Old Diary

…think you can control it

“A journey is like marriage.
The certain way to be wrong
is to think you control it.”
– John Steinbeck

Seven days remain before that last doctor’s visit; the one that’s keeping us here. It’s going to be a busy day. As a cardio specialist he evidently doesn’t trust other doctors as he’s doing another echo cardiogram (supposedly more complete) and before I get to his office I’m scheduled for an MRI at the adjoining hospital. Total appointment time from 9 am till 3 pm.

I’m optimistic that there won’t be any surprises that keep us here in Milwaukee.  All of the conversations with medical staff have indicated that we’re just establishing a baseline — but I also know better than to make assumptions about matters medical.

via BirminghamWe have been looking at routes to Ocala and I think we’re going to avoid most popular I-75 route through Atlanta.  I’ve driven I-75 a lot of times and it simply isn’t my favorite route in the world.  So, we’re giving serious consideration to a ’nearly-as-short’ route via Birmingham.   Now all we need is a decent weather forecast for our travel days.

Several days of rain have kept me from playing around with my new WiFi toys.  I’ll probably not get around to installing them until we get settled in Ocala but I finally talked myself into setting up a private network using WiFi Ranger products.  I’m excited to get it up and running.

should be lookin’ good for Verizon coverage

should be lookin’ good for Verizon coverage

I checked the Verizon coverage map for signal strength near our campground.  We’re looking good.  I don’t know whether you ever bother checking Cell or Data coverage before committing to new locations but it’s something I’m pretty adamant about doing.  I’m such a geek about staying in touch that I really don’t want to be stuck like we were during our stay on the Siuslaw NF with poor coverage.  I loved being there for the work, and the setting — but I hated having to deal with signal issues almost all the time.

Manatee at Salt Springs

Manatees at Salt Springs — within the Ocala NF

Juniper Springs

Juniper-Springs — near our domicile

I was tickled to get an invite from the Forest to the next safety meeting.  We aren’t due into the forest that soon, but at least we’re being included! :-)We’ve been in the 50’s during the day lately, and between the 30’s and 40’s most of the recent couple weeks.  So seeing the forecast for the same time period in Ocala came as a welcome change.

With luck we’ll get to see some color change on our way South;  perhaps the areas we travel through will have had better moisture this summer so that the colors are more brilliant.Ocala WXMilwaukee WX

We’re getting pumped for the trip!  And to get out of Wisconsin.  I think we are agreed that the end of October is later in the year than we’d prefer to still be here.  Last year was quite warm at this time.  This year, not so much.  I think we’ll try to move our doctors’ visits as early into September as possible while their calendars are still fairly empty.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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Old Diary

OCALA NATIONAL FOREST, here we come

Monday morning, bright and early, I had two emails in my box from Ocala National Forest where we are hoping to volunteer this winter.  They didn’t answer before the weekend because my contact person was off duty Friday and never saw my email — so I can’t complain about response time!  If the rest of our interactions with staff there are on par with this it will be a good stay. Fingers crossed.

ocala_national_forest_signWe are making the trip to be maintenance volunteers for the Ocala National Forest from early November till mid April.  By now you know that we’ll be at Highland Ridge all summer (the summer of ’16), so this may turn out to be our least mobile year yet.  Which is ok by us.  Our goal was never to put on lots of miles; and what looks like the better part of year without a lot of movement is all for a few good reasons.

alexander-springs-bear-sign

Florida has a serious Black Bear population and the state just completed it’s annual black bear hunt — harvesting 320 bears out of an estimated population of 3500.

We are excited about this new volunteer gig.  It isn’t what we had been hoping for — the gig at Bosque del Apache, but it sounds like a good alternative, and there’s always next year for Bosque!

We have never wintered in Florida.  Have heard a lot about it.  But never done it.  Our most recent excursion into Florida was 2012, the winter after retiring.  In a short three week trip we checked out the Everglades and took a brief look at the Gulf Coast as far as Ocean Springs MS.  That was a whirlwind trip, by car, not a leisurely 5 month motorcoach stay.  I’m really looking to a very different experience. Peg’s NOT looking forward to a stay with the bear population; but hey — we’re leaning to talk to the animals and maybe we’ll have a good conversation with a black bear!

