Retirement Of "Big Red"
6 Oct 2008
|From Lake Texana State Park – Edna, TX
Boy, how time flies! Sorry it has been so long since my last journal entry. As you are aware, we are hosting in the State Park near Edna, TX. This time around, we have the added enjoyment of having our friends; Sonny and Linda co-host with us. So far, we have only driven over to nearby El Campo to check out their Super Wal-Mart and our two drives over to Richwood.
The destination of Richwood actually began some months ago with us contemplating a replacement for “Big Red”. Originally, we had thought of ordering a new 2009 Ford Super Duty when they were available. However as we talked with dealers, they could not tell us when Ford would be building new Super Duty trucks due to the large 2008 inventory left at dealerships. This and the rebate offered if you took delivery before the end of September changed our direction of getting a new vehicle.
It was while we were in Perrin running from Gustav that we began searching the internet for dealership inventory. With our wants being no four-wheel drive or dually it was a long and arduous task. After many hours of finding hundreds of trucks across the state that had one or both of our “no buy” options, we came across three trucks that we would consider buying. One in nearby Weatherford and two in the Houston area. We gave this information to the salesperson we were talking to and he said both of the trucks in Houston were available for dealer swap.
Then, here comes Ike! So it was not until we arrived here that we were able to get all the details worked out and the truck transferred to the dealership in Richwood. But “oh boy” it was worth the search and wait. So on 9/27 we picked up our new truck.
With “Big Red”, it took me about three years before I would drive it due to its size. But this one I drove back to the park the day we got it. I could not believe how easy and smooth it drove. You can bet I will do my share of driving this one when the trailer is NOT attached. That will be the next big bridge to cross, me driving while towing our rig!
Now, back to the adventures of the last two weeks. For the first two weeks, we did not have a designated work schedule and were told to ask the September host crew what we could help them with. Bad planning on the part of the park host coordinator! So, we really did very little in the way of hosting duties.
The month of October has the park utilizing FIVE hosts! In my judgment, this is one too many hosts for a park of this size. When we were here in May, there were three hosts. The park was full on several occasions during the month with the visitor’s needs met and the grounds kept clean. The addition of a fourth host does allow for there to be two hosts available each day while giving each host their two days off during the week. It also allows a host to help in the office if it becomes too busy for the park staff. However adding the fifth host causes the MULE vehicle availability to become a“sticky” scheduling source as well as the needs of the park and its visitors is not enough to warrant going beyond the four host program.
Now stepping down from my “soap-box”, this past weekend, we had 35 of the park sites occupied by the YMCA Princesses and their Dads. It is always enjoyable to see some of these Dads putting up their first tent, cooking meals outside and just interacting with their daughters. It is truly wonderful to see families enjoy just being together if only for a weekend. By the way, all the other water/electric sites were full for the weekend also. It is people watching like this in a beautiful serene setting with wildlife all around that makes the hosting experience one that we enjoy.
The weather has just been wonderful since we arrived. Can’t say as much for the mosquitoes, they have been really bad after sunset. But if the worse thing in life is having to keep the mosquitoes away, what a wonderful world this would be.