It’s been so busy here because of the kid’s fishing derby that I haven’t had a moment to record my thoughts – or think for that matter.
I spent Friday preparing the campsites and helping with the setup for the fishing derby. I was able to view the Fish and Wildlife folks stock the lake with four truckloads of fish. They made a special effort to include 350 large trout for the kids.
Saturday was the derby. The park was packed to overflowing. We ran out of parking spaces, so many people had to park along the road leading to the park and then walk in. Surprisingly, I heard no complaints. They were just happy to participate in the event.
The Moose Lodge sponsored the event. They supplied breakfast for everyone, did all the judging and awarded prizes to the winners and all the participants. In fact, if a child registered, but didn’t fish, they still got a prize – and the prizes were terrific too. There were many happy kids. The Moose Lodge deserves a big shout out and a huge thank you. They did a great job!
During the derby, I took hundreds of photos. Take a few moments and check out the photos in the menu above. You may recognize your child or one of your neighbor’s kids. You’ll also have a better appreciation for what Lake Sylvia State Park has to offer you and your family during the balance of the year. It’s a charming, well-kept, quiet park. (Well, usually quiet, but not during the fishing derby.)
By the way, the Rangers wanted me to assure you that everyday at Lake Sylvia State Park is as beautiful as pictured in the photos in the photo albums. Their words, not mine.
Sunday and Monday, I spent long days cleaning campsites, fire pits and common areas. It’s an overwhelming task to catch up following the derby. I’ve had to reconcile myself to the fact that I can only do so much. Some things will need to be put off until later. I’ll eventually catch up, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
In fact, I’ll be taking the next couple of days off. I need to do laundry, fill my propane tank and dump my holding tanks. Additionally, during the heavy rain that happened last Tuesday, I discovered a leak in my roof. When I went to bed, my pillow was wet. So, I need to visit a few stores, check the Internet and then fix the leak. That’s something new for me. I’ve never before done a roof repair on an RV. Wish me luck.
I hope all of our derby participants had a fun day with us on Saturday. I know I enjoyed watching you. And I’m sure your parents took great pride in your skills.
This morning, I met my supervisor Ranger Hopkins. We had an impromptu staff meeting at my RV shortly after 8:00 AM. Ranger Cain (AKA Missy) and Alex were also there. The rangers are going to replace the battery in the cart that I’m to use to clean the campsites and they provided me with a shovel, rake and tokens for the shower.
I’m very grateful for the tokens. My shower each morning has been costing me $2.00. The tokens will cut that expense. Many thanks to Darrel and Missy.
Because I’d worked Tuesday and Wednesday, I took this afternoon off and went to town. I registered for a library card, ate lunch at the only organic health food store in town, visited the local Ace Hardware store for a part for my kayak and visited my niece and her children.
Importantly, I was able to use the library’s Wi-Fi to upload this website.
Today we got a glimpse of the sun. Hooray! The weather’s improving just in time for the big kids’ fishing derby. Of course, that means a big turn out.
Today, we had no rangers on duty. Alex, the aide, handled everything fine.
Spent more than five hours today cleaning more of the campsites. They really needed a good cleaning. Tomorrow, it will be more of the same until I catch up.
It’s still slow here, but the number of campers is increasing as we build toward the weekend. I expect that we will be full by Friday night, if not sooner.
Theresa, my sister-in-law, dropped by the park today with her twin grandchildren. She was interested in booking a campsite for her trailer. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help her. She’s going to try to book a location on the Lake Sylvia State Park website. She plans to bring her grandchildren to the fishing derby. It will be a kick to see the kids out there hooking a trout. However, don’t call on me to clean the catch.
The RV is working out just fine. After correcting a mistake that I made when I winterized the water system, the water heater came online immediately. The cabin heater is working well and keeping the cabin nice and cozy.
The only thing that’s not working yet is the BBQ. The weather has been too wet to allow me to set up the Weber BBQ and cook a steak or hamburger. Maybe this weekend I’ll get the BBQ going. If so, I have a bottle of merlot just waiting to be opened.
The rain continues and intensifies. The ground is saturated and even the geese have gone into hiding.
Met Alex, one of the park aides, today. He’s straight out of college, working at a temporary summer job and building his resume and references. He’s hardworking and nicely self-motivated. Alex commutes from Olympia each morning, which is a bit of a drive. Oh, and look out ladies, he’s also handsome and single, ... but in a relationship.
Because of the rain, it continues to be very slow around the park today, but I hear the weather is about to turn for the better. I’m a bit concerned about how busy we will be this weekend with the warmer, sunny weather and the kids fishing derby on Saturday. It could become very hectic around the park.
BTW, I should have done some research on fishing and the local trees and plants. Park visitors have asked me about both topics, but I had to admit my ignorance. However, Missy and Alex have been helpful. They’ve both provided me with info about the types of fish in Lake Sylvia. Next, I’ll research the trees.
Rolled in a bit late today because I had difficulties loading my kayak in Spokane this morning. Regardless, the park was nearly empty because of the downpour. There are only two diehard campers.
Spent much of the afternoon picking up litter in the empty campsites and learning a bit about what’s expected of me. Melissa, “Missy,” gave me a quick tour of Lake Sylvia State Park and she briefly outlined my responsibilities. She’s off tomorrow. Ranger Hopkins is off today and tomorrow, and then he has class on Wednesday. So I guess I won’t see my supervisor until Thursday.
The park is small, but very green and beautiful. Being small only adds to its charm. Although it’s small, there are hiking trails, horseshoe pits, picnic areas, tent and RV sites, a well maintained play area for kids with new gym sets, boating (non-motorized only), fishing and more. Washington State stocks the lake with rainbow trout and I hear there are a few bass lurking in the depths. Missy’s son, Austin, was trying to tease out a large bass for the best part of the afternoon, but failed.
This coming Saturday, May 6, Lake Sylvia is hosting a kid’s fishing derby. It starts at 6:00 AM. I’d better get a good night’s sleep before that starts.
BTW, the photo above is of me crossing the finish line at Bloomsday 2015. My time wasn’t very good, but considering that I was still recovering from my fifth knee surgery, I’m still proud to have finished. As they say, “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.” In case you didn’t recognize me, I’m the one with a black hat, #29840 and hair.
This was my 29th running of the Bloomsday race. I missed the first running because I thought it would be a once-and-done event. Then I missed eight years while we lived in Tucson, AZ and Edinburgh, Scotland. Finally, I skipped one year because it was too cold, windy and raining. I know – I wimped out.