10/03/2013 01:01 pm ET Updated Dec 03, 2013

Open Our Parks

This isn't a political opinion, this is a plea. Open our parks.

My fiance and I have been traveling across the U.S. visiting National Parks, State Parks, National Monuments, and land that is otherwise managed by the BLM. Right now we're in Page, AZ where Lake Powell is shut down and so is Glen Canyon. We're disappointed by the closures and, if the problems in Congress continue, we'll have to change our plans dramatically.

It isn't us that I'm most concerned about, however. The majority of people that we've met along the way are not from the United States. They've taken time off of work, paid for expensive flights, rented cars, or hired tours -- all to witness the beauty and wonder that our parks have to offer. Now they can't find a place to camp because many of the sites they were planning on using are inside park boundaries, they can't visit the sites they planned on seeing, and they are generally frustrated.

There are a lot of other arguments to make about American citizens being out of work and how the shutdown generally effects our economy. I just want to point that the shutdown is embarrassing out here on the road with travelers from other countries. They don't understand the problems and why exactly their vacations are being compromised. We try to explain the circumstances, but it is hard to do in a way that makes sense and sounds reasonable.

From the perspective of Germans, French, Japanese, Dutch, people of many other nationalities, and U.S. citizens, please -- open our parks!

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