Many of the tasks we do here at J. Strom Thurmond COE are not cutting edge, in fact, many of the jobs are downright menial. But in the grand scheme of things, they all add up to making the Thurmond Lake COE campgrounds, day use areas, beaches and boat ramps some of the best in the country.
We’ve patrolled some of the areas for problems. Here I dragged a small fallen tree off the road. Thankfully it was pretty light because Hercules I’m not.
Another day we had to drive to all the campground gate houses. Not a big job, or a hard one but they are so spread out around the lake it takes almost a whole day to cover them all. About 160 miles, about half on the South Carolina side of the lake and the other half on the Georgia side of the lake.
At the end of the season when the campgrounds close, the gate houses have all their equipment removed, such as radios, phones, computers, TVs, cash registers, etc. to prevent them from being stolen during the closed season when no one is there to keep an eye on them.
We had a load of fire extinguishers from the gate houses that were given their annual service and we dropped them off at the buildings.
Simple work, but important and it was good to give a look over of the gate houses to make sure there are no problems or any vandalism. The electronic gear will be moved in as it gets closer to the season and the gate house staff personnel arrive.
One task we weren’t involved in but many of the other volunteers participated in was with the Christmas Tree recycling program. The trees were spread around to the many boat ramps around the lake to be dropped in the water for fish habitats.
The volunteers headed out with portable drills to drill holes in the tree trunks for eye bolts to be screwed in, which rope and weights like cinder blocks can be attached to anchor the trees in the water.
We went out instead to do some more boundary line inspections and pin hunting. We’ve come to enjoy this work and we’re getting pretty good at it. We get to walk around all kinds of places, from deep in the woods,
to around boat docks,
as well as houses built around the lake.
Sometimes those pins are very visible and we find them quickly. Often the pins are marked with a fiberglass pole. We still have to look for and verify the pin is there because over the years, the poles have been know to be moved by people or even removed so they can construct houses, fences and other structures on COE property.
Here is a fence built six feet over the boundary line, an example of why the lines need to be inspected. You can see the boundary line’s orange mark on the tree.
Here a person built their deck and fish pond over the COE property.
Every once an a while, the pins are really difficult to find, or we never find them. We searched for a pin location near a scrap wood pile. We got plenty of false signals because of old nails in the ground.
We dug several holes after getting hits with the metal detector.
We finally realized the pin was buried under the scrap wood pile. Can you see the orange indicator dot on the tree?
How about now? The pin is buried under all that scrap wood.
The rangers will be contacting this homeowner to remove the wood pile. Glad that’s not in our job description!
Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.