Today was a clean the campground day - we started out this morning just doing our normal rounds. Then we started looking at some of the campsites and fire rings - what a mess!!! Some people this past weekend just had too much fun partying. They left trash on the campsites and broken glass and beer cans in the fire rings. Now, don't get me wrong - not everyone did that but a couple of people can make it bad for everyone. What is the old saying "a few rotten apples spoils the barrel" - well, that's the way I felt today. We even had some complaints from a couple of the campers that were still here about one particular campsite - seems these people were drinking and fighting among themselves until after 2 in the morning. When we see our law enforcement guys we will let them know, but we can't do anything ourselves - and they probably won't be able to do anything since it is after the fact. Anyway, Dan spent the better part of today cleaning up a couple of the "bad apple" campsites.
We have decided that tomorrow we will get the pressure washer out again and clean the other bath house and restroom buildings. We have made a tentative schedule for the major cleaning - if we do both again toward the end of July that should take us the rest of the season. Dan said that we might need to do it one more time right before we leave in September - and that would get it done for the rangers before they close the park. We'll see what Marc thinks about our idea.
We figure that if we can survive through the 4th of July it should be a downhill slide from there. We are told that we will have people here on the 4th, but not like Memorial Day was - most people will be downtown because that's where all the activities are - from sand castle building to the fireworks (which are actually at midnight on the 3rd) I guess they have to wait that late for it to get dark enough for the fireworks. I'm not sure how that will work with our locking the gate at 10, that's another thing we will have to get straight. I'm sure that is a night that we won't be leaving the campground - I would hope we wouldn't have any trouble, but I will definitely like to be prepared.
One of the things that we have discovered is - we have some people who would like to live here in the park - for the most part they are people who have jobs - they just don't make enough to afford an apartment. For example, we have a young couple that are here working for the Forestry Department taking water samples and testing water - they are staying here in the campground because they haven't been able to find a place to live (they have a dog). That's another crazy thing - EVERYONE around here has a dog, but you can't rent an apartment if you have an animal. I don't know if people just say they don't have a dog so they can get an apartment, or what, but this is not the first people we have heard say that. We have another guy that works at one of the hotels in town, in maintenance, and he is staying out here. Very nice guy and does not cause any trouble - but we have a 14 day limit on camping here, and that is 14 days a year - so you can't leave for a couple of days and then come back for another 14. I don't know - I understand why you have the limit - you don't want people "squatting" - but, if someone doesn't have a place to stay and they aren't a problem, they pay their fees on time, and we aren't full - I don't see the harm. Dan says that we are "a recreation facility not a full time home" - and I agree - I guess I just have too soft a heart. (Plus, I know of 5 people in the first 10 campsites that would stay here all season if we would let them. Okay, enough of that!
I put a couple of other pictures from the arboretum that I thought you might enjoy seeing. I guess I would have to change my thoughts on having little children coloring flowers blue. I remember saying "Have you even seen a blue flower" meaning that there weren't any, but now I know that isn't true - other than the Texas Blue Bonnets the poppy in the top picture is definitely blue - now I'm sure that some of you out there will be giving me a list of all the flowers out there that are blue and I'm sure that there are quite a few - we just don't have them in Florida that I am aware of. However, by traveling the country I am finding out all kinds of new information. Anyway, I thought that you would enjoy seeing some of the beautiful pictures from the arboretum.
Well, I don't have much else to report tonight so I will sign off. I hope that you had a good day - take care and -----------------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!