Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Day 1

We were bracing for a wild day today.  The morning was beautiful.  There were cars lined up at the gate as soon as we arrived at the park.  The closing field ranger last night had lined up all of the traffic cones in preparation of the great turn-around events that were sure to come.  The morning staff hit the ground running, jumping into the duties that they knew they had to complete.  We even had two campers checking in before we even opened at 7:30.  Once the Ranger Station was open, I went to check on a campsite and wanted to drive through the park to see how it looked.  While I was out, I realized that our radios were down because of a loss of power early this morning.  When I called the ranger in the ranger station to let him know the status of the campsite and to let him know that the radios were down, he already had lines inside and outside of ranger station and needed assistance.  I rushed back to reset the radios and then jump into action at the ranger station.  We continued to be steadily busy into the afternoon.  I never did get to drive through the main use area of the park.  From the ranger station, it felt like we had let in many more cars than our parking lot could hold, but we didn't have to close until 11:00.  With all the traffic we were seeing, we thought it would have been much earlier.
The closing of the park went off with a bang!  The driver of the first vehicle that we turned away had a reaction that was unparalleled.  He didn't stop to argue or ask for any other options.  He just started screaming and slamming his steering wheel and making unfriendly hand gestures toward anyone who would look at him.  He also screamed the F-bomb at any and every person and vehicle that he passed on the way out.  It was quite a show.  He was really pretty lucky that our Law Enforcement Officers were not there to witness his outburst.  He would have had a much worse day than he was already having.  Fortunately, the majority of the other people that we turned away were much more jovial.  I think people expected the park to be busy today, so it was no real shock that we filled up.  I also had the help of two Law Enforcement Officers.  At one point we were really glad to have three people turning traffic because there were a lot of side issues going on.  Everything was resolved relatively smoothly and we were all able to keep smiling throughout.  We were smiling even bigger when we started watching the sky.

The dark clouds were moving in closer and closer.  Eventually, it did start to rain and there was even a little bit of thunder.  There was soon a mass exodus of people leaving the park.  Oddly enough, there was still a line of people wanting to enter.  I guess they had endured the lines and the wait and were determined to get into the park.  Once the rain started though, we were able to stay open for the rest of the day.  I almost didn't know what to do with myself because things had slowed down so much.  I left the park to get change for the rest of the weekend and then headed to the office.  On the way back into the park, I saw that the only ones out in the rain were Turkeys.  No, I'm not calling the visitors names, there were Wild Turkeys walking around.

They did put themselves out on the line to dry a little later when there was a break in the rain.  Silly Turkeys.

In the office, I checked my e-mail and did some reading of our policies.  I also re-created our Lost and Found log.  I had been noticing that it was lacking.  It was a binder with four or five pieces of paper in it and it didn't make much sense.  One form even had Department of Natural Resources at the top of it.  We have the Department of Environmental Protection since 1993.  I adjusted some forms that I had made when I was at Troy and added them to the binder to see if they meet our needs here.
When I was done in the office, I checked in with the park staff again.  Everyone was happy that the day ended up being much easier than we expected.  Hooray for rain!  Now we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Thought of the Day #26
I never know what to expect on a holiday at the park.  On some holidays, people stay at home with their families.  On others, they come to the park in droves.  On some holidays, people are jovial and friendly, on others they are cranky and vicious.  On Mother's Day, people were wonderful and on Easter, they were not.  We expected the worst for today, but aside from one bad apple, the people were great.

1 comment:

Lorena said...

People kill me, they really do.