Just One of Those Day’s

In addition to collecting the entry fee when Bill and I work the pay booth at San Tan Mountain Regional Park, we also always ask each customer if they would like a trail map of the park. With 10,000 acres, and just over 18,000 miles of pristine trails that allow hikers, bikers and horseback riders to explore the beauty of the lower Sonoran Desert, it is easy for someone to get lost if they are not familiar with the park. So a map is a must if you are new to the area. This also gives us an opportunity to remind and/or educate people that are going out to enjoy a day in the park about what they need to be careful of out there… which is always “yourself”.  

No, really, did you know that of the estimated 73 million people that go hiking annually, the number one cause of injury and death is when people go off the trail? Going off trail increases your chance of slipping, spraining or breaking something, and falling. Not to mention, it’s the best way to get lost. In the desert, the very climate people come to enjoy can prove to be lethal. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can BOTH lead to poor judgment, which are possibly the most common factors of desert fatalities.

A Golden Rule of any hiker/biker/rider is: Half way through your water = half way through your hike/ride.

Bill and I are learning so much about our beautiful desert. As Park Hosts, we are required to take classes that teach us how to teach other’s how to be safe when enjoying all our beautiful deserts have to offer. One of the first things we were trained on was that “The trails and mountains will always be here, you may not be! There is no animal that is specifically adapted to eat humans. We are scary, loud, noisy and big! As a general rule of Mother Nature, carnivores do not eat carnivores. (You don’t taste very good!) There are plenty of easier to catch and tastier herbivores out there for a carnivore to eat.

If you are LUCKY enough to see an animal like a bobcat or mountain lion, just as with any wildlife, do not approach it or feed it. Basic avoidance of any cat includes, not crouching or appearing smaller than they are, and not running or moving frantically. (Think of how you play with a house cat to grab their attention) Many people fear what’s going to get them in the desert. Unfortunately, by far, its people’s own behavior, poor planning, and poor judgment, that lead to the most injuries and fatalities in the desert.”

All that said is why we offer maps to every customer and use every opportunity we get to remind and/or educate them before they go out on their own in the desert…

San Tan Mountain Regional Park is the third busiest park within the Maricopa County Park System. So of course, we go through many, many park maps… so many, that we print off 100 maps everyday at the beginning of each shift. When printed properly… they look like this…on a 8×10 paper…Hold that thought… 🙂

P1040707

Saturday Bill and I worked the booth here at San Tan. It was going to be a VERY busy day, because we had Eagle Scouts coming in to work on a desert planting project to earn one of their badges. In addition, our Ranger, was hosting two Archery classes which always brings in a large crowd of people… (You can earn an archery certificate here for just the $6.00 entry fee into the park.  That would cost you at least $100.00 on the outside…) so imagine how many people that draws every month…

Now back to the maps.. Bill and I arrived at the booth about 40 minutes before our scheduled shift so Bill could walk the parking lot to make sure people that came in prior to the booth opening used the Iron Ranger to pay the $6.00 fee. If they don’t have the Iron Ranger envelope receipt or an annual pass receipt showing on their dashboard…, they get a failure to pay ticket… While Bill was walking the parking lot looking for failure to pay vehicles, I was in the pay booth getting set up to open for the day. So I naturally pulled up the printable forms and started printing off 100 park maps…

However, what I failed to notice before I hit the print button… was that I forgot to change the printer from the little receipt printer to the much larger office copier printer… NOT GOOD!! Not Good at ALL!!!

No, all of a sudden I had 100 tiny maps printing out on the receipt printer that prints out like any store receipt you’ve ever received much like this…

P1040708

OMG!!! You can just imagine the look on my face when I realized my mistake, and tried to cancel the print job, but it would not stop!! I clicked on the cancel print job over and over but it kept printing until the entire receipt roll, that had just been replaced, ran out… Now I’m trying to scoop up what seemed like miles of receipt paper, with little tiny maps printed on it, as it is now falling over the counter and onto the floor.. All I could think of was any ” I love Lucy” movie and all I could do was LAUGH!!

No one is in the booth with me so I had no one to help me figure out how to get the damn print job to stop… And now I have customers at the pay window so I had to take care of them. So I put a new roll of receipt paper in the printer thinking the print job had to have completed. I mean how many miles of receipt paper can 100 maps take up? ..

Just take my word for it…, it takes almost two rolls of receipt paper to print 100 tiny little maps… I had two trash cans and one recycle can FULL of receipt paper… Now, this park is all about conserving, conserving, conserving… So this is  NOT LOOKING GOOD for me wasting all this paper….

Finally, our neighbors, and fellow park hosts, arrived, and Evelyn was able to get the print job canceled so I could print receipts for customers as they paid their entry fee…  THANK YOU Evelyn… You were my hero of the day…! 🙂

But today is Sunday, and Bill and I went to Mass, where we prayed for Paris, and the victims of that horrible tragedy, and for peace on earth.

As I’m writing this blog post, it is raining here at San Tan, but I looked out our window and saw this beautiful rainbow that reminds me that we always have HOPE for BETTER day’s..

P1040709

Stay Tuned!

 

 

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Reno
    Nov 16, 2015 @ 00:54:11

    Stacey and her kids and Nikki and baby Cade walked the trails today. Near the end they got rained on. Loved it! Nikki said she saw some people working, but they all had caps on and she didn’t think any of them were you. Maybe over Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll get out there and do a little hiking and see if I can find you! Love you.

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Nov 16, 2015 @ 13:19:32

      Would love to see you over Thanksgiving weekend Karen, or anytime you can get here… If you come, just tell them at the pay booth that your visiting us and you can come in free. We work the booth from 8-4 on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving (our shifts are Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s) but if you can do a hike that ends at say 4:30 you can come over and have a glass of vino with us…Anytime my friend, your welcome anytime! Just let me know when. Love you! XoXo

      Reply

  2. gotham girl
    Nov 16, 2015 @ 04:22:32

    Before I even got to your sentence…I’m thinking and visualizing the I love Lucy and the candy making scene! I can so picture you with that never ending printing!! LOL…got my laugh for the evening for sure! You are so funny…just love you to pieces! Hugs and see you SOON! Love you MORE!

    Reply

  3. Ellen Kaufman
    Nov 16, 2015 @ 21:33:24

    I can just picture with all those receipts come flying out! Oh what to do and your eyes bigs as saucers. That really would make a good “I Love Lucy Show”. Never a dull moment with you around! FUN FUN FUN🙄😂😋

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply

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