So what is workamping all about?

C point 1

Well, our experience is somewhat limited.  We understand that many jobs at campgrounds come under the title of camp host.   At Mount Desert Campground, there is a bit of emphasis on the work part of  workamping…   and we like it that way 🙂

This is a pic of  the point in the C section of the campground after  a number of trees were cut down…   We arrived at this location around 8:30 this morning, after enjoying a strategy session in the warmth of the office….   we are told that the temperature could break 80 degrees on Thursday, but today was cold and foggy and drizzly.   So, this type of work is good for generating heat!

2 hours later, this is what the site looked like.

c point 2There is so much truth to the phrase “many hands make light work” … well,  maybe not.. this was not light work, but  it certainly was completed in a relatively short amount of time!   of course, it was many hands aided by a tractor 🙂

this is what the campers will see when they arrive late next week.

c point 3

looks pretty nice!   and where did all of this stuff go?

on the pile 🙂

c point 4 A large truck will come by to pick this up in the next few days…    of course, not every day of workamping is like this, but we do spend the month of May  preparing the campground for the season.  It is great work – very rewarding both physically and mentally..  and we sleep really well 🙂


Back in Maine!

mdc 17 first pic

We have returned to Mount Desert Campground for our third season.  So far, we have probably seen more rain than we did in an entire month last year, but it is beautiful just the same.   This pic was taken the evening that we arrived at our campsite.

mdc 17 mossy stump

First order of the day is to rake the campground.. actually that has been the first order the last three and a half days, and it will continue to be a priority for the next week or two..  I took a quick break to take a photograph of this mossy stump…

mdc 17 campfire

We had a beautiful day yesterday, and we celebrated with our first campfire.. inviting our fellow workers to join us for the first smores of the season…    Janet made lentil soup in the morning while I whipped up a batch of molasses cookies…   life does not get much better than this!    If you happen to be camping at Mount Desert Campground this summer, be sure to stop by B 18 to say hello!

Heading home…

trip home 1We awoke at 5:15 last Tuesday morning and were on the road by 6 ..  as we turned onto the Poudre Canyon road from the parking lot at Glen Echo, we were treated to this site, looking west ….   just a few hundred yards down the road we spied the herd of elk in the meadow to our right..  we were quite pleased to get one final glimpse of them as we began our trip east.

First stop.. the Howling Cow Cafe.. our last visit – time to turn in the last milk bottle and to enjoy a bagel and cup of Madame Grey tea before heading to Cheyenne where we would pick up route 80 east…

trip home 2we were fortunate to have great weather for traveling.. and our plan was to attempt to drive straight through to PA…  Every 100 miles we alternated driving.  That seemed to make the time go by quickly.. except that Nebraska is a very long state..  it seemed like forever till we hit the eastern border of the state!    We ended up spending an hour or so napping at a rest stop Tuesday evening, but then resumed out trip in the dark… somewhere along the way, I ended up headed towards Detroit… oops!   but we quickly noticed the error and google maps got us back on track..

We arrived in Wapwallopen late Wednesday afternoon…  excited to be staying in our tiny house and visiting with relatives..

trip home 4Sunny, the cat quickly got reacquainted with the tiny house…  climbed the ladder and settled in his favorite spot….trip home 5

we missed the cherries, but made it home in time for the peach blossoms…

trip home 3 and it looks like the plums are beginning to blossom as well, so we should get to see them in full bloom while we are here…

lots to do during our short stay in PA…  and then, soon, we will be headed north for the summer season!

Our time in Colorado is growing short…

poudre river early morning

We have just a week left before we have to pack the subaru and head back to PA… starting to think about the things we will miss.  The list will be long, but this picture sums up a few …  sitting by the river after work with a cup of tea… watching trout rise in the pool behind the rustic cottages..  and early morning views like this one..  blue skies with the warmth of the sun on our backs.. but still the frosting of fresh snow on the mountain tops just a little west of us..   we probably will not begin to realize the full impact of this experience until long after we are gone…   jt

Eggers School

eggers school 2we were so fortunate to be connected with a local resident who had keys to the school house!   In fact, Fritz,  played a significant role in organizing the museum, and we so appreciated her willingness to take time and show us around during the off season.

The school was moved to its present location a number of years ago in order to preserve it.  The small community of Eggers no longer exists..  the forest service was going to tear down the building as they were returning the land to its natural state.

The school was built by the WPA and opened in 1933  and closed in the late 1950’s.  In addition to teaching grades 1-8, the teacher had to pick up his or her students each day and  check the outhouse for rattlesnakes on a daily basis…   not a job for Janet!

eggers school 1

there is an amazing collection of  primary source materials in the school, including the teacher’s daily plan books,   adolescent magazines from the 40’s and 50’s…  students’ work.. it is quite a step back in history!

eggers school 3this must have been a later addition, because I read an account by one student who said that they all drank from the same cup!

eggers school 4how could it be a school without this guy’s picture?  🙂

eggers school 5

I love this stove…  how neat to have something that looks like this in your house!

