On a beautiful Wednesday morning, Carol England sat with her friend, Larry, enjoying a cup of coffee and taking in the beautiful view of Table Rock Lake. Their vacation has now been cut short because of the government shutdown.
On Tuesday, a park ranger came by their campsite and told them they had to be out of the park by 8 p.m. Wednesday. The ranger gave them a number to call for a refund, but it wasn't answered.
"It says, 'Please hold on for the next representative,' but no one ever comes on. It just says, 'Due to the government shutdown, all offices are closed,'" said England.
Tom Madison and his wife, Sharyl, also got the message that they had to leave.
"There were probably 20 to 25 campers here when we got here. They came in yesterday morning, a ranger came in, a cute young girl came in, and said we had to get out and she was almost crying because she said this was the worst day of her career, of her job, and she was kicking us out," said Madison.
The two live in their camper year around and say they were told, if they decided to stay, the sheriff would come and help them leave.
"We were going to stay here for two weeks, then we were going to go to another Corps of Engineers campground down in Little Rock, Ark., for two weeks and then we were going to go to another Corps of Engineers campground in Plano, Texas, for two weeks. Not anymore. Well, we don't know. Hopefully things will get solved in the next few days and we can still come back here," said Madison.
Luckily, both groups had a senior citizen pass making a night cost only $10 compared to the normal $30.
"For goodness sake, stop fussing. The kids in my granddaughter's daycare get along better than Congress, they do," said England.
Although Englad is upset her vacation is now coming to a close, she hopes the folks in D.C. soon make a decision so that they can eventually come back to the now empty campground and that everyone on furlough can return to work.
"The most disappointing fact for me is that the people we have elected to represent us are not doing their job; that's the most disappointing fact. I've worked hard all of my life, sometimes two jobs at a time in order to pay for this camper. Now I'm semiretired and I want to enjoy this. The stock market has gone down; my 401(k) has gone down; Congress is not doing their job," said England.