Friday, September 27, 2013

Visiting Germans and Cooling Weather

Our friends from Germany arrived on Monday.  They had flown into Vancouver, Canada for a tour of Canada; but they made a special detour down to visit us before heading back up north to tour Vancouver Island.  We have stayed in their home in Germany twice and they have stayed with us in California and Colorado.  It was good to see them again.  We last saw them in Germany in 2003.  It was a bit cozy having 4 adults and 2 dogs in our camper, but it worked out very well for three nights.  We took them shopping with us on Tuesday and then to Multnomah Falls near Portland on Wednesday.  Wednesday evening they took us out to dinner at Valley BBQ in Parkdale.  The rest of the time was for conversation, watching slide shows of our mutual travels, eating and sitting by a fire.




The weather is getting cooler.  We have had 2 mornings in the ‘30’s this week.  We pulled out the extra comforter to put on the bed.  Now we are nice and cozy as we snuggle in at night.  We don’t leave the heat on overnight so it is a bit chilly for a few minutes in the morning until the heater takes the chill out of the camper.  The cool weather is affecting the campers.  We have had some cancellations of reserved sites and the drop in traffic has diminished.  This makes life for us easier, but on the other hand the County staff that is usually here daily has been laid off for the winter.  We now have a County person here for 1/2 day during the week and no one on weekends.  That means we are more diligent on bathroom and shower maintenance, but the downturn on the number of campers reduces the need for camp site cleaning.  With the cool weather has come some rain, so firewood sales are also down.

We head back to Idaho Falls three weeks from Sunday.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Visitors Galore!

Wow!  What a week this has been.  Shortly after my brother and his wife left for Montana, Rosie’s sister, Gigi, flew up from Los Angeles to surprise Rosie for her birthday on the 17th and stayed with us for 3 nights.  The sisters had a great time catching up on each other’s lives.  We watched old videos of family events.  Gigi treated us for a dinner and a lunch out, something we do not get to enjoy very often.  They went on a short hike on a trail to a waterfall.  Here are some pictures from the visit.

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  At Applewood BBQ in Parkdale, OR                                   At Crooked Tree Tavern near Mt. Hood

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    At the trailhead to the falls                                            A bridge along the trail

Gigi left Thursday morning to return to LA.  About 5 o’clock Thursday evening our friends, Karen and Spencer from Idaho Falls showed up in their Roadtrek Class B RV.  They are staying until Saturday and then continuing their journey towards Washington State.  We have had a great time visiting and solving the problems of the world.  Karen took a river boat down the Amazon River in the past year and we watched a slide show of her photos from the trip.  What an amazing experience that was and we enjoyed reliving the trip with her.

Things are starting to slow down at the campground.  The nights are getting cooler; it was 35f Thursday morning when we got up.  We have about 30 campsites occupied tonight.  It is starting to rain.  The sound of rain on the roof of a camper is loud and it sounds like it is raining a lot harder than it really is.

We continue to love this place and are enjoying our work here.  We have agreed with our County manager that we will be back in 2014 for the months of April, May, August, September and October.  That will give us time for 30 days in Idaho Falls, 3 days at my family reunion and 28 days in Colorado.  We are starting to see deer in the campground and one of the County employees reported seeing a buck elk on the grounds.

The fall colors are starting to show at this elevation.  Here are some pictures of the fall colors and some interesting mushrooms that Gigi and Rosie spotted on their hike:

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On Monday we are expecting visitors all the way from Germany.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Another Week Gone By!

Time sure flies when you are having fun (and working too).  We had a lot of campers this weekend after our almost capacity crowd over Labor Day.  Rosie sold lots of firewood and I was busy helping campers find spots for the weekend.

On Tuesday my brother Ron Amick, and his wife Dotty, arrived in their Kountry Star Class A motorhome.  They were coming from central California where they had gone to Dot’s school reunion.  While they were here we took them on a tour of Hood River, then we ventured up to Lost Lake.   Lost Lake is a resort with cabins and a campground with a Marina and a nice General Store.  It is in a beautiful setting, but I would not want to pull our camper up that hill and try to get into a site from the narrow roads.  Here are some pictures from our trip:






Ron and Dot pulled out Saturday morning to head for Columbus, MT to meet up with other family members.  We are so happy when family comes to visit us.

