Mount Rushmore reopens for 10 days
National parks around the country are opening despite the federal government shutdown. Mount Rushmore is one of them.
Private and state funding foot the cost to run the national monuments. Monday saw people head back to Mount Rushmore after days of being turned away.
"Even though we've got snow and we've got rain, you can see the sculpture, people come out," said Chief of Interpretation at Mount Rushmore Maureen Mcgee-Ballinger.
A welcomed sight at Mount Rushmore as visitors snap pictures and National Park Service staff answer questions.
The national memorial reopened Monday after the state struck a deal with the National Parks. That deal, though, is short lived.
"We are only open for 10 days at this point," Mcgee-Ballinger said. "That's all that this site has been funded for."
Many who visited the park Monday knew nothing about the mandatory furloughs caused by the government shutdown on October 1st.
Cory Doiron planned to bring his family to Mount Rushmore. They are vacationing to the area to visit him.
"When the shutdown happened it was like 'Oh no, what are we going to do with them?' but we're really grateful that it opened up today and just happy to be while they are here," Dorion said.
So are the staff at Mount Rushmore, coming fresh off a 13-day furlough period.
"We want to be here," Mcgee-Ballinger said. "We don't want to go away. It's not a vacation for us if we're on furlough. We want to be here."
But for just 10 days they'll be there. Then the future of this and other National Parks around the country is still unknown.
Mount Rushmore is the only national park in South Dakota this deal applies to. The memorial will stay open through October 23rd unless Congress strikes a deal to reopen the government before then.