Thursday, July 17, 2008

Squeezing in another update

Once again, I will be brief, because we've been going pretty much non-stop since our arrival.

One of the things that has occupied our time and attention has been the campground itself. We arrived after closing on Monday afternoon, so we could only assume availability of this site for one night. Tuesday morning, when we checked back in at the office, their computer reservation system was down, and they could again only guarantee one more night. By Wednesday morning, when we tried to nail it down for the rest of our stay, all the 50-amp sites were reserved for Thursday night. So, again, all we could get was one additional night. We did, however, pre-reserve this same spot starting Friday night, and through the 26th.

We've been checking back with the office several times since yesterday morning; today they determined mid-morning that we could stay right where we are. So when we came home for lunch, we paid an additional night, and got our passes in order out through the 26th. But that meant we were in the campground office, for 20 minutes or so each time (the TPWD system is very slow and cumbersome): Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday morning, and Thursday at lunch time. Call it almost two hours to finally book a site for two weeks. To their credit, they worked really hard to get us this spot tonight, even though it was nominally reserved. I think our Red Cross status helped a bit (we've been wearing ID, and driving the aforementioned well-marked vehicle). They've also offered to work with us if we need to extend past their normal 14-day maximum.

In the meantime, we've been quite busy at the office. Tuesday and some of Wednesday was spent cleaning and repairing laser printers, and we came home both nights more or less covered in a fine coating of toner dust. I've spent most of the time since then cleaning and repairing ink-jet printers, and my fingers are still nearly black. Louise has been kitting computers. This afternoon I got to spend half an hour troubleshooting a minor electrical problem on one of the Emergency Communications Response Vehicles, which was a nice diversion from printers.

This afternoon after we returned home, one of our readers, Kevin, happened to wander by, and we had a nice chat for a few minutes. We agreed to try to get together sometime later in our stay here. We cooked in tonight, our first opportunity since arriving. Fortunately, we managed to get our Red Cross debit cards in order Tuesday by driving over to the Austin chapter, and we've been using those to eat out. We were also able to put most of the camping fees directly on one of the cards; this weekend, we'll reimburse our mileage and the rest of the camping and en-route meals, which will leave us with a slim balance for the rest of our stay. We'll have to get funds added before we are done here.

I think we'll be off all weekend, which makes this experience very different from a normal Red Cross deployment. That will give us a chance to recharge a bit, and get the house straightened back up from our mad dash south.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sending Red Cross a donation tomorrow....Thanks for your hard work!


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