Friday, April 26, 2013

All Alone

Judy and I have had plenty of space at the park since arriving Tue. Only one camper was nestled on one of the 43 RV sites and not one tent site has been occupied. The one camper left Wed. so we are solo for now. I am sure that will change by Friday afternoon though. So until then we are going to enjoy being the sole residents of this peaceful tranquil slice of nature.

Not a single RV on waterfront row

The coyotes have been making a fuss at night.  Judy gets worried when they make their presence known.  We have never actually seen any though.  She thinks they are hiding in behind a tree or rock waiting for her to walk by! The noisy Whippoorwill we hear throughout the night hours is more her speed.  We do have a new Eagle hanging out in one of the tall trees along the lakeside now.  I am going to try to keep my camera with me as I make my rounds so I can get a pic.

Welcome to new followers Mike and Terri.  That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog:Tue

Monday, April 22, 2013

Restful Off Week

Judy and I returned home Thurs. AM after bidding goodbye to Jim and Dee at the park.  We needed to be home before the weekend so we could do the things one has to do when trying to sell a house.  Once home Judy freshened up the inside and I did the yard work. Lot of good that it did, not.

We enjoyed sitting out on the screened porch or at the boathouse watching wildlife and just taking in the scenery living on a beautiful lake provides. The Purple Martins dazzle us with their flying acrobatics and their communal living rituals. Most have paired up and started preparing their gourd or apt for babies.  Our resident Osprey patrols the area  looking for a meal. Friday the Osprey dropped down from the sky only four feet from the seawall and made a huge splash. When it returned to flight it was clutching the "catch of the day." Now, that would have been a great picture.

Sunday was movie day. Judy and I decided to go see "Oblivion" instead of "42".  I'm sure we will see "42" later.  "Oblivion" is a scifi thriller/action movie. It was entertaining and held our attention. It could use a little more background development though. If you would like to see the trailer  Click.

Judy and I don't really have any plans for today. We are looking forward to heading back to the park Tue.

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Judy and I turned over our park duties to Ed and Char Tuesday evening but we did not return home.  We wanted to stay at the park so we could have some none work time with Dee and Jim (Tumbleweed).

Tuesday after we turned over we all went to Hunter's Pub for supper. When we arrived at the nondescript restaurant at 5:45 the parking lot was already crowded with luxury cars and pick-up trucks and seating was getting tight.  Dee went for the broiled Halibut with a side salad, sweet potato fries and steamed spinach. Judy tried the fried lobster tails (3) salad, steamed veggies and a backed sweet potato. Jim and I had the "all you can eat Spaghetti Tuesday Special", and salad. We all were impressed with our really down to earth waitress. Jim mentioned to her how much he enjoyed the meal and she made sure he had enough to eat by bringing him a another complete spaghetti dinner in a  take out container. Needless to say she got a really nice tip.

Wed. Jim and I headed to Atlanta's Turner field for the noon Braves and KC Royals game. Jim is working on his "bucket list" to visit all the MLB parks. We were on the road by 8:15 AM. We stopped at the first Waffle House for breakfast. We arrived at Turner Field around 10:00. That gave Jim time to get a good look at the park. Our seats were excellent for the game, along the first baseline. We were surprised when the announcer pointed out that Pres. Carter was at the game. The crowd gave him a warm welcome. Bo Jackson threw out the first pitch. It was a great day to be at the ball park but the Braves' 10 game winning streak was ended.

Mr. Knuckleball - Hall of Famer, Phil Niekro 

Hammering Hank

Game Action

Judy and Dee had a girls day out. They went to see the 3D remake of Jurassic Park. They both said it did not measure up to original 3D movies. Judy and Dee had lunch and then went shopping. I was glad I spent the day at the ball park.

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog. Monday

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Memorial Day Registration and Visitors

Our time at the park has gotten busier with warmer weather.  Friday was the first day campers were permitted to make reservations for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. It is quite an event here. The first camper lined up at the gate at 8:30 PM Thurs. night. It wasn't long before there was another camper in line for the all night vigil. By the time I opened the gate Friday morning at 7:AM sixteen vehicles were waiting to come into the park.  To keep it peacefull and orderly,  I pass out numbers to the waiting campers so there will be no confusion as to "who goes next!"  Judy processed twenty two reservations by 8:05 and the office was cleared and quite. Then we called the phone in's in the order that I had taken their calls. Judy and I take the folks inperson before phone in's. By the time we finished, only seven camp sites were left and they will be taken by next week. Judy and I will be working a full campground that week.

The early bird gets the waterfront sites at Blanton Creek Park!

The earliest bird gets the first waterfront sight for Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday afternoon Jim and Dee (Tumbleweed) arrived at the park for a week stay.  We haven't seen them since we left Adelaide Shores RV Resort in Avon Park, FL. Judy and I are sure glad to see them. Judy is excited to be walking again with Dee and Jim and I are traveling to Atlanta to see the smoking hot Atlanta Braves next Wed. Jim is working hard to visit all the MLB parks.

