Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 3 and We've Found Oregon's Answer to the Armadillo

Week 3 has come and gone and we've learned a lot more about workamping. This week our jobs have included:
- scraping buildings in preparation for painting
- replacing broken and deteriorated picnic tables
- reopen a campground water system
- falling and bucking hazard trees
- delivering water to camphosts
- cleaning/prepping restrooms in unopened CGs

Not the most glamorous, but at least it hasn't been boring.

This 15,000 gallon water tank had set dormant for almost 2 years as the campground it supported was closed last year due to hazard trees. A portion of the CG will be opened this year so we needed to treat and flush the entire water system. The tank is located about 100' above the CG in the forest and required a hike up a trail with a 30 degree incline toting the ladder and treatment supplies (2 trips to get it all to the top).

After treating the tank we opened every faucet in the CG to allow the system to flush. Once all the water had drained, we closed all the faucets and opened the pump to allow the system to refill. Water samples were taken over the weekend and we'll know the results this week.

After hazard trees have been identified and approved for removal by the Forest Service we will break out the chain saws and start cutting. Bucking trees is the process of cutting up the fallen/felled trees into smaller pieces so they can be removed. Joan and I spent almost 8 hours Friday bucking trees in 3 separate CGs. Now that's tough work. Joan made the comment that she's never worked so hard at manual labor. We both slept well that night.

Steve, Jerry, Sharon, Michael & Anna

We also had our first campfire of the season, inviting over some of the other workampers we work with...

After a tough week we had a day or two to play.

Clackamas River & Hwy 224
About 2 miles from our RV

Timberline Lodge at Mt Hood
63 in the Sunshine....We're Both Wearing Shorts
One of Many Rafters on the Clackamas This Weekend

Mt Hood Reflection in Trillium Lake
Yes, That's Ice Still in the Lake
Now you may be asking what is Oregon's answer to the let me explain. Being from Florida Joan and I are used to seeing a different variety of wildlife. We've been in Oregon for a little over 4 weeks and we've been really surprised that we haven't seen a lot more wildlife. If you've traveled the roads in Florida you've probably seen possum, raccoon, squirrel and the ever present armadillo.....unfortunately as roadkill. What we have seen in Oregon so far is skunk. Not only seen, but smelled as well. You might smell roadkill in Florida if it's been out in the sun for a few days. Not so with skunk. You smell it as soon as you see it! And then some. It's horrible, and the smell gets sucked up into your car's AC system and becomes the gift that keeps on giving. And no one... I mean no one is going to stop, scoop it up and get rid of it.

We travel up and down the highway along the Clackamas River several times each day as we work in the 16 different campgrounds we're responsible for. So far during the last 3 weeks working we've encountered 5 skunks; 4 as roadkill and 1 that Joan barely managed to dodge as it crossed the road in front of her. Believe me when I say a little skunk goes a long way. Maybe we should contact the state of Oregon and see if we can petition for Skunk Crossings; you know those tunnels under the road they established in Florida for the bears to use to avoid traffic. In the meantime we'll just designate the skunk as Oregon's replacement for the armadillo.

Stayed Tuned....More to Come!


  1. You haven't seen possum or raccoons yet? You will. And deer, lots and lots of dear. You may even see bear. Who knows. Oregon is full of surprises.


  2. It, I mean it sounds exciting!!! LOL

  3. Wow! That's some physical work. You Floridians have a different meaning to the word "Retirement". It looks like you are both having fun and you are in a very beautiful area.

  4. Man it sounds like you guys are working way too much but look at it as your workout plan. How many days do you have to work? I know what you mean about skunk, we have them here, I haven't seen them but we have smelled them!

    1. We are working 5 days a week. We have done a lot of physical work to start with but being here in the area that we are makes it more enjoyable. After being at a desk job my entire life, this is a whole new "adventure" for me. The type work we are doing will slow down once the season starts. This gives us a good idea of what we can do. Plan to go a little further south for winter.

  5. You should check out where we are working they may need help this winter. Sugar Barge RV Resort and Marina, Bethel Island, Ca. Work 2 days for site, free fire work and ice, 20 bucks a week for laundry and free propane.