My Workamping Experience

Camphosting in the Northwest

To begin, Washington was the only state I had not visited in the west.  So I jumped at the chance to work there.  As many of you already know I signed up for the job last January while visiting the annual RV Show in Quartzsite.  I just happened upon the Hoodoo booth, since at the time I was not really looking for a job.  After talking to Rob (who turned out to be my boss) I was offered the job at Panorama Point on Baker Lake in Northwest Washington.  We went over the pay and job duties and I signed up with them.  The whole process took about 15 minutes.

Then I had the whole winter to prepare for the journey north.  The first thing I did was NOT work but spend time with my friends for a few months.  I also took the time to go to Algadones, MX for dental work.  Then it was off to see my family over the holidays, before heading north to WA.

VERY wet weather

When I arrived in the campground it was pouring rain and didn’t stop raining for several days.  I hoped I didn’t make a mistake and come to a climate that continually rained.  However the rain did stop eventually and the weather was a bit chilly but very nice.  The summer turned out to be fantastic.  It did rain a bit but nothing really bad until August when it poured and poured.

Camp Host at three different campgrounds

I parked my rig in a nice spot in the Panorama Point campground.

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We had to drive 100 miles to orientation and then the campgrounds officially opened up on Memorial Day.  The campgrounds I was responsible for were Panorama Point, Boulder Creek and Shannon Creek.

Panorama Point has 16 campsite including the host site.  Many considered it to be one of the nicest of all the Baker Lake campgrounds.  I ran into many people who returned there year after year.  I even spoke with one man who’s father had brought their family to Panorama Point when he was eight years old and he had been coming back there every year since.  He is not 62.  WOW!

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Boulder Creek is a small 10 site campground located on Boulder Creek.  It doesn’t have any direct access to Baker Lake.  It was located a mile from Panorama Point.

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That is Mt Baker in the background.

Finally Shannon Creek is a 20 campsite campground at the very northern end of Baker Lake.  It is located 5 miles from Panorama Point.  It is also down 3 miles of gravel road.  This is the view I have twice a day on my way to Shannon Creek.

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This is a view from the beach at Shannon Creek.  Many campers would park their cars at Shannon Creek and boat over to the other side where there were several dispersed campgrounds.

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Most of the campsites are small and perfect for tent camping, but there are also many RV type campsites, especially down by the lake.

I had to make the rounds of all three campgrounds twice a day taking the money from the posts, writing receipts, cleaning pit toilets, firepits and campsites.  I also had to charge campers for extra vehicles and sell firewood.  It kept me busy most of the day.

Days off

Each camp host was assigned 2 consecutive days off where we were on our own to do what we pleased.  That was GREAT!  We still had to deal with campers that came to our door, but we could leave the campgrounds completely as I mentioned in previous posts.

However we had to fill in for camp hosts when they had their days off.  It made for a long day, but that was only 2 days a week and the days off made up for it.

Company vehicle supplied

Each camp host was supplied with a company truck and all the equipment that was needed.  We also had a cage that was filled with firewood for sale.  If we needed anything at all Hoodoo supplied it for us.

No maintenace

Hoodoo has a crew that performs all the maintenance.  That includes lawn cutting and weed eating.  They also did all the repairs on the campgrounds whenever needed.  It sure made or life easier.

Would I do it again

You bet!!  All the camp hosts on Baker Lake were invited to return the following summer at our final camp host meeting.  I am hoping to get the same campgrounds.  It was a great job and the pay was good.  I was able to save some money while also visiting much of the surrounding area.  Washington is a very beautiful state.  It was GREEN from the day I got there until the day I left.

Last day in Yuma!!!

Last day in Yuma

Hooray!!  This is my last day in the Yuma area.  I am still at the Paradise Casino where I am parked with very few other rigs.

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  I have been here 2 1/2 weeks and no one has hassled me at all.  I am getting to know Yuma pretty good now.  The weather this last week has really warmed up.  It is supposed to be 101 degrees tomorrow.  That is way too hot for my blood.  Chica’s too!  This is a pic of her in the morning when she enjoys the warmth of the morning sun.  In the afternoon it is quite different as she finds a cool spot out of the heat.

