Tuesday, July 31, 2007

7/30/07 Oh What a Lazy Day!

This was a much needed day for us to relax. And relax we did, well at least I did. Bob puttered around the house because he just can't sit still. I, on the other hand, didn't do anymore than wash dishes and cook dinner and make the bed.

The exhaust brake we ordered for the truck arrived a few days ago and Bob took it out of the box to look it over and read the directions because he has decided to install it himself. That won't happen today but it will before we leave here and we have to deal with mountains.

I sat outside for quite awhile today reading and watching the hummingbirds. I finally got the pictures of them feeding at our new feeder that is attached to the rig window.

I even got lucky and got a picture of two feeding at once. Its a little blurry because I was so excited to get two at once. You can tell one was taken in the morning and one in the late afternoon as there is a different RV in the space next to us.

Then much to my surprise a third one showed up. I hate posting blurry pictures but this is the only one I have to show all three birds. Granted you have to really look to see the third one but look at the bird on the right and to the upper left you can see the fluttering wing of the third hummingbird, hovering, waiting its turn. Of course it was in plain view as I was bringing the camera up to snap the picture and then moved behind the feeder while I got it focused.

After dinner we watched TV and just relaxed some more.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, July 30, 2007

7/29/07 8,000 and Counting

It didn't take long for the 8,000th reader to step forward after I posted yesterday's entry. In fact, was just minutes. Welcome to Gloria who just found this site yesterday and it was her first time here. I hope you stop back often.

The campground got back to normal yesterday and are we ever glad. All four of us are tired. It was really hopping around here this weekend with campers and floaters. We had one family reunion here with family members coming from Nevada, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Five siblings w/families and their mother. They hadn't all been together in seventeen years and the mom had no idea this was going to happen. It was her 70th birthday and the kids got together and planned this.

The hummingbirds have found our new feeder that attaches to the rig window but I have yet to be able to snap a picture of them feeding. I've gotten close but just as I get ready to press the button they fly away. I am determined to get one so I'll just keep trying.

We're looking forward to our upcoming weekend, we can use the rest, but since we've only got five weeks left here I'm sure we'll find something along the line of sightseeing to do.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

7/28/07 Who Will Be # 8000?

I took notice of the counter today and was just amazed! We're getting ready to hit number 8000 on the counter! Eight thousand hits since February. Who would have guessed? If its you, please leave a note, I'd like to know who the 8,000th guest is.

We are incredibly busy this weekend. Barb even had to put a NO VACANCY sign on the door when they closed up tonite. A first since we've been here.

A Happy Birthday wish goes out to Kathy, a childhood and lifelong friend.

Much too busy to write much now, don't forget, let me know who # 8,000 is.

7/27/07 What a Birthday It Was!

Everyone should have a birthday like I did yesterday! It was just the best. I'm happy to say that I had lots of phone calls, emails, cards in snail mail and more than a few people sing Happy Birthday to me.

One Happy Birthday song really stands out. This one was from Barb. I walked into work and she broke out into song,,,,,such as it is. In a low, sad, monotone she started singing.

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday

People are dying everywhere

Pain and sorrow fill the air

Happy Birthday

When she got the first Happy Birthday out I thought to myself, "Oh geez Barb, keep your day job!" Then I realized this wasn't the Happy Birthday song I thought it was.

Later in the day a couple came in to register and looked at me and said, "Are you Snookie?" When I replied that I was I heard, "Happy Birthday!" I looked at them and thought to myself, "Do I know you?" I must have had a puzzled expression on my face because the lady said, "Look, she can't believe we know its her birthday!" And I couldn't! How did they know? I looked at Barb and she just shrugged her shoulders. It was then we got busy and I didn't give it anymore thought, there just wasn't time. A while later this young fella came in and asked me who Snookie was. When I told him it was me he said, Happy Birthday! I must have had that same puzzled expression because he then mentioned this:

AHA! Now I knew!

