Not much new to write about tonight except that the last couple of days have been awesome! It was busy in the campgrounds with lots of turnover in the visitor ranks. We changed over completely overnight from an RV camp to tents galore over spring break; from snowbirds to families with little kids and groups of college age 20-somethings intent on hiking by day and spending the night at the hot springs.
Cleaning the ashes out of the park-provided grills seemed to be my major occupation by day. By night I was the “bad guy” encouraging folks to use their little voices after 10 p.m. so their neighbors could get some sleep.
Among other a.m. duties, I have to prepare the tags to hang on the reserved sites for future arrivals. The birds have made this such a fun hour of the day. I sit at the picnic table at my site and listen to the birds singing non-stop with all variations of tweets, warbles, cheeps and intricate vocalizations. Many times I just have to stop and listen in amazement!
My favorites are still the roadrunners – mating season, you know! Last night 2 males were trying to impress a female with their nest-building prowess. One of them was carrying around a large piece of styrofoam he had found, making some sounds that seemed to say, “Look, baby! What a fine, warm nest I can build for you if you only choose ME!”. She wagged her tail back and forth as if to say “no” and trotted off with a guy that was enticing her with more natural twigs.
This morning was the first of 3 days off and I ran into Jaclynn. She was going flying with the park law enforcement pilot and, as we talked about it, I remembered that the plane is more than a two-seater and asked if I could go along. It all worked out and within 20 minutes after checking with Scott (pilot) we were driving to his place about 35 miles away to patrol the park by air!
Even though Jaclyn got airsick and I did not (amazingly!) we both were happy for that serendipitous moment when we hatched the flight plan. Despite her bad bought of airsickness, we both had a great time. Scott mostly is looking for people backpacking drugs across the park from Mexico and 4-wheelers illegally traveling off-road. He had such high hopes for a big bust today, but nothing of the sort happened. Jaclyn was the first to spot some potential new off-road tracks and I was the whiz at spotting and counting trespass livestock and noting whether hikers had a vehicle associated with their travels.
It is so much fun talking to these “young people” – Scott is 35, married to a Dallas-based ER physician with a nanny and two young girls. He has worked at a number of national parks in law enforcement and now as a flying officer. He lives in the park and the nanny and girls split time between Dallas and the park. Scott flies to Dallas in his own plane on his days off. Gosh, I feel like an old lady when I talk about the “young people” huh? Their life-style is totally amazing to me!
Tomorrow night is a party at one of the LE’s place so I am baking cheesy jalapeno bread tonight while it is cool. After waking up to temps in the high 40’s, today was nearly 100 and the weather the whole week promises more of the same. Oh, I almost forgot one of the surprise “camp host” duties – I was asked tonight if I could freeze the breast milk of one of our guests! She will pick it up in the early morning. Yes, we are truly full-service, huh! Good night all!