Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Last Workday...Top Memories Of The Summer

Current location: Chester, CA

We've officially reached the end of our season. Today is our last day of work. It's bittersweet. Even though we'll be returning next year, we're sad to be leaving. It seemed like just yesterday we were pulling in in a blizzard. We were excited to get here, anxious to get working, and maybe a little nervous about what lay ahead. Now, here we are four and a half months later, anxious to move on to our next adventure, excited to reunite with friends and family, but also a little blue to be leaving the comfort of the place which has come to feel like home.

As we've started to pack up, we've done a lot of reminiscing about our experiences this summer. Here are a few of the top memories, ...the good, the bad and the ugly!
  • 10pm security rounds - quiet hours, which begin at 10pm, are strictly enforced. We receive many compliments on this policy, but there are the select few who think we're just trying to ruin their fun. We try to be pleasant when asking people to quiet down and for the most part, people are understanding and apologetic. But we have also been called some nasty names and had a few profanities spouted at us, mostly by those who have had one (or more) too many. Thankfully, other members of their party usually reign them in and we've never had to get the Sheriff involved. We don't take that kind of stuff personally, but it sure does make a bad end to the day.

  • The stars and the moon - one of the perks to the 10pm rounds is that we get to enjoy the beautiful nighttime sky unaltered by city lights. I realize that all we need to do is step outside on any night, but we're usually in bed or too tired to make the effort. I think I have seen more shooting stars this summer than I have in my entire life. And to see the lake lit up by the full moon is a sight to be seen. We have just a short walk from the shop where we put the golf cart away at the end of the night, but I don't think we've ever walked that stretch without having our necks craned looking at the millions of stars.

  • Visitor policy - this is another one of those strictly enforced policies and one that has caused its share of grief, both amongst the staff and the guests. In one of my first posts after starting work, I mentioned the number of rules to be learned. There are a lot and it's a bit overwhelming. It takes awhile to figure out what information to ask for and what reminders to offer guests. It wasn't until just before the 4th of July rush that it was suggested that we ask arrivals if they are expecting visitors and remind them of the policy (# of visitors are limited and must be pre-registered and pre-paid). It all seems perfectly logical now, but at the time, it was yet another thing to remember at a very hectic time. By that time in the season, we had already gotten our routines down and for me, it was just one of those things that I had a mental block on. Not to make excuses, but it sure would have helped me if we had started doing that from the beginning. As a result, I was strongly reminded multiple times to ask about visitors and even questioned as to whether I had issue with the policy. I suspect that if Dez and Katrina were asked to reflect on our individual experiences, this would be close to the top of my list. :)

  • MB - speaking of the visitor policy, we had one guest in particular which we had extreme problems with in regards to visitors. I don't think it is ethical to share her name, so I'll just refer to her by her initials. MB was reminded of our policy prior to her arrival and even purchased an extra site so that she could have additional visitors. When she arrived at check-in, she provided us with a list of names of who would be visiting on which days and which ones were overnight versus day visitors. We all thought everything was in order until the first visitor arrived. He was on the list as a day visitor but stated he was staying overnight. That was the beginning of a mess. Visitors on the list didn't show, but other visitors were showing up who weren't on the list. As a result, we were turning people away. Later that day, it was discovered she had a number of unregistered visitors who walked in over the causeway. When questioned about it, she admitted to it claiming that there wasn't enough parking space so they walked in. Exactly what did she not understand about the policy?? Things got a bit nastier from there and she was ultimately asked to leave. It is the only eviction that happened this year. And as a result of this incident, a fence was erected near the path to the causeway.

  • Accidents and injuries - a season really couldn't go by with no injuries, could it? And for those of you who have followed this blog for awhile, you are familiar with Tracy's reputation (remember the black eye and the multiple bangs of her head?). The most memorable accident happened on a rare rainy afternoon. An storm blew in with high winds, thunder and lightening and driving rain. I was working in the store at the time and there was all this commotion going on outside. Katrina on the radio looking for Randy; Tracy zooming by on the quad. I had no idea what was going on until it was over and Tracy was sitting on the porch, covered in mud and in a state of shock. The wind and waves had broken a cable on one of the boat docks and it was seemingly floating away with boats still tied in its slips. Long story short, Randy was in the water trying to control the dock and Tracy was helping from shore. The side of the road is aligned with logs, preventing people from driving on the beach. Tracy was running this way and that to get Randy the necessary supplies and you guessed it, she tripped over the log. Well, I guess she didn't really trip, but she stepped on it and it was slippery and she fell. She landed on her hands, which bent both her wrists back. But her adrenaline was pumping and she didn't realize she was hurt until she was sitting on the porch. Then the shock wore off, and the pain began. She was sore for awhile and had some good bruises, but nothing was broken and she was back to normal within a few days. But Tracy had yet again enforced her reputation! :)