Bob and I went out to dinner after work and I spent the rest of the evening on the phone with family and friends. Yep, a good birthday!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

7/26/07 Mick Jagger, Sandra Bullock and ME!

Today I have something in common with Mick Jagger, the lead singer in the Rolling Stones and movie star Sandra Bullock. Today we are all celebrating our birthdays. Mick turns 64 today, can you believe that? Sandra is chiming in with 43 years under her belt and I fall in the middle at 54. Fifty four years old, gosh this came fast!

It seems like yesterday that I was crying because I was turning 17. I had so much fun at 16 and I didn't want it to end. Remember that Mom?

I sit here this morning and think about what has happened in the last 54 years.

I saw the first man walk on the moon, I've lived through a time when our country was at war and I remember when all the rage was a pet rock. I've lived through peddle pushers, tent dresses, mini skirts and polyester pant suits. I remember gas wars where gasoline went as low as 20 cents a gallon. (I was a very small child but I have a good memory) Then I remember gas lines when we waited an hour for the allotted 10 gallons on alternate days of the week. I remember stamps at five cents and a pack of cigarettes for thirty. As a kid I had a great collection of Matchbox cars and then I have fond memories of my very first car. Then there was my very first brand new car (Ford Pinto) with payments of $52.00 a month. We can't even fill the gas tank for that now!

I spent my first eight and a half years as an only child. Then came the little brother who takes great pleasure now in pointing out that for six months of a year I'm NINE years older than him rather than the eight years that separates our ages the other six months.

I've been lucky enough to say I've traveled. I've been to four other countries and 26 states in this one and to the Islands. And I'm still traveling....

It's been a great 54 years, if I could do it over again there is very little I would change. Oh sure, there are things over the years I wish I hadn't said, things I wish had done but all and all I wouldn't change much.

So today I'm another year older and as my dad is fond saying, its the first day of my 55th year.

I'll spend today packaging ice, checking in campers, possibly going out for dinner tonite (I'll make sure I don't take anything out of the freezer) and enjoying the day.

Yep, its been good so far!

Happy Birthday Mick and Sandra!

7/25/07 Photo Op for a Motorcycle Club

This afternoon we had a group of about 30 motorcycles pull into the parking lot. They didn't stay long, just long enough for someone from the rented U-Haul truck that was leading them to jump out and get a group picture.

This group is traveling together and they have certain points where they have to get their picture taken. In this case it was a picture with the KOA sign in it. For each picture they get the group gets so many points. This is something the American Motorcycle Association is sponsoring and I imagine the rental truck was carrying tents and their belongings. I don't know how long they are on the road for, I would think a week, but they sure seemed to be having fun. Dan and Barb say they have been here before to get a picture taken.

They left as quickly as they came. I feel lucky I was able to get a picture of part of the group before they took off.

Once again Bob was on the roof and today I made pizza boxes and packaged ice. It was a pretty slow day around here until late afternoon when the over nighters started to arrive.

I was sitting at the picnic table this evening when the campground cat got herself into a bit of a mess. I saw her jump into the bed of a pickup a few sites down from us and really didn't think much of it. She's always exploring open vehicles and storage bays in motor homes and trailers. It wasn't long before one of the campers in the site started emptying a tool box that's in the bed of the truck. I didn't see Miss Kitty leave the truck bed so I walked down to let the camper know she was in there somewhere. They were unhitched but the truck was still parked under the 5th wheel trailer, they hadn't moved it yet. We couldn't find her and then I looked up and saw her in the open space under the hitch. She wasn't alone. It seemsthe campers didn't know a bird had built its nest in the hitch and was in there with its babies as they traveled. These weren't full timers, just a family on a weeks vacation. We knew the mama bird was in the tree at the site because she kept flying down close and chirping her little head off. I felt so sorry for her because Miss Kitty found her babies. Tried as we did we couldn't get her out of the small space quickly enough. I don't have to go into graphic detail on the end result, you can use your imagination on this one.

Another day down.