The USFS in Ocala only asks 20 hours of volunteer time per week so we’ll have plenty of time to enjoy our stay.  There are blog friends nearby so I hope to get a chance to meet up with people we feel close with even though we’ve never met face-to-face.  And the location should be good to check out other over-wintering options, namely where might we stay if we wanted to over-winter without volunteering?

This will be an interesting but different experience; different from our time in the Siuslaw NF.  We’ll be volunteering for the USFS, but the recreation area (campground, boating, facilities) is managed by a private recreation management firm; that includes the campground where we’ll be domiciled. There are two USFS campgrounds that are supposed to have volunteer hosts – but those campgrounds are primitive and so is the camp host site.  Not interested in that.  So, we’ll see how the USFS interacts with their private contractor and how that interaction affects us as volunteers.

The average temps and precipitation are in our range. With the forest being some 600 square miles we should have plenty of space to roam and explore.  And five months to do it in. FL-Ocala

I know this is going to sound silly but one of the big reasons is that I want do lose some serious weight before we return to Milwaukee in September of ’16.  When we volunteered in the past I always managed to shed pounds more easily because we had a.) some routine and b.) more exercise.  So, with a 5 month stint in Florida where we’ll be outside a good deal of the time, and 4 1/1 months in Wisconsin with the same,  I’m hopeful that I’ll be needing another meds adjustment because of lost weight. 🙂 And whenever I have to face surgery I’ll be a better anesthetic risk.

We were asked to show up by 3 November but that’s the day of our last doctor’s appointment so we put them off until the middle of the following week.  I’ll keep you posted as we travel and arrive on site.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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Old Diary

Tree Down!

Ring, Ring…

Ring, Ring…

It’s not even 7:00 a.m. and the phone was ringing on a bright (not) and dry (not) Monday morning.  Actually it was stormin’ and blowin’ and blusterin’.  But when has that ever discouraged a Volunteer from waking people up early in the morning?  🙂  Actually — I was the third person on their call list-in-case-of-emergencies and the only one who answered the phone;  also the only one who doesn’t get paid. 😀

In my rain suit after rompin' around in the rain

In my rain suit after rompin’ around in the rain

But, never fear Super Peter to the rescue!

Turns out it’s not a whole tree — the message lost something in translation — like those games you play as a kid whispering secrets in someone’s ear until the story makes a complete circles and is different in every detail.  But, it is big enough and low enough to cause some serious damage!

If you can’t tell — I’m having fun with this!  I really don’t mind the phone call — that’s what we’re here for:  to be of service; to make campers’ stays on the forest more enjoyable and safer. There are so many times I have wished there was someone around to take care of something when I was camping and I’m glad — proud even — to be part of the team that does that here!

We’ve had a lot of rain over the past two weeks.  In 24 hours we have added another inch to our month’s rain.  we are now less than 1 inch short of our monthly average — with a lot of rain to go to get caught up for the previous three months shortfall.  With the rain has come wind — and yesterday’s blog about kudos for ODOT is just part of the story.  The other part of the story is the work that the Forest Service and the volunteers do.  All that restroom cleaning, and mowing and weed whacking and trash hauling is necessary, but it’s also the quiet side of the maintenance topic.

Sometimes trees fall.  Sometimes the howling winds blow sand across the road until the road is impassible.  Sometimes power lines fall.  The power lines we don’t handle — but we have still been out of power 4 times in the last 7 days — and thankful for our onboard generator  and a full tank of diesel.  But we do take care of a lot of other problems.

You know those big folding road signs you see on the road:  Lane Closed,  Keep Right, etc..:  We have those here.  And we use them.  And traffic cones.

This morning’s call happened because a camper arriving late last night clipped a branch with their 5th Wheel camper and reported it to the the Camp Host.  The host didn’t know where the low hanging branch was; so I woke up the campers (in a torrential downpour all dressed in my rain gear) to find out which one of the semi-low overhanging branches was the culprit.  I sort of knew — it was kind of obvious — but I needed to know for sure.

Since changing jobs we no longer drive the truck with all the necessary gear to cut the offending branch.  And because the F.S. has been collecting equipment to verify their tool inventory even some of the tools that used to live in the Work Center no longer live here.  So I got to make another call:  the guy who replaced us as Siltcoos Caretaker was supposed to have the day off but he got HIS early morning phone call right after I got the details about the problem.

Of course — because he is living in Lakeside instead of up here on the hill he’s a long way away.  And because it’s supposed to be his day off he was out doing grocery shopping — in North Bend — that means he’s even FURTHER away.  It will be a couple hours before he gets here to clean up the mess — but it’s HIM cleaning up the mess not us.

