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.

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Home Sweet Home – for 4 months

Last leg of journey completed

I drove the last leg of the journey to my home for the next 4 months.  It was only 51 miles but I was anxious all the way as I wasn’t sure the campground would be opened.  When I arrived the gate was open and I just drove right in.

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This pic shows the entrance to the campgrounds.

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Then I found the host site and started moving right in.

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Cloudy and Rainy

When I arrived it was raining and very cloudy.  Chica and I walked around the campground and she was fascinated by the Canadian geese.

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This was quite different then what she is used to seeing.

Sunny Day

The following day it was sunny and I awoke to some really fantastic scenery.  I couldn’t believe how beautiful this place is with snow-capped mountains all around.  The next couple of pics were taken about 50′ from my campfire.  The lake is right there so I will have easy access with my kayak.

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We took another hike around the campgrounds.  This is the road leading around it.

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The trees are very tall as you can see.

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This is a view of the lake and mountains from the day use area.

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Day use for fishermen

There is also a day use are for fishermen with a boat ramp

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This is a sign that shows Baker Lake.  We are at the dot at the very bottom portion of the lake.

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There was a mom and pop Canadian Geese enjoying the lake.

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Poor Internet

I was using my Millenicom Hotspot attached to my Sleek booster, but I was only able to get a very slow 3G.  I tried uploading my pics but it took several hours for just 2 pics and then I would lose the connection every now and then.  I had to pick up my mail in Concrete, WA so decided to check if the connections was faster down there.  AHA!  I got 4G in this small town and my pics loaded very quickly (4G).

Cabin City, MT

Taking my friends suggestions

After staying a couple of days at the North Shore campground outside of Trout Creek, MT, I continued my trek south to a USFS campground just a few miles north of Saint Regis, MT.  My friends Linda and Carole, who were part of the caravan through Canada, I stopped here and highly recommended it. Thanks Linda and Carole for the great suggestion!

I get a lot of recommendations from many people suggesting, “I stop at different places” or “don’t forget to see this”.  Of course I can’t fit everything into my schedule, but I do try to check as many out as I can.

Although Saint Regis was a bit out of my way I thought I would check it out anyway.  Just 11 miles north of Saint Regis is a very small town called Cabin City where I found a wonderful campground.  They have two loops and I found a nice spot in Loop B.  There was no electricity or dump station, but they did have water.

I found this campsite, which had lots of room and settled in.

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They had a new camp host who was a gold miner and we had several good conversations about finding gold and camp hosting.  He was really a great guy.  Just in front of where I had the Sami parked was a dirt road that led into the forest.  However it was closed, so couldn’t drive down it.  But Chica and I took a nice long hike down it to see what was there.

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We found a beautiful patch of flowers.

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All around the campsite were trails that led off into the forest.  It was very dense up there and since we were in bear country I decided that it would not be a good idea to have Chica as bear bait so we stayed close to our camp.

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Bear in camp

The first night in our camp the host came by to warn us that a bear had come into someone’s camp in the other loop and ransacked their food.  The lady was camping in a tent and was able to scare the bear off, but not after it had destroyed most of her food.

This was a case where a camper was too complacent about keeping their food in a vehicle.  The host told me that she had all her food out on the table and it was easy pickins’ for the bear.  DUH!! Not too smart.  When up in bear country you need to take precautions and not invite the bear into your camp for a meal.  Oh well, live and learn.  At least no one was injured.

I did not hear anymore about the bear the next day and two days later we will make our way toward Missoula, MT and then Victor, MT for a couple of days with my friends at their ranch.

A visit from my son

My son stops in for a couple of days…

My son Curt is traveling from California to Texas and stopped in to see me for a couple of days.  We went out to dinner at Gordon Biersch Brewery in downtown Tempe.  It is a great restaurant overlooking Mill Street.

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We also walked around the Mill Street?University Drive area.  It was a great place and lots of people out.

