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Old 08-02-2022, 01:57 PM   #1
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I have finally reached Nirvana!

As a follow up to this post:

I have finally reached Nirvana! Yep, my campground host gig has finally become reality! For the entire month of August, my wife and I are campground hosts at Pilot Mountain State Park, in North Carolina.

We arrived August 1. Prior to that we spent 7 nights at Brown County State Park (Indiana), and then Sunday night (July 31) at Fox Fire (Milton, West Virginia) KOA, and then drove on to Pilot Mountain State Park on August 1.

We arrived about about 1:15 pm, checked in at the park office, got settled in on the camp host site and then met with the Park Manager at 3:00 pm for an orientation to our duties and responsibilities as a campground host. I had a lot of questions and he gave us a lot of information. When everything was said and done, I was really overwhelmed. but excited as can possibly.

My wife and I went for a 3 mile walk, around the campground and along the main road to begin to familiarize ourselves with everything.

This morning (Tuesday), got up and hit the job running. What a great day! What a nice State Park. Everyone we encountered was super friendly, helpful, and excited we were here.

So, the dream I've carried for about the last 15 years finally happened and I couldn't be happier, even if I were a flea buried under the coat of a Saint Bernard in the middle of winter!

Now, a word about Pilot Mountain State Park. My wife pointed out to me that we are really in a very "special" and "unique" position right now, and we are experiencing something that a lot of people never will. In fact, if we were not campground hosts, we would never come to this camp at this state park. Why?

Because this campground is 100% primitive camping there is no electricity, no dump stations, and common water spigots through the camp site area. There are 2 modern shower/bath houses with modern bathrooms. No pit toilets. There are 2 sites that would accommodate a 40 foot camper (no hook-ups at all), and generators are permitted until 11 PM. Quiet hours are 11 pm to 7 am.

The only exception is the site designed for the campground host, which does have full hook-ups. Considering we do not boom dock and we always camp where there is at least electric on site, this is a state park we would have never, ever camped at. So, that's why I say, this is really unique opportunity for us ... and we get it for the entire month! Wow!

Now, because there is no electricity on the the sites, that means ... yep ... you already know where this is going ... don't you!...... this means there are no Las Vegas lights at night blaring across the campground, blinding every campfire in the park. And oh my goodness, was it dark last night! So wonderful!

We are not turning on our outside lights after dark at all, unless we are actually walking in or out of the camper. Beside the front door is an electric panel for the camp site. The park installed a small motion sensor light right there that stay lit for about 3 minutes and then goes dark again if there is no motion. And that's perfect!

So, my complaining and belly-aching about light pollution at night can be silenced for the next 30 days. And when returning back to RV style campgrounds, I suppose I'll be complaining and belly-aching again, and again, and again how utterly non-sensical it is to have lights at night that resemble a gigantic Christmas Tree on the Las Vegas strip or one gigantic night club or disco dance hall ball!

And, it's so darn quiet here too, it's awesome! And oh yea ... I get to use the "Bobcat" ... 4 wheeler thing sitting there too!

Nirvana! Oh yes! My dream is now reality! How wonderful it is to be able to spend my retirement in a place like this ... well ... at least 1 month of retirement!

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
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Old 08-02-2022, 02:12 PM   #2
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Congratulations on reaching nirvana!
When we were at Mayberry this spring I looked into that park and saw that it was primitive.
You’re right, we won’t be going there. You’ll need to be on your best behavior, all those primitive campers will be checking your gig out pretty closely as they add your life to their bucket list
Enjoy, sounds great!

Memo to self: leave the cap lights off if I am camping near Dutchmen
Mark & Karen
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Old 08-02-2022, 09:17 PM   #3
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After a busy day of walking, driving the Bobcat, meeting new folks, walking the campground, tending to the campsites, and studying out tomorrow's reservation list, I found myself exhausted, but at the same time thrilled and unable to go to bed and sleep. My wife hit the sheets and she was snoring within seconds. Me, not so fortunate. My brain will not shut off and is in over drive. So, I decided I would take the little girl doggie outside and stretch out on the umbrella folding love seat camping chair and enjoy the night sky.

