Well, we arrived around 8:00pm, and the next morning walked to the office to check in. We were met in the parking lot by a ranger, who was happy to see us, and wanted to give us the grand tour of the park. We crammed onto the bench seat of the truck, coffee cups, laptop, and all... and drove around for the better part of the morning getting schooled on our responsibilities as hosts, the history of the park, and many of the other park staff we'd be working with. It was very exciting, and we couldn't wait to get started.
We were given our own radio, a "Gator" to drive around in, and shown the various shops, storage areas, and other related sites. In exchange for our service, we stay free in the park, get free electric service, and free laundry. I found many of the parks old C.C.C. buildings interesting, due to thier durability, and the hand-made items we take for granted nowadays. Built during the depression, (The first one, not the 2008 one, lol!) things like brackets and hinges were hand-tooled, and rocks for the walls and buildings were transported by mules or men. Many parks in the U.S. were built by men during the 30's, and still stand to this day.
Garner has been around a long time, and as it's grown, there are essentially two parks, "Old Garner" and "New Garner". The old maintenance shop resides in what used to be the horse stables from the 30's, and that's where our laundry room, and the carpentry shop are, as well as the old break room. (The wooden rails seen on the "Gator" were built custom by a retired contractor who remains at the park building just about everything made of wood there.
Our duties are mainly upkeep type things... cleaning restrooms, fire pits, and litter pick-up. We're also a "second set of eyes" for the rangers, keeping an eye out for cars without permits, rules being broken, etc. Sometimes we answer questions for visitors, or help them find thier way out around the park. Other than keeping track of our hours worked, we don't have much supervision... and they don't want us doing anything we don't like doing. That's what I call a job!
Even with all this "hard work", (24 hours per week) we still find time to enjoy nature, relax, and take some pictures of the surrounding area. We took the day off Sunday, and our friends, Kimberly and Dave came by for a visit. All in all, we're really enjoying the hosting gig, and are glad we took it on. The park is beautiful, and we should've come earlier... if only we had WiFi service, and the water wasn't so "hard" pebbles came out of the tap. I thought San Antonio water was hard... you flush the toilet here, and it still looks like someone peed in it! LOL!