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Time for a plan B?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Emma and I were out the door shortly before 10:00 to drive the 75 miles or so to Bayou Cocodrie NWR to check out the lay of the land for our moving in tomorrow.  There have only been a few times when I’ve checked a place out with my car before driving in with my rig, but I’m sure glad I made that decision this time.  After weaving my way through some challenging turns for a motorhome in Ferriday, LA, I ended up on a non-paved road that was coated in red mud.  It was three miles in second gear with the mud flying the whole way.  My stomach wasn’t feeling too good about that as I imagined having to drive the rig through it with the toad on back.

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Eventually I made it to the headquarters and maintenance building on the refuge.  At least there was some gravel on the road there.  Charman, the volunteer coordinator, was not there even though she knew I would be there before noon.  So, I introduced myself to several of the brown shirts and asked to see the newly constructed RV pads. 

My stomach was not doing any better as I was led through the small fenced maintenance area to a small section outside.  In my 17 other volunteer assignments on National Wildlife Refuges, I’ve never seen a volunteer site area to compare with this one.  On a scale of 1 – 10, this place scored a big fat ZERO!  They’ve made a flat pile of about two feet of wet caliche.  If you’re familiar with caliche, you know that when it is wet it clumps around your shoes when you walk on it like cement.  What a mess!  How they ever think two RV’s will fit in this area is beyond me.  If, and that’s questionable, I could ever maneuver the rig into this place I’m not sure I’d ever get out if a second rig pulled in.  Besides that, the hook-ups were installed on the wrong side so the electrical cord, sewer hose, and water hose would have to go under the rig to the other side.  Although they seemed quite proud of what they had built, I had to tell them that I was very uncomfortable with this set up.  The more I looked at it, the more I knew I couldn’t do this.

I’ve never backed out of a volunteer commitment, but today was the exception.  I emailed Charman after I got home, and told her I was sorry, but I it would be impossible for me to volunteer at Bayou Cocodrie.  She was understanding about it.  I can’t imagine that any volunteers would be happy with that set up unless they had a little pop-up camper.  The brown shirts there did say they thought volunteers would have little trailers.  I guess they haven’t done their homework about RV volunteers.

So now I’m on to formulating a plan B for the winter.  Only last week I had an email from Stephanie, the volunteer coordinator at Anahuac NWR, asking if I couldn’t please come early to help them out.  I was slated to be there after the first of the year.  As usual, I told her I was committed at Bayou Cocodrie until the new year.  With today’s shocking disappointment, I’ve reconsidered her request.  I tried calling her when I got home, but she won’t be in until tomorrow. 

All of this does make me wonder why I decided to not just drive directly to the refuge with the rig this morning.  As I said, I’m sure glad I didn’t, but it’s a little eerie none the less.  Some kind of premonition? 

On a much lighter note, I finally beat my son, Daniel, on this last week’s fantasy football competition.  I’m still near the bottom of the barrel in this league, but I just wanted to beat him once, and I did it.  We had a side bet if I ever did better than he did, and now I have to figure out what to do with that magnificent five cents!  Party smile  Ahh!  Life is a wonder, isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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