Working in a State Park

Working in a state park has been such a fun experience. Sure, there have been some odd things to get used to, but overall Mike, Emma, Jensen and I are loving it!

Some of our daily tasks include checking the iron ranger (an iron box that people put their fees in), going on “rounds” through the campground (making sure it’s clean and ready for guests), delivering firewood to campers, interacting with day pass visitors, etc.

My absolute favorite thing to do in the state park is to meet people. I am naturally curious about people, their stories, and where they’ve traveled. Some people are very talkative about where they’ve been and where they’re going. Others look at me as though I’ve requested one of their kidneys when I ask them “So, where are you headed?” Of course, I understand that to a perfect stranger, this question might be a little too personal. But as fellow travelers, we want to hear about cool places to visit and roads to take to get there.

Mike and I first realized that working as campground hosts in state parks was an option when we stayed at Gamble Rogers Memorial Recreation Area in Flagler Beach, FL. If you’re a fellow traveler, check it out. It’s gorgeous!

The campground hosts in that state park were friendly and hard working. The couple had been retired for years, and they decided that in order to see the country the way they wanted to, getting a free campsite for keeping up with the campground was the perfect option for them. They enjoyed working in Florida in the winter and transferring up to Acadia State Park in Maine during the summer months.

I remember Mike and I mulling the idea over, but seeing it as an idea for the future not for anything over the next couple years.

Funny how things work out.

One of the odd things that happened was a woman and her teenage son knocking on our door at 10:30pm because they had locked themselves out of their cabin. They told us that they had heard a noise outside their cabin, ran out the door to investigate, and got locked out. They had walked with only socks on over to our rig which is parked at the only full hookup site in a separate campground that is closed for winter.

Another odd occurrence was a car that pulled up around 1am blaring music that rattled our windows. We woke up to this intense thudding noise and realized it was “music”.

Two nights ago, Mike and I were startled awake by a woman pounding on the door to the ranger’s station while screaming “Help! Help!” We jumped up and looked out the window only to see her run back to her vehicle and speed away to the highway. We have no idea who she was or what help was needed.

Today, is a quiet day so far. Most of the state park staff has the day off, and we are enjoying the sunshine after several days of rain and fog. In a couple of hours, we will drive our little cart around the campground, stopping to check if campers need firewood, and making sure the sites are neat for guests.

It’s a pretty sweet gig. Did I mention that we’re surrounded by Redwoods?

Yah, pretty sweet.

Yours Truly,

Marlie

 

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