Well, it’s been a busy week here at Lake Sylvia. I’m sorry that I haven’t had the time to update my blog until now.
On Friday, Washington imposed a countywide burn ban that affected our campers. The rangers, aides and I had to inform campers that they could no longer have campfires. Of course, that meant no more s’mores.
We had many unhappy campers. However, I was thrilled about the burn ban. As soon as the campfires ended, the air quality improved and I could breath fresh air again. Without the fires, the park was quieter, people went to bed earlier and the air was sweet with the smells of the forest. Even the animals seemed pleased with the absence of campfire smoke. They were visiting my site more often and staying longer. I practically made a pet of a rabbit that would come to my site for breakfast and lunch. While the park is always beautiful, it was awesome without the smoke from thirty-plus campfires burning day and night.
For Saturday and Sunday, I took some time off to attend my grandniece’s softball tournament. You can see her tagging a ball for a base hit in the picture above. I took hundreds of pictures on the weekend, but I won’t have time to edit and post them before I leave Montesano. Nevertheless, I’ll edit them over the next few days, put them on thumb-drives and mail them to my nieces’ and in-laws. They will be able to distribute the photos to the players and their families. Then, I’ll post some of the photos on my blog because a few of the girls were excited to have their pictures posted.
Today, I had packed to leave Lake Sylvia. I started my Minnie Winnie and inched forward to clear the leveling ramps that I had used during my stay. When I hit the brakes, my foot went to the floor, … but no brakes. Panic time! I grabbed the handbrake and got control. I realized that somehow I had lost brake fluid, master cylinder or a brake line. Regardless, it was going to be a major problem that I needed to fix before I could leave Montesano.
I was able to move the Minnie Winnie to the dump station using only my handbrake and first gear to control my speed and to stop. I dumped my tanks to reduce the vehicle’s weight and then eased the Minnie Winnie out of the park and down the hill to a Chevy dealership in Montesano. Again, I used only first gear and the handbrake.
The dealership’s service department is diagnosing the problem as I write this. I hope it doesn’t cost too much, but regardless, I need to have the brakes fixed. I’m extremely thankful that the brakes didn’t fail while I was on the road at speed. Otherwise, friends, the State Patrol would be scraping my remains off the shoulder of the highway.
Finally, since this is my last post on this site for a while, I want to thank Rangers Darrel and Missy for the giving me the opportunity to be the camp host at Lake Sylvia. Missy, I sincerely appreciated your help and our conversations. As my day-to-day contact, I could not have had a better person to work with. I hope we stay in contact in the coming weeks and months.
Darrel, you should be congratulated for managing a beautiful park so well. It is the highlight of Montesano and the surrounding community. Your park is a terrific place for locals to get away and enjoy nature. Lake Sylvia State Park is a little gem.
Briana, Alex, Taylor and Jacob, thank you for keeping the park clean and maintained. I’m sure visitors have no idea how hard you work to ensure Lake Sylvia remains a pleasant place to visit and to stay. Please know that at least I’m aware of your efforts and I’m thankful.
Goodbye for now from Lake Sylvia and Montesano.