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Campers Head Back To MN State Parks

July 24, 2011, 10:45 AM by David Brown

Campers Head Back To MN State Parks
JASPER, MN - After more than two weeks, the Minnesota state government shutdown finally ended Wednesday.  Democratic governor Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers were at odds over how to close a $5 billion budget gap.

The shutdown stopped most government services and temporarily closed some facilities like state parks. But now that Minnesota's open once again, campers are more than happy to enjoy their weekend.

Saturday was picturesque for a mid-summer vacation, and campers are pleased to spend their weekend at Split Rock Creek State Park in Jasper, Minnesota.

"We really like Minnesota state parks, so we're just glad we finally got back in here," Edgerton, Minnesota resident Dan Broekhuis said.

Broekhuis says this may be the last time he can get most of his family together.  They were hoping the Minnesota government shutdown wouldn't prevent this campground reunion.

"Two of our kids are going away to Guatemala," Broekhuis said. "We're not going to see them for a few months. And so, camping's a good way for us to play beanbags, sit around and play cards and have a good time. So, it's pretty important to our family."

Fellow Edgerton, Minnesota resident Jerry Kruen is also having a family reunion this weekend, but he booked this campsite for the entire month.

"Everybody was wondering how long it was going to last," Kreun said. "We thought it would maybe be for three or four days and it went on into two weeks. We didn't even know if the park would open again this summer."

And while Kreun can still enjoy the last couple of weeks at Split Rock, he wanted more time.

"Everybody was upset," Kreun said. "And I blame the politicians for not having their problems solved earlier."

"We just bought our first pop-up camper," Jasper, Minnesota resident Jason Bush said. "We've been chomping at the bit to get out. As soon as we found out it was over, we came down immediately and got a site."

Bush's been coming to Split Rock for years. He says both sides are to blame for the government shutdown, but he hopes families appreciate the rest of the summer.

"Now we're out and back in to what we like to do," Bush said. "We can relax and move forward and just be ourselves again. And I guess we don't have to worry about politics."

Minnesota's government shutdown officially lasted 20 days, the longest in state history.

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