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Monday, December 16, 2013

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

I wish every day here at J. Strom Thurmond COE was cutting edge, with excitement around every corner.  But as we all know, sometimes life is boring, no matter where you may be.  We do try and find the good and interesting in every day and keep positive, after all, we are living our dream.  Even when we’re “grounded” whilst waiting on the Veterans Administration.  But that is a topic for a whole other post (rant).

One fun task was decorating a Christmas Tree at the Thurmond Visitor Center.  One of the rangers went out on the woods and cut down a tree, it turned out to be a very tall Charlie Brown tree.  Of all the hundreds of thousands of trees all over the COE land, this is the best the ranger could find? (LOL)

We accepted the challenge and with Mike, Terri, Norma, Marti and I, we did our very best to make the tree rival the NYC Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.


We missed that mark by way more than a country mile, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Just one more ornament.


Today, Marti and I set out on another patrol of the Thurmond Lake’s many campgrounds.  Marti, as usual was my navigator.  Armed with a plethora of maps and our GPS, we set out in a Park Ranger truck.


Although all but one campground is closed for the season, they still need to watched over.  Each campground has a “sitter” volunteer couple, who actually live on the campground properties to keep an eye on things and be a presence to prevent vandalism and keep unauthorized people out of the campgrounds.


During the Christmas season, many of the folks take some time off and go home for the holidays.  Some of them take their RVs with them, leaving the site empty.


There are still equipment storage buildings to be checked to ensure they are locked.


We even looked over the satellite dishes to make sure there were no problems.


Other folks leave their trailers at the campground and go home in their cars.  We checked all around the RVs to ensure they were secure and there were no problems.  We take care of our own.  :c)


Also checked were the gate houses, all were locked securely.


Crazy as it may sound, we also checked each heavy steel gate, too, to make sure they were locked and there was no signs of tampering. 


Not terribly exciting, but necessary work.  The COE is a good steward of the American taxpayer’s property.  We’re glad to be doing our part.  It is very satisfying work and it’s a good feeling to be giving something back and help care for our beautiful natural resources.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. I never mind assignments like that. I'd rather be out and about instead of in an office.

  2. You guys made the tree look nice, despite it's 'Charlie Brownness'. I'm with you, however, we love to be outside. We feel a bit of pride in keeping the forest roads clean and free of trash!

  3. Have you thought about timing this event. With your need for speed this could be an outlet for some pent up energy.

  4. Our kind of job...outside checking on stuff;o)) We love the COE parks and appreciate all the volunteers that make them possible...Thanks!!!!

  5. Never really thought about camp hosts to keep an eye on things during the winter but it makes sense. No wonder that place was in such great condition when we visited there last may. Thanks for all your efforts in season and out.

  6. It's good to know that you both are on patrol. It's sad to know though that there are those who break in and cause havoc over the holidays.

  7. I'm with the COE (USACE) in Seattle! Only 24 months to go and hopefully I'll have my own RV adventures! Thank you for all the work you do for the public.

  8. With all the lights, that tree looks very nice. Thanks for watching over our property for us!!

  9. If you are there next year perhaps you could volunteer to go get a better tree. Surely on all that property there are some beauties. I think the job of monitoring an empty campground is one I could easily handle. Where do I sign up???

  10. If you are not careful, they are going to want you to stay! Then what will you do?

  11. That tree needed to be loved and made beautiful. You did a good job.

  12. You guys are going to know every inch of that park.

  13. Those days give you a purpose to get out and about and can be rewarding, enjoy the fresh air.

  14. America can sleep soundly tonight knowing that Ranger Paul is on patrol.

    Nice job on that Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

  15. Three Christmas trees decorated. How many more to go? ;-)

  16. COE parks have always been our favorite. Thanks for taking such good care of them :)