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Thursday, October 3, 2013

We’re Still Here

Sometimes miracles happen.  Despite the crazy government shutdown which has shuttered Corps of Engineers (COE) parks and campgrounds across the country, here at J. Strom Thurmond COE recreation area, money has been found to keep things up and running until October 19th.  After that, if Congress has not figured out a way to solve this mess, things may change.  We shall see.

Today we had to go to the visitor center and meet with our supervising ranger for orientation. We were in a large conference room with fellow volunteers filling out form after form and getting the lowdown on different jobs that needed to be filled.  All while being watched over by Strom Thurmond himself.


We’ve been given a list of jobs to pick from and we have to let the ranger know what we’d like to take on next Monday.  In the mean time, we have an on line driver education course we have to complete over the weekend to be able to drive the COE vehicles.  Hope I pass.

After the orientation, Marti and I drove around some of the areas on Thurmond Lake to familiarize ourselves with the facilities.

The dam creates the lake with water from the Savannah River.  The lake side,


and the down river side.


The dam also generates electricity.  There is a huge electrical grid to deliver the juice to surrounding cities and towns.


There are some really nice beaches,


and the COE even provides loaner life jackets. 


Marti and I have been bouncing back and forth our thoughts on which jobs we’d like to take on.  No matter what, the rangers are thrilled to have volunteers helping run and maintain the area.  Last fiscal year, volunteers saved this COE area $421,000.  Nice to see a government program that actually saves the taxpayers money. :c)

We’ll know by Monday what jobs we’ll be doing.  The jobs are all interesting and no matter what we do, it will be fun and worth doing.

In the mean time, we’re enjoying some wonderful weather and fantastic sunsets.  :c)



Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. I'm sure you'll do OK on the driving test (just being a *tad* tongue in cheek here). Wouldn't ya think that if you showed up and parked a big assed motorhome without crashing into anything, that maybe you could drive one of their piddly COE vehicles?
    At least it's on line.

  2. Boy that's sure a young picture of Strom. You'd better do a good job or the older Strom may come back and fillabuster you. :-) Sounds like the COE has a great plan for using volunteers. Give them a choice of what needs doing and provide great working conditions. I think you've got yourself a winner here. Looking forward to lots more of those sunsets.

  3. Oh good! Looks like we will have a week there :) Keep our spot warm for us :)

  4. I can see you are going to have fun there. I hope they have jobs that do not require driving-you know- just in case you have brain freeze on the test:)

  5. I always wondered how some places could come up with money to keep things running and others can't do it. Glad you lucked out for a few days anyhow. Love that sunset. And I love the fact they have loan life jackets. More and more lakes are providing these and that is such a great idea especially for kids.

  6. Good to see your gig is still on and that you are looking forward to it. We have not yet workamped, so it is interesting for us to see how it goes. I would find it hard to work for a park named after Strom--just saying--even though it looks like a beautiful place.

  7. I can't wait to see what you pick. I'm thinking something to do with boats.

  8. Is there a limit on how far you can drive one of those COE vehicles in a day? You might have to dial it back a notch!

    Nice photos. Looks like a beautiful park and a wonderful place to stay while doing something good for our country. Thanks for volunteering.

  9. Glad you get to stay for now. We were headed to Buck Hall Recreation Area near Charleston on Saturday and it is locked up tight...needed to make other reservations;o(( You've found a great gig...we loved our time at MODOC and the surrounding area. Lots to see and do!!!

  10. Looks like a nice area there. And great that you get your vacation before you start work.

  11. I wonder how many other of our parks found money to stay open for awhile longer? There's no way of knowing without physically going there because they closed down the websites too.
    That looks like a beautiful park and one we will definitely visit one day.

  12. Looks like you found a perfect job especially since you're not collecting a big paycheck there. How'd you "worm" into that one? You've got a great site, in a great place and bosses who are no longer getting paid to boss you. That's a job we'd all like.

  13. It's nice you get a choice. What do they do if everyone picks the same jobs?

  14. If it's the same defensive driving course I had to take this spring, it's not a snap. I suggest you pay close attention to the details. ;)

  15. Don't you fear Sen. Strom's eyes burning into the back of your head while your asleep in your rig? A truly scary man!

    You'd better not put the pedal to the metal for your driving test.