Tumbleweed tucked into site 15.

Enjoying a great meal from Pat's Backwater restaurant with great friends!

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Thur.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Time at the Park

Judy and I returned to Blanton Creek Park on Tue.  We found the park in full spring bloom.  The temps were in the mid to high 70's and the skies were blue.

Our friends from Outdoor Univ. were in the park.  Tue evening a few of their students arrived for a two day seminar. Chef Mike always makes sure he remembers Judy and I at meal time.  It was good seeing Andy and Kelly too. Andy has been using the park as the setting for his training sessions for a few years now. To read more about the mission of Outdoor Univ. click here.

Outdoor Univ. Tents

You never know who or what will show up at the park!

Blooming Dogwoods are here. The fishing is great now and the campers are so nice. Thanks to Steve and Linda for the delicious baked crappie fish dish.

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Sun

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Wish Came True

At least one wish did come true, the one about having nicer weather.  I am still waiting on the ones for winning the lottery and world peace.

I was able to get a lot of my annual yard work completed Sat. After picking up a cart full of limbs and branches the recent high winds deposited around my front and back yards.  I then used my Cub Cadet mower on the next to the lowest cutting level to even out the grass prior to applying the spring weed & feed fertilizer application. My final lawn prep was the application of granulated insect preventer. I really enjoy my riding mower with the assortment of lawn attachments that makes lawn work easier and quicker. I finished up the day's work by activating the lawn irrigation system.  I always drain the pump  and lines in Nov. to prevent possible cold  weather  damage.  I set the system for 45 minutes and watered in the lawn fertilizer I had applied earlier.

Sunday I replaced the pontoon's cranking battery but did not use it.  I may take Judy out today though. Judy opted to stay home Sunday but I wanted to go to the nearby gun range.  I arrived there at 3:45 and it was crowded. I had not been to a range in six months. I fired three sets of five shots to warm up. My final set was 15 rounds of rapid fire with my Glock 9mm Gen4.  When I fire a hand gun I set the target at 27-30 ft. I was pleased that I put 12 of 15 rounds in the 8in. diameter black area of the target. within 45 seconds.

That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next blog: Friday

Friday, April 5, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away!

Like many of our blogger friends we are ready to have some sunny weather. Since returning home it has rained constantly. The weekend forecast is promising.

The weather is making it difficult to get our spring yard work completed. This is particularly frustrating because we have put our house back on the market and we have four or five projects we want to get done. All of the projects are outside and can't be done in the rain.  I also need to replace the damaged purple martin pole the house and gourds are on.

Judy and I will be going into Macon for her dermatologist appointment this morning. Anytime we drive into Macon it seems to kill the entire day. Maybe we will get a movie in.

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Wed

Our boss informed us that if a camper refuses to acknowledge responsibility for their guest we are authorized to give them two options;
(1.) They can take responsibility for their guest
(2.) They can pack-up and leave the park- we will give them a refund for unused nights.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Camping Weather is Back!!

Judy and I have been very busy at the park.  Coupled with nice weather (finally) and a holiday weekend activity has been high. High activity always presents opportunities for great interactions with campers and unfortunately some that you would just rather not have. If you have experienced working with the public I am sure you know what I mean. I must acknowledge the less than fun encounters usually are limited to one camper or their guest and the great experiences is from the other 99.9% of the visitors to the park.

This weekend one half of the 51 sites were rented and both pavilions were in use. One pavilion had over 300 guest and the other one had 75 guest. Our "day use" usage included nearly one hundred people  using our facilities for pic nics, fishing or just simply enjoying the park. Out of all these people one camper and his guest did manage to try my patience.

I knew this person was going to be "Trouble" as soon as he registered. He was part of a group that had rented five sites. As he was registering he ask about bringing a golf cart (gas powered) into the park. Judy explained only guest with a handicap were permitted to use golf carts and then only to go to the comfort station. He clearly did not like the explanation.  As she was explaining he kept making comments about another camper that is permitted to use a cart. I told Judy there is a problem in the making. Near closing time two young boys were dropped off outside the office. They told Judy someone was going to come up and pick them up. The office is a half mile from the camping area. We were busy doing our closing routine when I caught a glimpse of a golf cart whiz by the office window. By the time I could get out to the parking lot the kids had been picked up. A gas powered golf cart is capable of high speeds unlike electric powered ones. I like to nip things in the bud so I was going to go down to the site but Judy having more faith than me said they probably wouldn't do it again and to just let it slide. I am sure you know where this is going.

 Another bone of contention was the fact that we (the park) require guest visiting a camper pay a $3.00 day use (parking fee) that is good until closing and if they are going to stay the night a $3.00 fee is charged for the next day, which is good until closing time that day. Basically put there is a $3.00 fee per car per day. Keep in mind we give the registered guest two free vehicle passes. The camper also expressed displeasure with this also. The additional cars are required to park in an area near the comfort station so the park roads will not be congested with parked cars.

