Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lake Isabel Recreation Area

I arrived at Lake Isabel Rec Area 10 days ago.  I was supposed to report to Bear Lake on the 17th but I got a call just before I left Rowe informing me that the campground was snowed in, as was the 5 mile dirt road leading in to it. Sooo – they said I would help out at Lake Isabel. It was my lucky day – I was given a site with electricity and it was most welcome as the weather was very cold at night. (And just plain cold by day :- ) )

My frozen picnic table
 I had the day to settle in and then I attended training on Thurs. The morning was provided by the forest service and we learned about bears and fire restrictions and who to call for what (is it a sheriff problem or a forest service problem).  This would have been a moot point for me in that I would not have any cell service at Bear Lake.  The afternoon was spent learning about campground rules and all the paperwork we need to file. Friday I spent the day working at one of the gates.

My temporary home
Did you know that bears have very bad hearing and eyesight but can detect an odor 7 miles away?  We learned a lot about bears. And then I saw one running across the road about 7 miles north of the campground, when I was returning from my day off on Tues.

Fri. night I got to chase the ambulance that was transporting one of the work campers to Pueblo CO.  I must admit when we hit the highway and I was doing 90 – I decided that they were just going to have to win the race. And so when I got to Pueblo I followed the first sign I saw for a hospital. It was the wrong one. So I  just went into the ER and asked for directions. Luckily, they were very helpful and I got to Parkview quite easily.

Lake Isabel
I stayed with my friend until midnight when some test results revealed that she might be having a heart attack and they decided to admit her. It was a long, interesting day. I got back to the campground around 1:30 am and was happy to fall in bed. Saturday I filled in as a campground host and  the managers began to discuss what they might need to do as they were now short a second host.

Sunday morning, I learned that the staff has a tradition of going out to breakfast at 8 and then reporting for work at nine. It is a congenial bunch and I enjoyed my pancakes. I also learned that they wanted me to switch assignments from Bear Lake to Lake Isabel.

I spent the day mulling it over and then decided that I would. There were tradeoffs. Here I can get to a town with Laundromat, library and cell service in 30 mins.; at Bear Lake I can get to a paved road in 20 mins. And here my manager has a landline, and my father and sister can get a hold of me quickly in case of emergency.  I also thought that I might be better off working with colleagues available and within walkie talkie reach for my first job as a host (especially after the need for an ambulance, Fri night). And I can still go up to Bear Lake for the beauty on my days off.  The downside of my choice is two days off instead of three per week and a more hectic location.

So far I have seen deer every morning and evening, one fox, a wild turkey and a bear and heard lots of humming birds. The campground is at 8,300 feet. I am camped along a rushing creek and the aspen are starting to leaf. What’s not to like.

Tomorrow, I begin life as the campground host at St. Charles campground in Lake Isabel Rec Area.

(Lake Isabel is in the San Isabel National forest, in Colorado. Exit Rte 25 at Colorado City and follow  rte 165 north for about 30 mins.)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rowe, NM

We’ve been hanging out in Rowe, NM. It is about 40 mins north of Santa Fe on Rte. 25. I did a few pet sits here and like to come back and visit my friends when I am in town. This time we introduced Scruffy into the mix – Marianne and her partner have 2 dogs, 3 feral cats now in the house, and 4 chickens (no not in the house).

Scruffy has been running with the dogs – since their 10 acres are fenced he can zoom around til he drops.  I have been helping out weeding the vegetable garden, and this week tending to the “pets” while Marianne is away.  Also venturing to Santa Fe, to see friends and shop for some things I need for my new adventure which starts on Tuesday when Scruffy and I arrive at Bear Lake in Colorado.

More about that next time.

Scruffy mentioned that he would like to see more of himself in my blog so today he is the star. 

 Scruffy gardening

Scruffy in new bed

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Heading East

Anne and I traveled together for 4 months and it seemed odd when she didn't pull in and park near me the first night. I don't know what Scruffy thought about this. He had gotten very used to playing with his "Auntie Anne" every day, and stopped by her trailer at the end of his morning walk. (She is Auntie Anne because strangers always refer to Scruffy as Toto.)  It was a sad day when we went our separate ways.

I think my trip east to see family is a good transition. And Scruffy too is meeting lots of folks and having new adventures.

He did really well on our long travel day. It involved flying from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, then on to Philadelphia and finally West Chester County airport.  I was glad flights were early which gave us time for potty breaks for both of us. Fortunately, airports provide dog areas. Unfortunately, you have to go outside and then come back through the security check again. Even the security folks like Scuffy.

I frightened my sister Deb by sending her a video of Scruffy racing around my trailer and she and Rich (her husband) were much relived to meet the other Scruffy, the quiet one. Scruffy had no trouble adjusting to being a house dog. He likes beds, and couches and rooms to explore.

Luckily, the next two legs of our journey only involved one flight each. It was easier on both of us. The next stop was Orange City Florida where we spent a week with my father.

My Dad and Scruffy grew fond of each other. Every day when we got back from our morning walk, Scruffy slept outside of my father’s door until my dad emerged.  They were often found right next to each other. I think Scruffy would make a good therapy dog and I will look into that.

The day before we left my dad’s house, he told Scruffy he was really going to miss him. Then he looked at me and said, “and just as an aside, I am really going to miss you too.”

I’m lucky to have a father with a great sense of humor and glad that he passed it on to me.