7/24/07 Birthdays, Roofs & Tomatoes

First order of business today is to wish my friend Gail a Happy Birthday. Gail and I met in the 4th grade and were friends all through the rest of our years in school. I have missed very few years since then in calling her and wishing her a Happy Birthday on this date. Hope you have a wonderful day my friend.

Not a whole lot going on in our neighborhood today. We're still having pleasant weather and Bob is still working on the Kabin roofs.

Matt, Bob's helper, has been a real trooper with showing up at 6 a.m. to get an early start. I wish you all could meet Matt, he is just the sweetest kid.

Our garden is coming along nicely and we're getting tomatoes on a regular basis now.
These beauties will be red before we know it.

Like I said earlier, not much going on in our neighborhood. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

7/23/07 A Trip to the Gas Station

Today we made a five mile drive to the Flying J Truck Stop to get diesel fuel in the truck. This is probably something you do at least once a week. This is our first trip to the gas station in six weeks and we still had a quarter of a tank. We probably could have waited another two weeks but the price is starting to creep up and we figured we better fill it before it gets any higher. We paid $2.75 a gallon.

On this tank of gas we've been to St. Louis and made two trips to Meramec Springs Park. The bank, the food store, the haircut places, the VFW and gas station are all within a half mile of each other (5 miles away) so when we go we make sure we take care of everything we have to in one trip. Bob also uses the truck every day for work because all of his tools are stored in the toolboxes on board. He might put two miles a day on it. So fuel lasts us a long time here in Missouri. We better not get too used to this, after all, we're on the road in six weeks.

I received a package in the mail today, my winnings from Ebay for an auction I won. Since we have hummingbirds in this area I've been looking for a feeder that attaches to the window with a suction cup as I'd like to get some up close pictures of these tiny birds. I've found them online for $16 and $18. Last Thursday I looked at Ebay and found one that was going to end on Friday morning. The bid was up to $5.24. I waited until the last thirty seconds to put my bid in and won it for $5.52. The seller is located in St. Louis of all places so it didn't take long to arrive.

The new feeder is attached to the window that is over the dining table. I've seen hummingbirds feeding from it when I was outside but have yet to catch one when I'm inside with the camera.

Another day in the life of these full timers.

7/22/07 First Bout of Homesickness

It finally happened. I've had my first bout of homesickness. Today our family and friends gathered at my brother Bill's house to celebrate his grandson's (our great nephew) third birthday. I called his cell this afternoon with the thought that they could pass the phone around and I could touch base with a lot of the people there. This was a mistake. I talked with about a half dozen people when it hit, the realization that this was the first big family party we've missed. Billy's mother-in-law, Mildred, got on the phone and told me I was missed. Another friend said it seemed strange that we weren't there. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I could feel the tears coming. I told the last one I talked to that I had to get back to work and when the phone disconnected the tears flowed. It was rough for about an hour and I'm thankful that it was a pretty slow time in the office. Barb noticed I wasn't myself and asked if I was having a bad day. When I explained what I had done she nodded with understanding and handed me the Kleenex box. I don't think I'll make another call like that. I wanted to be home so bad.
Bob was busy hanging signs all around the campground today.

We certainly are enjoying some great weather here. It isn't getting much past 80 and we have a nice breeze. Of course this coming workweek the day time temps are supposed to rise and this is where Bob will work replacing one of the remaining Kabin roofs.

Not a shade tree in sight, unlike the last two weeks when he had plenty of shade.

Today's our Friday and we're looking forward to the next two days to relax.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

7/21/07 Perfect, Sad and Frustrating

Another beautiful day here in Missouri. Our temperature was in the low 80's today with a nice breeze all day long. Perfect weather!

Crosseyed Cricket Canoe Company had another busy day on the river. Busy enough that Dan and Barb had to once again hire another school bus and driver. Things go much smoother for all concerned when there are two buses running back and forth when the floaters are done and need to be transported back to the campground.

Bob spent his day working on an electrical issue in the laundry room, staining a fence and I once saw him helping a camper at his rig. I'm sure he was glad just to not be on a roof today.

