Monday, August 12, 2013

Becoming Camp Hosts

We left Lake Mead with little time to spare, much less any extra funds, so we decided to visit family later, when we had more of both time and money. We did however, make a stop at Yreka, CA, to see friends we knew from Florida. Randy operates an RV repair shop and Mary Jane manages a book store. They own both businesses, so have a lot on their plates, but they made time for us, and Randy and his crew did much needed maintenance and repair on our motorhome... at a very, very reduced price. We loaded up on books, too, saving money there as well. 
Joe and deer friends enjoy Shabbat
We parked the motorhome for a few days at Randy and Mary Jane's beautiful home in the shadow of Mt. Shasta and celebrated the Shabbat with them and another couple. Later, on our way over to Boise Creek Campground, we met them all in Redding at a small congregation who was hosting Bill Cloud of Shoreshim Ministries. Such a blessing! 
Our car looks like it belongs in this verdant setting.

Sheneesa pumping water to our tank
We arrived at our campground in mid-May and had two weeks to prepare it and ourselves for guests and get settled in. We didn't have potable water for another month, so Forest Service workers hauled water to us, but we had this shady, luxuriant forest haven all to ourselves.

During that time Sereena, Heather and Sheneesa brought us supplies and taught us the ropes of camp hosting for the National Forest. Pretty simple stuff... mostly common sense and people skills.
Shabbat by the sea with new friends.
Our location is about an hour inland from the Pacific coast where it is much cooler than here. We do our shopping in Eureka about once a week. It took a bit for us adjust to the smaller town after living near Las Vegas last fall and winter. The thing we miss most is a meeting with others of our faith. There are no Messianic congregations in the area. We found one couple who lived right on the coast and shared a delightful Shabbat with them just before they were leaving town for extended travels. Yom Kippur is only about a month away and we don't know yet what we will do.
Richard laying in the sun, er waxing the rig.

There had been no host last year and the campground had become popular with vagabonds and vagrants, so early on we had vagrants and others sneaking in, not paying, leaving big messes... but we maintain a pretty visible presence and tour our 17 site campground often. With the help of a few visits from the Forest Service and Sheriff's deputies, the problem was soon under control, leaving us some time to lay in the sun, wax the rig and generally act like vacationers.
The Forest Service truck makes our job so much easier in every way.
In addition to a morning and evening census and fee compliance checks, we clean and service the bathrooms, gather the trash, clean the firepits and maintain the grounds. It really doesn't take a great deal of time, so we offered to be of more help. Now, we have a Forest Service truck loaded with supplies and tools, and we service the restrooms at a river access site as well as haul off the trash from there and the local campgrounds (ours and one other). We also bring them their supplies since the Recreation office is almost an hour away... We notice that having an official truck here on site cuts the number of homeless, etc.

Sereena got a permanent position. Yay!
Part of the reason we got the truck is that the Recreation arm of the Six Rivers National Forest was undergoing some changes. The head man Bob had applied in another state, and got the job. Then Sereena, who was seeking a permanent position with the National Forest, found one, so that just left Heather and Sheneesa to service nine campgrounds, including the two sites and river access in the Lower Trinity area where we're located.

So, we got off to a good start going from totally green to fairly well seasoned hosts who have experienced most campground issues... No injuries yet, and no brawls, no one we could not handle... If it comes, we'll use our radio and help is only two miles away in Willow Creek.

We're having a blast!

1 comment:

  1. So pleased for you rwo! Why does it surprise me to see how God works in our lives? We left Eureka three days ago. Sure wish we could have met up with you.