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 :- ) )
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 frozen picnic table|
|My temporary home|
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.
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.)