Nothing out of the ordinary for me today. No one requested a canoe in periwinkle blue or anything exciting like that.

During my four hours off in the afternoon I received a phone call from my brother informing me that a childhood friend lost her son in Iraq. He was killed by a roadside bomb. I certainly don't want to subject you, our readers, to my political views but I'm at the point to state this: Politicians, get out of the war, let the Generals and troops do their job and then get our service members home! Enough said!

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner. Bacon and eggs and toast. I took several pictures of the eggs we have but they didn't show the color like I wanted. We have green eggs! Joe, our weekend bus driver has chickens and supplies us with fresh eggs. One of his layers delivers green ones versus the usual white or brown. No matter what color background I used the eggs showed up white in the pictures, I guess the flash is too bright and washes the light green color out.

So that was our day, perfect because of the weather, sad because a friend lost her son and frustrating because I couldn't get the green egg color to show up in a picture.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

7/20/07 Did You Say PINK?

We woke this morning to absolutely delightful weather! Bluer than blue skies, a gentle breeze and lower temperatures than we've had. What a great way to start the day.

Bob finished up the third Kamper Kabin roof today so that leaves only four to go. Its like the picnic tables now, he can't wait for them to be done.

Our weekend campers started coming in by early afternoon and soon the weekend would be in full swing.

We did have one camper come in who has been here for a couple days now and inquire about a float trip. Now let me give you a little bit of what this particular camping family has been like. There are four adults and one small child (about 4 yrs old) in a medium size RV. The second day they were here the dad comes in and asks where emergency care is located as the small boy is sick. Barb gave him a map and showed him where the emergency room is located in Sullivan, 5 miles away. He leaves. An hour later he's back and wants to know if we have a skimmer for the pool. Barb says yes and asks why he wants to know. Well, it seems as though they took the sick child into the pool and he threw up! Oh, if looks could kill....... Barb went out to the pool to assess the damage and was gone quite awhile. She finally came back and announced that the pool would not have to be closed as she feared as they did get him to the side quickly and she was able to clean up the mess. Now I ask you, who in their right mind takes a child that is sick enough that you ask where the emergency room is.... swimming???? OK, so these people aren't high on our list of smart campers.

So the husband comes in this morning and wants to know about the floating. All was going well until he said.......(you aren't going to believe this)......."My wife is really into pink, do you have a pink canoe, she really wants a pink one." Once again,,,, if looks could kill. They settled for one of the gun metal gray ones we have and took the sick kid with them on a four hour float in a canoe. It truly does take all kinds to make the world go round.

Late afternoon and early evening we were busy with check ins and the time passed pretty quickly. Bob, on the other hand, put in a 12 hour day and was found relaxing by the time I made my way home. I'll be glad when these Kabin roofs are done too, Bob is tired and I hate to see him work so hard. You can bet that if we take another workamping job it won't be for 40 hours a week!

So there it is, another day down, one day closer to getting on the road again.

Friday, July 20, 2007

7/19/07 Some Much Needed Rain

This morning when we ventured outside we took note of the grass in the campground. Its brown. We haven't had rain in Stanton, Missouri in well over a week, probably closer to two weeks now that I think about it. The weatherman says rain this afternoon/evening but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. We need this predicted rain.

Once again, Bob was up and out early. Today he had to get shingles on the roof of the Kamper Kabin in case the weatherman is right.

I started my day out packaging ice in preparation of a busy weekend.

Barb went to two local stores to get supplies in for the camp store so we spent some time this afternoon pricing the items and getting them shelved. We're fully stocked now so the weekend can begin anytime. I did notice a jump in the price of milk. We were selling a half gallon for $2.49 and now we're pricing it at $2.79. A half gallon of milk is going for more than a gallon of gas in this area.

Today was probably the longest day for me so far. There just wasn't much to do and time just seemed to drag by. Even the phones were quiet today. I tried to get into a new book but even that didn't hold my interest.

