmon Creek to the Meadow Creek takeout this weekend, and ~1500 cfs is a great level for the North Fork. No problem accessing stuff in the Bob, and there are good hikes to do in the park which could be accessed from discrete THs.

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