Saturday, September 22, 2012

Things Are Thinning Out

Things are really thinning out as the season nears its end. We're starting to see some color in the deciduous trees and the fir trees are dropping lots of small brown needles. We've closed 6 of our 17 campgrounds, with 6 more scheduled 10/7 and the rest closing 10/14. The number of campers has dwindled as well. All of our camphost couples have left leaving 4 of the original 18 hosts to manage the store and remaining 11 campgrounds. We've got 1 host working the store 5 days a week and Bud, Joan and I covering the campgrounds. We're flexing our schedules to keep everything caught up.

We do have some new helpers in managing the campgrounds, Iron Rangers. Normally camphosts make at least two passes each day through each campground to check in campers. Over the last week we've been switching to the Iron Rangers; small metal posts located in each campground that allow campers to self-register by filling out their information on an envelope into which they place their camping fee.
Colecting an Iron Ranger

Then they place the envelope in the Iron Ranger which we collect on a random basis. We're still visiting each campground daily to police the empty sites, clean  restrooms and ensure the Iron Ranger registration process is being followed.

Joan and I took a day trip to the town of Lake Oswego. just south of Portland. We had driven through a few weeks earlier and wanted to take a little time of explore it further. There were lots of small sculpture located throughout the downtown area and a nice shopping village on the lake.

Joan and I stopped this young lady to ask directions but she wasn't able to help us much. We did manage to find a small restaurant and really enjoyed a quick lunch while we were there. 

Right after we arrived in April Joan started a small garden. Now just weeks away from leaving we're 
starting to enjoy the results of her hard work.

Tomatoes, zucchini and a few herbs

Joan driving the switchback below the one on
which I'm standing

We had the opportunity to visit one of the more remote sites on the Mt Hood side of the forest; Keepsmill Campground. After driving 6-7 miles down one of the few paved forest roads, we turned off onto an unpaved rocky trail for a couple of miles containing numerous hairpin turns descending from the mountain to the stream bed.

Two shout outs this week: The first a belated Happy Birthday to my oldest son Doug. Good luck on your move to Atlanta.

The second to Bradley. Happy 10th Birthday. Hang in there Buddy, we'll be home at Christmas and looking forward to spending some time with you, Ryan and Emily.

Stay Tuned, More to Come

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Who Are Those Strange People Wandering Around the Woods?

Time really does fly by! Joan and I are down to our final days of working here at Mt. Hood National Forest.  With campgrounds closing, camphosts have begun to leave. Most of them have been workamping for awhile. We learned alot talking to them about their previous workamping experiences and picking their brains about 'how and why'. And a side benefit is that we now have new friends and places to visit (their homes) throughout the southwest!  Let me introduce you.
Sandy & Jim
Headed back to Arizona after working the Nascar Races in Vegas.
This was their 1st Workamping Job

Gerry and Phyllis
1/2 of the team that ran the store
Don and Donna
The other 1/2 of the store team. This was
their 2nd year here

Bud. Everybody knows Bud
Originally from this area with more years workamping
then he cares to admit. Can't tell you how many
returning campers asked us "Where's Bud?"

Jerry and Sharon
Jerry worked Maintenance while Sharon hosted
Lazy Bend Campground

Hosted 3 campgrounds and didn't take 'stuff'
off of anybody
Headed back to Ohio to work with his son

Another local who started later in the season

Wyatt & Heather
Also headed towards Ohio
Michael & Anna
The Man in Charge and the Woman Who Knows
What's Going On!

Jean & Larry
2nd season in Oregon headed to Colorado Springs
Larry taught me everything I know about
So you can blame it on him!
Mel & Teri
Maintenance Supervisor & Operations Manager
Joan and I will miss everyone we worked with this year. It's been a season we won't forget and we  look forward to meeting up with our new friends somewhere down the road

Monday, September 3, 2012

You Call That a Vacation?...

10 Days and 2300 miles later......Jim and Debbie are on their way home. As the week progressed several blog titles were bandied the time came to an end Debbie even suggested "Thank Goodness They're Finally Gone!" But before it was all said and done we all agreed that this trip rivals our first FOSJ motorcycle trip to Utah in 2007 as one of the best.

The first few days we took day-trips to locales close to the RV. Then on Sunday we set out for a 5-day drive south to Crater Lake, then into Redwood National Forest in California before a scenic slow paced drive north on US101 along the Oregon coast returning home. The last few days were more day trips saving Mt Hood for last. There's no way I could tell you about all of the wonderful and beautiful things we saw along the way, but maybe the pics below will tell a little of the story.
Columbia River Gorge

Multnomah Falls
Bonneville Dam
Mt St Helen

Mt Rainier

Lavender Field Near Corbett

Sisters Mountains Dee Wright Observatory

Crater Lake

Rogue River Gorge

Elk - Northern California

Redwood National Forest

Southern Oregon Coastline

Brookings Oregon

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Coquille River Lighthouse

Umpqua River Lighthouse

Frontier Sand Dunes Florence Oregon

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Mt Angel Monastary

Dinner on the Terrace at Imperial River Company Overlooking
the Deschutes River

Deschutes River

Set Net Fishing Warm Springs Reservation

Leaving Tighe Valley
WindSurfing on the Columbia River

Kite Boarding in the Gorge near Mt Hood

Parkdale View of Mt Hood
I know I've probably left some things out. If you'd like to see more shots check out Joan's pictures on her Facebook page. Just 'Friend' Joan Ritten on Facebook.

Stay Tuned. More to Come.