Sunday, April 10, 2011

Countdown to shutdown.... ?

So Friday made for an interesting day in my world. Nearly every conversation I had with both the visitors coming into the park and the many people who called on the phone was centered upon whether the park would be open the next day. And all I could tell them was that we didn't know, that it was entirely dependent on what congress did. As you might imagine, that got a bit frustrating as the day wore on!

I didn't know when I went to bed Friday night if I would be coming in to work the next day for a normal day or to spend a few hours in the morning helping to shut down the park. I certainly maintain hope that congress will do what they said and actually write and sign the appropriate legislation in the next few days or we will be right back in the same place once again. Not a very fun place to be in!

That being said, I was rather disappointed that they passed another CR at the last minute. I think it would have been better for things to actually shut down so that they would have to deal with that reality as a result of the actions they have taken. But I am certainly very glad to still be getting a paycheck!

I happened to be at the desk on Friday when a news crew arrived to film for a story they were running that evening about the impact of the impending shutdown. Attached is a video clip from NBC 29, the local affiliate of NBC which was the lead in to that story which was aired Friday evening. The story was largely centered upon the impact on Shenandoah and I had about 15 seconds of airtime in footage showing me interacting with visitors. This clip only contains a brief image, but you do still see me as the face of the services that would not be available if the government was to shut down. 

I raised the flag in front of the Visitor Center Saturday morning, the officially recognized symbol that we were open and available for service. Yesterday afternoon/evening I hiked ten miles through the mist and fog, roving the trails and enjoying the beauty and wonder of the park for myself. It seems appropriate that while the park was shrouded in fog both Friday and Saturday, today the sun dawned bright and clear, a new day filled with hope and life.

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