Sunday, February 16, 2014

2014-2 Campground Host (last report) before heading out

Moss Park (County Park) Camp Host
Orlando Florida

The camp host experience is coming to a close.  I should be leaving here in about a month.  We’ve had a couple weeks of pretty cold weather, but that has only slowed down the tent campers to a degree, with more folks coming into the park with hard sided campers.  Pretty smart on their part I’d say.

The enforcement duties fluctuate.  With colder weather, I’ve had to continually tell our campers that it is not permitted to pick up campfire wood from the forest or chop down trees.  Trying to teach them along the way that removing dead wood from the forest also removes the much needed nutrients that the decomposing wood helps to replenish.  Our soil in this part of Florida is quite sandy and does not contain much nutrients for the forest.

I think I averted a potential mess in one of our shower/restrooms, as a group of young kids were horsing around on the outside and in the bathrooms.  After chasing them off, the girls were trying to harass the boys in the boys restroom, I talked to their Dad’s who had brought the kids out for a Dad and kids weekend.  They picked up on the issue swiftly when I told them that any messes made in the bathrooms would be brought to their attention first.  I also mentioned that it wasn’t a particularly good place to kids to be hanging out around or playing.

Today as I was walking around, I saw a Mom put a tiny dog in the back of a SUV.  Had to stop and tell them, “no pets allowed in the park”.  Of course they tried every excuse including, gee it’s just a tiny dog.  Forgetting that mixing domesticated animals with our wildlife is never a good idea.

Speaking of critters, I was fortunate the other day to see four Florida Whooping Cranes in flight.  Whooping cranes are very rare and here in Florida they have been attempting to reintroduce them into this area.  To have 4 of those large majestic birds flying overhead in perfect formation, actually creating a pinwheel effect in the sky with their pure white bodies and huge wingspan.  Each wing tip highlighted with black feathers.  They looked like something out of the art deco era.  Another large bird looking somewhat similar in it’s markings is the wood stork and I’ve seen it as well on occasion.

fox squirrel (image found on internet)
The other rare find here in Moss Park is the fox squirrel.  Found in central and northeastern Florida.  As luck would have it, we have a small community of the black faced critters here in the park.  They are very reclusive and won’t come up to a human for food.  Preferring their own diet of pine seeds and acorns.  The fox squirrel is larger (3lbs) than the average squirrel and has a bushy tail along with its characteristic black face giving it a real bandito type look.

While wandering around the park today, I noticed one of our grand oak trees had a large dead branch hanging down.  Looks like almost half the tree is diseased more from old age than anything else and they’ll probably have to cut the entire tree down.  With half of the tree still looking healthy, I wish there was a way to save that half.  Those oak trees have on average a 100 ft diameter.  The amount of shade they provide is immense.  So loosing even one of them will create a very large open space behind that campsite.

Moss Park staff cutting dead tree limb
It’s that time of year, tax time.  And I did my taxes in record breaking time today.  Only took about 45 minutes, using an online tax service.  Seems there’s less and less to report each year, making the process that much simpler.  It still isn’t the easiest of processes, but it’s done for another year and I‘ll be getting a $310 refund.  Yippee.


For the Rv-er, it is necessary to use a water regulator to control the water pressure going through the hose to the Rv.  Too much pressure and it could burst the water hose or eventually cause damage to the plumbing in the camper.  My water regulator is factory set at 45lbs of pressure, which in the past has worked ok with my previous campers, but provides only a weak amount of pressure in the new camper.  Come to find out they do make Hi Flow Water regulators that are set at 55-60lbs of pressure.  Perfect for my camper and I now have just the right amount of pressure for the shower and kitchen sink sprayer.  So if your water regulator is not adequate for your camper, consider getting a Hi Flow Water regulator.

I’m getting that short timers attitude, having been here as a campground host for the longest period of time that I’ve ever done the camp hosting thing.  4 Months is much too long for me to be in this kind of position.  Ready to move on and explore new places.  I’ve not connected all that much with local friends and former co-workers, though I have met up with some of them a few times.  Having lived in the area for 30+ years, it’s not been all that exciting going back.  Come to think about it, I’ve never been one to look back all that much as I like living in the present and anticipating the future.

Boggy Creek Fish Camp/Lake Toho

I did send off a couple boxes worth of old photos to be scanned that I had stored at my friend Pat’s home. A company called Vista Prints scanned them in digitally and put a set on the web and mailed CD back to me for my access. It’s interesting to a degree looking back, and I do find that my memory of many of those events, Mom and Dad visiting Florida for the first time, Vacations/business trips to California, Texas, Washington State, the Keys,  are all quite clear.  I can remember some of the smallest details from each of those trips with the trip to Paris and Hawaii being two of the most memorable.  I first used Visa Prints to make business cards (RV camper cards) and then found out they also scan in pictures as well and many other printing services.  It cost me around $179 to have 1,500 photos scanned in with some being scanned on both sides since stuff was written on the backs of many of the older pictures.  For an extra $10 they also uploaded the entire set to the internet for me.  Making is easier to share some of those memories in the future.

Picture of me from a 1996 trip to Michigan

I also purchased my last item from the internet and had it delivered to the campground.  It’s nice to be in one location where I can have larger items shipped to me since I’ll be in the area for a while.  I ordered a new wedge shaped end table to go between the two recliner chairs in the living room.  The table that came with the camper, though beautifully made was too short and rectangular for the spot.  The wedge table has slate insets along the top edge of the table adding a shaker style to the table.  It is a perfect fit and the quality of construction and finish is awesome.  Made in Sheboygan Wisconsin by the Leick Co.  A 100 year old company produces exceptionally fine furniture.  I always look for free shipping and no taxes if possible which was available through

my new wedge shaped table

And finally I’m finishing up my annual doctors visits.  I’ve seen two eye specialists to provide accurate readings on my eyes.  One confirmed I do not have macular degeneration.  The final analysis is that I have wide angle glaucoma which is treatable with the right eye drops which will keep the eye pressure at the proper level.  I’m very fortunate to have good health insurance and can afford to see just about any specialist I need to to maintain good health.

Where will I be heading on my first adventure of the New Year you ask?  You'll just have to wait for the next post to find out.