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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sheridan Hills Lake Campground, Hill City, SD

(We are in Hill City doing laundry so I am going to post what I have written, this will be the only times I get on the internet so postings will be sparse)

I am going through withdrawals, I have no internet service at the camper and can’t get it. So I am going to have to wait until I can go into town each week to get on line. Last Tuesday when the realization of all this hit me I was not a happy camper, even though I knew coming into this gig it was a very real possibility I would not be able to get on line at the campground. So I will post my blog as I get the chance. I will date them so I have a chronological order to them.

Friday, May 11, 2010

We left Omaha area on Wed, 5/9. and spent the night at the R & R Campground, Mitchell, SD. We have stayed here before, it is a Passport American park but at this time of the year the office isn’t officially opened and you can stay for $15 per night. We met Amy, Clancy, and Clancy’s folks at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Maverick graduated from preschool and we were celebrating. We will see them again Memorial weekend.

We arrived at Sheridan Hills Lake Campground located five miles west of Hill City. Louis, one of the other workampers, took us to our site in the Chipper loop campground. We have twenty five sites to look after, with an additional twelve on busy weekends. Our site is situated in the middle of the loop, we have full hookups and a nice view of the lake.

We got set up and the rig is the most level I have ever been able to make it. It took us about an hour to get everything set up and the way we wanted it. Now I was aware of the following but I am going through withdrawals anyway. We had no cell phone, TV, or internet upon arrival. I put the dish up and let it search for about twenty minutes but I knew it wasn’t going to latch onto a signal, the trees were to numerous and there was no opening for it and since it is attached to the roof I can’t move it just anywhere. So I was stuck or so I thought.

We went to Mark & Sharon’s for dinner, they are are friends who are workamping here and Sarah is working with Sharon this summer. They had gone to the Verizon store in Rapid City and got a device called Home Phone Connect, which is a cell phone device with more power I am told, and they had telephone service even though their cell phones don’t work. So Mark and I brought it down to our camper and plugged it in and it worked. Sharon had also picked up a MiFi unit and it didn’t work. Riddle me this, What works in an area where cell phone and Wi-Fi units don't work?, a wireless cell phone device with more power, or so I am told. We took the MiFi unit back to Verizon and I got the Home Phone Connect device, I also upgraded my Wi-Fi usbstick to 4G and saved $10 on those charges plus I cut back our minutes to 700 saving $20 per month which is the exact cost of the Connect device, but it has unlimited calling on it and it works everywhere. So our phone bill won’t change any but we will have phone service even where the cell phone doesn’t work.

So now I have the TV and internet to work on. Well, today I was told a Direct TV guy was at one of the other workampers site so I got hold of him and he came down and I ended up getting a dish, which he screwed to a tree stump, and we now have satellite TV. We have the same channels we had with the roof dish but no HD, I believe I can handle that.

So that leaves me with the internet. I am thinking this phone device is basically a phone line so why couldn’t I get to the internet with a dial up vendor. I don’t know if it is possible but I am going to see what I can do. Until I have internet access at the camper I am going to have to go to town once a week and use a local cafĂ© or have my router in the truck to access the internet. I know I will use my router when I do financial business but otherwise I will use the free Wi-Fi wherever it is available.

This place is absolutely beautiful, as some friends of ours would say, it has the IT factor.


Saturday, May 19, 2010

We have been on the job now for one week and it is not to bad. Well Tuesday and Wednesday were not what I wanted but I got through them.

Monday, we had oreientation where we learned the do’s and the don’ts in the campground. During the winter the Forest Service runs this park, I guess the others in the area are closed, and there is one person who stays here through the winter and collects the camper fees etc. Then when the summer season starts, which was yesterday, Forest Recreation Management takes over for the summer, we work for FRM. We met all the other workampers and I won’t remember all of their names but there are twenty or so couples working here.