We are so glad that we had the opportunity to visit the school.. thanks to Fritz and all of the other volunteers who have invested time and effort into the preservation of this time capsule…    and now we can chalk one more thing off of the list of things to do before we head home…     jt

Vacation in Fort Collins – day 2

Pawnee national grassland 1Our dear friend, Marilyn, told us that we had to take a trip to the Pawnee National Grasslands before we headed back east.   This was our destination during day two of our Fort Collins vacation.   The trip was about 45 miles east of Fort Collins, along the way we thought that we might have seen a new born calf, but we could not be certain.   The land is a stark contrast to what we have been used to in the Poudre Canyon…  endless miles of prairie …  but in the distance there were what appeared to be cliffs…  Buttes as we later learned.   Pawnee national grassland 2  small pieces of real estate that remained standing after wind and rain eroded almost all of the surrounding land…   Janet and I did a short 2 mile hike while Marilyn and her husband Steve sat and enjoyed the view.

Pawnee national grassland 3it was an impressive sight to behold…  great visuals for the power of erosion…

Pawnee national grassland 4you would not want to be caught in this particular area  during a rainstorm!    the terrain is quite fragile…

pawnee national grassland 5almost looks like the remains of an ancient castle…  very little rainfall in this area..  we did see livestock, but they seem to be dependent on water from wells…  we did not see any other wildlife except for birds..   although,  pronghorns and coyotes are in the area..

pawnee national grassland 6

there also cacti!    we found some of these on a hike a few weeks ago… unfortunately, we saw them only after we had put our hands on top of them .. ouch…

On the way back to the Poudre Canyon, we stopped at the Howling Cow for a late lunch..  a fitting finish to a memorable trip to Fort Collins..   jt

Vacation in Fort Collins! dear friend, coworker, and local guide, Marilyn, invited us to come down out of the mountains for an overnight in Fort Collins.. what a great idea!   We packed a few things and hit the road.  Our first stop – our favorite cafe,  Howling Cow, where we enjoyed a cup of tea, caught up on internet news and got great tips for hikes in Fort Collins and for a local pie shop..   Me Oh My  Coffee and Pie..     we could not resist that!..

the fact that it happened to be PI day only heightened our interest 🙂    In side, we found a great selection of homemade goodies… settled on little hand pies..  appropriately priced for the day at  $3.14 …   so tempting, we took a bite before I could reach for my phone to take a pic!

I was struck by some of the signs hanging in the shop.. could not resist taking a shot of this one…

Next stop was the trail head for the Foothills Trail.. coincidentally, just across the street from Marilyn’s home!   This trail is located by the “old”  Colorado State University stadium.  It did not look all that old to me, but a new one will be ready for the 2017 football season…   the pic at the top of the post is  of the mountain behind the stadium..  complete with the letter A painted on the hillside… Although the mascot for the university is now a Ram,  in the old days the school was known as the Aggies, and the A is a tradition that has continued to thrive..  apparently the freshmen football players are tasked with the job of refreshing the paint each year.

This is where we need to insert the interesting part… Marilyn’s father, a mountain man through and through, cautioned her to never hike this hill because of the resident rattlesnake population… if you happen to know Janet.. you understand that this kind of story sparks considerable anxiety!   But it is March, and the snakes are still snug in their dens… we hope!

so off we go!   a very nice path, very popular with the locals…  I wonder if they understand how fortunate they are to have so many recreational opportunities so close at hand!

no, Janet.. this is not a rattlesnake hole!    try a prairie dog 🙂  .. lots of them.. right behind the stadium …

look closely, and you will see a little head checking out the world…

made it to the top!   That is Horsetooth Reservoir behind us… a 10 mile , narrow body of water that is filled with snow melt each year ( provided a good snowfall in the mountains)  and which provides lots of boating recreation in the summer as well as water for Fort Collins..

looking down at Fort Collins..  we are at the tippy top of the “A”  thus the white stones in the foreground..

After we completed the hike, we went in search of another pie place, but we were not successful.. instead, we stumbled into an amazing yarn shop..  folks were gathered around a table, knitting and chatting, while in another room people were weaving on small looms…  it was a totally cool shop- wish my daughter could come out and visit.. so much to show her.. this shop would be near the top of the list!

We then met Marilyn at her home and decided to conclude the day with dinner at El Burrito – a local restaurant with a longstanding reputation for authentic Mexican food..  what a treat that was!

This brings a fun-filled busy day to an end… stay tuned for day two!   jt