Bus trip veers off course due to snowstorm and shutdown


Vernon Heck and his wife Margo (not pictured) enjoyed their trip to the Badlands even after the national parks closed and the snow began to fall. (Photo submitted)

 

By Molly Moser

A record-breaking snowstorm dumped four feet of snow on Deadwood, S.D., early this month. The storm left Guttenberg residents Margo and Vernon Heck and Anthony and Lucy Schissel stranded for days without power in their Deadwood hotel room.

On Sept. 29, they joined a 35-person bus tour on a 7-day trip headed for Mount Rushmore.  “We got to see the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, S.D., and the Rosebud Casino,” Margo told The Press. On the second day, the group toured the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, stopped at the infamous Wall Drug, and visited Badlands National Park – just one day before the two-week federal government shutdown. 

“That night we were told that we couldn’t go to Mount Rushmore the next day,” said Margo. Oct. 1 marked the first day of the shutdown, and the tour group passed by Mount Rushmore but couldn’t get close or take photographs. “The federal park rangers – that they laid off, so we couldn’t see it – were still there to keep us from seeing it, putting up barriers. That made some of us upset,” Margo explained. 

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