Thursday, June 12, 2008

campground job




Maxed out on the RV park so went off and dry camped for a couple nights in the Uintah’s before heading to my first campground position. Nothing special but at least there was breathing room. Good grief, how most can do RV parks all the time is beyond my comprehension.

My trail runs are still giving me a beating—must be taking a full body slam to the ground two out of three runs. Sure do miss the mere tripping and stumbling from when I had foot speed. At least I’m seeing some progress towards my goal. Then there is the tick factor. With all the sage (tick heaven) around, I have to remember to check my body and clothes whenever I get back from a run. A couple of times I missed one and didn’t notice till later after it was dug in. For joy.

The camper tires were three years old so got some new ones just to play it safe. Do too many dirt roads to mess around with questionable tires.


There was still too much snow up at Bountiful Peak so they asked me to fill in at South Willow campground, south of Grantsville, UT. It’s pretty good so I’m staying here for the summer. There are more hiking trails than up at Bountiful Peak. The trails are gorgeous. Many go up through alpine meadows with red, blue, purple, and yellow flowers and then continue up into the quaking aspens. This is Dry Fork. I know—it looks pretty wet. But—the name comes from when they use to run sheep up Mill Fork. The herders moved the dry ewes over to the next fork each year. Eventually they started calling it Dry Fork.

There’s a beautiful stream running down the canyon. Campers are hooking brook and cutthroat trout from it. The first night here, there were sixteen deer in the upper campground and two wild turkeys crossing the road by the lower campground. Life is SO tough.

A campground manager job is generally set up for a couple but sometimes they take singles. The couple gets to their assigned campground two weeks prior to its opening date to clean it up and make any repairs. I got to mine the night before it opened—Memorial Day weekend. You can probably imagine what a scramble the first week was.

A typical day goes: up a 5:00 and out the door for an hour run by 6:00 > put on the uniform shirt, hop in the truck at 8:00 and drive to the bottom campground and work up to the top one to see if everyone has paid who came in after my last run of the night before. There are 33 campsites spread out in six campgrounds along three miles of narrow road going from 6,000’ to 7,400’ elevation. As I work back down, I empty trash bins, check out sites where campers have left to see if they need picking up or raking. The outhouses also need to be cleaned and TP replaced. I though the outhouses was going to be the least enjoyable task but they aren’t that bad. I generally stop and talk with different campers and finish back down around 12:00 or 12:30. Then I make a midafternoon run to collect fees from picnickers and to just check things out and do some quick maintenance. At 5:00 or 6:00, I start again at the bottom and collect fees from new campers and picnic people (not fun). On the runs I also take care of such tasks as shoveling out the fire pits, paint picnic tables and outhouses, replace signs, fix knocked over posts, trim brush, cut limbs, whack weeds, mow grass, sweep bridges, pick up beer cans tossed out along the road, and various other tasks.

Once a week take a run to the county landfill. Gives me an opportunity to do shopping and hit the other library. Both libraries allow patrons to use USB flash drives so it makes my correspondence WAY easier.

There are also seven hummingbird feeders to keep up on. Sugar is left for me in 25 pound bags. The forest service wants all bird and small animal feeders taken out if there are any indications of black bear in the area. We’ll see what develops. One somewhat unpleasant thing about all these hummingbirds, is that I get pooped on quite a bit while I’m sitting outside working at my bench or reading. At least it is a clear liquid.

I have drinking water and sewer hookup but no electric hookup let alone wi-fi. The water comes from a spring and tastes great. Having running water and sewer is quite a treat from what I generally have for most of the year out in the desert. With the ready water access, I wash a handful of clothes every other day in a 5 gallon bucket and hang the stuff up to dry. Anything to keep me out of going to laundromats.


A Young Women’s group came in for three nights with about thirty people. A few hours before they arrived, two guys arrived with the makings for a tepee. I had always wondered how one was erected so I asked if I could help them set it up. It was a twenty foot tepee and used 27’ poles. The owner wanted a heavier than standard canvas so he ordered the tent from Nomadic Tepee. It seemed well cut with thick reinforcements in critical locations. We put it up in about 45 minutes, including the liner. Never know what the day will bring with this lifestyle.

Onyx has learned how to open the screen door when he is outside and wants to come in. He stands up on the step, reaches up, pulls down on the door handle, and leans back. That is not so bad but he does not wipe his feet, nor does he close the door. He leaves it open for the flies, bees, mosquitoes, and whatever.

Life is full of little surprises. Pandora


FOR INDEX OF POSTINGS GO TO JULY 2006

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