It’s been a tough week for national parks, thanks to the federal government shutdown. Grand Canyon rafters threatened to rush the blocked gate at Lee’s Ferry. Hundreds of elk were displaced from Rocky Mountain National Park, with nowhere to go but the Estes Park Golf Course in the center of town, where the activities of rutting season (now in full swing) have made playing through awkward. Avalanches on Mt. Rainier came to a screeching halt. Climbers in Yosemite’s Camp 4 showered and left. But even though there’s no sign of compromise from ultra right-wing conservatives in the House of Representatives who caused the shutdown, there’s still good news: The White House has announced that national parks will reopen beginning this Saturday, thanks to a donation from Google.
The deal came together after President Obama met with business leaders to pressure Republicans to drop their opposition to the Affordable Care Act. One of the execs was Google founder Sergey Brin.
“I asked what Google could do to help,” Brin said, “and the president joked, ‘A big fat check would be nice,’ so I pulled out my Capitol One Rewards card and told him to go wild. He’s stoked, the parks will open again, and the miles I’m going get — man!”
The parks will open in two waves — “the cool ones first,” said Brin, “followed by those other ones.” In a show of magnanimity, Yosemite’s waterfalls will be turned back on by Friday evening, as will Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. The Colorado River “might take another day or two” because of its size, he said.
Google’s donation comes with two stipulations: The National Park Service logo will temporarily be rebranded with Google’s famous color scheme, and all NPS employees will be required to wear Google Glass, whose video streams will be live webcast 24/7.
“America is grateful to Google for this very generous gift,” said Obama at a news conference, “and the director of the NSA told me he’s especially excited about the Google Glass project.”
Climber Alex Honnold, reached in a pizza joint in Oakhurst, California, just outside Yosemite, said, “Well, yeah, I’m stoked cause I can get back to my sit-down Nose project. But this means I took a shower for nothing.”
The Adventurey Report is almost certainly not true.