The sea was angry yesterday

The sea was angry yesterday

The ocean has not been very inviting the last few days.  All roiled up; heavy surf;  ominous clouds.

Wind so strong and carrying so much rain that the sand sticks to the grass like plaster on a wall

Wind so strong and carrying so much rain that the sand sticks to the grass like plaster on a wall

I was interested to notice how the winds and rain interplay with the grasses.  I wanted to share this image of how the wet sand almost behaves like we plaster on the wall.

After learning our lesson about traveling when there are severe weather warnings we stayed close to home yesterday — except for the short walk on the dunes and some shopping in Florence.  And I think we’ll pay closer heed to our Boss’ advice about not traveling too much when the forecasts are bad.  This is so different from Midwest weather that we are really learning how to live out here.  The abundance of roads in the Midwest spoiled us — here we have one route — that is all.  The midwestern storms are more harsh — snow upon snow upon snow — and here it’s ‘just’ rain.  And the rain disappears much more quickly than back in Wisconsin — the rain we get here in a day would hang around a lot longer in Milwaukee — the heavy clay soil there almost makes a pond out of any rainfall.  Here, with all this sand, the rain comes down, puddles for a few minutes or hours and then it’s gone — much sooner than would ever happen in Milwaukee.  But it has to go somewhere; right?

It’s the middle of February and spring is making it’s presence known. Daffodils (or jonquils — I’m not sure which), pussy willows, and redbuds are now flowering.  There are other bushes and shrubs that are budding out too.  And it’s wonderful!  We would not be seeing this until May in Milwaukee and it’s a wonderful blessing to finally enjoy a shorter winter and a longer growing season.

Our little plot of earth

Our little plot of earth

We haven’t figured out what to do about the small ‘garden’ plot we have outside Journey.  It’s not much of a plot, but we want to put it to use — and maybe add to it — about that we have yet to see.  We won’t do any adding until we dry up a little and decide if we’re going to be here through the growing season.  We think we will — but one-step-at-a-time.

Mizithra / Myzithra chess

Mizithra / Myzithra chess

And on a completely different subject, while at the grocery store yesterday I found Mizithra cheese.  And this is worthy of mention why?

Remember our visit to The Old Spaghetti Factory?  And the spaghetti with burnt butter and mizithra cheese?  It’s a cheese we could never find in regular Milwaukee groceries.  We did succeed in finding it in a single Greek specialty store in town but only in 3 lb. balls.  That much of a dry cheese is a lot to consume — if you are only two people like we are it would take a long time to eat 3 lbs of shredded cheese on spaghetti!

It turns out there is a big enough population of people who like Mizithra here that they carry it in both local groceries.  Hooray!  We might not find our Sartori Dolcina gorgonzola but we did find quite a different cheese for completely different uses!  YUM OH!

And as I get ready to sign off for this blog the phone rings again, and we need 4 gallons of bleach and a gallon of Shower Power for one caretaker, and another host has several trees down in his campground and another volunteer has lost his Forest Service cell phone.

Such is life on the forest.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow!

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Old Diary, RV Living

Clogged Shower Update

I think I forgot to update you on the shower drain problem from a month ago.  See what happens when you’re having fun?  You forget all about those little details that keep life interesting. rv_water_system
It’s a good update! It really is.

The second time we had a backed up shower turned out not to be a problem with neglecting to drain the gray water tank at all.  I don’t now how I forgot to tell you.

We were having that spate of unusually cold weather for the coast and I had been running water through the line overnight (drip, drip, drip) to keep the water hose from freezing.  We got up early in the morning and being the first one in the shower I got to the end of my shower and my feet were wet — standing in an inch or inch and a half of shower water.

thWell, it turns out the problem was a frozen drain line — the p-trap in the line had frozen and as the heated water from my shower went to work on the water FROZEN in the bottom of the trap that the shower drained just like it’s supposed to.
We just keep learning about how to do this thing called living a mobile life!

Saying Good Bye

I put my uniform on over the weekend to say good bye to a newly made friend.  A week or so ago we’d had that call about a volunteer who had fallen and needed shoulder surgery.  Well, the break turned out to be quite bad and the best thing for the volunteer and partner was to return home. So, Red drove back to the Forest over the weekend and Sunday I checked him out of his volunteer position.  They had only been here about a month, but they were a neat couple — volunteers for 8 years in a variety of locations — and avid OHV’ers.

