Posted at 5:37 PM on July 11, 2011
by Paul Tosto
Driving home from Yellowstone National Park Saturday night into Sunday, that stretch of I-90 from the South Dakota border to Albert Lea and the subsequent run on I-35 to St. Paul took a lot longer than I expected.
All the closed signs on all those Minnesota highway rest stops made it feel a bit longer.
Don't expect the orange signs to go away any time soon.
Among the newest court decisions this afternoon, a judge turned aside the requests of truckers and reaffirmed that highway rest stops are not essential services in the shutdown.
After a brief travel tour of Italy via motor coach, it became obvious that a revenue opportunity exists by licensing or renting the State-run rest areas to private entrepreneurs. Italian rest areas offer a buffet of services, at no cost to the government. Travelers pick and choose what they want and when; the best bottle of Chianti I've ever tasted was purchased at low cost, and the cheese and salami wasn't bad either. Done efficiently, this would ensure open rest stops, with or without a budget.
Minnesota law makers should be ashamed. Two weekends in a row ( about the busiest ) I've travel to or though the state from Iowa. All rest stops and public areas closed; if I were a Minnesota voter... I'd vote them all out of office. Appears to me that our whole government is out of control. Maybe a real American Revolution is not as far away as I'd thought.
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