I did meet a couple from Pennsylvania who are staying here for a few days. They live just down the street from our favorite campground in PA, Warwick Woods. In our conversation we discovered that we'll be in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Balloon Fest at the same time. We exchanged info and plan to meet up in October.

Remember this picture of our tomato plants?

Look at them now! Three of them are taller than me!

We're getting tomatoes now but they aren't as big as ones that are grown in the ground. At least the beefsteak's aren't as big as the ones we're used to. We're getting lots of grape and cherry tomatoes and that makes Snookie a happy camper!

By late afternoon the clouds started rolling in and by five the sky was as dark as night. The wind picked up and it looked like we were in for it. We kept an eye on the Doppler Radar on the office computer and the storm was headed our way. I had seen Bob leave the campground earlier but didn't see him return. I told Barb I needed to go to our place to secure our belongings we had outside. Bob was home and was coming out of the trailer when I turned the corner. He said there was a notice on the TV of severe weather for our area. We made short order of stowing chairs, flags and other small things we had about. Bob thought it best to put the awning down, just in case, besides the wind had really picked up by now. Soon after I returned to the office the rain started. Not a driving rain by any means but it was coming down pretty good. After awhile it was just a nice gentle rain, so much for TV warnings.

I have four pizzas I earned by selling KOA Value Cards (discount cards) on the books now and it IS Thursday, our pizza night, so Dan made one for us for tonight's dinner.

With the rain the temperature dropped big time! The AC is off and we'll sleep with windows open tonight, something we would much rather do.

7/18/07 Roof # 3

Today Bob and his helper, Matt, started the roofing job on the third of seven Kamper Kabins to be done. This one is in the shade too since this is suppose to be a very hot week. The weatherman was saying today is going to be the hottest one yet.

Bob and Matt start their workdays at 6 a.m. so that they aren't working in the heat of the afternoon. Today it made no matter since it was a take your breath away kind of day when you stepped outside of an air conditioned building. It's not that it was so much humid, the humidity level was only at 55%, it was just stinkin' hot!

Since the campground rules state that quiet time last until 7 a.m. they couldn't really start tearing off the roof since we had campers nearby. They used the first hour to get the material from the barn they'll need loaded and onsite. They did get the cedar shakes torn off on one side of the roof, got the new plywood installed and the black felt paper down before calling it a day. Its just too hot to be doing work like this. I worry about him in this heat but he does make sure he drinks plenty of water.

There was nothing really unusual about my day. I started packaging ice and that will be a priority for the next few days. It looks like we'll be busy on the river again this weekend so we'll sell lots of ice.

It was a quiet day here in the campground. The few over nighters we had pulled out early and we didn't have too many come in the afternoon. It made for a long afternoon.

After spaghetti and meatballs for dinner we settled in for an evening of television.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

7/17/09 Rainbow Trout and Chipmunks

We made plans last week to return to Meramec Springs Park to try our hand at trout fishing.

Our cooler was packed and we were out the door a little after eight. We knew it was going to be a hot one so we packed plenty of beer and Pepsi's. Of course, the sun rising is a good enough reason for us to pack the cooler with beer and Pepsi's.

So we arrive at the park and Bob went in to get his fishing license. On the ride to the park I decided I wouldn't get a license right away, that I would rather watch Bob for awhile to see if the fish were even biting.

We noticed right off that there were a lot more people fishing today than there were last week.

It was H O T today! I wanted to jump in that water so bad!

Bob walked the banks of the waterway watching the other people fish for awhile to see if he could see what they were using for bait. Worms just don't work here and it seems everyone was using something different. Some were pulling fish out one after the other and some weren't getting anything. While he was doing that I sat in the shade with the book I brought.

He finally decided to try his luck. Bob has not ever been trout fishing before so this is a first for him. Here's Bob, he is the one standing in the forefront.

I wish I could tell you that he caught fish right away but that was not the case. He tried several different kinds of bait and I even went to the park store to buy some purple dough stuff he wanted to try but they weren't biting on that either. Frustrated does not even begin to describe his state of being as those all around him were pulling them in one after the other. Well, not ALL were pulling them in but the majority were. I had a feeling it was going to be a long day.

