You just knew it would didn't ya? On our way out of the refuge Lorrie and I got pulled over by officer Sanchez. He spotted the 4 branches that we took with us into the refuge to use as poles for our cabana. So I pull over and this guy comes up behind us, lights on his car flashing (we're at the halfway point on the pavement heading out of the refuge.) He walks up to me and looks in the Jeep. The conversation went like this (I've got the officer's remarks in red):
"Where did you get the branches?"
"We brought them with us"
"Brought them from where?"
"We brought them with us"
"Your not allowed to build structures on the beaches"
"So what's the difference in me putting branches up, temporarily, and someone putting up an umbrella?"
"Someone might see the natural structure and try to recreate it using branches on the refuge. You can put up an umbrella or shade tent like they sell at Walmart"
"I brought the branches with us so we can build a screen from the sun. I'm taking the branches back with us since we can't build anything permanent on the refuge. I didn't use any materials on the beach. I used a sheet for the roof and pillow cases full of sand to stabilize the poles that we also brought with us"
"So what about the sand on the branches your taking out of the refuge?"
"I was just kidding. The reason we have the rules about structures is because people come down here and start hacking away at the vegetation with a machete, trying to be like survivor or something. If they see your structure they might try to recreate it. I cannot tell you to not build your structure and I see your trying to work with me here. I've never seen anyone bring they're own sticks before."
"Well, I know there are no structures to be built and left up, so this was our solution. I can transport this just like an umbrella. If I see anyone cutting down branches I will mention to them it's against the rules."
"Thank you and have a good evening, I'm sorry if I took up too much of your time
So that was basically it, officer Sanchez was really pretty kewl about the whole thing and admitted we weren't doing anything wrong. He seemed like an ok guy to us.
The sheet and pillow cases came from Good-will for a couple bucks. I can empty out the pillow cases and basically roll the whole thing up for the next day (although the poles do stick out the back of the Jeep.
Lots more to write about, the house (it's beautiful), Judy and Andre. We met the people who built the original "Love Shack" this evening on La Plata. Great first day, even with the end of the day questioning.