We are still liking Work Camping.  I just sent off an application for Camp Hosting to Santa Barbara County in So. California.   It would really be neat if we could get Camp Hosting gigs during the winter in So. Cal.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 9, 2013

28 Days On The Job

Yesterday was 4 weeks into our new Camp Hosting adventure.  The time is flying by because we are having so much fun.  I don’t remember any “job” I have ever had that is this enjoyable.  Our work environment is to die for and the tasks are not difficult.  The pace is slow (most of the time) and we are not stressed in any sense of the word.  The Labor Day weekend was a bit hectic for short periods of time spread out over the first two days.  Sometimes a lot of campers would arrive at the nearly the same time, have a lot of questions and needed help finding their spots if they had a reservation; or finding an open spot if they did not have a reservation.

By Monday afternoon, the park looked and felt pretty empty.  On Tuesday we did the laundry and shopping for food supplies and had lunch at a local Chinese Restaurant, China Gorge.  We were not impressed with the buffet and it seemed a bit pricey to us.  Also took a trip to Laurance Lake.   There is a small tent campground there.  The lake is quite small.  Here are some pictures:

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             The stream feeding the lake                                        Rosie on the stump Smile

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            Entrance to the campground                                            Typical campsite

After the trip to the lake, we stopped at McIsaac’s Market in Parkdale.  This is a great grocery market for a town that is two blocks long.  They have many products usually found in major supermarkets and they have locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables.

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      Part of the deli case                                                              Rosie picking out some local pears

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           Local fruit (not the pineapple)                                                              Local wines

One day Rosie took the camera out to get pictures of the local berry plants:

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The locals tell us the berries are not edible, but they sure look pretty.

On Saturday, we met a couple from Chico California who are about to become full time RV’rs.  Mike and Sharon Porro haven’t gone through the “sell the house and everything in it” process, but it is under serious discussion and planning.  We shared a campfire on Sunday night and had a wonderful conversation.  I am sure we will cross paths again in the future.

Today we confirmed our return to this campground in 2014 for the months of April, May, most of August, September and most of October.  That will give us time for a month in Idaho Falls, my family reunion in early July, and 4 weeks in Colorado most of July and a few days in August.  This workcamping is very helpful to our budget since we have no camping expense and minimal fuel consumption during our time here.  With the slow economy having a negative affect on my self employment, the reduction in living expense is welcome.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Workcamping Gets Busy!

Today is the three week anniversary of our Workcamping debut.  In my last blog I explained our situation here at Tollbridge County Park.  This is a one hundred acre park with 87 campsites in 4 “loop” areas.  When we arrived on August 11 we joined Craig and Linda, who had been the only hosts on duty for several months.  After a two and a half weeks of transition training, Craig and Linda departed last Friday.  So Rosie and I handled the three day Labor Day weekend as the only hosts in the Park.  It is now Monday and the Park is almost deserted.  I think we managed very well considering our limited experience in this line of work.

We have been familiarizing ourselves with the local area businesses.  We found a medical clinic where we can have our blood work done.  We found a hair salon that serves both our our hair dressing needs.  The local library in Parkdale gave us free library cards so we have ample reading material available for our “slower” times here in the park.  Hood River County allowed us to have our bulk mail sent here every two weeks.  When you add that to the AT&T MiFi we purchased for internet access, we are in good shape.  We are getting accustomed to life without television.  We get our news online on my tablet and stay connected with family and friends on Facebook.

We have met many nice, fun and interesting people.  A young man from Belgium rode in on a bicycle looking for a tent site.  He is riding a bike from Seattle to San Francisco.  We have had several other European campers and several from Canada, but the majority of our campers are from Oregon.  Many families with young kids and puppies.  Rosie really enjoys the interaction with the campers, who know her as the “Wood Lady”.  She is a natural salesperson.  I am handling the front of the operation helping campers find sites, collecting fees and generally being helpful.

Here are some pictures taken since my last blog:


Mount Hood often has a cloud cover.


Parkdale downtown is 2 blocks long.  Here is the view looking east.


Here is the view of downtown looking west.


This is the public day use area of the park.


The east fork of the Hood River as it goes through the park.

It is September and fall is in the air.  Some of the leaves are starting to change color.  The fall colors will be fantastic here in a few weeks.  We may get some family and friends visiting us.  One of my brothers and his wife plan to swing by here on their way home from California to South Dakota.  One of our friends from Germany (a couple) are going to be touring the Pacific Northwest and they plan to come by. 

Here are the numbers for July:

Camping – $198.50 ($6.61per night – we get a free site for camp hosting)

Diesel Fuel when pulling – $282.00

Truck Service/Repairs – $0.00

RV  Repairs/Service – $356.38 (two new tires after tire blowout).

Generator Gas/Propane - $20.93

Metered Electricity – $0.00

Satellite TV/Radio – $81.65

Campground Pet Fees – $0.00

Laundry – $20.00

Total = $959.46

Thanks for stopping by.