Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ROUTE

As it nears departure time, we have plotted out a tenative route on Microsoft Streets and Trips. It is stored in memory in our laptop and will run all of the time we are traveling. The laptop is carried on a ramline mount that can swivel back and forth between the driver and the navigator. A GPS antenna shows our position on the map, and a internet connection is always there via Alltel's wireless connection card. This means that which ever one of us is navigating has a lot of information resources at hand constantly.The streets & trips is usually set on turn by turn directions, so that if the navigator is away on the internet, looking for the nearest walmart gas station, the driver can still hear the turn by turn directions.
Here is a look at out tenative route: ( remember, he, he, we no longer have a job so time frame means little now. Should we want to detour to visit some cool thing the navigator has located on the internet, we can )Click the map for a larger view.

Our travel plan is to take three or four days to go from Arkansas to Cumbres Pass, stopping at the least excuse along the way. Our software has had a KML patch applied to it so that it will also display nearby geocaches and oftentimes that is the excuse that we need to get out and stretch our legs.
Fellow Bloggers Chuck & Gehri, www.phunnyfarm.blogspot.com , traveled some of this route after leaving us at Lake Greeson. We will refer to their blog as we proceed down the route, so we can enjoy some of the things they have pointed out. One thing in particular comes to mind,is a free campsite with water and electricity in Flordada Texas. I'll bet more and more small towns do this to increase the dollars spent locally by passing RV'ers.
To easily follow this blog, getting email alerts and a clickable link, scroll fown to the FOLLOW button and click on it, we would appreciate it ! Or, maybe click on the comments link below to leave a comment such as, " Hey you guys ! Post the coordinates of that free campground !, We'll be passing through there this Summer ! "

Monday, April 27, 2009

MAIL

We still have a permanent ( bricks & sticks ) domicile where we pay State & Local taxes, ect.. We needed to have our local post office stop our RFD ( now for those of you that may not remember that term, it stands for Rural Free delivery ) mail service and start forwarding it, temporarily ( four months ), to the post office nearest to our workamper job site in Colorado.
A simple straight forward process, one might think. But remember, we are dealing with a semi governmental agency. That's the formula for lots and lots of regulations, nearly to the extent that an interpreter might be needed.
But, being an optimistic kind of a guy, I went to the USPS web site and started the process.
It went well as long as they were taking my money ( credit card ). I got the PO Box rented and recieved the confirmation, which included the brief statement that I needed two forms of photo Identification to be able to pick up my PO Box keys and get my assigned box number.
Cool, I thought, we doin' it now !
Next step, set up the forward date with my local post office. Now my local post office has no part in this process, they just have to frequently check the internet to update their customers requests.
So I am filling out the form to have my mail sent to my new post office box, when it happens. They ask me for my new PO Box number. End of process ! They havn't given it yet, and won't until after we drive hundreds of miles and present ourselves and two forms of photo ID.
So, I wonder, why they have designed a system that won't work ?
Luckily, we have known our local post master for many years. She's a nice lady that fills all of her Deer and Turkey tags every year. A woman with above average common sence.
She sent a internal communication to the other post office and voilla ! In two days, I knew what the post office box out there was going to be. Within a few minutes, I had completed the mail forwarding process !
I am thinking, ain't the internet great ! What a way to expedite things ! He, he, leave it to a semi governmental agency, who's policies are dictated from the District of Columbia or, somewhere within the Beltway, to design a process that had to be made work by a country Post Master !
Uncle Sam came up short on this one, but my hat's off to you mam', you gotter' done ! Thanks, Johnna !

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MEANDERTHALLS

On their way out of Memphis Tennessee the Meanderthalls picked up a full barbeque meal that they brought to the catfish camp. When the meal was served it did the impossible, it knocked out the whole catfish crew ! Here is the video proof !
video

PREDAWN

Video musing in the pre dawn chill, just me, a camera and a cup of coffee on the last morning in camp at Lake Greeson Catfish Camp 2009.
video

CAPTURED

Nearly every where we went, there were cameras. We were all having such a great time that we all wanted to capture a bit of it to take home with us. In this short video we have just returned from picking up the jugs and have the morning's catch in the live box. Betty is starting breakfast and yup, you guessed it, the cameras were there !
video

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

KITCHEN

In this short video Betty is baking cathead biscuits, fryin' up bacon n' making sawmill gravy ! Her kitchen set up is getting it's first field test. Click to start the video:
video
This cool little Camp Chef Oven and cook top may well prove to be one of our best camping investments ! After fifteen days at Catfish Camp, Betty is still singing praises about it !

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

GUMBO

Tuesday morning at first light the temperature outside was 28*, by lunch time, we had launched Harm's Weigh and the temperature had climbed until I had to shed my sweat shirt.
Bett made a gumbo and we ate lunch outside at the picnic table in tee shirts. That gumbo was acompanied by peanutbutter and syrup sandwiches, another countrified meal at the lake !
GUMBO ROCKS !
Maybe Betty will let me take a nap then we can set out the bait traps. With any luck we will be able to cast a couple of dozen jugs this evening right at sunset.

