Google Doodle Celebrates Yosemite on Day Park Closes

Anyone who uses Google today is thinking about Yosemite

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Oct 1, 2013  |  Updated 1:37 PM PDT
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Google Doodle Celebrates Yosemite on Day Park Closes

Google

The Google Doodle celebrates Yosemite's past, but in the present the park has a closed sign on all entrances.

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The federal government's shutdown came on the 123th anniversary of Yosemite National Park, which means all birthday celebrations have been canceled.

The park officially closed on Tuesday, the first government shutdown in 17 years. And instead of welcoming visitors with cheers and birthday candles, park rangers are escorting people out of the Yosemite Valley. 

In a second strange turn of events, the anniversary was the inspiration for Tuesday's Google Doodle, which is seen by millions of people each day. Many of them may not be aware that the park the doodle is promoting is off limits.

Google said the timing was an "unfortunate coincidence."

This has not been a great summer for Yosemite. The Rim Fire -- California's third largest wildfire in state history -- crossed into the park boundaries and damaged 78,748 acres of national park land.

Google said it choose to acknowledge Yosemite in part because it was damaged by the fire.

"In the wake of this year's devastating California's Rim Fire, our doodle celebrates Yosemite's past and future," Google wrote.

According to the national park's contingency plan, Yosemite's shutdown process is already underway.

"Day use visitors will be instructed to leave the park immediately. Visitors utilizing overnight concession accommodations and campgrounds will be notified to make alternate arrangements and depart the park," the contingency read.

Not the best way to kick off a birthday party. Instead of party favors, rangers are shoo-ing any would-be park guests away.

Google wasn't the only one to honor Yosemite. San Francisco's DeYoung Museum also posted the below Happy Birthday photo on its Instagram feed.

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