Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Camp Hosting Is Cool!

We arrived here on Sunday, August 11th about 3:30 in the afternoon.  We are the 2nd Camp Hosts.  The first Camp Hosts, Craig and Linda, have been holding down the fort all summer with no backup.  They were certainly glad to see us pull in.  We settled into our Camp Host 2 site which is very long and has trees on the back and 2 sides.  It is very private.  I found a nice level spot and we set her down. 

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Sunday evening we just settled in to our spot.  Put out the chairs and tried over the air TV with absolutely no reception.  The site has two permanent Dish Network dishes set up; however we have DirecTV so they were of no use to us.  I made a mighty effort to find the DirecTV satellite to no avail.  Too many trees and the angle for the satellite is too low to find a spot between some trees.  We also quickly learned that Verizon uses AT&T for their backup in this area.  Phones work OK, but very spotty internet access.  See my previous blog for our final solution to that problem.

Monday morning we met with Cory, the County Manager that we report to here at the park.  He reiterated our duties; clean up campsites on two of the four camping loops after they are vacated, keep tabs on the reservation stickers that go on the site poles; sell and deliver firewood to campers in all four camping loops.  We fill a cart with 8 compartments for firewood.  Each compartment is considered a bundle and the wood sells for $5 per bundle.  Rosie has found her new niche in life; Purveyor of Firewood.  She is a natural sales person and sold almost $300 worth of firewood our first week on the job.

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Last Tuesday we went down the hill into the town of Hood River.  We found a Wal-Mart (not a supercenter) and a Safeway supermarket that is quite nice.  From Wednesday to Sunday it was a matter of getting used to the campground layout and becoming familiar with our duties.  The work is not all day long, but we need to be available all day long to help campers with any issues or questions they may have.  We have met one family from Switzerland; and two from Germany.  They were really surprised to find out they had a German speaking Camp Host.

Hood River is about 15 miles away.  There is a little village of Mt. Hood - Parkdale 2.5 miles away.  The whole village is about 2 blocks long, but they have a very nice private market, a hardware store, and several bars/eating establishments.  The market has a wide selection of groceries, meats, bakery and a deli.  They are open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm seven days a week.  Sure beats driving into Hood River for a loaf of bread!

By this Monday we had settled into a routine and felt pretty comfortable with our duties.  We officially have Tuesdays and Wednesdays “off”.  I told the story of Tuesday in my last blog.  Today is Wednesday.  We took off this morning for a hike to a waterfall.  The trailhead is about 9 miles south of here.

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The waterfall is reported to be about 2 miles from the trailhead.  We did not make it all the way to the falls because the trail got pretty steep and narrow with a serious drop off on one side.  We would have been OK by ourselves, but we had the furr kids along and we didn’t want to take a chance on meeting other dogs on this trail.  So we turned back after about a mile.  I was pretty happy to be able to do this hike.  Two months ago I would have never made it that far.

This afternoon the sky became dark with smoke from a forest fire about 20 miles east of here.  The smell of smoke was overpowering and ash was settling everywhere in our campsite.  Our manager, Cory, came by and explained that there was an unusual wind out of the east that was blowing smoke our way.  The wind was supposed to change to coming out of the west this evening.  About 7:00 pm we could notice a reduction in the smoke and there was a slight breeze from the west.  We made a firewood run mostly to check on our campers and did make one sale to a couple from Montreal, Canada.  They were French Canadians, so no German speaking there, but we did have a nice conversation with them. 

This blog writing was interrupted by several ladies in distress.  They needed a set of jumper cables to start one of their cars.  Fortunately, Craig had a pair of cables so I borrowed them and went over to help them get started.  They didn’t have a flashlight, so I brought out my super duper spotlight to help find the batteries in the cars.  Turns out that the kids had been charging their cell phones on the power outlet of a Cadillac for two days and nobody thought to start the car occasionally to keep the battery charged up.  Anyway, we got them going and they were very grateful.

I’m tired now.  Thanks for stopping by.

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