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Old 09-19-2008, 03:35 AM   #21
c214dick
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Louise and I are currently at Chatfield State Park in Colorado. Having spent 2 weeks getting here from Northern Illinois, we feel safe in comparing Illinois to Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado.

During our trip here we stayed at state or county parks when ever possible. We are also a stones throw from Illinois Beach State Park in Northern Illinois. All of the parks we have visited are beautiful, well maintained with professional acting staff, except Illinois. Illinois raised it's rates to an unbelievable $35/for holidays and $25 for regular weekends. They do offer $20 for seniors and vets on non holidays only and only week days. Illinois Beach is staffed with a minimum of 6 sites occupied by campground hosts. The condition of their RVs, with the exception of 1 or 2 are disgusting. The jobs of the hosts are to help at the nature center and at the campground registration hut.

Illinois Beach's main lodge was outsourced years ago to a private company to help off set the cost of running the park. We have not been to the park because of the cost and the lack of programs, friendliness, and ameneties. You see I forgot to mention that you only get 30 amp electric for the fees. The two full hook up sites are occupied by 2 of the 6 hosts. The campground hosts also seem to occupy most of the handicap sites s well. There are water hook ups through out the campground to fill your holding tank, when they work.

We are lucky though, because about 20 miles to the north is a great county park in Racine, Wi.

"Hot Rod" our esteem governor, can be blamed for a lot of things and I'm sorry that I voted for him. But if the parks being closed are any evidence of what we have experienced in our own back door than so be it. We will continue to enjoy and pay for the fruits of other states labors.
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:27 PM   #22
sailer
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If the state parks charged the same as private parks , then everyone would be happy as the private park pays taxes and the state park takes taxes, its the blind leading the blind to let goverment run anything, you must pay the bills or raise revenue, its simple as that , not a petion , get a petion to raise the fees as the private does so now it makes money and then they will be there,,, sailer
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:44 PM   #23
bsmeaton
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The only difference John:

In a private, the wife and sister run the store, the husband maintains the utilities, and the kids pitch in on weekends and summers when they come out to visit.

At the State Park, there are a fleet of 14 maintenance vehicles, 18 Rangers, and 65 compensated volunteers hogging the prime spots.
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:22 AM   #24
Montana_3118
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John
Illinois did raise prices to the point that on a major holiday it is almost as cheap to stay in a private camp ground. This is a political move by our Governor to get his way.





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Old 12-09-2008, 11:26 AM   #25
mail2us
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Hopefully the Ill parks will reopen as the leader goes out the back door.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:37 AM   #26
birdie
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Dennis I think it may take a long time for things to get back to normal after all the things Rod has done for or to us.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:10 PM   #27
c214dick
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At least we can finally say "good bye to Hot Rod" before the next election.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:49 PM   #28
Driftwoodgal
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I read the headlines on AOL this morning, but didn't have time to read the article. My cousin from Kickapoo called and left a voice message on my cell phone that "my running buddy" was busted.

I ran in the Steamboat Classic that is held in Peoria every year. At the end of the race the Gov came up to me, shook my hand, and started a conversation, actually talking to me for about 10 minutes. I had no clue who he was at the time. I just mentioned that I was up there visiting from Texas and running in the race. After he left my cousin asked me if I knew who I had been talking to? Nope...... I guess it was Slick Willie She has never been real fond of Slick Rod.

Sorry the state has to go through the mess he has created.

Colleen
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:01 AM   #29
c214dick
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I'm not sure but I think the state of Illinois is in first place for corrupt/convicted governors.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:11 AM   #30
simonsrf
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We've been in so many wonderful state parks out west. Normally, when we get there on a weekday, we are the only ones there, and have a pick of sites. On weekends, the parks usually get near capacity depending on how remote they are from the main roads.

One point though. Something I feel has not been addressed; baby boomers still appreciate the outdoors, the ability to 'rough' it for a few days, it gives them the satisfaction to go back to the 9-5 job and know that on another weekend they can go back and get away from the stupid politics, worries and frustrations of their jobs.

The youth of today, they grew up with park closings; most have never slept in a tent, or roasted a marshmallow on an open fire. If asked they would prefer to spend their time on a computer or in front of the TV playing their video games. Outdoors?? Why? they would say. They need instant gratification and don't have the patience to look for their own outdoor stimulation. Rarely do we see kids camping, and we spend a lot of time in these parks.

When these people start paying state/federal taxes, the situation is not going to get any better. We are now seeing that very scenario.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:33 AM   #31
CmdrDewey
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by bsmeaton

The only difference John:

In a private, the wife and sister run the store, the husband maintains the utilities, and the kids pitch in on weekends and summers when they come out to visit.