Monday, April 6, 2009

MORPHED

It was a subtle thing, hardly noticeable, at first. The steady slamming of the bathroom door up the hill from our campsite, the constant whirring sound of bicycle tires upon pavement, the continuing chatter of children playing, accented with the occasional shreek of some imagined child's atrocity being committed. Now, was gone, all gone. There is no Spring break going on, it's long past. Children that were visiting Grandparents at the campground for the weekend, are all gone.
The morphing had began Sunday afternoon and was completed before darkness descended upon the campground.
Just before dark, the duty Ranger came around to collect the rent. Our friend had gone off duty and a very pleasant Lady had the duty. We had been busy with the first days camp chores and hadn't picked up on the morphing that was occouring.
Even before sunup, Monday morning, it was becoming apparent that the change had happened. The wildlife was really stirring in the campground. Birds and Squirrels just absolutely covered the ground, because the rowdy, quick movements of Children and Dogs wasn't present.
The cheery percolating sound of the coffee pot had been replaced by gentle sipping sounds coming from coffee mugs. We were waiting. It wasn't a ritual of any sort, but instead the beautiful marking of the beginning of a great time at the lake. The jugs hadn't been cast the evening before, so we were lingering over coffee. The lights were off inside our Ollie and the windows faced the right direction to catch the first rays of sunshine as they burst upon the campground.
Flashing through the windows, the first rays of sunlight, totaly lit up the inside of the trailer. Quietly, gazing across the tops of coffee mugs, we grinned at each other.
The Morphing was complete. We were now in Geezerville !
Residents of Geezerville ! I wonder who the Mayor is of Geezerville ? Hey, that has a nice ring to it ! The Mayor of Geezerville. He, he, how do you get that job ? I wonder. . . . . .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Packed

During my last few remaining days of being on the job, Betty was packing. The more she packed and the closer she got to being ready to go to the lake, the more excited and ready to go to the lake she was !
We were scheduled to be at Lake Greeson on April 8th. Somehow, it just wasn't going to be soon enough to suit us ! Telling ourselves that we needed to get there a bit early to "check things out", was all of the excuse that we needed. So, here we are, four days early to the lake. Hey, what can I say ? When ya' ain't got no job to be at on a Monday morning, the sky is the limit !
We pulled in to Kirby Landing about ten thirty this morning and the very first thing,we run into our old friend, USCOE Ranger Sorrels. He knew about our retirement already. Friends had told him we were going to be at Kirby Landing with friends and he was expecting us anyhow because it's April and the dogwoods are blooming.
He told us that the lake had risen two tenths of an inch overnight and that the fishing was slow. We both agreed that it was still a little early yet.
We are at campsite 32, the third one on the left as you go towards the boat ramp and swim beach areas. Campsites 31, 32, 33 & 34 are all open and are all right on the water.
Here is a look:

Butcherknife, Poco & Dillon Inspecting campsite 32
As usual, after leveling up our Ollie, we started our "whut' we done fergot to bring" list.
The sights numbered 31 thru 34 are all pull through sites.

The wind has blown all day and a front is coming quickly through with a temperature drop in the forcast for tonight. Man, I sure wish we had some jugs ready to cast tonight, ahead of this front ! The jugs would likely be scattered from the front passing through, but I'll bet the catch would be better than it has been being for those that have been here for awhile.

Here is a look from 33 towards 32 & 31.
We are kind of encroaching over on to 31 with our freezer trailer.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

FIND

Some have asked how we happened to find the Trujillo meadows Campground and then land the job of campground hosts. I have always been fascinated by steam engine trains, one goes through Cumbres Pass right by the Trujillo Meadows Campground.
We were on our way back home from driving Jeep trails in South Western Colorado,

This photo was taken as the sunrises at Engineer Pass Colorado
and were just kind of meandering across Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado, without much of an agenda. As we neared Chama New Mexico, I recalled a boondocking campsite up in the national forest, right by the Cumbres Pass steam train station. I talked Betty into it, she's usually up for such an adventure, and we drove to cumbres pass.

While in Chama, Nm, we grabbed a wifi signal and refreshed our memory of the boondocking spot's location and drove to it without any mis cues.

Photo taken June 24th right at dark, note the depth of the snow !
The next day we went exploring and watched the steam engine fill at the water tank by the station.
The Trujillo Meadows Campground was in rough condition from the Winter. Heavy snows had damaged or brought down lots of timber and part of the campground was closed off. A contract logging crew was coming in to remove the downed timber.
With retirement looming just over the horizon, we were intrested in hosting a place like that. We followed up, and landed the job.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hosting at TRUJILLO MEADOWS campground



If you are in the area, stop in and see us !
Our job starts May 20th, if the snow is off enough. They say that some years it is the second week of June though. We will rendezvous with our group of campground managers at the Aspen Glade campground ( located beside the Conejos River aproximately 12 miles West of Antonito Co ), down lower at about 8500 feet of elevation. Then after uniform issue and orientation, we will move up to the Trujillo Meadows campground at 10K elevation.
This is a USFS campground and I think there are no reservations but they say a mid week arrival means plenty of open sites. Our regular day off is Tuesday or Wednesday, so I expect that is right.
We have cell phone service when we drive to the top of the pass, then activate the cell phone amplifier. We will check voice mail twice a day so be sure to leave a message and we will call back.
Our cellular phone number is:
479-243-5450
Our email is:
mountainborn@gmail.com
Directions from Cumbres Pass on Hwy. 17: ( hwy 17 runs from Chama, New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado )
Take the forest service road to the North, it is the only one there within sight of the railroad tracks by the Cumbres & Toltec steam engine station. Follow the road to the campground. After turning into the campground road, we will be the first campsite on the right.
We look forward to seeing you !
harm & Bett

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

GEEZERVILLE


Geezerville, weve' arrived ! The cake and icecream are all gone, the fancy speeches are over , all that is left to do is stick that plack up on the garage wall, we are Jobless ! Well, until the snow melts off and we can get into that Colorado host's campsite, anyhow.