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Monday, February 24, 2014

Back To Bridges

Unlike the last time we worked on inspecting footpath bridges in the pouring rain and sleet, we lucked out and had a beautiful, sunny day.   It just boggles the mind how much is involved in running all the campgrounds, day use areas and boat ramps at the J. Strom Thurmond COE.

We were able to consolidate tasks, because the area around Thurmond Lake is so vast, to save time, we also loaded up a bunch of computer equipment to re-equip the gate houses at many of the places we were going to today.

Inside the Thurmond Dam is a large storage area where the equipment is stored.  It took a while to dig out all the ones we were going to take along with us.


Once loaded up we headed out.  We stopped at the gate houses,


unlocked the doors, turned off the alarms and placed the gear inside.


We drove around the areas carefully.  Since most of the campgrounds are still closed for the season, the roads are covered with leaves and pine needles, making it difficult to see where you’re going at times.  We had a nice vehicle, so we picked our way extra carefully along the roads, I sure wouldn’t want to bend a fender on it.


Most of the footpath bridges are in great shape.


Still, we ran across a few that needed rebuilding. 


It’s important to find the damaged bridges so they can be rebuilt prior to the campgrounds opening.

One of the challenges (pains in the butt) of doing this job is the many closed gates that are in various places in the campgrounds.  Over the years, the locks on the gates have been changed and changed again, leaving few standard locks.


To be able to get into all the areas, I had to have a large assortment of master keys.  So many keys, in fact, that if I fell in the water, I’d sink right to the bottom (even with a life jacket!).


One more day and we’ll have all the 40 footpath bridges inspected.  It will be great to get this off our plate and move on to another task, whatever that will be.

It’s fun to be out in the woods and enjoying nature.  There have been several reports recently of Bigfoot sightings in the area.  We always keep our eyes “ripped” (as Owie calls it) but so far, Bigfoot has remained elusive.  We did find this, though (really) alongside the road to one of the campgrounds:


Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. I do think that inspecting bridges sounds like fun. As long as it is nice weather of course. Hope you get a great new assignment. Who could have put up that giant blue whatever it is??

  2. Just think of the paperwork if you dent a Gov vehicle:)

  3. Oh, I hope our gatehouse is properly stocked with computers! We'll have to have something to check in all those day use people :)

  4. Didn't know they had sharks in your neck of the woods!

  5. Sharks!? You both have been working for months! When are you going to stop and smell the roses?

  6. You should have let us know you were headed to "Shark Valley"...we just left there;o)) Glad you got some nice weather!!

  7. Oh I hope you have that place in tip top shape before Laurie and George arrive :)

  8. Who in the world put up that vicious looking blue thing? At least you're staying out of trouble while you're looking for Bigfoot.

  9. I hope that big blue shark wasn't put there for the entertainment of little children - it looks like it might eat them! When I enjoy our national and regional parks, I don't always think enough about all the volunteers it takes to keep those places in shape so we can enjoy them. If all that labor was paid at market prices, the public would have to pay way more to enjoy those facilities than we pay now. So thank you Paul and Marti (and all you other wonderful volunteers) for all you do to make our parks so pleasant - and a bargain to boot!!

  10. I still say that is one of the most fun sounding work camping jobs I've read about yet!

  11. Maybe your next assignment will be checking out Bigfoot sightings to see if the big Guys are in any need of repair or maintenance. That definitely looks like an east coast blue finned land shark to me............

  12. Great work on inspecting the bridges. Wouldn't want to fall in the water there with those big sharks around.

  13. Nice to get out and about, in the bush with a nice truck and great weather.

  14. I am surprised by the number of tasks they have for you! Variety is the spice of life.