OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - For two weeks, Gulf Islands National Seashore has been basically deserted.
"I might have come out at least once, snuck out here in defiance of the government," Diana Stack said with a smile. "But it was sad to not have access to this stuff."
For Stack, the park is her getaway. She enjoys bird watching here at least two times a week.
"I'm always out here looking for the odd bird, seabirds. And I know there are two king fishers out here and it's my goal to get them on film," Stack said.
Dr. Ron Jenkins is a regular at the park, too. You can find him running or biking the nature trails.
"It's been pretty stressful, you come out here and the gates are closed," Jenkins said. "I thought this was our park. They shut it down and it doesn't take much to ride a bike out here. I don't need anyone's services only my own.
Gulf Islands National Seashore is also a popular place for campers, not only because of the park's beauty, but also its affordability.
"We camped out in Gulfport," Bob Crowell said. "It's about $42 a night and we wanted to stay in this area for a while."
Crowell was the first one back with his RV.
"I just came in and went to the hostess," Crowell said. "This lady came out and welcomed me in and was glad to see me."
It will not be long before other campers join him, Ray Davis and his wife drove through the park to see if it was open and planned to bring their RV back right away.
"It's a sad thing, the government. We have to put up with that. We have been using federal parks for years and really enjoy it," Davis said.
"It's nice to have everything back up and running and people back to work. That's the important thing," Stack said.
Mississippi's barrier islands are also a part of Gulf Island National Seashore. The islands are back open and the Ship Island Ferry will begin running again Friday at 9am.