As we returned to the Falls Lake State Recreation Area, we realized that this would be our fifth season serving as Camp Hosts in the Holly Point Campground. Our duties in the campground are very simple – clean our assigned bathrooms five days a week and be a role model for other campers. In addition we try to make sure the campers know we are available to help them if needed.
Our desire to be camp hosts was not driven by getting a free campsite in exchange for light work, but to be able to stay in the park for more than two weeks at a time. You see, North Carolina, like many other states limits stays in the park to fourteen days in a thirty-day period. Our daughter lived in Raleigh and we wanted to stay longer than fourteen days, hence our desire to be a camp host. Holly Point is a beautiful campground. The campsites at are roomy and wooded, giving each camper plenty of privacy, and many sites offer easy access to the lake. An added benefit was that it was early in the season and there was plenty of deadwood for campfires.
This year was a bit different as our daughter had made plans to move to Washington State. Most of our free time was spent helping her pack her household goods and other preparations for moving. We celebrated Elisabeth’s birthday at the Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse – all the meat you could eat and we all took advantage of it! We celebrated Elisabeth’s birthday at a Brazilian steakhouse – all the meat you could eat and we all took advantage of it!
On April 13th Pat and Elisabeth left on their cross-country drive to the Tacoma area of Washington. I had the privilege to stay back and clean bathrooms by myself (sigh). As they drove away I was already looking forward to Pat’s return on April 23rd.
Camping in North Carolina in the spring brings some unique problems, the most severe (in my opinion) is the yellow pollen from the pine trees. The pollen doesn’t affect my allergies, but it is constant, and gets into everything. I can wash the truck and in an hour it was covered with a coating a pollen. This is our picnic table after ONE day!
In addition to our camp host duties, I hiked and kayaked in the area. Holly Point Campground is right on the shore of Falls Lakes – a reservoir created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a flood damage reduction project. The Corps of Engineers built the campground and then licensed it to the State of North Carolina to operate as a state park. Over the years I have found almost all of the nearby geocaches and this year I was able to find to remainder.
The Ranger staff presents programs throughout the camping season and I was able to attend one that was held at Holly Point on a “day in the life of a Ranger.” It was informative and well done. The kids attending really enjoyed trying on the various hats/helmets worn by Rangers in the performance of their duties.
Once Pat was back and the pollen had slackened, we spent time doing some work around the campsite, such as washing the trailer and waxing the front cap (makes it easier to clean the bugs off). My last goal was to find the last cache on the lake. The icing on the cake was watching an Osprey circling over us. Of course, this was the one time I was on the lake without a camera!
On May 3rd we pulled out of our site and headed west. Next stop – the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.