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Ranger Dan's Diary

"A Hot Day"

July 17th

[swimming] Boy was it hot today! I bet all the people at the park beach were glad the water was so cool. I just wish I could have jumped into it with them, but I had work to do.

I started the day at eight in the morning by driving through the campground in the patrol squad. The other rangers worked until 3 o'clock this morning patrolling the same campground to make sure the campers had a quiet sleep last night. It was my job this morning to drive through the campgrounds to make sure everything was still okay.

[breakfast] As I was driving through the campground, some of the campers were just waking up and starting to cook breakfast; that bacon sure smelled good! A camper from campsite #27 came up to me and said that his family was awakened by loud noises on site #29 about 4 o'clock this morning. I soon found out that some people came into the park around 4 o'clock in the morning to set up their campsite. When I talked to the people at site #29, they said they were at a party all night and decided to go camping after the party ended. I explained to them that they woke up several other campers because they arrived so late and that they needed to buy a permit to camp in a State Park. They said they knew about the rules, but didn't think they would get caught. I wrote them a ticket for entering the park after 11:00 p.m. when the park was closed. They got really mad at me and left the park after I handed them the ticket. The camper on site #27 thanked me and said "My family will get a good night s sleep tonight!" It sure is hard to make everyone happy.

I had to direct traffic at the beach today because of all the people parking at the beach parking lots. I guess everyone wanted to go swimming. The cars kept streaming into the park as I waved my arms around and around to direct them to another parking lot. Some people still didn't want to follow my directions even though my patrol squad had flashing red and blue lights! Right in the middle of this traffic mess, a man's car overheated. A couple of people helped to push his car to the side of the road while I got some water to add to the radiator. That auto repair class I took in high school sure did come in handy! The man thanked us and went on to the beach.

[sand castle] After the traffic jam was over, I went on foot patrol (which means walking around), through the beach and picnic areas. The place was packed with people in swimming suits playing volleyball, throwing Frisbees, building sand castles, having picnics, and of course, swimming. I bet they used about a hundred gallons of sunscreen! I always get a lot of questions from people as I walk through the picnic areas; it must be the green and tan ranger uniform and badge that I wear. I get a lot of questions like "How s the fishing?" and "What's the weather forecast?" It's funny how everybody thinks I should know about the fishing when they[no cans]probably fish more than I do! Most of their questions are about why we have park rules like "no bottles and cans on the beach." It's because they might get lost in the sand and hurt someone. I remember one time when a little girl cut her foot on a piece of glass while she was swimming in the beach. The cut wasn't very bad, but I could see that it hurt. Her Mom brought her to me and I put some bandages on it. I'm glad I get first-aid training every year through my job! The little girl and her Mom smiled and thanked me for helping. I remember seeing their faces full of tears, but smiling, and thinking, "maybe I can make everyone happy."

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