At the State Park, there are a fleet of 14 maintenance vehicles, 18 Rangers, and 65 compensated volunteers hogging the prime spots.
I was going to ignore that comment but I can't any longer. I am one of those camp hosts. I am compensated. I get a site with sewer. Everyone in the park gets electric, water and basic cable so I get those as well. My wife and I are supposed to work a total of 24 hours per week. We haven't worked less that 34 hours a week since we have been here. (our choice-not required) It would cost us $120.00 per week so we work for $3.50/hr. I am NOT complaining, that is our choices. Our site is not in a prime location. It is right next to the main camp road and right next to the rest rooms. (we call them comfort stations) My porch light is on every night until 10:30. Our gate locks at 10 and about three nights a week we have someone come in late and need help. That is not included in our hours. I clean comfort stations, rake and clean sites, pick up cigarette butts and the occasional broken beer bottle, patrol the hiking trails for litter and offer advice to many that ask. My wife helps with all of the above and in addition works in the Interpretative Center and in the park pass booth. The Interpretive Center is not usually open on Tuesday but she opened it yesterday for a couple that were leaving but really wanted to see it.

We have two well used pick-ups that used to be used by the two rangers. We also have two Kawasaki Mules that are ancient. the floor boards on both are rusted out and neither have a top or windshield with makes them rather unpleasant in bad weather. We also have an old golf cart and one other cart that is a lemon. the hosts use the mules and the golf cart and paid maintenance people use the other cart. Two maintenance positions are presently vacant and will not be filled. All kinds of stuff that needs to be fixed is being stored in the shop until after the first of the year when a host comes that is a mechanic. He spends most of his time in the shop. One of the reasons this and many other parks can stay open is because of the hosts. There are three couples presently here and I can tell you all six of us far exceed the requirements. This park is able to fill most of the host sites but I was in a park in Florida and the manager essentially begged us to stay.

Rather than sitting around sniping and making snide comments why don't you become part of the solution. Find a park that needs a host and then you too can have one of the primes spots (not). Offer your talents to help keep parks open. State and national parks offer a different outdoor experience than commercial parks and except for some concessionaire operated parks, don't usually compete directly with commercial parks. We like both. When we leave here we are going to a commercial park for three months to play.

Your comments were uncalled for and reflect a lack of understanding of the contributions made by the vast majority of camp hosts as well as the challenges facing public recreation as a whole.

David Whittier
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:43 AM   #32
Mrs. CountryGuy
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Robbie,

Are you visiting these parks in the summer?? I don't know much about any other state parks, other than Michigan.

But, whewieeee, our parks are full of kids during the summer, little rug rats all over the place, fishing, swimming, hiking, and burning marshmallows.

We even get a lot of kids (as in under 18 years of age, not those of us that are over 55! ) on weekend in the fall. Gotta say, our parks that host a Halloween bash, are booked to the tilt, and it is almost impossible to get a reservation.

Anyway, send names of quiet parks, as in whereever you go, with no rug rats. Sometimes that is wonderful. Other times, we welcome the screaming screatching wonders of nature, our children and grandchildren!
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:58 AM   #33
simonsrf
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Carol,

We're old folks and only have patience for our own grand kids, so we do pay attention when there are kids in the state or federal parks.

Yes, there are kids there, but we've been camping for a very long time before fulltiming in the RV. The trend we see, and we may be wrong, but there are so few families camping any more. This may be just a west coast phenomenon, but we do notice.

We are not big fans of camping in the huge national parks like Yosemite, but on a recent trip to Yosemite in October, we stayed about 70 miles from the the valley floor at Yosemite to avoid the ratrace, and then drove to the valley, and even there, we saw very few kids. We would never go to those large parks during the "out-of-school" months, but do notice the lack of kids trend on the weekends, everywhere.

It is funny that this topic grew into this, Alice and I were just talking about how we could fly our grandkids to where we're camping to take them to see something different than their city life. We have 4 sons, and they have wives who would not think of sleeping in a tent....they would prefer to stay at home and play with their computers, but we might have a chance with the grand kids!

BTW, my little database analyst just told me that we have camped in 140 different locations since we started fulltiming.

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Old 12-16-2008, 01:44 PM   #34
campbud
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I just really hope that there is a chance to get our state parks back...I also wonder what will happen to the prison in Pontiac IL that he wanted to close?
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:35 PM   #35
c214dick
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They may have to keep the prison open for him.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:59 AM   #36
debnmike
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We know where hid mind is now, don't we, trying to cover up anything he can. I hope none of these closures took place. Does an impeachment negate otheractions??!??
How sad
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