Some of my first visits to California national parks didn’t go well. I was in probably seventh grade when my mom and I got in our Brady Bunch-era station wagon, which promptly broke down somewhere near Stockton. By the time we got to to Yosemite National Park it was near dark and we couldn’t find a place to stay. We argued several times on that trip, so it wasn’t exactly a John Muir moment for yours truly.
Further south and years later, I remember getting my first look at Kings Canyon National Park and camping with college buddies who made the trip over from nearby Fresno. I remember the park was beautiful but the next day after a night of doing what college students did we got in a bit of trouble from the park rangers. I’ll leave it at that.
Anyway, those early national park experiences aren’t anywhere near as dreadful as it seems now for Yosemite and Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP visitors amid a controversial government shutdown.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks will be fully closed effective 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2. The parks are being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns. This supersedes previous closures.
— Sequoia & Kings Cyn (@SequoiaKingsNPS) January 3, 2019
Yeah, it’s a litteral mess in some of the state’s most pristine wilderness areas. Herre’s the Associated Press via the San Jose Mercury News with more on the closures:
Bathroom facilities had an accumulation of human waste and toilet paper, while overflowing trash bins had resulted in animals eating and spreading garbage around, the statement said.
Lack of parking has prompted people to park on highways.
Kings Canyon and Sequoia aren’t alone. And the outrage in this time of outraged Americans is omnipresent:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) January 3, 2019
— BakersfieldNow (@bakersfieldnow) January 3, 2019
— CNN (@CNN) January 2, 2019
At Joshua Tree National Park, which is open but unstaffed, local do-gooders have been emptying trash cans, scrubbing toilets and restocking toilet paper –– all of their own volition. https://t.co/1cOvYanxDV
— NPR (@NPR) December 29, 2018
#governmentshutdown #shutdown Quick pic on my bike ride in. That’s the White House in the background. The National Park can’t empty trash cans next to the Washington Monument. pic.twitter.com/qC93aPVkq5
— Nick Schwellenbach (@schwellenbach) January 2, 2019