Our Summer at Ozark National Scenic Riverways

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As summer is winding down and Labor Day fast approaching, we naturally reflect on our summer at Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) with gratitude and appreciation.

We arrived at Pulltite Campground around the middle of May, quickly settled into our Interp volunteer role, and expected to be there until the day after Labor Day. But, as fate would have it, a medical situation with a campground host couple created an opportunity for us at Alley Spring Campground and we relocated at the end of July.

It seems impossible that a month has passed already and we’ll be leaving in less than a week. We aren’t sad about it though, because we have really enjoyed our time here and we’ve been invited back next summer.

So, yes… we’re both grateful and appreciative. Grateful that we left Florida (COVID was raging there) and arrived at this amazing gem in Missouri where COVID hasn’t been as bad. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve ONSR and work with so many wonderful people. We learned a lot from working with the Interpretive staff (Dena, Skyler, Mark, Monty, Jess, Tanner, Katherine) and volunteer Heather. The paddling clinic with Jess, Monty and Heather was a real highlight for us. Law Enforcement Ranger Eric was helpful on day one and throughout our time at Pulltite. Maintenance staff both at Pulltite and Alley are down to earth, friendly and helpful guys. Here at Alley we both been relaxed and extremely busy. It’s been a good balance. We couldn’t have better coworkers here than the Visitor Use (VU) Supervisor Lisa and VU Assistant Emily. These two ladies trained us, supported us, and really are great friends to us. Thank you for that, and thank you too for inviting us back. Last, but not least, we met the Park Superintendent a couple of times, once at Pulltite and then again today at Alley. Superintendent Lott stopped by today and presented us with volunteer certificates and a couple of awesome gifts to thank us for our service. He complimented us on our service and he too asked if we would come back. It’s just one more reason that we have for feeling grateful and appreciative. Thank you all!

As part of my mental preparation for our upcoming departure, I took a walk today and snapped a few photos of Alley Campground that will serve as a happy reminder of our time at ONSR.

Next week we go back to our St. Louis area location, see family, prepare for our daughter Kimberly’s wedding in October, and have our annual doctor visits. In November and December we will be in the Phoenix area. After that we will be camp hosting again at Death Valley National Park. As you can see, we have much more to be grateful and appreciative for in these uncertain times.

Stay safe!

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