The federal government shutdown is locking leaf peepers out of some the best views in central Virginia. The gridlock on Capitol Hill is frustrating Skyline Drive tourists and businesses that rely on the fall travel season.
Usually, at this time of year, Skyline Drive is packed with Virginians and tourists from all over the world wanting to check out the fall foliage. Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park is closed the first weekend in October. Federal visitors' centers are also closed.
Vietnam veteran Patrick Jordan planned a trip from California with his wife six months ago. He wanted to see the Vietnam Memorial and wasn't allowed off the bus in D.C. Saturday on Afton Mountain. The Jordan's couldn't get away from the government impasse.
"We wanted to do a tour of the Skyline Drive to see how nice it was and they say that it is closed now too, so it's been quite a trip. I am pretty disgusted with the Congress and the president and I hope they get their act together soon," Jordan said.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is open but the federal visitors' centers and facilities along the route are closed.
Private businesses on Afton Mountain are open and owners said there's been no noticeable impact so far. But that may change if the shutdown continues and tourists change their vacation plans.
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