We’re sorry to see them go but, you have to do what’s best for you.

And I got Law Enforcement approval on a possible new volunteer — so things seem to even out — sort of.

Just a brief one for today. I’ll talk with you again tomorrow.  Cheers!

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Old Diary

A Volunteer’s Bill of Rights

I came across an interesting tidbit.

The Forest Service says Volunteers have a Bill of Rights.

NO, I’m not saying that sarcastically (though I know some folks who would take that as a sarcastic statement).

I like that someone decided to address the idea that just as employees have expectations of their employer so do volunteers.  So many volunteers feel neglected and unappreciated.  Not just here, but in other places as well.  This is how the Forest Service puts it…

Volunteer Rights:

  • The right to be treated with respect

  • The right to a workplace free of harassment

  • The right to a workplace free of hostile conditions

  • The right to a suitable assignment

  • The right to training

  • The right to qualified supervision

  • The right to safe working conditions

I  share it because it’s incredibly easy to get defensive about one’s own situation and to feel as if no one understands them.  Even in the short time we’ve been doing this job the point has been made over and over.  Often they are NOT misunderstood, but they may not be communicated with.  And there are few things that have never happened to ANYONE before — many more chances that any individual’s experience has been repeated over and over again and that there are solutions all ready for your problem if only you knew who to talk to.

Learning to ask questions, the right questions, of the right people, at the right time… That’s half of life.  And I suppose the other half is listening when the answer comes… but that’s another blog.

I was talking with a new prospect yesterday.  He’ taking a position with the BLM this summer and he worked for them last summer as well.  But the ‘outpost’ the had him working at was miles from anywhere — They paid him a $400.00 stipend because the closest town to his duty station was 130 miles each way.  The $400.00 barely covered his cost of going into town for food, supplies and the occasional trip to the doctor.  I’m sure volunteers hearing that he got $400.00 a month would consider they were underpaid or under appreciated.   But those same volunteers would never consider being stationed that far from civilization.  Heck — I would never consider that position — he had no cell service and no data connection.  I’d be looking for something else in an instant. 

We all see the world through very personal goggles — the goggles of our own perceptions.  It’s easy to envy other people, easy to feel sorry for ourselves.  But it’s also easy to look around for help; to ask questions.  Often they are out there — waiting to be found.  

I don’t know where you worked… but I’ve been fortunate, if I was feeling disrespected I have always been able to walk up to the person doing the disrespecting and have a conversation starting out with, “I don’t know what you intended, but…”   That Bill of Rights (above) is pretty decent, it covers a pretty broad range of ideas.  

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Journey DL, Old Diary

One Month On The Job

It doesn't seem like a month….

It doesn’t seem like a month….

Can it be that we’ve been on the job for a month?   We started work October 21.

Or that we’ve been on site for 6 weeks?  We arrived in Siuslaw October 11 — in the middle of The Shutdown

It surely doesn’t seem that way.  But that doesn’t mean what you might think.  Because in some ways it feels like we’ve been here forever; and in other ways it feels like we just arrived.

We’re  comfortable here.  That’s good.  The people are great. The job is doable — and enjoyably so. The scenery is terrific.  And at least so far the weather has been not-too-bad.  In other ways it seems we just got here — because there are still a lot of question marks in our head.  The remaining question marks aren’t surprising — it’s a new life for us.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t real causes for a volunteer’s uncertainty.

I realized this evening  ( it was one of those senior-long-time-awake nights )  that one reasons for demonstrated confusion here (our own, and among other volunteers),  is that there is a serious language gap.  The Forest Service have their own lingo and I really don’t think they realize when they’ve fallen out of English and into ‘Forest-Speak’.  You can’t blame them.  They are professionals dealing with a very unique set of circumstances, it’s only natural that their language has adapted to meet their special needs.  But I notice that I am frequently stopping my boss to explain her terms.  I wonder how many of the other volunteers are as bold as I am to interrupt the boss?  I’m sure it’s not as many as I would hope.  I guess as I move forward I’ll work on that.  Peg and I have been told repeatedly that we are the Forest Service’s ‘eyes and ears’ as we move around our 1/2 of the Dunes Recreation Area.  We know that part of our ‘job’ — an easy one — is taking time to talk with the camp hosts, and the campground caretakers — to see what’s on their minds, what their problems might be — and I think also to make a point of interpreting Forest-speak into English.

