"In Utah, our mountains are not closed."

Utah is home to some of our greatest national parks. When the U.S. government shut down last October, one of my first thoughts was the potential impact to my planned trip to Arches National Park later in the month. How can the government close nature? 

Fortunately, the Utah state government stepped in a few days later and struck a deal with the U.S. Department of the Interior to fund the re-opening of 5 of their major parks, including Arches. Within hours of Utah’s "takeover", we released the Utah Park Service t-shirt.

Thanks to Twitter, a Utah state representative saw the shirt and requested enough for everyone in the Utah House of Representatives. They planned a special session to extend state funding to the national parks if necessary. The funding was unanimously passed, and I like to think our shirt played a small part in making that happen. :)

U.S. Congress finally figured out how to play nice, so they’re taking care of the parks again. And I got to visit Arches!