Saturday, November 7, 2009

Buoys On The Run

What a day! If you watched the parking lot today, you wouldn't think that it was a busy day. I, however, felt like I was constantly on the go. My day started with the usual drive through the park and gate opening. When I was on my way to the office, I saw one of the leaders of the group of boy scouts who are camping in the park this weekend. I went to their camping area and watched their flag raising ceremony and made plans to talk to the boys when they came to the main park area later.
When I got to the office, I checked e-mail quickly and saw a memorandum to lower the flags to half staff until Veteran's Day because of the Ft. Hood shootings. I picked up honor envelopes and brochures and dropped them off at the entrance before lowering the flags. I went back to the picnic area and opened the cabin before leaf blowing the spring walkway. When I got to the top of the walkway, I was debating whether or not to blow off the parking lot too. Just then, the leaf blower died. My mind was made up. It was good timing too, the first visitor pulled in and wanted to buy a pass. I walked with him to the office to sell the pass and ran into a scout leader that wanted to talk to me and one of our winter volunteers who arrived last night. One person at a time, I helped everyone and welcomed back our volunteer. The rest of the morning continued that way and I bounced around the park like a pinball, checking in divers, telling the scouts about the Madison, finishing up the paperwork... Then the real fun began. I walked down to check on the spring area and noticed that the buoy line was not where it should have been. The line had given away again and the buoys were floating away from shore. I made my way out to them and began to take my boots off so that I could roll up my pants, wade into the water, and drag the buoys back in. The volunteer suddenly appeared out of no where and offered assistance. While he made his way to the area that I was in, it became apparent to me that the buoys were not all connected anymore and some were, in fact, about to make their way down river. I quickly unloaded my camera and cell phones from my pockets and jumped in the river. I performed a river rescue for some big smelly buoys. Its hard to swim in long pants with a still recovering broken arm and towing six buoys behind you... up river. I did it though! The volunteer and I began hauling the buoys further onto shore. Really, he hauled, and I shoved with one arm as best I could. We also enlisted the help of a boater who, like the volunteer, appeared out of no where, right on time to capture one rouge buoy that made it further down river. That boater enjoyed a free day at the park for his daring rescue of an escape buoy.
Needless to say, I went home for lunch and changed. It is really nice to live in the park for moments like that one. I really just never know when I'll end up in the river. After lunch, things calmed down quite a bit. I got a chance to catch up with both volunteers and watched the scouts swim for a while. I also spent some time e-mailing my manager with some possible buoy line solutions, and researching some alternatives. When my evening relief arrived, I talked to her for a while and then headed out for one more walk through the park. It was a chilly morning, but it turned into a beautiful afternoon. I took a walk down to the river to take a photo of the buoy-less spring run.
There were a few Asters still in bloom and in a sunny spot, there were a few bugs too. I saw a couple of Pearl Crescent butterflies and one very busy little bee carrying a big load of pollen.

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