Utah To Reopen National Parks By The Weekend

Bryce Canyon National Park Utah
James Gordon, Flickr

There’s finally a bit of good news for travelers impacted by the Federal Government shutdown with the announcement that Utah will reopen five of its national parks despite the ongoing closures around the country.

Utah made a deal with the government to pay to keep its parks open. The state will cough up more than $166,000 a day for up to 10 days for the privilege, with the money going to the National Park Service.

In total, eight Utah attractions will reopen to visitors. This includes five national parks, namely Bryce Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands National Park. In addition, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, as well as the Cedar Breaks and Natural Bridges national monuments will once again welcome tourists.As we’ve mentioned before, the shutdown hasn’t stopped some visitors from sneaking into the parks, with a number of tourists caught jumping the fences as Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks. The reopening of the parks will ensure that visitors are able to get inside and that they pay to do so – a key factor behind the state’s decision to go against the shutdown.

Utah’s Governor says the state’s national parks are fundamental to the local economy and the closures had come at a particularly bad time. Good weather tends to draw large crowds in October, meaning the parks usually earn about $100 million during this month alone.

Utah’s national parks will reopen by Saturday.

Shutdown Won’t Stop Travel: Tourists Are Sneaking Into Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks

Stuart Seeger, Flickr

Not allowed to go where you want to on account of the government shutdown? That doesn’t pose a problem for some. Because hey, if you’ve traveled far to see a certain landmark, you’re going to do everything in your power to see it. Or at least that is the thought pattern of the people who have been sneaking into Grand Canyon National Park recently. May we remind you that such behavior is in fact illegal.

Nearly two dozen people have been issued citations for entering the park; you see the government and the National Parks can get shut down, but someone will still be employed to get you in trouble when you make an attempt at entering.Some of the people that snuck in were even attempting rim-to-rim hikes, obviously dangerous if there aren’t any rangers to go to if you find yourself in a questionable situation.

The Grand Canyon isn’t the only place people have been trespassing. In Zion National Park in Utah, 16 hikers jumped the fence in protest of the shutdown. And then there are the people that unwillingly break the rules, like the runner who says he was fined $100 for working out on a trail in Valley Forge National Historic Park. He had parked his car in a parking lot where there was no barrier or sign, but was fined anyway.

As for Grand Canyon National Park? Law enforcement officers are patrolling the area on the lookout for more trespassers. Consider yourself warned.

5 Easy Ways To Stay Active When You Travel

Ed Yourdon, Flickr

Traveling doesn’t mean having to give up your regular workout routines, even when you’re on vacation and letting yourself relax a little. There are plenty of travel specific workouts to be done, from CrossFit to general hotel gym repetitions, but the best, and easiest, way to stay active while you travel is to do just that: stay active. Here are five easy ways to do just that.

1. Do a morning yoga session
A round of sun salutations every morning will get you ready for the day as well as keep your muscles happy. Plan on a short and simple yoga routine that you can incorporate into your morning before your day gets hectic.

2. Go for a run
Running is my favorite form of travel workout, not only because it’s easy, but because it lets you explore a new place in a different way, be it an urban industrial area or a beautiful National Park. Running shoes double as walking shoes, so in terms of keeping your packing light, throwing in your running gear won’t make a huge difference.

3. Bike
So many cities nowadays offer bikeshare systems, which means getting around on two wheels while you’re traveling is as easy as signing up for a pass. It’s a budget-friendly mode of transportation, but also one that lets you see the city and get some fresh air all at the same time.

4. Walk
This one seems stupidly simple, because obviously if you’re exploring a new place you’re going to be doing some walking. But challenge yourself to walk more. Instead of taking the bus or subway, walk to your next destination. Leave extra time to explore places by foot. Slow down and travel at a new pace. You’ll get more physical activity and in turn explore cities in a whole new way.

5. Kayak, roller blade, stand-up paddle board, hike, etc.
If you like being active, then find the travel activities that keep you doing the things you love. Better yet, even plan your trips around them. Who doesn’t want to travel to Cinque Terre to hike after all? Be it stand up paddle boarding in warm tropical waters or snowshoeing on a wintry nature trail, there are many adventure travel options, so seek out local tours or rental shops that will let you explore in a creative way.

Hiker Finds Over $300,000 Worth Of Buried Treasure In The Alps

Mont Blanc Alps
Tom Fahy, Flickr

It sounds like something out of a movie, but a mountaineer scaling the Alps has come across a valuable stash of jewels including emeralds, sapphires, and rubies, buried in the snow — a treasure trove estimated to be worth $332,000.

The French climber stumbled across a metal box while scaling Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, earlier this month. Upon opening it, the hiker discovered colorful gemstones, some of which were wrapped in pouches marked “Made In India.”It’s believed the jewelry ended up in the Alps following one of two Indian plane crashes in the region — one which took place in 1950 and another that occurred 16 years later. Other cargo and belongings from those plane crashes have previously been discovered in the area, but this latest discovery could be one of the most valuable stashes to be uncovered.

The mountaineer handed the loot over to French authorities who are working to track down the owners of the lost treasure. However, a local police officer told the AFP that under French law, the valuables could be handed over to the hiker if the owners or heirs of the jewelry are not found.

Newlywed Shoves Husband Off a Cliff in Glacier National Park, Charged with Murder

dancingnomad3, Flickr

What better way than to spend your honeymoon in the great outdoors? And if you don’t have time for a honeymoon, how about a nice weekend hike?

Unfortunately, when newlyweds Jordan Linn Graham, 22, and Cody Lee Johnson, 25, headed to Glacier National Park on July 7 for a hike, their week-old marriage had a tragic ending. After an argument on the Loop Trail, in a moment of anger Graham pushed Johnson and he fell face-first off a cliff.

After the dispute, Graham failed to call police, and it was not until Johnson did not show up at work the next day that he was reported missing. A few days later, Graham reported that she had found the body, claiming that she knew of the location because “it was a place he wanted to see before he died.”

That seemed suspicious, and when she was questioned by authorities later in the month she admitted that the two had begun to argue while on the trail and, as stated in the affidavit, “due to her anger, she pushed Johnson with both hands in the back, and as a result, he fell face first off the cliff.”

The charging documents suggest that Graham was already having reservations about her new marriage, and that she texted a friend on July 7 indicating that she was off to have a chat with her new husband about her concerns. Graham is now facing second-degree murder charges.