Shutdown stalls trip for Idaho rafters


— The partial shutdown of the federal government is hitting home for Idaho rafters waiting in Grand Canyon National Park.

Tom Moore and Pete Wisniewski of Troy had planned to spend the next three weeks rafting the legendary Colorado River, but the shutdown closed the park and blocked the river put-in.

Karen Den Braven, Moore’s wife, said her husband and other rafters —some from the East Coast — arrived at the park entrance Tuesday after the gates had been closed at 6 a.m. The rest of their crew had arrived earlier and was allowed to camp inside the gates — with the rafts and food.

Moore and later-arriving rafters had to stay in the nearby Marble Canyon Lodge Tuesday night, an added expense.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun, one of Moore’s fellow rafters said the group had spent more than $30,000 on the trip.

Moore and Wisniewski’s group was supposed to get on the river Wednesday, but the park remained closed.

“They’re basically hanging out there hoping something happens,” Den Braven said. “It’s a big mess.”

Den Braven said her husband wasn’t sure if he would get any refunds for the days lost on the rafting trip.

“Neither one of us is political, and we just really think this is childish. Too many people’s livelihoods are being affected by this,” Den Braven said.

“To be told you can’t do that because people can’t agree on something is pretty frustrating to everyone,” he added.

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