How is this affecting us?
We are affected by the shut/slim down in two different way. First, the children were not able to earn a Redwood National Park Junior Ranger badge. They didn’t cry or anything, it’s just two more little pieces of plastic that won’t be floating around the RV. Actually Brody and Scarlet have a “ME!!! Wall” where they display all their Jr. Ranger treasures. We did get to see the Redwoods, parks are a State and national hybrid. The State owns sections of old growth Redwoods and the National park system has the surrounding forests to encapsulate them. We don’t think we missed anything with respect to the Redwood forests.
Second, we cannot research anything National Park related. The websites have been taken offline. At this time it is only a minor inconvenience. Usually when we plan, we end up doing something different. We made plans for Yellowstone and Crater Lake, both ended up changing. However, it would be nice to know what kind of camping is available. We need to purchase food stuffs and it makes a difference if we will have electricity for the microwave and skillet or if we can only cook using the gas stove-top and oven. Not a deal breaker but it is nice to know.
We have been to about a dozen National Parks. The theme of each is that they were deemed as something to be protected and shared by all. The Federal Government seems to have forgotten about the “shared by all”. With respect to national parks, monuments and sites, it appears the government has done the exact thing they strived to avoid. The intent was to keep private entities from destroying or hogging up the good stuff, now it is our government barricading the people from places.
We will be in the San Francisco Bay area for awhile which will have limitless things for us to see that are not affected by the shutdown. Like today, we got to visit this incredible nursery called California Carnivores. That’s right, we toured a meat eating plant shop! It’s a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bugs), wish we had known we were going to be stopping when all we did was swat flies while in Wyoming. Previously my universe of carnivorous plants was Venus Fly-traps, my friends, there are many, many, many more. And you can even order them off the internet to ship to your home. This should be considered by our friends who eschew pesticides and wish to have something more environmentally friendly. Your own bug eating plant would be perfect.