Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rats, Bats, Deeres

Wow....this has been one heck of a week. I mentioned last week that our company was taking responsibility for an additional area this week. It's a combination campground, trailhead and hot springs called Bagby Hot Springs. Bagby is a local hotspot originally 'discovered' in the 1880's. The Forest Service built a guard station there in 1913. Over the years the original buildings have been updated/rejuvenated/added to including the addition of several group and individual hot tubs.The hot springs can only be reached by hiking a 1.5 mile trail. During recent years most of the upkeep has been by volunteers; and unfortunately they have not been able to keep up with the amount of work needed to properly maintain the facilities. Most of this week we spent at Bagby. Monday and Tuesday the Forest Service delivered new picnic tables and metal fire-rings for each of the 18 campsites. The tables weigh 400' each and we worked to arrange and place them on each site.  Then a dump truck with 11 yards of gravel showed and someone was needed to spread it to fill potholes on the road  through the campground. Guess who that was.....yep, they looked around and I was selected. So what do you do when you get lemons?  You make lemonade. Another skill to add to my resume........Tractor Driver

I had a blast. Yep it's a John Deere tractor. Along with the road grading I used the tractor to remove old fire pits made of stone and rocks, smooth out some rock-filled campsites and push around some large logs to make better use of the space on many campsites. I also took about several yards of the gravel and created a parking pad for one of the camphost couples to park their RV. Green acres is the place to be; Farm living is the life for wait a minute, that's someone else.

Wednesday when we came home Joan smelled something sour in the bedroom. We haven't been using the Splendide washer dryer in our RV for several weeks, rather we've been using the washer/dryer in the work center. Joan thought the residual water in our unit may have been the cause so she started the unit to flush it out. I had another concern. We'd been hearing some strange noises lately and I had placed a couple of mouse traps around. I started checking and sure enough...we had a winner... or loser depending on which side of the trap you were on. I pulled out a drawer and checked the space behind it to find we had caught the little bugger a few days earlier...hence the sour smell. I reset the traps just in case there are anymore.

Thursday we had a group of ladies hiking one of the many trails in the forest when one of them stumbled and fell off an embankment. She fell about 40' down a severe incline before she hit a tree and stopped. Good thing because if she hadn't hit the tree she would have fallen another 200' before she hit the bottom. She was rescued and carried out by emergency personnel. Want to know what's so unusual? She was 85 years old. She and her friends have been hiking together for 38 years. All of them are in their 70's and 80's. Hope I'm still hiking the backwoods when I'm her age!

Pegleg Falls

On Friday we took time to hike down and have our lunch at Pegleg Falls, a Forest Service area that has been closed for a couple of years. It was worth the hike.

And on the road home we stopped at another waterfall; a little ways off the road. The trail was only 75 yards, but the incline was steep, trail extremely narrow and right along the edge of a 50' drop. But this waterfall was really cool; also worth the trip.

Just Hangin' Out

One of our final stops Friday was a store managed by some of our workcampers. And what do you think was hanging around the store? In the breakroom........a bat.

See Those Teeth! Not the Happiest Camper in the Forest

Ahhh...he's not such a bad guy after all

A few minutes later, using a fishing net and wearing my trusty gloves we had the bat safely outside. After taking some pics and letting everyone get a close look, he took flight and was soon safe and sound in the wild blue yonder.

Friday night I was really tired and went to bed a little before Joan. Just as I dropped off to sleep Joan cam running into the bedroom, grabbed my foot and started shaking it shouting "He's here, he's in here!". What? When, Where. Who's here? "He's in here" she insisted, "there's another rat in the pantry!" I walked into the kitchen and sure enough, the little %&$(*@!# was sitting there staring at us! He scooted before I could catch him, so we moved another trap into the pantry and we're hoping for a quick end to this problem.

This week has been long and tiring...and just a little bit stressful. On top of that Sunday is Joan's dad's 80th birthday and she's having a little case of homesickness. Her brothers, her sister and many of her relatives will be getting together in Florida to celebrate. This is the first major family event since we left Florida in March and both of us wish we could be there. Happy 80th Tommy!

We did get some good news. Our friends Jim and Debbie, with whom we taken a motorcycle vacation each year for the last few years, have decided to fly out and spend a week with us this summer. If you check out the pictures in the right-hand column of the blog, you see them in several of the FOSJ vacation pics. Joan's sister is also planning to fly out and visit in August. Yahoo!  I'm sure that will go a long ways helping both of us get over missing our family and friends back home.

One final shout out to Tom Davis....Happy Birthday to you too. Looking forward to riding with you again soon!

Stayed tuned, more to follow!


  1. What an interesting, action-packed blog. We have to live vicariously through you because our job is kinda boring. Plus we love all the references to familiar places.

    Keep it up.

  2. Wow - looks like you have had an action packed week! Bats and rats - definitely not my thing! Joan - the "homesickness", while it hasn't gone away yet, does seem to get better! Hang in there. It's so good that Jim and Debbie are coming out to see you. That should help some!

  3. Hope you quickly catch that pesky unwelcome visitor!

    Happy birthday to Joan's dad! Being away from the family can be tough, but glad to hear that her sister and your friends will be coming for a visit this summer.

    1. Thanks! This is the first time I've been away from my family. Not being there for celebrations is difficult. I really miss the grandchildren but I keep reminding myself that Christmas will be here before I know it. We're really excited about the visits from our family and friends. So much to share with them as you all know from being on the road!