Off to see the MIM again…

He hadn’t seen The MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) so I suggested we go there on Tuesday.  We spent most of the day walking around this fabulous museum.  They have an “Experience Gallery” where you can experience playing the many instruments they have on display.  Or should I say trying to play them.  HA!!  It was a lot of fun.  Here are several pics from the Experience Gallery.

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While there I found several things that I had not noticed in my prior visit.The first was instruments made out of cans.

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Bamboo

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and even a brake cylinder.  It is amazing the different instruments that people use to make music.

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I can’t imagine paying $27.45 for this organ, but back in 1902 that was probably a fortune.

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Gourmet meals in the MIM cafeteria…

After touring the museum we were hungry so stopped in their cafeteria for lunch.  What a pleasant surprise.  The lunch was all gourmet meals.  I couldn’t believe it.  Someone had commented on my previous post about the delicious meals so I just had to see for myself.  What a pleasant surprise.  Of course I had to have a Monkey Shine ale to wash it down!

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Here is a pic taken in the courtyard of The MIM.  This statue moved ever so slightly that you could not even tell if you were looking at it.

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Chica pic

Curt also had a good time with Chica and she enjoyed his company.

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Rangers game and then off to Texas

Curt is a Texas Ranger fan and went to the game on Wednesday.  Then it was off to Texas.  It was fun getting together and I really enjoyed seeing him.

Finally meet my soul mate!!!

Working the Angels Spring Training Games

I am still working the Angels Spring Training games in Tempe.  It has been fun and I am meeting a lot of fun people.  I usually work 3-4 games per week.  I am not making a lot of money, but it pays the expenses.

Weather has been beautiful…

You really can’t beat the beautiful Arizona weather.  The days have been in the high 70’s with a slight breeze at times.  However it will be changing shortly as they expect the temps to dip into the low 60’s tomorrow with a possibility of rain.  There is a game scheduled and hope we don’t get rained out.  After a couple days in the 60’s it is predicted to go back into the 70’s with more great weather.

Found my soul mate!

After many years of searching I finally found my soul mate.  I wasn’t even looking for her.  She just happened to run into me.  I was talking to my sister on the phone and just happened to look out and see her.  I went outside to meet her and we both knew we were made for each other.  Here is a neat pic of her.

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She was very hungry and had crusty eyes.  She came into my rig and made herself at home.  I have been looking for anyone that may have lost here, but without any success.  I checked with the office and they did not know who her owner was.  However she did say that there have been many little Chihuahuas running wild in the area.

I checked Craig’s List and the SPCA here in Mesa without any luck.  I have had her over 2 weeks so decided if nobody claimed her that she and I would make a nice pair. HA!!

Potty training

Although I don’t think she is a puppy I have still had to housebreak her.  It was not very easy at first and there were a lot of accidents.  It was probably mostly my fault as I didn’t let her out often enough.

We have finally gotten into the swing of things as far as potty breaks go and she is much improved.  She still doesn’t bark to let me know when to take her out or even go to the door.  But when I see her sniffing around I know it is time.

Vet day…

Since I haven’t heard from anyone who may have been her owner, I decided to take her to the vet and have her scanned to see if she had a microchip implanted that would tell me who owned her.  They scanned her and came up with nothing.  I decided at this time that she and I would be soul mates for life so I had her checked out by the vet who gave her two shots (which she did not like at all).  They also implanted a microchip and trimmed her nails (which she also hated).  A couple of her nails where almost ingrown and it looked like they hadn’t been trimmed in a long time.  Here is a pic of her at the vet.

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I have named her Chica (which means little girl).  It was a great name that my sister suggested.  We are both happy with each other and she hates when I leave to go to the ball park for the games.  She is very excited when I get home.  She is really a lot of fun and a very happy girl!

Back from a California visit

To California and Back

It has been a while since I last posted and I apologize for that.  I spent the last 11 days visiting family in Southern California.  I hadn’t even planned on driving there but I had to sign in at the Elks Lodge in Oceanside where I transfered my membership.  The Elks that I originally joined was in Benson, AZ but they were closing that lodge due to lack of new members.

