posted: September 29th, 2013 | by:Bert
©Bert Gildart: Here’s one of the spinoffs from sequestration: long waiting lines for bladders that are straining. Now just image what will happen if there is a full blown government shutdown.
The setting is Logan Pass just a few days ago, and because of a lack of funds, restroom facilities throughout Glacier National Park have been curtailed. What does that mean? It means you meet with others behind a bush or you stand in a line that may stretch as much as a city block. Meanwhile your bladder suffers. Can you wait?
But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to a full blown shutdown, though it’s significant to me.
In national parks, sequestration means that campgrounds are shutting – or have already shut. In Glacier, campgrounds at Two Medicine, and Many Glacier have already shut, and fall is typically a time Glacier National Park is at its very best. For me, a photographer, that’s not good news. Just a few years ago, Janie and I parked our Airstream at Many Glacier in October and photographed fall color, interesting birds – and one of the hugest grizzly bears I have ever seen.
The bear was fattening up for its long winter sleep. Photographing it was a rare opportunity and could only be done in fall. The campground was an ideal location, but that’s an opportunity that won’t be available this year. Many Glacier is closed!
Of course national parks are just a small part of the government, but if I understand correctly, it means all government employees (not postal workers) will be out a paycheck. Presumable that means government custodians won’t receive pay checks, and that means more bathrooms will be close.
Expect long waiting lines if you go into any government facility that might somehow still be open. And forget about camping in some of Glacier National Parks most beautiful area. Just won’t happen this year.
AIRSTREAM TRAVELS THIS TIME LAST YEAR:
BOOKS THAT WILL ENHANCE YOUR MONTANA AND SHENANDOAH ADVENTURES:
4th ed. Autographed by the Authors
Hiking Shenandoah National Park
Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.
Big Sky Country is beautiful
Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State
Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.
$16.95 + Autographed Copy
What makes Glacier, Glacier?
Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent
Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons
$16.95 + Autographed Copy