Not much of a birthday at Yosemite

Yosemite, our universally acclaimed and beloved national park, celebrated its 123rd birthday in the fall. Instead of welcoming crowds, though, the usually packed and always popular Yosemite had to turn visitors away. As the partisan bickering in Washington shut the federal government, one of the most visible repercussions was the immediate closure of the country's 401 National Park Service sites. As a forlorn Irish couple on their honeymoon told The Times: "We grew up seeing pictures of it in books. You know, the cars underneath those huge sequoia trees. That was America." Oh c'mon -- didn't we all think: Can't we compromise? Do we have to close our national parks? MORE YEAR IN REVIEW: 10 groundbreaking women we lost in 2013 10 tips for a better life from The Times' Op-Ed pages in 2013 Kindness in the world of politics? 7 uplifting examples from 2013
Los Angeles Times
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