Ok... I have to vent my frustration about an incident at the Anastasia State Park yesterday (Easter Sunday) regarding water consumption.
Edwige and I stopped by the park late in the day hoping to capture a few good photographs for our Un Petit Monde project. We paid the $8 entry fee even if we were only going to have a few hours of light left. I insisted to Edwige that we do this because I felt the the conditions were good for some great photography.
It turned out to be too windy along the beach (figures would not stay upright and my lens was risking damage from the blowing sand). We went back to the Travco and decided that before we leave, we should fill up a few gallons of water at the picnic area (five gallons to be precise). There is a water spigot (or spicket) near the picnic tables for this kind of thing. As we began filling our containers, a ranger stepped up and asked us if we were camping in the park. I replied "no" and continued filling our water jugs. He told us that the water was for campers and non-campers that pay a fee to "fill up".
(I'm not going post the entire discussion verbatim as it will just paint the two of us as grade school kids arguing about who's dad is tougher).
I challenged the idea that a few gallons of water from the spigot was not what the park had in mind by charging non-campers a fee. I asked what the park was charging for water... he radioed headquarters and they replied $7 + tax. I suggested to him that maybe the park was charging those RVers that wanted to fill their 30 gallon fresh water tanks. The ranger then told us that we were being gratuitous with our water consumption and that the water from the spigot might not even be potable. So I pointed out that Wallmart charges 27¢ per gallon and uses a special filter to purify their water. He then insisted that since I know the price of a gallon of water, that my intentions were not pure. Ranger: "why don't you go buy your water from Wallmart then?" Me: "yeah, we drove across the bridge, paid $8 to visit the park for only a couple hours with the intention of stealing a few gallons of what may be non-potable water".
So we go back and forth for about ten minutes when another ranger, overhearing our conversation, calls our ranger over to get him to disengage from us. We left it at that. I felt the whole episode was absurd and yes my pride was wounded... (a little).
Edwige was by my side the entire time and she did contribute to the conversation. But this was my fight and I don't want her implicated in any of the sillyness.
We stopped by the ranger station so that I could drop off our day-pass. I mentioned the encounter to the ranger in charge. She seemed saddened by the whole ordeal, apologized and told me to fill up our containers from the spigot on the side of their building.
We win... I guess. I should have titled this post "Best Easter Ever!" But that would just be sour grapes.