I worked at the Visitors’ Center today and decided to make a quick run to a convenience store on Tybee Island before going home to my campsite. This is a trip I have made on other occasions, and I am usually back within about 15 minutes. The gate is closed somewhere before 5:30 pm, and you have to punch a code so it will lift and allow a car to enter (or leave). I wasn’t worried and punched the code – nothing happened. I waited a minute and tried it again but still nothing happened. I was getting a little nervous by this time because my truck could not go through and over the bridge to the island until the gate lifted.
I walked over to examine the gate and realized that the two halves of the gate that normally open in and out, were locked together. The arm was in the upright position but it wouldn’t make any difference if the bottom sections were locked. The fishermen who are there daily know they must park along the road before the bridge so they can get into their vehicles and drive away, but I had the opposite problem in that I wanted to drive in, and not away.
I started walking, avoiding deer running across the road when they heard me coming, and by the time I got back to the campsites, approximately a mile and a half later, it was completely dark. The lights on the river and at the CG station shed the only light in the area. I stopped at the 1st camper and asked Sherri, a volunteer who works in the entrance booth, if I could get a lift back to my truck when she goes to work tomorrow morning – her husband then drove me back to the gate to check out the situation, and we came back to get Bill who volunteers in the Maintenance area. He realized that the Park key, which I have, opens a lock that would allow the gate to be freed on one side, so now I know how to get in and out when the arm isn’t in operation.
Thank heaven for the friendly volunteers I work with, and all the assistance they give me. Bill and Judy are leaving the 1st of January, but he told me he will help me empty and purify my fresh water tank tomorrow. That is a truly neighborly thing for him to do, and I appreciate him and all the volunteers I work with. So tomorrow I will probably feel the walk I did this evening, in shoes and on pavement that isn’t easy to walk on, but at least I have my truck back at the campsite. The big problem for me now is that I can’t find my glasses anywhere, but they could have fallen on the floor or down under one of the seats in the truck, or they may be on the road somewhere. I’ll worry about it tomorrow but for now I’m really tired!