How the government shutdown may effect your camping trip.

The last federal government shutdown was in 2013, and one  of the immediate effects that was felt by campers was the shutdown of federal parks.  It appears that most federal  parks are being left open when possible, but no staff or resources will be available.  So here are a few things you may consider if you plan on camping at a federal park during the shutdown:

  1.  The gate may or may not be open when you get there.  Parks like Yosemite, and Big Bend National Parks are open right now, but  but not every federal park is open, and those gates could be locked at any moment.   The NPS is not offering much information right now, so keep your fingers crossed!  NPS Twitter is inactive, but you may be able to search and find out what other users are reporting.
  2. Your  reserved site might not be ready.  Park staff have all been furloughed, so there is nobody to guide you to your site,  prep the site for you,  or to help you if you need help.   That includes rescue and emergency medical services, so stay safe and be prepared for the unexpected.   Print out any maps or other information before you head out.
  3. Guided tours, hikes, and the like  are shut own until the federal government re-opens.  So that  park ranger guided hike that points out the nest  of the elusive desert swallow is canceled until everything is back to normal
  4. There is no trash pickup or toilet services.   Make sure you  bring extra garbage bags, and plan on hauling it all out with you.   If you have a trailer or RV, you’ll   have a toilet, but no dump station.   Car campers might find the bathrooms locked, or in and “unpleasant” state.    Make sure to bring  your PahaQue TeePee for privacy as well as a portable camping toilet and your own paper.

Hopefully this will all be over soon, and we’ll be back to normal.    Are you visiting federal parks during the shutdown?  head on over to  our Facebook page and tell us what you found.




Chef Jason’s World Famous Sage Roasted Pork

Time for the first winter recipe of 2018:   Much of the country is blanketed in a
winter wonderland right now, but the warming euphoria of the aroma of cinnamon, sage, pine, and other holiday staples is what really drives the fall/winter season mood in my opinion, and we’re going to use a couple of those here.
Boneless country style pork ribs are my personal favorite. They’re super tender and easy
to grill. But any cut of pork will work just great. If you’re using pork chops, make sure
they’re at least an inch thick. And this will be a double cooking process. Follow along…
Major Players:

  • 3-4lbs preferred cut of pork
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced/diced
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely shredded/chiffonade sage. Must be fresh sage; no dried stuff from plastic jars here.
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, or 1 ½ cups fresh ones (roughly chopped)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Start by grilling the pork just until all sides are browned and you have some nice grill marks on all sides. Make sure you coat the pork in a little olive oil and salt and pepper first. You don’t need to cook it all the way through here. The second part of this is done in foil pouches. Pour a little olive oil on the foil and lay the pork down on top. Then simply add the garlic, onion, sage, cranberries, butter, and chopped walnuts over the pork. Seal it up but leave a slight opening for venting. Let it hang out over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pork from the foil to a plate to cool, but don’t you dare throw all that wonderfulness in the foil away. No no no… Drizzle the contents over the pork and serve. Sagey goodness abounds.

Figure 1


Sage chiffonade (cut into ribbons)

Figure 2


Finished Product