Tuesday December 29- We woke up to lots of fog, we definitely waited for that to lift before leaving. Both of us were sad to go, we have really enjoyed the time we've spent at this park. Our route seemed a little confusing but once we got on the road it was simple. We have traveled these roads before and in all the confusion made sense. Traffic wasn't bad til we got close to our destination. We are heading to Jonathan Dickenson State Park. We are going to be camp hosting January 1st through April 15th. We are arriving early and had reserved a site for 3 nights. When we got here they took care of us. They let us go ahead and pull in to our volunteer site and cancelled our reservations. We even got a full refund. We backed into our site and started unpacking. We have neighbors that are from Burlington Iowa, which is about 40 miles from our home town. The other camp hosts were here last year and they are still as nice as we remember. We also met for drinks and dinner with a couple we met last year Jeffrey and Maren. They introduced us to 2 other couples and we had dinner and visited the night away. We had 2 Jeff's, 2 Don's (spelled different), Karen, Maren, Clauda, and Sylvan. Not sure of the last 2 names, they were from Canada. It was a super night.
Wednesday December 30-Today was a day of explaining. It was sunny and warm. First Steve the other camp ground host came and did some explaining of the tasks we will be doing. Then Tom a ranger came by and said hi and gave us some more instructions. Next Corey the one who hired us came by and drove us around the park. Then he drove us out to Trapper Nelson's site. We were with some volunteers who are going to be giving tours there. We kayaked there last year but this time we were there without any other guests.
We filled out some paperwork before heading back to our site. We just haven't been able to get anything done because everyone is so friendly. We have met so many people so far and I know that there will be lots more to meet.
Thursday December 31-Another busy day, we cant seem to get anything done but visiting. We went to the 7:30 a.m. meeting at the shop. We got a tour of where everything is kept, I'm sure we won't remember it all. We met Hank the maintenance man and others that work in the park. We took a walk around the campground but didn't get much walking in, we got more talking done than walking. We did get our kayaks and bikes unloaded. We took advantage of our bikes and rode to the other side of the park. It was a real nice ride and the park had cleared out some because of the holiday tonight. Hoping everyone had a great News Year Eve and a better New Year.
Friday January 1- Happy New Year everyone! We went with Steve the camp host to see how he cleaned the sites, and the shower houses. Jeff and I both do better after seeing what we are to be doing. We got to see where everything is located. We even got instructions on how to drive the electric Polaris, that's my favorite thing. I know its early but so far so good.
After our training session we went home and cleaned up for our dinner date. We had reservations at Ruth's Chris steak house. We ate there last year and decided it was a great way to start the brand new year. Our dinner was so good, both of us really enjoyed the dinner. What we didn't enjoy was the score of the Rose Bowl game when I checked. The Iowa Hawkeyes are getting smoked. We got home and watched the second half of the game but it just wasn't in the cards for a win. They still had an awesome season, proud to be a Hawkeye fan.
Saturday January 2- Today Jeff and I are going to clean the sites. We had to go get our cart and the paper work. It was kind of fun. The sun was shining and it was warm. We got a phone call from a friend from Iowa, Sue and Mike Maerz. Jeff worked on the fire department with Mike. They are in the park and looks like they will be staying a couple nights. Corey brought us our shirts, guess we are official. After all our sites were done we took Mike and Sue to Hobe Sound Beach. We haven't been there either, so that was neat. The road to the beach was canopied with the coolest trees. The beach was pretty.
We stopped at the store and came back to make a nice dinner. We got to sit around and catch up on what's going on in each others lives.
Sunday January 3-Well this morning we experienced the other side of our job......the shower house's. It wasn't bad because everything is so new. They were fairly easy to clean, we just have to learn what to use and where to find it. We promised to fix fish for our visitors so I had to make potato salad for that. After cleaning we decided to take the boat trip to Trapper Nelsons. It was cloudy with a chance of rain but it held off. The ride up was nice and we even spotted a bald eagle and some osprey nests.
We got a tour of the area this time. Our guide did a great job and was full of lots of information.
We had a real nice trip back down the river. Even had a pleasant surprise when we spotted a manatee.
We got back and grilled our fish and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. The rain held off which was really good. Nice to have company from home come for a visit.
Monday January 4- No work today, tomorrow we start on our regular schedule. Mike and Sue took off this morning. It was really cool this morning, it was in the 50's...brrrrr. Jeff and I decided to venture out and do some exploring. We went for breakfast at a spot we heard of but when we arrived there we found out they are closed on Mondays. Plan B.....we found a place on line called FirstWatch. We shared a blueberry pancake and it was the best pancake I ever had. The coffee was really good too. We will be going back there again. We also had to stop at Walmart and get some supplies. It was crazy busy. When we got back we visited with the other camp hosts Fred and Pam. There are 3 couples doing the camp hosting here counting us. Tomorrow will be our first day doing all the jobs by ourselves, I'm sure it will take a while to get into a routine but looking forward to our new adventure.