Maintenance-Man Spence stopped in to say hello. He told us that he worked all winter, except for two weeks. In the past, he has been laid off for three months. He has been working all over the park, as Big Creek is closed for the winter. He also said that he is no longer just responsible for Big Creek. He has to work at Cosby and Greenbrier. He did not stay long as he had a lot of ground to cover. He also explained that, with the budget cuts, he has been told not to do as much grounds work. That explains why the grass is so tall.
Boss Larry also came to see us and explain the new procedures. He is also spread more thinly this year and covers a wider territory. He said he will attempt to get over here once a week. I forgot to ask what he and Kristen did this past winter. They usually take some interesting trips in the offseason.
Here, we were walking up toward the parking lot and on to the tent campground. The grass is tall and shaggy by Spence's standards, but there are a lot more flowers.
There is a bumper crop of Yellow Trillium this year. They are all over Big Creek and sometimes in patches.
Now, we are walking up the road to the tent campground.
Big Creek Campground has always been a walk-up, first-come/first-served campground. You fill out an envelope, put your money inside, and drop it into the iron ranger. This year, they have switched to the reservation system. Reserve your campsite today at www.Recreation.gov
Our job is to check the reservation website and prepare a registration card for each reservation, noting their arrival and departure dates. Of course, we still walk around the campground and greet campers, remind people about bears, and give out hiking and other advice. So far, we have had two campers arrive without a reservation - because they have been coming here for years not needing one. I let them use my phone to call the recreation .gov office to reserve a site.
I was delighted to see Liz and Craig from Vermont. They are camping here on their annual spring wildflower vacation. I forgot to take their picture.
I have not yet begun to photograph wildflowers.