Random doings and the downside

Another week in paradise — almost. . . While I believed I’d finally adjusted to my schedule and the heat, this past week was a set-back. I’m not sure if I was fighting off a virus or what, but I was wiped out nearly every day I worked. I’m hoping for a better week next week.

Beach Time

I finally made it to the beach last week. It was my first time there, since I can’t get in the sun after working, so I save sun time for when I’m off. One of the other camp hosts had picked up some abandoned beach things from a site they had cleaned, so I ended up with a beach umbrella and a couple of boogie boards. I took the umbrella with me, along with my water, my Ipod and headphones, a notebook and pen, my beach towel, and sunscreen (always).

I went to the North Beach at Ft. De Soto, which is a really nice beach, and laid out my stuff. The beach umbrella was difficult to secure (probably why it was abandoned), so I just stuck it in the sand and hoped for the best. It was a nice day, but I was a bit concerned about the clouds around.


I checked my cell phone for the weather, and it showed a sunny day, so I didn’t worry too much about it. I was enjoying laying in the sun finally, listening to my Ipod and periodically writing in my notebook. I was still watching the weather, and saw this in the distance:


Well, so much for a sunny day. As the wind picked up and I felt the rain come in, I saw my umbrella laying behind me — inside out — and decided to start gathering up my things. Below was the view from the beach as I walked to the snack bar for shelter from the rain.


I waited it out, and finally the rain stopped and I went back to the beach, along with the other intrepid souls who knew that the rain doesn’t usually last long here. When the sun became too hot for me, I waded out into the ocean (flesh-eating bacteria be damned!) up to my neck and then waded back to my spot on the beach, refreshed. At that point, I was ready for a nap, so I packed up my stuff and headed back to camp.

Another Day, Another Dollar

It’s interesting what you can pick up while cleaning sites here. The other day, I bagged nearly a 12-pack of Yuengling Beer that was unopened. I picked it up and put it in the back of the cart, where it promptly was buried under a big pile of brush that I picked up from other sites. As I bounced along, I noticed the distinct scent of beer, so the next site I stopped at, I checked to see how the Yuengling was doing. Unfortunately, there were a couple of cans that had holes in them and were leaking, so I put those in the trash. I came to another site, where someone had left beer pong balls. Awesome, now I could play beer pong with myself! Actually, those went in the trash. . . I was now down to 6 beers, having lost more to the bumpy roads and brush punctures.

By the time I got back to the dumpster to get rid of the brush and trash I’d picked up, I was down to 3 beers, and the back of my cart smelled like a brewery. I had hoped to have a stash of beer for visitors, since I don’t drink beer myself generally, but I suppose I should feel lucky that I had a few to store at least. I had also picked up a citronella candle someone had left, which was fortunate since I needed one but hadn’t remembered to buy one yet.

The Downside

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to accomplish and, to be honest, I’m not sure. I am still enjoying my adventure, but I do have concerns. One of the issues I’m having as a single camp host here is doing everything alone. When I was staying at RV parks, I had people around who were, often, long-term and I often met people to chat with. Because this is a county park, there is a two-week limit per month on stays, so campers here are generally here only a few days — just here to enjoy a vacation with the family and sometimes with their local friends, and not interested in meeting other campers.

The camp hosts I work with are very friendly, but there is no socializing. I heard they are more social in the winter months, but I suppose the heat is not conducive to get-togethers in the summer. So I end up bugging the rangers in the camp office when I have the opportunity. Fortunately, they are a friendly bunch, and very funny. Still, this job would be much more enjoyable if I had someone to work with. My friend from Largo came to visit one weekend, and she stayed overnight on Saturday and went to work with me on Sunday. That day flew by, and was so much more enjoyable than previous days.

Now, at the suggestion of a friend, I just listen to my Ipod while working, which helps to keep my mind occupied and helps me feel less lonely. This job is very physical and dirty, so I destroyed one of my earbuds when it fell into the dirt and I stepped on it. The second set isn’t faring much better, getting caught up in my equipment and in the limbs I pick up, etc. My next step is to get a wireless headset. . .

In any event, I’ll work through this like I have through everything else. I am nothing if not adaptable (as I am finding out about myself).


I did manage to get out to take shots of the supermoon on Sunday. One of the rangers had suggested I go to the Bay Pier at Fort De Soto to get it rising over the bridge, but I determined I probably should have gone to the Bayway to get it from that angle. As it was, I caught it over a shrimp boat out in the Bay, which was a nice touch, I think.


While I was trying to get the perfect shot of the supermoon, I turned around to observe the sunset for the evening, and this is what I saw. . .


I realized I should have stayed to get the sunset instead of the supermoon, darn it! Well, aside from the numerous no-see-um bites, it was an enjoyable outing. Until next time. . .

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