By all accounts the National Parks Hostage Crisis is coming to a close. The good news is that our wonderful parks are unharmed. The bad news is that plenty of other innocent bystanders are not so lucky.
While we waited for our parks to reopen we had the good fortune to meet a couple of blog followers who had flown to the U.S. from Australia. The highlight of their time here was supposed to be a 13 day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. After “years of dreaming, more than a year of planning, researching and booking, thousands of dollars saved, thousands already spent and over fifteen thousand kilometers traveled,” the high point of their trip to America was canceled due to America’s inability to govern itself. Sadly, they were not alone.
At the outset of this spectacle we were called selfish by some for decrying this kind of hardship that such a senseless shutdown would so obviously cause. The word irony apparently has lost all meaning.
Of course we now know the damage done goes well beyond wrecked vacations. It has also hurt our economy, destroyed research projects, upended people’s lives, tarnished America’s reputation in the world and even damaged our nation’s credit rating. And now that it is over, we can say with absolute certainty – indeed it is the one area on which everyone seems to agree – that not one single good thing came as a result of this national temper tantrum. It was 100% waste.
The best we can hope for is that the harm done is sufficiently painful to prevent similar tantrums from happening in the future. I’m hopeful, if not optimistic.
And so, with the reopening of our National Parks this politicized chapter of our travel blog thankfully comes to a close. We’ll soon continue our journey to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. We look forward to sharing them with you in the future.