When we had our Thanksgiving pot-luck a couple weeks ago the boss mentioned that she was attending a Forest wide “Volunteer Meeting”:

  • what she meant was a meeting held among Forest Service managers to discuss  how they were going to change or alter their volunteer work force.
  • what fully 1/2 of the volunteers heard was there was another volunteer meeting they had to attend.  And some went further, becoming upset because the date of the meeting was on a Monday (not a Wednesday which is their usual volunteer meeting day) and meant that they would lose a day off.

chalktalk_LMIt’s easy to see how that would happen.  Who doesn’t hear first what applies to them, and hear later what they are slightly less interested in?  I can understand if you hear the word ‘volunteer’ and you are a volunteer that you might think this is a meeting you have to attend.  And I can understand how a staffer who is going to a meeting about volunteers might never even dream that the volunteers in your audience might think that the meeting you were soliciting suggestions about was not something the volunteers would have to attend.

But clearly… both sides of this little meeting were not “hearing the other side.”

They didn’t include “translator” on our job description — but maybe they should have.

These are NOT OUR WATER Lines -- But we don't want this to happen!!!!!

These are NOT OUR WATER Lines — But we don’t want this to happen!!!!!

This is also the coldest night on the reservation as it were…. As I write the temp outside is 27 degrees and our water line is frozen.  We have not been staying in areas below freezing and I should have disconnected the water line last night — I will today — because tonight will be a second below freezing night.

We are also noticing some issue with Journey‘s  propane heating system.  I’ll see what happens during the day and we’ll go from there.  Can a propane line freeze?  I have no idea.  I don’t think so because our propane water heater is working.  But at the moment the furnace is blowing cold air until it reaches the no-pilot-shut-off and then it shuts down.  It seemed to work just fine over night before the temp dropped below freezing — so we’ll just have to see what happens during the day when it warms to 50 degrees.  Maybe we’ll need to insulate something….  Depending on what happens today we might end up having the Mobile RV service guy come out to look at the system.  But, we’re still comfy.  We have two electric heaters and that gives us enough heat to keep the inside of the RV comfortable.   We did that last October / November in Wisconsin and we know it’s workable.

So, there you have it.  A month on the job, lots of interesting things going on — at least to US they are interesting, and lots of things still to be learned.  We haven’t gotten too far in terms of exploring our new region.  That is on our hit list but we are enjoying just being here;  we don’t really need to be going in order to enjoy where we are.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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Old Diary

Peter’s Command Central

You see here, Peter’s Command Central!

My Command Post and My Crew

My Command Post and My Crew

Journey is starting to look, once again, as if we actually live here. And just to make things complete, here’s my office, my command center and my ‘secretaries’ — or should I call them my ‘crew.’  That’s Brrrt  and Bear and Otis up there on the steering wheel table.

We plugged in our F.S. landline, and I have my F.S. cell phone on the steering wheel table as well.  And my hard hat and our GPS.  I’m all ready to go… but no where yet to go until the boss turns us loose after the training is done.

As someone who has always been a ‘just do it’ kind of guy the rules and concern about liability and training are sort of foreign to me, but I respect them.  So, I’m dragging an anchor behind until we get the go-ahead to get out there and get busy.

None of which means I can’t have fun while waiting.

Welcome to Command Central!

🙂

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Old Diary

I think we know what our job is

We had a day just with our supervisor.

Well, most of the day…

Which really means about two hours.

We headed back to Reedsport — perhaps the last trip we’ll have to, or be able to claim mileage for.

I got my official Government Driving License — GOOD

I went through the clothes lockers in search of uniform components that FIT me — the lockers are for volunteer uniforms and while some of them get cleaned and re-issued to new volunteers there are some problems:  a.) I’m a good sized guy and some of my items I had a hard time finding, b.) some of the items had been laundered enough that the labels were illegible — which means trying on a lot of things that we no where close to my size — and then reorganizing the cabinet with the discovered-size-items placed where they belonged in the first place.  c.) some items simply didn’t exist.  I ended up with enough uniform pieces that I have work uniforms for a week and after we’ve been here a while I’ll ask them to order in the remainder of pieces in the RIGHT size.

We went over to the rain-suit supplier and ordered raingear for me.  Peg had a rainsuit in the tub of stuff they automatically hand out to all their caretakers — so she had been set already.

