▶️ As Oregon parks reopen, crowds slowly return

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

The Cove Palisades State Park reopened Wednesday, and it wasn’t flooded with as many fishermen and boaters as you may expect.

Kyler Cox, one of the few to take advantage of the re-open, has been waiting to get back on the water.

Cox says, “It’s good to see things start opening up and getting back to a little bit of normalcy.”

That’s why he was surprised when he pulled up to a nearly empty parking lot, ready to fish.

“I thought it would be pretty packed,” said Cox. “I was planning on getting here early in the morning, but my dad wasn’t feeling up to it and stuff so he delayed it and then I decided to go by myself so.”

Park manager Todd Honeywell suspects the lack of attendance is due to the weather.

“It’s unfortunate that the first day we open is windy,” said Honeywell. “So it’s not a good day for boating. But I’m sure that will pick up.”

The state is still asking people to continue wearing masks and maintain social distancing, but Honeywell says there’s not much he can do to enforce that.

“We are not the social distance police. So you know we’re hoping that people will keep themselves safe.”

Cox, a Madras resident, says although he’s surprised by the turnout, it’s not typical for the park to get crowded before summer.

Occasionally you know the Highway 97 will be backed up and people will be coming down to their houseboats, or whatever it is that they’re doing it’ll be pretty packed.”

The Oregon State student says during such a stressful time, he’s just happy to be out for some fresh air.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be fishing, just something that you like to do,” said Cox. “For me that’s fishing. I enjoy that, I would do it every day if I could. And it’s good just to keep yourself happy and do something that you enjoy.”

https://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_featureArticle&articleId=272

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