Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Great Sand Dunes !


This week Scruffy and I headed to Great Sand Dunes National Park for our days off.  We got here yesterday around 11 and joined the folks circling the campgrounds looking for empty spaces (wishful thinking) or someone who was packing up. I snagged a good spot and with the current owners permission left my tag on the post and headed off to park my rig in a parking lot with a nice view. We opened the windows to catch the breeze and ate lunch while waiting for the 1 pm checkout.  We made it back to our site just in time to unhitch in the pouring rain.

After the rain cleared, I decided to hike to Zapata Falls, which was labeled – point of interest - on the road to the National Park. Four miles on the very rough road, was enough to cause Scruffy to roll his eyes and say,“what were you thinking.” Now, I am not sure whether it was the falls, or the road that was the POI. We did have a nice hike, and the creek was beautiful, but the falls did not appear to be falling. A little farther up the road we found a BLM campground with 
great views.

This morning we both watched out the back window as some deer browsed in our fire pit. They went through the campground cleaning up. When they left so did we, heading out for our morning walk. We followed the trail down from the campground through an area of old dunes that are now stabilized by vegetation to the Medano creek that runs down from the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the north and east and around the dunes to the Southwest. 

Scruffy's favorite part of hike is finding bushes to mark.

The creek carries sand and deposits it in the southwest where the wind picks it up and blows it onto the dunes.

I  planned to hike in the dunes after breakfast before the sand heated up but the raw natural beauty called out to be left alone. The magnificence was inspiring and looking was enough.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A day off?

 We were blessed with sun this week. Which meant we had a lot of campers and I was very busy.  It also meant that flowers bloomed and the Aspen leafed. 

Dandelions - our first flowers
Cisneros trail

Today being a day off for me meant extra time in bed listening to the birds and a leisurely cup of coffee, followed by a hike. Then I headed off to run errands.

Popped a Garth Brooks CD into the player and headed down the mountain, with my windows open and a smile on my face. Last week I got a mailbox in Rye CO and signed up for Netflix. My first stop today was in Rye and I’ll be watching “The Grand Budapest Hotel” tonight. My next stop was in Colorado City to get a library card and pick out some books. I am excited to be able to get books that I have wanted to read but was unable to obtain as ebooks from Santa Fe Public library. I’m now eagerly awaiting the arrival of “God’s Hotel.”

My next stop was Walmart ( no boos), in Pueblo Co. to use their Moneygram service to send money to a friend in Nepal. He took good care of me when I broke my fibia in Humla in 2013.

After a lunch break, I am now in a library in Pueblo, CO. I have just added what I think is the button to allow folks to be notified by email when I post to this blog.

After I post and test it, I will find a shady place to make some phone calls and then buy groceries, pick up propane and head back to camp. Where, thankfully, it will be way cooler than here in Pueblo.

My front yard

I’ve included some photos of my campsite. A really sweet place. If you are nearby – please stop by.
My back yard

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Camp Host Life

Today is one of my days off (Tuesday and Wednesday). I still got up at 6 and walked and fed Scruffy. But I really enjoyed my cup of coffee and staring out of my window listening to the river rushing over the rocks and observing the many birds that came to visit. Today we also had a turkey stroll through. We continue to see deer in our campground morning and evening and I see a fox every time we take the route around the north side of the lake.

My first week was medium busy – I have 14 sites and 2 pit toilets in my campground (St Charles) and I am also responsible for keeping the two group campgrounds and their 4 toilets clean and also the toilet and picnic area at the Cisneros trailhead clean. Unfortunately (for the campers) it was a rough weather weekend. Although I don’t have a radio, the folks with reservations must have listened to the weather guess because all but one cancelled. Which left me with leisurely workdays.

I got up, did the dog walk thing. Picked up a walkie talkie and morning report at 9, and then cleaned the bathrooms at St Charles and Cisneros by 10.  Had breakfast and then went out and cleaned the sites the campers had vacated. I had the early afternoon to relax and then during the early evening, visited campers, collected money and sold firewood to the people who arrived as “walk-ins”.

For the last few weeks we have had lots of rain by day and freezes at night. Then this week it turned to summer. It has been in the 70’s during the day and around 50 at night. I don’t even need my long underwear at 5pm. <g>

That’s about it for a day in the life of a host. More next week with pictures.

P.S. Scruffy is a very good host – he gives big tail wags and body wiggles to all the people we meet.