Thursday, October 3, 2013
So the government shut down.
Our timing couldn't have been more impeccable. Somewhat on a whim, we decided that a short trip to Yellowstone would be a fun and adventurous trip; we packed our cameras, made a last minute reservation and headed south. Hours upon hours of prairie is a tedious drive, full of endless vistas and great blue sky. And a long straight road, for as long as the eye can see. We convinced ourselves it was worth it. I am the type of person to fly to a polar continent, and then jump on a twenty-something-hour bus, and endure frigid weather, just to see a wild penguin after all.
We arrived approximately 1000km later at the park on the evening of Monday, October 30th - the day before the government simply decided to shut down. We drove blissfully through the park, basking in our ignorance and taking photos of sunsets and geysers. A beautiful two bedroom condo in a lodge awaited us at the West Gate.
The next morning we heard grim news. They had in fact followed through with the strange act of dominance, and closed all National Treasures down. No one was to enter the park. Even us, the weary travelers that had not been warned or apparently educated enough to know this was a possibility. Not even the Korean fellow who came all the way from Asia to see this wonder. An inconvenience indeed. I mean, those people who just lost their jobs were incredibly rude telling us to turn around. My tenacity got the best of me though and we came up with some B.S story that actually worked.
"We understand the park is closed, but no one warned us yesterday and we need to pick up our friends who are camping near the north entrance".
The "don't stop at all. Don't even stop for photos" policy escaped from my memory within a mile. The timing truly was impeccable. Not too many people can say they've seen Old Faithful in peak season nearly alone. Or had the pleasure of driving leisurely through the park without traffic. Or witness bison reclaim the boardwalks as the herd saunters by in the steam.
Just one of those "right time, smart thinking moments".... Yesterday was a good day