Monday, July 27, 2009
It was a usual Monday with some ups and downs today. I had a ton of paperwork to do this morning. We had an exceptionally busy weekend which is always good, but it also generates paperwork. I had to type up incident reports for a couple of accidents that people had, I had to log annual pass sales and double check that all of our inventories were correct. I also got a very disappointing call from the district office about a complaint from a visitor. I don't think it would be appropriate to discuss any details here, but I wanted to mention it because it is a part of my job. It is my least favorite part of the job. We all strive to make sure that park visitors have an enjoyable experience at the park and unfortunately sometimes people have expectations that can't be met the way that they see fit. I hope that the situation can be resolved, but its frustrating because there isn't much that I can do. On the bright side, when I got to Ichetucknee, I found a comment card in my mailbox. A park visitor had sent very complimentary remarks, well timed.
I was running late after finishing the paperwork, but I decided to take some time to walk around the park. I went to the river first and got the only photo that I took all day. On my way to pick up 2 soda cans, 1 swim fin, and 1 crumpled Doritos bag I spotted this Barred Owl feather laying on the ground. The white parts of the feather were beautiful in the bright sunlight. I made my way around to the spring dock and found that the clasp on a gate on the side of the dock needed to be put back together. It will hold temporarily, but I will need to fully repair it soon. I took a minute to admire the spring and then heard people coming down the walkway. I waited until they arrived in case they had any questions... they had LOTS of questions. They were a lot of fun to talk to though. They were new to the area and I was happy to be able to answer many of their questions about the park as well as the surrounding area. I was glad that I was running late so that I ran into them.
When I got to Ichetucknee, I stayed a little longer than usual so that I could make photo copies of our brochure and some forms that I needed. I also found out while I was there that my truck is still not repaired. Apparently the problem was with the catalytic converter and not the transmission as I had guessed. When I got back to Troy, I found a couple driving on the park service road (the staff only service road). They were looking for me to stamp their passport, I'm glad that they found me. The passports are booklets that look like real passports with a page for each of Florida's State Parks. Visitors who get their book stamped at every park (170+) get a prize! It is a nice program, but some of the smaller parks like mine can be a challenge... it adds to the adventure, right?!
After stamping their book, I took a walk around the park because there were a few vehicles in the parking lot. I started at the river and a regular fisherman was there... fishing in the swim area. I knew that he knew the rules. I also understand that the fish are not cooperating right now and they have been spending more time in the swim area than in the river where they usually are and where the fishermen are allowed to fish. I let him know that he was busted and we chatted a bit. I checked another spot on the river where I sometimes see mullet and I saw that they were around. I suggested the spot to him. I hope he had better luck over there. I didn't see him again before I left. I went to the spring dock next and talked with some nice people there until it started to rain. I headed to the office and realized that it was already time for my evening relief to arrive. I hadn't even eaten lunch yet! I talked with her for a little while and then headed home for a very late lunch. On the way home I realized that I had only taken that one photo. It was a Monday...