I was also able to visit my mom several times and went out to lunch with my sisters on Valentines Day.  I even got in a round of golf on the last day I was there.  It will probably be a while before I get back there again so it was really a great visit.

By the way I drove my new (to me) Sammy (Suzuki Samurai) over there and back.  It was almost 400 miles one way.  Although I don’t intend to drive it that far again it handled beautiful.

Dish Network up and running

Yesterday my friend Phil came over to see where I had been.  Hopefully I will be working for either he or Sindy at the ballpark when the Spring Training games start on Saturday.  He helped me lift my Satellite dish on the roof where I was able to attach it to the bracket.  I tried doing this myself, but it was just too awkward.

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I hooked everything up and it found the satellite very quickly and I had TV.

Employee Orientation and then first ballgame

I have an employee orientation tomorrow where I find out all the details about my job such as where I will be working and what I will be doing.  Then the first game is Saturday with the Angels playing the Cubs.  I am really looking forward to it.

Dropped by the stadium where I will be working

I decided after lunch to drop by the Tempe Diablo Stadium and see if I could get some pics.  I was hoping they would be practicing at the stadium but the players had closed practices in the other fields in the area of the stadium.  I managed to get a few pics of the stadium as well as a couple players.

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There were a lot of photographers taking many pics of Mike Trout.

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While CJ Wilson was busy signing autographs.

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This was a banner on the road to the stadium.

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I was hoping to see some batting practice but will have to wait until a later time.

Spinning yarn and meeting good friends!

Learning how to spin yarn..not tales

I spotted Melinda spinning yarn on her spinning wheel.  Melinda is from Alaska and spins her own yarn and weaving is her passion.  You can read more about her at her blog Woven Journey

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Before long I was sitting at the wheel learning to spin yarn.  It is not easy.  She taught me how to work the foot pedals first.  You have a tendency to move the wheel back and forth which is not what you want to do.  You must have it going in the same direction all the time.  Not easy to do, but with a lot of Melinda’s patience the wheel was going in the correct direction which is clockwise.  I still had difficulty feeding the material.
I can really appreciate how difficult it can be.

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It just comes second nature to Melinda and is very relaxing to her.

Meeting up with my wonderful Canadian friends…

Yesterday I saw a large van pull into our camping area with a big sign on the side that read “Island Tours”.  I don’t know of any islands in the Quartzsite area and the closest body of water is probably the Colorado River.  But out pops my good friends Peter and Bea.  I first met them back in 2011 at Belle Starr’s Ranch in Douglas, AZ.  We worked on a shed of Belle’s and Peter was the driving force behind the work as he is an experienced carpenter.  You can see the blog here.

They had dropped in to see me.  We chatted a bit and told me where they were camped so I drove to their campsite in the afternoon.

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Peter and Bea are from Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada.  By the way if you ever travel to Campobello Island give them a call and they will give you a great tour.

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They both love the southwest and drive down here every winter to get out of the cold weather back home.  Bea is a great cook and also has a great cooking blog Dinner For Two  She made chocolate chip cookies and brownies and had coffee and we tried to catch up on all our travels both past and future.  You can read their blog at American Traveler

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This is a pic of Mollie who loves to travel with them.

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It is always fun meeting up with Peter and Bea.  We have run into each other at many places and without even planning it.  It is amazing how there are so many people at Quartzsite, but you still manage to find those people who are friends and not even be trying.

While having coffee and cookies with Peter and Bea a friend (Sandie) stopped who happens to be a regular commenter on my blog.  They stopped to ask Peter and Bea if they needed anything at the store.  I re-introduced myself to them.  Sandie writes about their travels at  Where Are The Dixons Today?  

A beautiful end to a wonderful day…

There are a lot of clouds in the sky and I managed to get this pic.  It came out better then I thought it would.

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Dinner at the Main Street Eatery

A bunch of us decided to have someone cook our dinner for a change.  Ten of us went to the Main Street Eatery which is located in the front of the laundromat.  It doesn’t sound too glamorous but the food is excellent.  I had chicken friend steak with garlic mashed potatoes.  YUM YUM!!!!