SMNP shutdown October 5, 2013Posted by Jenny in bushwhacking, hiking, Smoky Mountains.
Tags: barricades, Government shutdown
Who has an experience pushing at the limits of the National Park closures? I can’t express how angry I am at this experience. Right now it seems that the closures in the Smoky Mountains National Park are enforced very inconsistently. They have to keep US 441 open across the Park. There are many small pullouts and parking lots along the highway where people park to hike, wander down to the stream to take photos, or whatever. After reading about many people’s experiences, I conclude that the places you can still manage to set foot on a trail are either the most heavily used places (Newfound Gap, where so many people kept shoving aside the orange cones and barricades that they finally gave up enforcing it), or the most lightly used small pullouts that they overlook (I’m guessing, for instance, Walker Camp Prong or Bear Pen Hollow). I need to get back to Horseshoe Branch before the daylight hours are too short. I will go from NFG parking to do it if I have to.
10/6/13: I’ve learned from my brother in Montana that tourists in Cooke City near Yellowstone are unable to leave the town. The two non-park exit routes are currently blocked by snow, and they are not allowed to go through the park even though local residents holding seasonal stickers are permitted to do so. There are only two businesses open in town, a gas station and a bed-and-breakfast type place. This is utterly absurd. Here is an article in the Bozeman newspaper: