Congratulations! You are the lowest bidder on a challenging United States Army Corps of Engineers contract. We hope you bid high. This job is going to push your limits and test your strength. You will question humanity by some of the things you will see. You will have so many stories that will make your friends cringe when you tell your tales of your days with the Corps.
Welcome to Moonshine Beach!
As long as you can handle monotonous days without ever leaving a 10 mile radius of the beach for 127 days, you will be just fine. Days quickly become indistinguishable. You will feel like Groundhog Day’s Phil Connors. You will live the same day over and over. The same people come in and grill the same outrageous amount of food day after day. Which means you will be carrying out and picking up the same outrageous amount of trash day after day.
There will be the occasional WTF moment that comes your way to break up the clone of days. Here are some of the unbelievable situations that will make you wonder what you did wrong in life to have to deal with what it sitting in front of you:
Poop will be found everywhere. Complete turds will be placed on walls. Toilets will be missed. Filled pants will be left on the floors.
Diapers will be found everywhere. They will be found in the grills, in the ditch, and water logged on the beach.
Feminine hygiene products will be found everywhere. They will be found on the bathroom floors, on the back of the toilets, in the open changing room, in the ditch, and on the beach.
Patrons bring trash bags that when filled are taller than you and lug around like a dead body. They will be left at the bottom of the hill in the picnic area. Patrons expect you to carry them out of there like you are the cleanup man for Al Capone.
Don’t fret. Two Old RV Dogs is here to help. We lived this life for one four month season. We are here to offer you tips and tricks that will make this endeavor easier on you (or at least soften the blow).
First off, here is our list of equipment that will make your job easier:
Golf cart or UTV – This is a MUST. You will need this for hauling out the bags and bag and cans and cans of trash. It is endless. You might think that your truck will work for this task. The problem is getting the overflowing cans from the grassy picnic areas, restrooms, and pavilion to the parking lot where your truck sits. Get the golf cart. You might be able to stay until September if you do.
8 garden hoses – Garden hoses are just not that tough no matter how they are marketed. You will use it nearly every night. They only last about 2-3 weeks. They break at the most inconvenient times. You will be hosing off the grease from the deep fryers that were hauled in by very dedicated picnickers from the pavilion floor and then SNAP! You are done for the night but you have a pavilion reservation you have to prepare the area for by the next morning. Keep two hoses on hand and don’t throw away your Walmart receipt.
High pressure wand sprayer attachment for your garden hose – You are going to have the weirdest stuff left on the pavilion, restrooms, and shower floors. The greater the pressure in your spray the greater chance you have of getting the floors clean.
1 gallon multipurpose pressure sprayer – This is the kind that you might use for pesticide or herbicide on your lawn. You are going to need this for coating the bathroom floors in bleach before you spray them out with the garden hose. Mopping is just going to smear dirty water around the floors. You want them clean so they can be dirtied up again by noon the next day.
Insecticide – There are spiders EVERYWHERE!! Watch for them when going in and out of your RV, going into the shower area, going into the utility closets…just anywhere really. Watch for them all the time. Don’t stay still too long either. They begin building webs on you if you stay still for about 5 seconds. This is not an exaggeration and you have been warned. You are responsible for keeping the spider webs that hang on the buildings to a minimum. Insecticide is also necessary for the dive bombing horseflies. They are the size of humming birds. One minute you are hosing out the pavilion and the next you are utilizing your high school gym class dodgeball skills in a futile attempt to keep a giant horsefly out of your hair. Good luck.
Gopher II – You will find this 3 foot long trash grabber in the pharmacy section at Walmart. It will save your back from all the bending you have to do picking up the trash off the ground.
Pyrotechnic single-shot pistol and Screamer Sirens – Ask a ranger for this before Day 1. Geese at Table Rock Lake are bold and they poop on everything. We didn’t care if they pooped on the beach. No one complained about rolling around in goose poop covered sand. But if there is a turd on the sidewalk or pavilion floor there is hell to pay. So don’t be afraid to shoot right in the middle of the flock to get them out of the park. It is one of the few pleasures of the job.
Quality trash bags – This will make all the difference in your work load. Regrettably, we bought cheap bags. It only took a bottle neck or the weight of a watermelon to challenge the integrity of our trash bags. Nasty garbage water resembling warm chocolate milk poured out of every bag when we did trash runs. If you don’t want to get covered in garbage water, spend a few extra bucks on tensile strength.
Now that you have an inside scoop on what you are going to need to make your job easier, here are our tips for keeping a motivated mind set. You have to keep up with the unstoppable beast or you will get eaten alive.
You are getting exercise. – With all the lifting of garbage cans and walking the grounds picking up trash you will get a workout every day.
Challenge yourself/make cleaning a game. – When I cleaned the beach I would challenge myself to pick up 100 cigarettes butts or 100 cellophane juice box straw wrappers or 100 water bottle lids because that amount of each are all on the beach every night. This kept me running around the beach picking up the little stuff between the big stuff.
You are giving back to the earth. – You are providing a great service to the planet you live on. Sicilian-American Iron Eyes Cody is smiling down on you for your back breaking efforts.
Be glad you are not having a day like the people you are cleaning up after. – When you find the poop filled shorts in the restroom floor, be happy you were not the one that had to leave them there and do the walk of shame to your car wearing only a towel from the waist down. They are the one having the bad day.
You can’t make everyone happy all the time. – You are two people cleaning up after thousands of people. Don’t stress about things that don’t matter or aren’t your job. Patrons will complain about the sand on the bathroom floors. Let them and clean it out at night after they leave. Patrons will linger after closing. Let the rangers write them citations if they won’t leave. Don’t take the job too seriously. The Corps is just happy you are here.
There is an end to this job. – It is only a few months long. You can do this just for the summer.
Treat yourself. – That’s right. Order a pizza for delivery at 10:30pm. Go get a Sonic shake or an Andy’s concrete after a rough night of cleaning. They are usually open until 11:00pm.
There is beer back at the RV. – If none of the above keeps you going, throw back a cold one and try to forget your day.
Okay, we know we have made this job sound less than appealing but here are all the fantastic things about Moonshine Beach:
Diversity – I have never seen so many cultures together in one place in Southwest Missouri. It is amazing. You will hear many languages being spoken. You will see many different cultural based wardrobes. In a day you might see Hispanic, Indian, Russian, Jamaican, and Asian families. This is very common at Moonshine Beach. I have seen an African-American family from St. Louis sharing the pavilion with an Amish family. Talk about two very different cultures side by side. Believe it or not, I even saw a Razorbacks tent next to a Mizzou tent.
You are getting paid to live on the lake. – It is an awesome view from your front door. You have no lot rent and no utilities. What an awesome set up!
You get paid the same on rainy days when no one shows up. – You will love stormy, rainy days. Most people stay home these days but as long as you show up you get paid.
Fireworks! – If you love fireworks shows you are going to love living at Moonshine. The Chateau sets off fireworks for Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thursday… All the time there are fireworks. On the outlook peninsula a man who likes pyrotechnics set off a U-Haul full of fireworks. I have no idea who he was but on Flag Day we got a private fireworks show. When you clean during July look to the west. You will see Silver Dollar City’s fireworks show at their closing time.
Fun sights. – People come down to Moonshine Beach for the awesome sunsets. You will see some good ones. Watching the Branson Belle paddle across the lake all lit up at night makes you stop and watch even after you have seen it all summer long.
Then there are the weirdos. – I enjoy a good odd ball story. We had a man huff paint in the bathroom and try to swim across the cove between our site and the lookout peninsula. He made it. I was surprised. I thought he was going to need a rescue. We stood around and watched him for about 25 minutes swimming across the cove. He had to sit for a long time after he made it to the other shore. We also had a boy jump off the bridge into the same cove. He needed a good long sit too. You will have lots of good stories.
While we left out lots, we hope that we have painted an accurate picture of what you can expect this summer. Before you pull up your leveling jacks and drive off in the middle of the night, message us on Two Old RV Dogs Facebook page if you have any questions. We will offer what we can to talk you out of the RV driver’s seat. You got this.