Now that we've filled you all in on where we live, it's probably a good time to tell you what we actually do here - our positions as Park Facility Operators (PFOs).
If you are late to the party, Derek and I are the new Park Managers of Fintry Provincial Park. This is our 6th year working at a campground for the spring, summer and fall - our 5th with BC Parks - government owned parks and campgrounds within the province of British Columbia.
For all of our Americans followers - these parks are similar to your State Parks. The difference however is that ours are not managed by Rangers with volunteer camp hosts as yours are. BC has Rangers but their territory is very large - overseeing many Provincial Parks. The actual parks are managed and maintained by PFOs - a paid position - we do have volunteer camp hosts at the larger parks with the responsibilities of answering questions/concerns and selling firewood and/or ice.
In the past, Derek and I have worked at smaller Parks - those requiring only two employees - the two of us. We liked having to just put up with each other as colleagues. We were two years each at Skihist and Gold Pan Provincial Parks and Kentucky-Alleyne.
That was good but we realized that we could find parks with accommodation and an increase in wage if we looked for larger ones. At Fintry we have found those things with the Manager position but with more work and responsibilities (of course!) - but we also will have four employees at the height of summer. We are happy that we made the change.
There are many facets to our positions which is one of the things that appeals to us. It's multi tasking at it's finest. Everyday we are cleaning, maintaining, landscaping, painting, assisting/talking to campers, enforcing rules, security, managing the staff, accounting, inspecting, documenting and so on. It's rarely dull. Interestingly, one of my favourite jobs as a PFO is raking the gravel sites. I've spent hundreds (maybe thousands now) of hours and walked many miles doing it and don't mind at all. Derek on the other hand prefers the lawn mowing and weed whacking.
And that's why this job works for us - we each have skills and experiences that suit different parts of the job and we each have our task preferences. Together we get all the jobs done - or can figure them out anyway.
It's not easy - and some days are down right frustrating but that's with most jobs - right?! Overall, we love that we can work together, have Cassia with us and work physically in a beautiful place. I'm sure I've talked about this before in another post. But it's as true as much now as it ever was.
We've loved all the parks we have been at for different reasons - but most had a 50 - 50 of good to bad. Here at Fintry we feel that we have reached the height of good. We hope this is the first of many years as the Park Mangers.
Hmmm - well I have gone on tonight haven't I!
Let's get to some pictures......
Our new uniforms. Nice jackets - perfect for the temperatures right now but cumbersome to work in - we can't wait until it is shirt and short time!
Derek in the distance blowing the sites. The first thing we do to clean the campground up is to blow the roads and sites - which cleans up much of the needles and cones. Then we just need to fine tune with rakes. It took us one day to go around and clean out the fire pits.
In total we took out about 10 truck loads of large fir and pine limbs. More then in the past but they had a huge wind storm here through the winter that took down a lot of branches.
A nice clean site. Sorry - I forgot to take a 'before' shot.
Cassia is laughing because I was telling her to 'just hold on' so I could take a picture but she was losing hold of the tree.
The Wood Clan tree hugger!
Here's Britt our first employee. She's a huge help - we are so happy to have her with us - it's her 6th year at Fintry.
Cleaning the eavestrough on the main shower building.
If you are wondering what Cassia does while we are both working in the morning - this is it. Actually, she does all sorts of things - often she spends the time outside of the truck - riding her bike, helping us, running around - or inside - drawing, playing with toys she's brought with her, games on the ipad or watching her dvd.
Big points for you if you saw that she has a banana tree on the left!
Derek went all out with the roof cleaning.
Weed picking. Actually not a job I mind in the cooler temperatures - a killer in the summer heat though. Thankfully Cassia still thinks that pulling weeds is fun.
Ahhh - the glamour jobs. Derek and I washed all the garbage and recycling containers together. Nice to start with fresh....
A new Marmento! Lots of Marmots around here.
It's all work but some of it is lots of fun! A few days ago we took the Bad Boy - ha! - our souped up camo golf cart - to see what it could do with our steep trail.
Not my favourite thing to do but I was brave!
At the top we walked the rest of the way to the waterfall - I great view of the historic buildings and neighbourhood below.
Ok - so we sort of took the easy route to get to the falls. Just how many times can you climb the 400 steps anyway - we need a break now and then.
The falls are going strong.
Cassia within the balsam arrowroot.
A picture for all you flower lovers out there - nice to see the bees.
Coming back down. I opted to walk this part - hey - someone had to take the picture! It's not near as nerve wracking from this angle.
Monday morning Britt and I got our recycling center organized in the compound. The pieces were scattered around we just had to put them in place. We sort our own beverage bottles and when we reach 25 - 30 bags the depot comes to collect them.
PFOs at BCP Sept. 2011
Welcome to Our Office April 2012
A Day in the Life of a Park Facility Operator Sept. 2012 A good post to really get an idea about how our days go.
Two Months Later June 2013
Our Summer Job April 2014
A Day in our Life June 2014
So, there you have it.
Now that the Easter Long Weekend is behind us, we are working towards continuing to clean the park to be ready for the kick off of the camping season - the May Long Weekend. Our next big task is staining all the tops of the 100 picnic tables. Phew.