Tuesday, Sarah began her job with Sharon of spring cleaning 60 outhouses located in their area of responsibility and I guess some of them were very gross. I had to clean the 36 campsites I am responsible for, this entailed raking the pine needles and cones from around and under the picnic tables. I had to make sure there was no garbage in the fire pits and rake the pine needles away from them also. It has been very dry here with the fire warnings in the moderate to high range depending where you are in the area.

Wednesday was more of the same from Tuesday but I did manage to get all my campsites taken care of and looking good. Each day I would quit about three and sit and read until Sarah got home, then it was Marguarita time.

Thursday since I had my campsites ready I went into town to get a couple things, checked out south beach day use area, I will be manning the fee booth for this area on Mondays, and then spent some time in the main booth learning what to do. After lunch I drained the water heater and tried to clean it out and since it doesn’t have an anode rod in it there was not much of anything it it. I did put a new plug in it with plumbers tape on it because it was leaking. I bought a Flow-Rite system for my batteries to keep them filled. I have two batteries and to get to the back one I have to disconnect the front one, take it out and then pull the back one forward to check the water level. So I pulled the front one and checked the water in the back one and it was low so I filled it and the front one also. I may have a time of it getting the Flow-Rite system to fit because of the cable positions, one cable is two short so I will have to try and find a longer one but I hope I can get it to work.

Friday I spent more time in the main booth going over some of the processes and I went down to south beach to visit the workamper there. His name is Sherman, I am no good at remember last names and sometimes first names, anyway he is there by himself and I thought I would go visit for a short time. He had one customer already and while I was there two more showed up. It was not a busy day for him.

I came home and spent the rest of the day in the camper. Last night I had two campers with resevations who had not checked in yet so we do that at the campsite. I got one registered about seven last night and the other this morning. I had another vehicle pull in with four guys in it and they wanted to stay but thought the rate was ten dollars, the winter rate, I told them it was twenty-four dollars, they didn’t have the money and I told them they would have to leave, they did but I believe they came back after I went to bed and left before I could get to them this morning because the campsite they used had garbage in the fire ring. I doubt that will be the only time we have someone do that. We had another couple come in around nine-thirty, I got them registered and they are all set up for the weekend.

So my first day as a camp host went ok, next weekend is Memorial weekend and my camp loop is sold out so we will see what happens over that weekend.

Until later, Dreams Do Come True.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

West Omaha KOA

Our time here is about over, we leave Weds for Hill City, SD and our summer job at Sheridan Lake Campgrounds. However, in the mean time let me catch you up on our time here.

We left Griff’s RV Park on a nice day, I really don’t like breaking camp in the rain or even after it rains because of the mud etc. but this time, the weather was dry and we had a pleasant trip to Gretna, NE and our campsite at the KOA. Since it isn’t far from Des Moines to Omaha, the trip was short and we arrived right after lunch. KOA parks are a bit more expensive than your state parks but as I have stated before when you weigh in the coast of fuel and travel time to see the kids the costs are about the same. We like this park and the owners, Eric & Carrol Murray, go out of their way to accommodate your needs, great people.

On Sunday the 29th, we took the camper to the Excel Service Center in Smith Center, KS. We have had the washer leaking almost since we got it and no one seemed to know what was causing it. Therefore, I wanted it taken out and see if we could see where it was leaking. When the techs got the washer out and set it up on the service center floor it became quickly apparent the leak was from a hose connector not tight enough, something that could not be seen without taking the washer out of the camper. So now, we have a leak free washer but I still find myself looking for water in the tray under the washer. I even learned to fix some items I know I will need to fix or adjust in the future.

We had another great experience at the service center. Jack, Ralph and all the techs there are great; they do a very good job. Thank you all.

We were in Smith Center Monday only and got back to Omaha on Tuesday and since then we have had one severe storm warning after another, of course, they are all at night. But we have muddle through them and are beginning our processes to depart here on Weds.

Last night we went over to John & Cindi Cline’s home for dinner. They have a beautiful home. We had a great time. Cindi is every bit the cook John kept telling us about in AZ. We hope they can make it to SD this summer, if not we will see them in AZ this winter.

Dreams Do Come True