Saturday at 1130 AM as I was making a routine patrol I see the golf cart parked on the shoulder of the main park road, well outside the camping area. I pulled up and saw two individuals about 75 yards in the wooded area and I called them. It was two teenagers. I ask if they were driving the cart and they said yes. I told them they would have to walk back to their site and I called Judy and ask her to get in touch with the guest and have him meet me. He showed up about ten minutes later and I reminded him of the conversation that Judy had with him about the golf cart and then told him to put the cart on its trailer. To his credit he simply said yes sir.

Comfort Station - Not

Throughout the day he had at least 20 cars with one or two guest come into the park. They were going to have a cook-out at his site. Of course the pavilion would have been a much better venue. Judy and I explained the parking rules to each guest as they came in. Some of them did question Judy charging them a fee as they did not have to pay it last year. Judy thought that was odd. I had one person come through and ask if he had to pay the fee since he was only dropping something off. I told him if we would be out of the park within twenty minutes I would not charge him. He assured me he was going just drop the stuff off and be gone. I bet you have already figured where this is going, my blog readers are so smart! I didn't think any more about it. Two hours later as I make my rounds I see a SUV parked improperly on the road side. I noticed there was no pass in it. A man comes walking up saying,"I going to move it right now".  I said, "do you remember telling me you were just going to drop something off", he said yes. I told him to go to the office and purchase a pass and them park up by the comfort station or if he didn't want to pay to just leave. I also noticed another truck parked wrong and also informed the driver it would have to be moved. She told me she was leaving.  I made another round an hour later and found that he had moved the SUV but he did not get a pass.  I made the decision to discuss this with the camper the next morning who is responsible for their guest. At 9:35 Judy said, "here comes a car that is flying". I looked up and sure enough it is a white SUV going about 55 MPH out the gate. I said to Judy, "I guess he decided not to pay the fee"! I left to make my finale round before I locked the gate at 10:00 PM to remind guest it is about closing time. As I passed my trouble area there was the truck still parked where I had told her to move from. I stood by the truck window and a disheveled looking man rolls the window down and I tell him to move the truck. In a snippy reply he said we are. I reintegrated for it to be moved NOW not later. I called Judy and had her call the registered camper and tell him that truck had to be moved now. It was moved out five minutes later. By now I am not a Happy Camper" in regards to the registered camper.

The camper came up to the office the next morning for an unrelated matter so I thought it would be a good time to remind him that guest to his site are his responsibility. I reviewed the infractions and let him know I did not appreciate being lied to or the excessive speed of the SUV driver. It was at this time he informed me that he was not responsible for his guest, they were grown men. I then said if you aren't going to be responsible for your guest I would not be letting the SUV person back into the park.

I know this seems like the blog that never ends! Later in the afternoon Judy contacted me on the walkie talkie to let me know the SUV was at the gate wanting to pay for yesterday and to get a pass for Sunday to go visit his friends campsite. I walked over and informed him he would not be coming into the park today. The man was very apologetic and polite and I did not enjoy doing what I did. The reality is that behavior has consequences. I did explain my rational for my decision. He lied to me, he did not pay as I had instructed him and he left the park like a bat out of hell. I did tell him he could come back to the park, just not today. I also told him that the registered camper made it clear that he was not going to assist me with his guest so I had to take action on my own.

No it is still not over yet.  The registered camper came up to the office thirty minutes later. After informing me that I am the worst camp host he has ever met in the ten years he has been coming here and he thought I was too hard, after all his friend had apologized. I acknowledge his friends apology and then reminded him that he told me he was not going to be responsible for his guest and that is part of the reason your guest is not coming in today. I did inform him that the only problems in the entire park was from him or his guest. He then said that I had ruined his and his friends entire camping trip. I think that struck a nerve with Judy. She said the campers name and said were we wrong about the golf cart violations, were we wrong when your guest lied to Jim, didn't come up and pay after he was told to, and left the park at a high rate of speed, were we wrong when your other guest did not move their truck and was belligerent to Jim. He agreed that all of that had occurred. He then got to what was really bothering him, the parking fees! He did not understand why we were having him pay for the two extra cars (kids) everyday or making his guest pay. He said the other host did not require them to pay (which I do not believe is the case). We informed him we charged what is required and Judy pointed it out to him in the pamphlet we give to each camper. He said he had never read it. He did say he did not agree with it though. To illustrate that even with the charges our prices are much less than a state park (GA SP = $28 for site, $5.00 per car every day , we give 2 free passes!) He left, not happy but at least informed knowing Judy and I are not making things up as we go.

I am not going to end this on a negative note though. Out of the approx 600 visitors and campers who visited the park only one site caused problems. We absolutely have great campers here. One such camper is Dana and her husband  and family who stayed with us on their way to PC Beach, FL. I really enjoyed meeting them and hearing that they may be fulltime RVers after their professional life.

Already got the tag!

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Wed