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Last Dental Appointment

I go in to Algadones, MX for my last dental appointment tomorrow at 9:30am.  I need to go for a permanent crown and then I am off to the races.  I am hoping I can get out of there early and through customs without waiting in a long line.  Two weeks ago I had an early appointment and breezed through customs without any line at all.  Last week because I didn’t get done with the dentist until 2:00pm I had to wait an hour in line.  I think a lot of people go across the border for lunch and when lunch ends they high tale it back across the border, hence the long lines.

Off to CA

Once I get back to my rig I will hook up and be off on my 4+ hour journey to O’Neill Park in Orange County CA.  I have stayed at this park many times as it is convenient to my family.  It does not have hookups, but that is OK as I have my solar panels and that gives me plenty of solar with the nice blue CA skies.  I am also looking forward to getting into cooler temps in CA.  Chica is too!!

Heading to I-10

I have decided to take catch the I-10 around Indio and then head into Orange County.  It will be later in the day I will be hitting all the traffic, but I will be going against traffic pretty much.  Anyway I am not in a big hurray as I have already made reservations.

 

 

Back to Yuma

What a pain

I left Tempe, AZ and headed back to Yuma for another dentist appointment.  After I had my wisdom tooth pulled on Mar 6 I continued to have pain whenever I drank any cold/hot liquids or ate ice cream.  I had call Dr Eva’s office and mentioned that I was still getting pain.  They suggested that it was only temporary and that I could take Ibuprofen to ease the pain.  The Ibuprofen did help with the pain but about 4 hours later I would have to take another one.

I was hoping that it was only temporary but it was not going to go away.  I then called Dr. Eva’s office again and scheduled an appointment.  So I decided to stay at the Paradise Casino parking lot since it was close to Algadones.  I was in her office at 8:00am and was her first appointment.  She looked at the space where my wisdom tooth was extracted to see if there was any problem.  She assured me that the area around the wisdom tooth had healed properly, but thought that the pain was coming from another tooth.

She called Dr Hernandez office which was right next door to her office and set up an appointment within an hour for him to see me.  He specializes in root canals and he would find out what tooth was bothering me

Cracked tooth

The problem was a cracked tooth very near my missing wisdom tooth.  I inquired as to how a tooth gets cracked and he gave me an answer that seems to fit us retired folks.  OLD AGE!  Any way he performed a root canal on the tooth and I was out the door in no time.  After my mouth calmed down from the Novacaine I noticed that I no longer had any pain.  Great!  Now an ice cold beer tastes delicious!!!

I have to return to him next Tuesday and his office also made an appointment with Dr. Eva’s office for me to see her after.  Hopefully I will be out of there on Tuesday and headed out of town.

I spent a whole lot more then I budgeted for dental, but it was still much cheaper then having it done in the US.  Plus I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any problems this summer while camp hosting.

Paradise Casino

The temps were running in the mid 80’s.  A couple of days it was very windy which was great since it cooled everything down.

Chica an`d I took a walk around the area a bit.  You can see the Colorado River with a nice little park.

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The RV parking lot is rather barren and not too many people left.

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Her is Chica relaxing after a hike around the grounds.

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Always fun meeting bloggers

Invited for dinner

I was invited for dinner by Sandie of Where are the Dixons fame.  I met both Sandie and Jim several years ago in Quartzsite and she always writes nice comments on my blog.  They spend their winters in Apache Junction, AZ and their summers on the road or in their home state of Montana.  They are always such fun people.  So I jumped at the chance to see them before they left the area.  I drove to Apache Junction, AZ and we had dinner at Superstition Skies.

More famous bloggers

I also met Rod  of Retired Rod fame.  We had some great conversation and then he mentioned a blog post he wrote that went viral.  In case you haven’t read about his experience with his Roomba and the dog poo you should check it out here.  It is a hilarious post and will keep you in stitches.  Rod is a very funny guy and I have added his blog to my list of “must reads”.