I sat and read my book, glad that I didn't get a license after all since I would be using the same bait he was and I couldn't see both of us being frustrated. I sat in front of this little pool that had a small waterfall and the sound of it was very relaxing.

Doesn't this cool you off just looking at it?

Bob trying his luck at yet another spot.

It is hard to watch the fish just swim by your hook and bait. Maybe this crystal clear water isn't such a good thing after all.

A noise in the distance caught my attention and when I looked up from my book I saw Bob motion to me to look upstream,,,,or maybe it was downstream. I couldn't see anything from where I was sitting so I grabbed the camera and went for a walk in search of the "noise".

The stream beds are home to all kinds of underwater plants which shelter the fish and they feed on them. Left to their own accord they would grow right out of the water. In this particular place the water is about four feet deep so you can see how clean this water is.

It seems today is the day that the park rangers cut this underwater growth to keep it manageable.

Two rangers were in very small boats with what looked electric chain saw blades attached to the front of the boats. They could lift and lower the blades whenever they needed to. Methodically, they went up and down the stream cutting the underwater plant life.

It left quite a mess on the top of the water with each pass they made and needless to say there was no fishing in the area they were in.

The water was flowing pretty quickly so it didn't take long for the area they cut to clear. I did get a chance to talk to this woman who works for the park.

She said to tell Bob to go further up/down the stream where it had already cleared because the fish were probably biting now. It seems they go into a feeding frenzy when this is done because all kinds of micro-organisms are released when they do this task.

I went back to where Bob was and told him what the ranger said. He was ready to try anything since we were five hours into this day and he still hadn't had so much as a nibble. It was a little bit of a hike to where she recommended Bob go so I opted to sit in a grove of tall trees, out of the sun, and just read my book. I was way past the point where I was ready to pack it in. It was incredibly hot but Bob wasn't ready to give up yet.

While waiting for Bob I strolled to another area hoping to find a breeze. I settled in on yet another bench and before long I had a visitor.

I watched this cute little chipmunk search for food and was glad for him (her?) when he/she found this dough ball someone had dropped.

It was while watching this little sample of park wildlife that I noticed this tree. All the others grew straight and tall, I wonder what happened to this one.

So what seems like HOURS have passed and I made my way back to the grove of trees where I last saw Bob. I was totally engrossed in my book when I heard this sound like someone clearing their throat. I didn't pay it any mind. Then I heard it again, and again and I finally looked up. There was Bob with a handful of rainbow trout! He had caught three!

He was ready to give up and call it a day when he looked down and saw a small piece of bright orange rubber worm laying on the ground. He figured nothing he used so far had worked so he decided to try it. He told me his line hit the water and within a minute he had a fish. He threw his line back in and waited just a few minutes and he had the second one and it didn't take him long to get the third. Do I need to tell you was grinning from ear to ear?

Now they have to be cleaned. Bob has several fillet knives but do you think there was one in the truck on this particular day? NOOOOOOOO! Off to the park store we go to get a fillet knife. That purchased and it was back to the cleaning stations. It didn't take long for him to clean them and soon we were on our way. The wind coming through the windows felt so good!

Bob got out the grill as soon as we got home and cooked all three. He gave one to a neighbor of ours who raved about the "fresh" fish and Bob ate the other two. I'm not a fish eater. He thoroughly enjoyed his dinner!

Since it was so hot we didn't even venture outside and instead spent our evening watching TV.

A long, hot day, but worth it just to see the smile on his face after landing his first rainbow trout.

7/16/07 Lots of Computer Work Today

We're using this to day to get some computer work done. Its very hot outside today so its a good day to stay in the air conditioning.

I've been running into some issues with blogger.com, this site, and I spent the day looking for fixes and getting the blog caught up. I did manage to get my household chores done while the pictures were uploading. Upload a picture, sweep kitchen floor, upload a picture, make the bed, upload a picture, clean mirrors in the bathroom and on and on. I should write a book: How to Clean the House in 2.5 Minute Increments.

