- Posted October 17, 2013 by
West Glacier, Montana
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This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
Glacier National Park Birthday Gift
- dsashin, CNN iReport producer
Since the government shutdown, our National Parks all across the country have been closed, including my favorite, Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.
Congress has finally compromised and federal workers were ordered back to work as of today, October 17th, my birthday.
Just about every year since I moved here just after 9/11, I have spent "my day" in Glacier National Park. Being there gives one a sense of calm, peace, and relaxation.
I feared that I would be forced to break the law this year and sneak in to continue my long standing tradition, as the end of the closure was uncertain, even just two days ago.
Last night as I learned that the shutdown had come to an end, I felt a great relief, and happiness. I traveled to the west entrance before sunrise, and the signs and barricades had been removed to the side of the road, bringing a smile to my face.
As I arrived at Lake McDonald, much like in years past, I was all alone, with the exception of a lone deer on the shoreline, several ground squirrels scampering through the fallen leaves, and a pair of loons.
The magic of Glacier has captivated me in this state, despite the inability to find employment, several instances of near homelessness, and a roller coaster ride of emotions through a decade.
I know now that Montana will always be my "home" no matter where I happen to live.
Today will likely have been my last visit to the park until next year, as I set off to find employment to continue being able to exist in this world. I will miss her, but I will also see her everyday, via webcam, and photos through social media.
In closing, I would like to thank our congressmen and women for giving me the best birthday gift I have received, my ability to find my annual inner peace.
Stephan Ferry © 2013