And how magnificent it was too! First, the bugs or critters or whatever they are, chirping (these are not crickets), making a symphony of rhythmic melody. I laid back with little dogging on my chest, her nose under my chin against my neck, closed my eyes and just listened. It was awesome! The crickets, or cascades, or whatever they are sang in unison, rising to a crescendo and then down again, lulling my sense of sound, drifting my mind off into another world of existence, so beautiful, so peaceful (so loud).

The next thing i noticed was the little girl dog breathing under my chin, on my neck; in-out.... in-out ... I felt her warmth and sensed her loyalty as she seemed to melt into my chest. Her breathing was almost hypnotic what I really paid attention.

I finally opened my eyes which had now adjusted to the dark. I suppose I'd been outside for about 20 minutes when I finally looked up. The sky was dark, with a haze of light cast by the brilliant star light. No clouds anywhere, no moon that I could see, just the pure night sky through the tops of the trees. In the midst of the darkness, the stars twinkled. I staring at them. And the longer I stared, the brighter they became. No need for a telescope or binoculars. The human eye is much more sensitive to faint light than we we give it credit for. Soon, I realized I could see, what seemed like to be, a million stars! The more I studied, the more I could see. Amazing! Spectacular!

I gazed upward and then I saw it. I had not seen one for over 50 years ... a shooting star! It lasted for only a mere 2 seconds, but it was enough to fill the thoughts and imagination for a lifetime at the thought of how far that bit of rock burning in our atmosphere had to travel to give me,.... yes, just me .... a two second light show.

It was now I signed a breath of such relief. I muttered a little "Thank-you Lord for this marvelous blessing."

My eyes were now taking in the full night sky. The stars were all shining bright as diamonds in the sky. I could feel the night air beginning to cool on my face and hands. Petting that little girl doggie as she so wonderfully laid there on my chest with that nose still buried in my neck. Now I'm feeling her warm breath against the cooling night air. Another awesome experience!

I had forgotten how perfect an experience like this truly is! Not since my childhood, when I was, 11 years old, when us boys would all get together with our cots and blankets, gathered together at our favorite spot under a solitary tree at that rustic campground where our parents parked their travel trailers for the season. There was no running water, no bath houses, no electricity. Campfires created light for the night and that was the extent of it. We'd lay in our cots, look up at the night sky, count the stars, listen to the bull frogs croaking and the crickets chirping, and in the far distance, our parents laughing around their own campfire. We'd tell stories ourselves, laugh, joke, carry on, and eventually fall asleep only to wake up in the morning with the sun just cracking over the horizon and covered by a sheet of dew on the tops of our own blankets.

Not since my childhood have I experienced such a marvelous night as tonight. Sad, I must now go to bed. But, tomorrow is another day to be ever so thankful for this amazing opportunity I've been given to not only enjoy such a great camping experience, but to also give back to others to help them experience such a joy as this too!
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
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Old 08-03-2022, 08:32 AM   #4
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Your descriptions of the stars brings back a lot of memories. As a kid our family and friends used to camp out under the stars any where we could find a good place away from every one else. No facilities at all. No tents. Just army surplus cots under the stars. Coleman stoves and lanterns. And a great view of the milky way.

35 years ago we could see the milky way from our backyard here at home. No more. Growth and the associated light pollution makes it hard to see anything but the brightest starts and planets. Miss that.

Enjoy your new adventure.
Bill & Patricia
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:26 AM   #5
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I get to see when you are talking about almost every day. The bugs singing almost every afternoon, the stars, the moon and I feel so blessed. It never gets old. I saw a program just last week about Appalachia. They ended at Shenandoah National Park on Big Meddow late in the evening with the bugs singing. I thought that was the best part of the show.

If you are looking for another place check out the camps at Lake Momaw in Bath County Va. it’s a 2500 acre lake with water tested clean enough to drink. It’s close to Hot Springs Va, resort and a word away. In Hot Springs there is fine dining and world class golf. It was the home of Sammy Sneade.
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:45 AM   #6
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For a number of years we worked for Fish and Wildlife all over the country. Wherever we were, we locked the gate at 5pm and had the whole place to ourselves or one or two other couples. Loved that private camping feeling.
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