Bob spent his day plotting our course from Stanton, Missouri to New Mexico, where we'll be headed when we leave here. He looked for the best route that included sights we want to see along the way, taking into consideration the military bases where we can stay enroute.

"Hitch itch" is really setting in now. As much as we like where we are and who we work with,,,,,its time to go!

I did manage to get out and take a picture of the first Kamper Kabin Bob put the roof on.

It was just too darn hot to sit out this evening so it was a night of TV for us after dinner.

Monday, July 16, 2007

7/15/07 The Store is Empty!

Went in this morning and looked around and shelves in the store are nearly empty! Not a loaf of bread or a box of graham crackers to be had. It didn't take long to straighten up at all with there being so little on the shelves.

It was another busy day on river today but the campground itself was a lot calmer with checkout time being eleven.

Barb did find out who the little beast was that stripped the swimming pool of its caulking. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after the family had left. I think that might have been a good thing.

Today Bob painted a fence and worked on some electrical issues in the laundry room. I packaged ice! I'll be doing that for the next few days to get ready for next weekend. From the looks of it its going to be another busy one.

We went to Burger King for dinner. Since I didn't get done until 7:30 it was just too late to cook anything and BK is close by.

We caught up with friends and family by phone in the evening and called it an early night.

7/14/07 Extremely Busy Day at this KOA

WOW! I never expected the campground to be this busy this weekend or for the time to fly by so fast!

It got to the point that we were turning people away who wanted to rent Kamper Kabins for the weekend. All nine were rented. In addition, all of our RV spaces were spoken for and most tent sites had campers in them.

If I thought the campground was busy, well, that was nothing compared to the float business! It was a beautiful weekend so in addition to the floaters who had reservations we had a lot of walk-in business. In fact, two other outfitters close by were "sold out" and started sending business our way. It didn't take long and we were turning floaters away. We were running two school buses as it was since we had one party of 60! This group went out at 8:30 in the morning and were the last ones to return just before seven. Dan, the "float boys" and the two bus drivers were kept very busy all day.

Barb and I were kept hopping in the store. We nearly emptied the ice freezer and things were flying off the shelves in the store. All this in addition to the phones ringing, answering questions for the campers and dealing with the floaters as they returned.

I have no idea what Bob did today. I don't think I even saw him. I think he was kept busy by the campers answering their questions about their rigs electricity. These campers need to learn just what having 30 amps will allow them to do. We have a list of what each appliance in a rig draws as far as amperage is concerned, so he took the list to Barb so that she could make copies and we could hand them out to the campers. Especially the ones who run the air conditioner, make a pot of coffee, have the TV on, are running their hot water heater on electricity rather than propane and cook something in an electric frying pan and reheat something in the microwave while their teenage daughter dries her hair with a blow dryer.....all at the same time... on 30 amps!! They wonder why the breakers in their rigs trip.

Right after work I was at our flower boxes deadheading the flowers when a camper strolled by and asked if it wasn't a bit much to bring flowers and flags for a weekend of camping. I explained to this young fella that this was my home and we weren't here for the weekend. He was simply fascinated that we lived here and traveled to different areas every couple of months. After answering all of his questions I think he'll be a full timer some day.

As tired as I was I walked around the campground after dark. When its this crowded I think its a good idea to make your presence known. Besides, this is how you get to have leisurely chats with the campers. I was talking with one couple from the Good Sam group (Good Sam is a nationwide camping club, we're members too) when Barb walked up to us. I noticed she had something that looked like pieces of rope in her hand but I didn't pay it much mind. The four us of talked a bit and the things in her hand came into view again. I asked what she had there and she held it up for the three of us to see. It seems that one of the swimmers in the pool got bored with just swimming and decided to peel the caulking out of the seams! She found the strips of caulk laying poolside and in the pool when she went to close it for the evening. She had been going to different groups to see if anyone had seen anything going on at the pool. Of course no one had. To say she was angry is an understatement! The pool may have to be drained now so that it can be re-caulked, it will have to have time to dry and cure, the pool will have to be re-filled and the water will be cold again! She is not a happy campground owner!

