In case you’re not aware, we’re almost a month into a government shutdown that is causing hardship to millions of people. If the current administration didn’t cause such widespread tragedy so consistently, I’d dismiss all the current news as a joke. Unfortunately, our President is tragic and his destruction is not a joke.
That said, I have found one positive aspect to the shutdown. Muir Woods National Park is closed. That’s right, the woods have been shut down. A steel gate locks the two parking lots, the ranger station is closed and there are signs around the main entrance alerting visitors that the Park is Closed.
How is this a good thing? Normally, Muir Woods prohibits biking inside the Park. Not so, during the shutdown. No rangers patrol the trails or limit access. The sublime trail network through old growth Redwoods that usually is off-limits to us bikers is now shockingly, and blissfully, wide-open.
So I have been cross-crossing Muir Woods’ single track for the last couple of weeks. Every ride has been epic! And, I’m not the only one enjoying the “closed” park. Almost every day, I’ve passed groups hiking Muir Woods with somewhat dazed smiles on their upturned faces. Every one of them smiles and says “Hi! . . . Isn’t this great?! . . . Have a great ride! . . .” We all felt solidarity in our trespass.
This shutdown stems from the Administration’s attempt to separate us from our neighbors, but in Muir Woods, it’s had the opposite effect. It’s brought hundreds of us together to enjoy the woods together, free of mistrust and fear and hate, and free of government interference.
If you have a National Park near you, I’m not saying you should go out and poach some trails, but should you choose to do so on your own volition, I support you. I bet your neighbors do, too.