Shutdown doesn't mean you can't ride
COOS COUNTY, Ore. -- With the government shutdown still in effect, campsites run by the feds and staging areas along the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area have locked their gates.
But there are still plenty of access points so people can get out and ride the dunes.
Kathy Gross, who owns the KOA campsite in North Bend, says they thought it wouldn't be that big of a deal. "At first glance you think, 'well, it's not going to have much of an affect,' but then when it actually hits, it's amazing," she said.
Rich Burkholder from Spinreel Dune Buggy rentals, says they have been getting some questions about where to go. "We've been getting a lot of phone calls, people panicking not knowing what to do, where to go, how to get out on the dunes," he said.
Burkholder says there is no need to panic. "There's plenty of access points, really nothing should be affected, you're just not having the normal forest service campground services," he said.
Those who made reservations for the federal campgrounds that are shutdown weren't given any notice or refunds, and were shown the gate upon arrival, officials said. "A gentleman came in, pulled into Horsfall thinking he was staying, it was locked," Gross said.
It's not just the campers hoping to ride the dunes being affected. "We're seeing probably just as many people trying to call us for reservations that are crabbing that can't go to the parks they wanted to crab in," Gross said.
After hearing from a lot of confused people, rental agencies and campgrounds in the area are making sure to get the word out over social media that the sand dunes are still open for use.