We then went with the boss to all the sites we will be caretaking save one that we couldn’t reach in the time we had.  So, with one exception we know WHERE we will be working.

At that point she had to be back at the office for a meeting.  She issued me a temporary vehicle — ours still hasn’t been repaired. We stopped back at Harbor Light for a quick bite and back to Journey. I wanted to finish the water hookup — little details like adding elbows onto the Culligan filter base so that the hoses dropped DOWN instead of running out horizontally — just a neatness item. We also wanted to insulate the water lines.  We may not have sustained freezing temps but a little insulation around the water lines is a good thing.  I also managed to shorten our freshwater feed hose to 15 feet.  I feel good about the little details that annoy me when I look at them; may not amount to a hill of beans; but just contribute to feeling like this is HOME SWEET HOME.

This is the filter head with the parts they originally gave me.  I didn't like the hoses projecting off to the side -- that would be find in a home with a normal installation, but out here they are just something to get caught on.  The pedestal sit even with our front coach tire and we will often be moving past that area.

This is the filter head with the parts they originally gave me. I didn’t like the hoses projecting off to the side — that would be find in a home with a normal installation, but out here they are just something to get caught on. The pedestal sit even with our front coach tire and we will often be moving past that area. In fact, you can see the lug nuts in the picture.

This is the completed installation : elbows installed and hoses down.

And from the side, hoses all insulated and good to go.  I should put an insulated shroud around the filter housing -- it's plastic and could freeze with sustained cold.
And from the side, hoses all insulated and good to go. I should put an insulated shroud around the filter housing — it’s plastic and could freeze with sustained cold.

So, that’s done!

We are still waiting for the propane supplier to get to the site to hook up our propane.  I still have to figure out (with DISH tech support) why we aren’t getting TV) and I still have to sort out our iNet problems. We get some signal but it keeps oscillating between one and two bars and 3G and 1X — not a very satisfactory solution.  But we’ve only been here in our site for three days.  We’ll get it twigged soon enough.

I thought you might be interested to see the work center roof.  This portion of Oregon gets about twice the annual precipitation that we got in Wisconsin.  But in Wisconsin an average of 52 inches of snow made up a good portion of our annual precipitation.  Around here it’s almost all rain and what little snow there is doesn’t last long.  As a result MOSS grows all over the place.  Here’s the roof of our work center to illustrate:

Moss Anyone?

Moss Anyone?

Something else very different here is the attention to chainsaw carving (Reedsport seems to have an annual competition) — but on a marine/coastal motif. This beautiful carving won the 2011 competition:

2013102414031504 2013102414030003

So, in the end, our job really comes down to something quite simple:

  • To be eyes and ears for the Forest Service.  As Belva put it, the biggest part of the job is to be an investigator.
  • To care for the areas under our jurisdiction as if they were our home.  Mowing, weed whacking, replacing parts, checking on why things may not be working, making sure that the rest rooms that the area caretakers have been doing sanitation and primary cleaning on do not run out of toilet paper or supplies, and keeping the area caretakers supplied.
  • And also to give Camp Hosts some other human to talk to.
    (Don’t laugh — this was actually something we talked about and it’s a real need that volunteers who are out there on the front line dealing with CAMPERS have contact with people they can vent to, and people who don’t want something from them.)

Whenever our truck repair is finished we’ll be driving a 3/4 ton pickup, and we’ll have a trailer permanently assigned to us so that we can haul our Zero Turn mower, push mower, tools, etc around from place to place.  We’ll have most of our supplies right there with us at the work center.  And in general we’ll visit most of the locations along our 20 mile stretch once a day for small, medium, or large periods of time doing whatever the heck needs doing on that day.  Simple or complex (if you don’t know what needs doing, or where things are) depending on how you look at it.

It’s turning out that a major concern is the water supply.  It is, after all, a public water supply and our primary concern above all else is the safety of the public who use the facility.  I can dig it!

So, we are gradually getting into it….

I’m eager to get off on our own.  While we have ‘jobs’ to do, we also have time of our own here, and we can at least partially make our own schedule and jobs list.  Today while we were touring sites we made the long drive out to a secondary site that’s on our list.  The drive was beautiful — even in the fog, or perhaps especially because of the fog.  On another day I would have stopped to capture a few shots of the extraordinary beauty here.  We really are lucky to be working here!

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