Saturday, February 17, 2007

Texas Wildlife Refuge also home to several RVers every winter

Winter Texan Sharon VanderZyl is experiencing her first day on the job. The assignment is to learn the ropes, but suddenly everyone takes off for an impromptu meeting, leaving her alone to manage the "store."

With a shrug and big smile, she says, "Oh, well, that's how you learn … by diving into the deep end."

The store is actually the visitors' center and front desk at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. It's where people check in, ask questions, pay the entrance fee and shop in the bookstore.

Sharon and her husband, Rollie, are the newest of the nine resident volunteers now living at the refuge. As the morning progresses, Rollie is situated at a computer learning the ins and outs of running the refuge.

Each will donate 32 hours a week doing whatever needs doing in return for an RV site that comes complete with utilities and a phone.

As fulltime RVers, Sharon said they are Iowa natives "and home is where we park, Wisconsin most recently."
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