Had a good night and didn't have the cats to wake me wanting to play.  I left them at home on this trip.  They can handle a week without me and I enjoy not having them spreading their cat litter all over the coach.

Took a walk to the pavilion this morning and Xi walked a few feet on the sand.  We didn't stay long.  Hung around the campsite and read most of the day.  Played fetch with Xi and tried to keep her entertained. 

My friend Pat came by and brought me some spaghetti.  We had a nice visit.  As he was leaving, the park ranger that checked me in came by on his 4 wheeler while making his rounds. 

With a smile on his face he asked, "So have you been going around the park and breaking the rules with your little dog?" 

And I said, "Yes, as a matter of fact, I have... twice."  We both laughed and I explained how my little doggie just loved to go swimming and run around the beach and how much I enjoy seeing her have fun. 

He then asked, "Can you carry her?"  I wasn't sure why he was asking that but I answered, "Not really she's a bit overweight." 

He then explained why he asked, "If you can carry her on the beach to the end of the park then she can run and play on that area of the beach." 

I said, "Well, I do have a pet carrier that attaches to my bike and I could ride her there if only bikes were allowed on the beach." 

He looked at me funny and said, "Bikes are allowed on the beach." 

I explained that the gentleman a few doors down who rides an electric bike was told that bikes were not allowed on the beach.

He then replied, "If anyone gives you any flak about bikes on the beach, you just tell them to see Nick.  I'm the new park manager."

I was surprised to hear this.  I thought he was just a park ranger but he's the boss.  So in amazement I asked, "You mean I can ride an electric bike on the beach with my dog in the basket and not get in trouble?" 

"That's right."

"Well, you have made my day."

He then asked where the gentleman with the electric bike was parked and I showed him.  He rode to his campsite and explained to him that it was OK to take his bike onto the beach.

Later that gentleman came by my campsite and thanked me for helping in this situation and then took off with fishing gear in tow for the beach with a big smile on his face. 

This is a big relief for me as I was about to make a rather large purchase until this upsetting news and red signs everywhere about pets on the beach.  So now I am planning to go ahead with my purchase of a three-wheel electric bike and cargo carrier with ramp.  I'll be able to ride the beach all the way into town and to the grocery store and to my friend Pat's house.  I'm really excited about this.

During our conversation I also asked about staying for longer than 14 days and he explained that this is something that is at the discretion of the park manager and he personally has allowed folks to stay in the campground for months at a time.  So, that answered my question about being able to stay a month without having to move.  Having an electric bike to get around will certainly be helpful if I decide to stay for a month at a time.

Before leaving, he informed me in a joking manner and a smile on his face that he was going to be leaving the island tomorrow for a week so there will be no one to patrol the beach till Friday.  I laughed and said that sounded great to me.  So tomorrow we go to the end of the island by the fishing pier and Xi can go swimming.

So... today was a great day.  Tomorrow will be even better.


This is the gentleman and his wife who can now ride their bike on the beach.

The funny thing is that I met this couple in North Toledo Bend State Park back on April 3rd and didn't realize it until after I had been talking to them for awhile.  Then I remembered.  Xi Shi wanted to go for a ride on her bike and was following her.  When I reminded the lady of this she paused and then said she did remember me and my dog and that we spoke a long time about her electric bike.  I told her that she was the reason I was now thinking about purchasing one for myself.  Here is the photo I took on that day.

Yes, it really is a small world.
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