Then I met Diana of Life on the Open Road fame.  I started reading her blog a couple of years before I even started RVing and it is still on my “must read” list.  I have always gotten a lot of enjoyment out of her posts as they are usually sort and sweet and have many pics.  Lots of good information.

It is really neat when you meet up with the people whose blogs you read and enjoy.  Some people like Diana were my mentors even though they didn’t know it.  I got lots of great information and encouragement to realize that the fulltime RV lifestyle was the one for me.

Great Dinner

We all had a great dinner.  Several of us ordered the “all you can eat” chicken wings and legs. We all kept going back for more.  They also had a group that played a wide variety of music.  It was a great time and I was so glad I went.  Here is a pic of our table.  Left to right, Rod, Phil, Phil’s friend (sorry I didn’t get his name), Diana, Sandie and Jim.

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Thanks Sandie for inviting me.  It was so much fun.

Spring Training Weekend – Part 2

Off to a Hockey Game

After seeing the Angels practice we stopped and got all the fixin’s so that we could have a barbeque.  We happened to be talking about hockey and Curt did some investigating on his IPad.  He found that the Phoenix Coyotes were playing the Calgary Flames in Phoenix that night.

He purchased the tickets and after a great steak dinner we were off to the game.  I haven’t been to a hockey game in years so it was a real treat for me.  The traffic wasn’t bad until we got near the off ramp where it seems that in another stadium they were holding a concert.  What a traffic jam.  However we were just a bit late for the game and just as we were climbing the stairs the noise level increased and we realized the Coyotes had just scored a goal.  What luck.  Fortunately the game didn’t end at 1-0.

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It was a good game and the Phoenix Coyotes won 3-2.  Here we are at the game.

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 We were busy all day with both baseball and hockey.  How good is that!!!

Busy Bees

Sunday we had tickets for the Angels vs the Mariners game.  We had a light breakfast and headed over to the ball park so we could get to see batting practice.  As we walked up to the front of Diablo Stadium the crowd was waiting at the top of the steps for the gates to open.  All of a sudden the police were forcing the crowd down to the lower steps.  What the heck is going on?

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It seems they located a bee hive that was in the stands.  The fire department had to come out and spray it down to get rid of the bees.  Then they let the crowd back up the steps but they didn’t open the turnstiles yet.  So there we were packed in like sardines with the hot sun drenching down on us and no where to go.

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We finally got into the park and all was well on the western front.  We had great seats just behind and to the left of home plate.

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It was a good ball game although the Angels lost to the Mariners 5-3.  Over the entire weekend the baseball teams we were rooting for both lost and the hockey team won.  I guess one out of three isn’t too bad, but it is Spring Training.

Then we went back to the rig where we had another barbeque and watched a movie.  Then at 11:30pm it was off to the Sky Harbor Airport.  Fortunately it was only a few miles away and there was no traffic at that time of the night.

Great weekend

It was really great getting together with my son Curt for the weekend.  We both love sports and seeing games and it was really a fantastic weekend.  I would like to make this a tradition and get together for Spring Training next year if possible.

Spring Training Weekend – Part 1

Lucky to land a space at the Elks Lodge

I left Hot Springs LTVA Wednesday and traveled to Tempe, AZ.  I used the Allstays App on my IPhone and found an Elks Lodge in close proximity to Sky Harbor Airport where I will be picking up my son Curt.  He is flying in late Thursday (actually Friday) and leaving late Sunday (actually Monday).  He will be staying with me as we attend a couple of Spring Training Baseball games.

The Elks Lodge is also close to the Tempe Diablo Stadium where we will see the Angles on Sunday.  I was sure lucky to get a space as I got the last space available when I checked in.  I plan to stay here for 7 days before heading back to Yuma to have Chica’s teeth cleaned.

I am in the last row.  It is a fairly large park with 26 full hook-up sites.

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The only bummer is the Animal Hospital and Kennel that is located on the other side of the block fence surrounding the park.  The dogs start barking at 6:00 in the morning and hardly ever let up all day and late into the night.  However we have gotten used to it and it hardly phases Chica anymore.