  • Hunter's accident - speaking of injuries and reputations...there's no doubt that Hunter and Tracy are related! I knew we couldn't get through a summer without Hunter injuring himself too. I had just gotten to work and I got a call over the radio - "Connie, are you busy?". "Not yet, why?" "Hunter fell down the RV stairs and cut his leg. I think I have to take him to the vet." Luckily, Katrina was in the store and I was able to run home to get a better assessment. By the time I got there, Tracy had gotten the bleeding to mostly stop, so we bandaged up his leg and decided that we'd wait until the next day to determine if we needed to find a vet. Let it be known, that Hunter's first aid kit is a large as ours. We have accumulated a lot of supplies over the years and are used to wrapping his leg. The injury happened on the same leg that he's had surgery and numerous other injuries so there is very little skin left. It's mostly scar tissue, but we did get it to eventually heal and he's back to normal too.

  • Chipmunks and mice - one of the problems with staying put for so long is that critters tend to find their way in, especially when you live in the woods. Early on, I wrote about invasion of the chipmunk. Jazzy alerted us to it, but luckily he never caught it. We were able to shoo that one back outside. But we never knew he was such a fierce hunter, nor that he could move so quickly. We let him outside from time to time (on a leash) and he has a great deal of fun chasing all of the chipmunks. They're not very afraid of him and he's been able to catch a few, but usually drops them before he kills them. Not too long after the chipmunk incident, we started hearing and seeing evidence of mice. And then Tracy came home to one, dead on the doormat, inside. We quickly realized that we needed to fill all entry points that we could find. They were still finding ways in, but I think - hope - we finally got rid of them. Just another tribulation of RV living!

  • Eagles - I have written about them and posted pictures, so theres not much more that I can say, other than that I am still awed by them and I will miss them.

  • Making life-long friends - again, I have already written on this subject. We have gotten to know so many people this summer and there are a few special ones who we believe will be friends for life. If you're reading this now, you know who you are! :)

This summer has been a great one and it's hard to see it come to an end. But the next one will be here before you know it and I'll have a whole slew of new memories to share!

For those of you who are wondering where we're headed next, I'll share that in my next post. This one's grown kind of long. :)


  1. It's been my experience that you'll make those kind of memories every place you go! :)

  2. Thank you for sharing your memories with us! Sounds like you really enjoyed your time there and are excited to return next season. Glad to hear that you have learned a lot from the experience and that you have created life long friendships as well!

    Okay I have to ask - where are ya going next?! =0)


  3. Well written review of your summer...always some good and not so good but all part of your memories.

  4. That was the perfect wrap-up post. You told the truth, as you wrote about the good and bad. It did seem like all the good far outweighed the bad. Safe travels on your way to new adventures.

  5. Great post Connie. I'm happy your experience this summer was a good one overall. Wishing you and Tracy a great fall (BWT tell Tracy I don't mean that literally ;) LOL

    I'm sure your filled with excitement and maybe even a little fear of your next move and I can't wait to hear where you'll be heading.

    Take care you two,


  6. I'm so glad you shared the memories of the summer. We will be doing our first work-camper stint with the COE this winter for two months at Eastman Lake CA and it is good to hear the experiences of others just to mentally prepare for the job. Next summer should be a breeze for you two now that you have all the rules down. Have fun traveling.

  7. I think it's great that you leave with good memories, I think Judi is right about good memories at each location. Having seen the Bald Eagles is totally awesome, I can't imagine.
    We're so glad you had a great experience there and not let the quiet time patrol make you feel like police. There are those that appreciated the fact that ya'll helped maintain quiet hours.
    Take care and travel safe.
    Mike & Gerri

  8. Very informative post. We always enjoy your postings. Thanks for the encouraging words

    Stay Safe

  9. What great memories you have had this first workamping season! Thanks for sharing them with us. I laughed again when you mentioned the invasion of the chipmunk. That was such a funny post.

    Happy Trails!