Tahlequah Daily Press

Letters to editor

July 8, 2011

River business clarified

TAHLEQUAH — Editor: Daily Press:

There seems to be confusion regarding Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission rangers, float camps, and public access out on the Illinois River with some of the tourists and locals, so I thought I would take time to explain a few minor points.

OSRC rangers are real cops with real badges, real guns, real handcuffs and real ticket books. Don’t believe me? Just go ahead and lip off to one, flagrantly disregard the rule of no glass containers, or no tying rafts together, or acting like a jack*ss in general. You’ll find out the hard way, and you won’t like the cost to your wallet or your lovely experience in the local hoosegow. Be sure and ask for the continental breakfast at Cherokee County Detention Center. You’ll love the gruel.

Float camps are for-profit organizations (or, at least, they want to be that way) and they make money by charging you for their riverfront access, floating equipment, and camping facilities. Don’t think the float camp operators are out there to donate their time and energy for nothing, or because you are such a hoot and an important member of our society. They want cash money for their efforts. Don’t ask to be comped or extended verbal credit on such items just because you are from Edmond, and are a member of either the rich or snooty families.

This brings me to my next point: money. Legal tender such as both U.S. paper money and U.S. coin are accepted forms of payment at all float camps, and some float camps also accept debit and credit cards. Please bring these if you wish to purchase/hire/rent/lease the goods, services, and facilities of the float camps. The only free thing out on the river is the sunshine and advice from me.

If you want to use your own floating equipment or don’t want to pay to camp at a local float operator, then use the public access areas. You’ll know them when you see them, because they say “Public Access” on them. You’ll have to talk to the rangers about overnight camping, day use fees, and floating fees. You can always stop in at the OSRC office on State Highway 10, across from the road to Sparrowhawk Camp, and pay, or you can pay when the rangers drop by and check for permits. If a landing or access point doesn’t say “Public Access,” then you need to pay the owner of that access for use of it. Just because you can get drunk, act like a fool, and use language that would curdle the ears of the saltiest Marine Corps drill instructor, doesn’t mean you should. Try to behave yourself on the river or you’ll end up dealing with the [aforementioned rangers].

Be safe, because we want you to come back alive again and again and again, because each time you do, we get to keep your money – and we like money and we want all of your money. Please come give us more of your money, and then go away, and then come back and do it again.

Troy Sanford

Tahlequah

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