First Weeks Workcamping at Flaming Gorge or… “We Ain’t Paying for That @#$%ing Wall”

I promise not to give our readers frequent reports about this “experience” over the entire summer. But maybe occasional updates, starting with this one because the first few weeks is kind of like jumping into the deep end of the pool for the first time.

Our name badges say “Camp Host”. Believe me, we are far more than camp hosts. “Host”ing is a very small part of this workcamping experience so far. Let’s just say we have a whole new appreciation for Mexican migrant workers. If we’re not mowing lawns, we’re fertilizing lawns and killing weeds. Or using a weed-eater. We joke that we fertilize the plants so that they will grow so that we can spray them so that they will die.

So what else do we do here? What do our other duties include? The quick answer is we do whatever needs doing. There are six of us looking after the park, which has 47 designated sites, plus a over-flow area, as well as a vehicle storage area. Two  are the resident managers. They live here year round in a log home that has the RV Park office attached to it. Then there are two other couples, ourselves included. We each live in our own RV on a site that is provided near the office.

Plus, we get paid. We each work a 40 hour week with 2 days off. Our “off” days are Wednesday and Thursday. Although we had not planned or needed to work while on the road as full-timers, we chose this opportunity because, for four months, it allows us to substantially enhance our savings account by nearly doubling our normal income with little to no expenses.

Photo above right is of Doug and Caroline, the resident managers. The photo at right is of our other “camp host”couple, Pris and Stan.

It’s interesting how life experiences can benefit you when it comes to managing something like a RV Park. Having been IN the business world as employees and  managers, and then owning a retail business for 13 years, has certainly prepared us for the good, the bad and the ugly of customer service.  Fortunately, RV Parks generally are made up of “happy campers”. Generally.

All of our eff0rts initially have been geared toward getting ready for the summer season , and for the recently passed Memorial Day weekend. As this is written, Memorial Day was the best to date. The park was full.  And reservations continue pouring in . We’ve been amazed so far, as to the number of folks that reserve for the entire summer.

Back in our days of having a hobby farm and owning and operating a Kabota tractor, little did we imagine that we would be sitting on a Kabota once again. This time, a commercial grade lawn mower.

For whatever reason, I have become the designated mower, which I actually love. In addition to the many pine, cedar, spruce and aspen trees, a genuinely large lawn area contributes to the beauty of Pine Forest RV Park. All told, the park is about 14 acres, most of which is made up of  lawn area. That’s lots of cutting.  In our case, that’s weekly during the season, usually taking two days. But regardless of whoever does the lawn mowing, we all enjoy being outdoors and are continually amazed at the views and beauty that is here. YIKES! Watch out for that tree!

Being affiliated with Flaming Gorge Resort, with its condos and motel, the RV Park shares a fairly sophisticated computer software system for managing reservations. Fortunately, we are fairly computer savvy. Even so, in this first weeks here, we have spent a fair amount of time learning how the software helps us manage who’s in, who has departed, who is on their way, who’s paid and who has not. Oh, and how to accommodate those without reservations. We don’t like to turn anyone away. And, of course, when it comes to cleaning bathrooms, showers and laundry, it’s usually all hands on deck. This is really not a big deal because the facilities are in first class condition and are always kept meticulously clean.

And then there is the wildlife. Deer come into the Park everyday. And we have Big Horn sheep here.  There was a time the sheep had all but disappeared in this area of Utah. But a few years ago, Big Horns were re-introduced and are now thriving.

Fishing and hunting are very popular here, as well. Because many of our customers fish for Kokanee Salmon on the lake, we don’t have to. We sometimes are given a portion of their catch. A few even filet them BEFORE giving them to us. Here’s a photo of our first gifted Kokanee, ready for the grill.

And we were even given an opportunity to go on a big game hunt. As you can see in the photo to the left, it didn’t take us long to bring home a trophy. Actually, this little guy was brought to us by “Tuna”, the park manager’s cat. She frequently brings her “catch”  to them, everything from baby bunnies to humming birds, all still alive and unharmed.

Believe it or not, we had a storm roll in almost immediately after beginning our first week. It was hard to believe that as we approached June, we received 10 inches of snow while the storm passed through. After the initial snowfall, the sun broke out and we had some of our regular visitors come by. This is “Momma” dear and one of her fawns from last year. We can identify her because she has a notch in her left ear which we suspect came from a tag that may have been torn off. In any event, she comes by nearly everyday for pieces of apple. She appears to be “with child” this season as well. That’s me feeding them pieces of apple.

 

One of the things we really enjoy is the interaction with guests as we go about our duties throughout the park. You know, just as a “camp host” might do. The popularity of Pine Forest RV Park by folks from Utah and neighboring states is quite evident as summer approaches. But even in the off season, folks arrive literally from all over the world, our most recent visitors a young couple from Germany on a 22 day whirl wind tour of  “the West”. And then there was the marathoner from Brazil on her way to a competition  near Yellowstone. And today in the park we have Canadians from British Columbia, as well as from Quebec.

So, that’s about it for now. Although the work can be hard for us flatlanders, we’re still loving it here. As with everything, it’s just a matter of getting into a routine. We can already tell it’s getting a bit easier.

 

Stay tuned. Our next post will be a walk back in time.

 

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One Response to First Weeks Workcamping at Flaming Gorge or… “We Ain’t Paying for That @#$%ing Wall”

  1. Robin pence says:

    Larry said he couldn’t believe that none of us thought to take a group picture of the four of us when we were there back in May?? Oh well maybe next time. We are excitedly preparing our new-to-us motor home for the next adventure. Which involves going West. Y’all keep in touch. I will send more pictures. BTW, the motor home is fairly known to us because its previous owner is my cousin. I think they had just left Mineral Creek 2 years ago before we met y’all. Truly good to read the blog. I don’t always reply but we read them.

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