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Wednesday, May 6, 2015


It's drizzling  rain this morning, so I will take a break from campfire pit cleaning and write this blog.

Yesterday our camphosting site was the major hubbub of activity in the park!  At 8 a.m. volunteer Jeff came with all the gear and his truck to take care of a "widowmaker" on the lot right across the road from us.  See?

We noticed it last week and had to caution tape it off and relocate the folks who had this site reserved.  This big branch was dangling perilously overhead and the whole tree needed to come down.  Jeff is a real go-getter with the Friends of High Cliff group.  If something needs to get done at the park, and it's not in the meager state budget, call on Jeff. He will find a way to get 'er dun!  

Without the help of volunteers like Jeff and the Friends of High Cliff, very little extra stuff could ever be done around the park due to the steep budget cuts on the state end of things.  Instead of the expense of calling in a tree cutting company, we call on Jeff!

I managed to get a shot as the tree came crashing down----

And there it lays, ready to be cut up.
Soon to be many hours of campfire fun for park visitors! 

Now another volunteer came to help Steve and Jeff, this one named Ben.  While he was busy cutting up the rest of the tree into firewood (which the Friends Group sells to park customers to help fund their projects)  none of the firewood sales is state park revenue.  The money derived from the firewood sales by the Friends Group all stays here in the park. This is used for many great improvements like our Butterfly Pond, the restoration of the General Store and other wonderful enhancements we would not otherwise have.

Now, another project was needing attention! 

Steve and Jeff now brought out the "Big Boy Sandbox Toys"!   
Steve hauled out an ancient cement mixer that attaches to the tractor.  It hasn't been used in a long time, but he got it operational. Jeff started preparing the ground in front of the camphost site.

See, this is what was going to happen:  An eagle scout volunteer was making us a new kiosk sign for down by the Lime Kiln display. What a great donation to earn his badges!  Rather than just toss the old kiosk, it was being repurposed to a new location up here at the camphost site.

Originally, the legs of the kiosk were long and supported the sign well in the dirt down at it's original location.  But now up here at the camphost site, the shelf layer of limestone rock is only about 20 inches down in the ground, not enough to hold up the heavy kiosk.   This meant a base of concrete needed to be poured.

Jeff manned the big backhoe device to clear a spot, and then lifted the kiosk up into the air to move it into position.  The dogs were very excited to see this big stuff making noise right alongside of our motorhome.  It made their day!

Steve measured the needed depth on the legs and cut them to size.  Soon they had it leveled and into place, with the cement forms built around it.

The cement mixer operated well, and they got the cement poured into the form.  This is a good thing to know the cement machine works, because some people donated two commemorative park benches that needed to be set into concrete later today.  Now that Steve knows the machine works properly, it will save on park labor to mix the cement correctly instead of trying to use the instant bag post stuff.


Do you know how HARD it was for me to resist putting my initials in that fresh cement???  I had to slap my hands numerous times to keep myself away from it.  ARGGGHHH!!!!!

There.... done! 

Well, almost.   A volunteer is now making a row of bins to hold brochures along the bottom edges of the kiosk for information.

Ben finished up the wood cutting and hauling and loading... and soon our campsite was back to normal.  

The sun is starting to poke out now, so I am going out to finish cleaning the campfire pits in the campground today.  Maybe I will even get to the large ones in the group campsites too!  


  1. Love the "Friends Of" groups! They're so wonderful!


  2. I hope that kiosk roof won't make getting into/out of your site as challenging as it looks like it might.

    Our local state park got new (apparently obnoxious) management and all the "friends of" quit. I have not been over there lately to see what impact that has had. I doubt anyone is managing the bluebird houses now, though, and I'm sure the ice cream social is a thing of the past. Be thankful you have good management.

    1. Nope, the kiosk is over far enough, it just looks that way in the pic.
      The entry to the campsite is wide and there is a real angle to it that you don't see in the pic. It's wide enough to park two cars side by side and still fit the gator or mule alongside of that too.

      That is too bad about the management causing trouble with your friends group! We are SO LUCKY to have Linda Guelig here running our park. She used to be a Visitor Services worker, then Office Manager, then became a Ranger and now is our acting Park Superintendent. She really motivates the workers, great with the patrons and keeps the Friends of the Park happy too!

  3. I always wonder were the money from the wood sales goes. I hope most parks keep it inhouse. The trees don't seem to have many leaves on yet, but I bet theey will very soom!

    1. Some parks allow wood vendors to come in and sell wood... but our park the wood is fully cut, split, stacked, and sold by the Friends of High Cliff. They do all the work, and use all the funds for the projects in the park. What a great group!

  4. Great work was completed by all! What a team!

  5. I think that you are having too much fun!

    1. Hazel.. you know us.. we ALWAYS have too much fun! hahahaha

  6. Sounds like you have way more excitement going on at your park, than what we have going on here. Our whole last week has been working on clearing up all of last years leaves and trying to get the campsites into shape. We only have one more week and a couple of days to go before we are officially open for the season. The kiosk looks great, it is so nice that they have so many volunteers to help out.


    1. Steve got a couple volunteers to blow out the leaves from each campsite a few weeks ago already. They have a big blower attachment that goes on the back of the tractor. With the high fire dangers around here, they need to get the leaves far away from the firepits.


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