Here is Chica basking in the sun on our new flooring as a hundred dogs are barking only 50 feet away.

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Goodyear Ball Park

We hung out on Friday and did some shopping and a lot of catching up since we last saw each other.  It was sure great to see my son again and spend some time with him.  Friday evening we saw the Texas Rangers vs. Cincinnati Reds ball game.  It took place in Goodyear, AZ which is on the other side of Phoenix.  We left early as it was Friday during rush hour traffic.

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Here is a selfie I took of us at the ball game.

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We were lucky that they had $1 beer night except it was a bit chilly so we only had one each.

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Angels Batting Practice

While out shopping on Friday I decided to head over to the Tempe Diablo stadium where the Angels would be playing on Sunday.  We were able to get into the stadium since there was no game and the guy in the Team Shop told us to return tomorrow about 10:30am and we could see the Angels practice out in the field.

We got up early (sure can’t sleep with all the noise from the dog kennel next door) and headed to the park.  It was very cool.  You can get very close up to all the players and some of them would even sign autographs.

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Albert Pujols catching a ground ball.

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Everyone was yelling for Mike Trouts autograph.

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But Josh Hamilton did stop to sign autographs.

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Curt (on the right holding up the ball) tried to get his autograph but just missed since there were so many people.

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It was a very fun day seeing all the players practicing.  I will have more to post tomorrow about our exciting weekend

New Flooring Looks Great

Long day at the dentist

Thursday was a really long day for me at the dentist.  I left Hot Springs LTVA about 8:30 to make my appointment at 10:30.  There was an hour time change when entering California and the dentist goes by Arizona time.  I got right in on time and they started with my new bridge.  No matter what they did it did not fit right as it was too high when I bit down.

They called the lab and they sent someone over to discuss it.  They decided it would have to be remade so they had to take another impression and then sent it back to the lab.  The dental assistant told me it would take at least another hour before they would get it back and that I could wait in the lobby.  I mentioned that I also had to have a wisdom tooth removed.  I then was taken to another chair and they prepped me for the removal.

Pulling that wisdom tooth was a frickin bummer!!!!!  She had to break it into several pieces and cut the gum as well.  I didn’t feel any pain, but heard a lot of crunching noises as she was pulling it.  I needed 3 stiches to sew up the cut in the gum.

Then it was off to the lobby, where I must have read every National Geographic magazine they had.  I got these pics of the lobby from Debbie when she was there a few weeks earlier.

Dr. Eva's Waiting Area

Dr. Eva's Reception Desk

It was beginning to get very hot and the air conditioner clicked on and soon it was getting rather chilly.  So I waited outside in the courtyard.

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Finally the new bridge came in and off I went.  I am hoping I won’t have to see her again for another year.  Should anyone ever need any dental work done I highly recommend Dr Eva Urena on B Street.

Flooring almost complete

Peter continued working on my flooring while I was at the dentist.  It is almost complete except for the entrance.  What a huge difference this makes.  However we did run into some obstacles along the way such as this small box right in back of the passenger seat.

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We just put the lid back on it and left it.  It is behind my first chair and cannot be seen anyway.The biggest problem we faced were the bolts that attach the house to the truck chassis.  They were all along the passenger side of the rig and stuck up about 1/4 inch from the floor.

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  In many spots the tile would fit over it nicely but there was also one right at the entrance.  I plan on purchasing a thick rug to cover it up and prevent anyone from tripping on it.

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Aside from that everything looks really good and I am very pleased with the new look.  It is so much better then the old carpet and much easier to keep clean.

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You can read more about how Peter of American Traveler Fame installed my new flooring at his blog post  I cannot begin to thank Peter enough for all the great work he has done.

I don’t know why RV manufacturers continue to put carpeting in RVs.  For us full timers it isn’t really practical.  Many of us spend a great deal of time in the desert and carry sand and dirt in on our shoes which gets in the carpeting.

Desert Sunset

I again had a beautiful desert sunset to end my day.

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