Just because we have given notice and are officially “Short Timers” doesn’t mean that anything has changed on the Forest. We stayed home on July 3 and logged on the dispatch board as Telecommuting. I put in 5 hours on the last of the Recreation.gov images. All in all it’s 818 images and over 1 gigabyte of files. So, the first 5 hours of the day were nice enough… I had finished up about the time the phone rang. One of our volunteers is convinced there are drug deals going on in his immediate area and he has been talking with our Law Enforcement Officers (LEO’s) about what he sees as a situation. Well, this morning it seems he ended up talking with one of what he thinks are dealers and he came away from the conversation convinced that the supposed drug dealer has a particular dislike for him. Because this has been an ongoing conversation for the past week I spoke to the Officer involved for her take on the situation and they are doing what they must — trying to investigate but with limited information having limited success. Well, this morning’s phone call was clearly a volunteer who felt threatened. I reiterated the immediate solution we had for him, urging him to take advantage of the offer if he was feeling that threatened. And his response was “Well, it’s my campground and I’ve been here for 2 years and I don’t want to abandon it on the holiday weekend.” On one level you might call that commitment — but on another level it would seem foolhardy if he really is a concerned as he makes people believe. I can’t force him to relocate to another duty station — I can only let him know it’s immediately available. Law Enforcement isn’t going to come down and stand by his side if nothing is happening. It’s a truly frustrating situation. I would hate to see him hurt, but neither can I move his RV FOR HIM. Later in the morning I had a phone call from one of several people who have full-time brick & stick residences nearby. It seems that due to bizarre circumstances there was a sheriff at his door with a restraining order forcing him out of his brick & stick residence in compliance of the restraining order. I have no idea how or why; I do know the who’s; and that what’s and when’s are none of my business. But the question was asked — “Is there a place that we can stay until we get this cleared up — how about XXXXX’s old site.” With no one else around I said yes, of course. I’m hoping he’s ok and we’ll check in on him to see how they are making out. He, his wife and their grandchild will, it appears, be living in a tent over the holiday. At least the weather is nice. We had gone out for last minute pre-holiday supplies when the call came in. As we were pulling into our compound there was Da Boss doing her day-before-the-holiday checks and making sure everything was working and taken care of. Turns out she will probably work on the 4th even though she’s scheduled to be off. We offered to hop in a truck and pick up trash and stuff but our offer was refused with a “but you guys do so much.”
I brought her up to date on the latest drama and we chatted for a while. It’s an interesting relationship we have had from the get-go with her. For all the problems on the Forest we will miss her — she truly has been a wonderful boss — more of a collaborator than a boss. But then the artist in me rarely sees superiors or inferiors — so much of life is about collaboration with each bringing their own strengths to the table and each contributing what they are able. Anyway… the only thing that stays the same is change… and maybe drama. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.