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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, May 31, 2013

Latrine duty?

Yep.  That was on my work list for this morning.  At least there were three of us working on that detail.  Remember all those hundreds of kids that have been visiting out at the Chippewa Picnic Area the last couple of weeks and all the rain?  Use your imagination to picture what this does to a pit toilet bathroom with five stalls.  Yuck! 

Add to that the fact that there is no running water there.  We had to haul in two of those big yellow 5 gallon water coolers that you see strapped onto construction trucks so we could wash the floors.  Apparently the mops have disappeared so we had to use a toilet brush and rags to clean the muddy floors.  Did I mention these were pit toilets?  P-U!!  After the picnic area, there was one other pit toilet to clean several miles away.  It was only a one holer, so we thought it would be a breeze.  Ha!  Turns out someone had gotten sick and spewed their guts all over the throne.  Sick smile  Our clean up crew consisted of myself, an intern, and a staff member, but I’m sure glad I won’t have this assignment very often.  It may be hard to believe, but the three of us really made the most of this chore and had a good time.

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I had a much more pleasant assignment for this afternoon; driving around to make sure the seven refuge information kiosks were well stocked with brochures.  Tomorrow is National Trails Day, and the refuge is celebrating by having the grand opening of the 14.5 mile section of the North Country Trail that weaves through the refuge.  I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Appalachian Trail, well the North Country Trail will be similar offering over 4000 miles of hiking from one end to the other.  I’ll get more information on it tomorrow at the celebration. 

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Because of all of the big wigs coming for the ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow, making sure the kiosks were well stocked and spiffed up was on the priority list.  That’s my kind of assignment!  I could be that mallard duck in the sign above.  I’m sure glad that Rachel Carson woke up the world to the plight of our wild things.  She is one of my heroes.

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Of course, I grabbed my cameras before going out into the rain and driving to the kiosks.  With the dismal skies, the red-tailed hawks were hunkering down.

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                                               That is until I stopped to admire this beauty.

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                                                It decided to move on to a more remote location.

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I also found out where the white pelicans were spending this day… on Height of Land Lake.  This afternoon’s journey covered most of the roads on the refuge, and I was able to now feel comfortable with where things are at.  It takes a couple of weeks to get familiar with each different refuge.

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the National Trails Day celebration, and helping with the Photo Hike in the afternoon.  It’s supposed to be only in the 50’s with a brisk wind out of the north, so I’m really hoping the rain gets out of here over night.  I’m yearning for some warmer temperatures and sunshine.

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                                                                              THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

29 comments:

  1. I know more than a few volunteers who won't do toilets.... like you, we accept the nasty with the neat stuff. That trail sounds really nice... is it for foot traffic only?

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  2. Gosh, your latrine duty brought back memories - or is it flashbacks??? - of duties at Girl Scout Camp. Lovely, absolutely awesome photos of the hawk! Cool temps? Well, remember, it's Minnesota! My aunt used to say that Summer in MN happened on August 13 at 2:02 PM. ;)

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  3. Skeeters are wildlife too. And I have been telling all of ours what hospitable hosts they have in the US and suggesting they head that way.

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  4. I am one who would never accept a job that included cleaning toilets, especially when it's a volunteer job. I have cleaned for my family for years, and in my own home now, but I'll be darned if I do a job that the state or federal government, or private campground owners, should pay someone to do. I think they are asking too much of a volunteer. This is my personal opinion.

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  5. I just laugh out loud every time I see that duck smack smack smacking the refuge sign. I love it and Rachel Carson too. She is my shero. Your latrine duty sounds YUCK but I'm not surprised you made the best of it.

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  6. Isn't there something you can put in pit toilets that reduces the odor? If you have to do this frequently, maybe the government would purchase it. I'm kinda thinking it is lime.

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  7. It is disappointing to read that the State of Minnesota wants you to clean toilets, but does not supply the proper tools with which to do it. You can be sure that problem does not exist in the Statehouse.

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  8. Yuk and double YUK!! That's one of the reasons my dear husband has never wanted to work camp--"I'm not cleaning toilets!"

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  9. Yep, gotta admit that cleaning public toilets as a volunteer just wouldn't cut it for us. Worst part of our current campground job is dumping the fish guts from the fish cleaning shack!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  10. You are a saint... I hope it was only a test to see if you can cut it, and now that you have, I hope you are assigned to more suitable duties.

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  11. I'm sure there was no Silent Spring while you cleaned those pit toilets. I can just imagine the jokes and puns that must have permeated the air as the job progressed... ;c)

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  12. Great post. Love the red Tailed Hawk. Beautiful bird.

    Those toilets sound like the one I encountered in Big Lots today. I whirled righ around and thought I would be empting my stomach. :[P

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  13. Love those white pelicans. I grew up in Klamath Falls, and we saw lots of them down that way. Our high school teams there were called "The Pelicans". They are cool to see.

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  14. Well so far, I haven't had that bad a latrine duty. At Sacramento, we cleaned in between the hired cleaners. Did get to clean up several messes where people missed the hole. But getting to spend about two hours in a company vehicle, taking pictures, talking to visitors and generally having fun made the two - five minute actually cleaning a breeze.

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  15. Oh yes, I forgot to ask. Is your hip up for the whole trail?

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  16. latrine duty?..someone has to do it! good job, Judy!!

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  17. Egads...maybe you should reread your job description and be sure latrine duty it there. Not jealous of you on that job.

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  18. Thanks for not posting pic of latrine clean up, 'fraid my stomach would have me doing my own clean up.
    :-) Love the bird pics though. we had a lot of red tailed hawks when it was all horse corn fields around us. Lots of small critters after harvest and the hawks had a nice feeding ground and we had no mice in the house. One of funniest things I have seen was a red tail chasing a squirrel down our driveway, squirrel ran up a tree jumped onto the outer garage roof, panted and looked like whew made it...apparently didnt realize the hawk could elevate up to a roof, and the chase was on again. squirrel finally realized sitting on a branch near trunk was the best idea. then the hawk gave up.
    Donna

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  19. The red tailed hawk is quite magnificent! Latrine detail not so magnificent! Good for you making the best of it!

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  20. Yep, sometimes you get the bear,and sometimes the bear gets you..in the form of latrine duty..I would be hauling in Mr. Clean, Ammonia, Lysol, hand sanitizer, bleach, and a clothespin for my nose. You're a good woman, Judy Bell.

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  21. Thing 1: My husband and I spent a most pleasurable day in the Ding Darling Nature Preserve on Sanibel Island, Florida. That Ding guy, he got around! Thing 2: We have white pelicans who stop over here in the Baton Rouge area at the city park/LSU lakes, and they are SO striking! Thing 3: I really REALLY like the picture of the hawk with his wings raised and his bloomers showing!

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  22. Beautiful, beautiful hawk pictures!

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  23. ew ... for cleaning and ew for pit toilets period... great hawk pictures...

    I, too am a fan of Rachel Carson ... love the graphic

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  24. Yikes, I don't know if I could do latrine duty - seriously! Kudos to you!

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  25. You ARE a good woman Judy Bell (quoting Dennis and Donna). Love the hawk pictures too!

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  26. Latrine duty-YUk, Birds on the refuge - Great. The sign with the duck kissing the sign - Awesome. :)

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  27. Great shots of the Hawk. I was a janitor in college. For about six months, I had the bathrooms. I can clean anything now.

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  28. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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