So that's a busy day in a campground.

7/13/07 Kabin Roof Done in Record Time

By late afternoon the roof on the second Kabin was done! Bob and Matt put all they had into it to get it completed. So its two down, five to go. Three in full sun, two in the shade.

Campers started coming in early today as we have a Good Sam camping club coming in for their club outing. Since all were retired they got a head start on the other campers we have booked this weekend. Once this started it was one right after the other until I left at seven. In between there were store sales and lots of floating reservations coming in by phone.

This is going to be one busy weekend!

7/12/07 Once again.....

......just another day.

7/11/07 Another Workweek....

And so another week begins. Bob started the second Kamper Kabin roof and I did my usual thing in the office/store.

The roofing for the second Kabin should go somewhat easier as Matt, Bob's helper, has more of an idea of what he's doing and this Kabin is in the shade of tall trees. They would like to have it done by Friday so that it can be rented out. We'll have to see how it goes.

I went in to work hour later than usual today as I had made a haircut appointment six weeks ago and I had decided to keep it even though our days off had changed. Barb and Dan are very flexible so they had no problem with me starting later.

We've had lots of phone calls with reservations for the coming weeks. I guess everyone has figured out that the 4th of July has come and gone and we all know summer passes quickly once the 4th is past.

Barb went shopping for the campground store so we spent the afternoon pricing items and stocking shelves in preparation for the busy weekend.

All in all, just another day.

7/10/07 We Go to a Trout Fish Hatchery

The Direct TV technicians showed up this morning to get our TV up and running again. We had an early morning appointment set up but the tech called last night to let us know he had a mandatory meeting to attend and would be arriving at our place around nine. Hey, works for us, we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn now. He arrived right on time and had our TV picture back in no time. We still don't know what the problem was but its fixed and thats all that matters.

Before getting into what we did today I want to send a "Happy Birthday" out to Elaine. She is one of our daily readers and more importantly a good friend from back home. Hope you have a great day!

So today we packed up a cooler and headed to Meramec Springs Park. Its about a half hour drive from Stanton so we were there before we knew it.

We would be hard pressed to tell you the biggest draw for this park. The trout fishing is outstanding, the spring pool is something to see and history of the park is certainly interesting.

There are paved walkways all around the waterways so it makes for a pleasant stroll through this park.

What first hit us was the crystal clear water! In this picture you are looking into a section of waterway that we estimate to be about three feet deep, if not more!

Can you see the fish in this one? (deeper water)

Fisherman we passed on our way through the park to the spring pool.

This young man wasn't having much luck when we talked with him. It must be frustrating to SEE the fish swim right past your bait and hook.

This one put a lot more work into catching his fish.

....and this one was very happy with his day's catch!

Maramec Spring Park is home to one of four trout parks in the state of Missouri. Maramec Spring Hatchery produces about 100,000 trout a year and all are stocked in Maramec Spring Park. Trout are received as 3 inch fingerlings from Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. The trout are fed three times a day and will grow 3/4 to 1 inch a month. The fish are reared in a raceway fed by the water from Maramec Spring. The fish are stocked at a rate of 2.25 fish per tag sold and are at least 12 inches in length. An additional 40,000 trout are hauled in from Montauk Hatchery each year to be stocked in the park.

Here are a few pictures of the trout living in their raceway, a pool that is about six feet across and about forty to fifty feet long.

Wouldn't you just love to have a fishing pole in hand here? I know Bob would!

This is what we passed on our way to the spring pool. Look how blue the water is.

We passed this pretty water fall under a bridge.

A closer look.

We finally made our way to the spring pool. Meramec Spring is an exceptionally beautiful spring and produces an average of 96,000,000 gallons of water per day. When we came around the bend and saw the spring pool for the first time we were just in awe. Absolute awe! We didn't expect to see water this color or be able to see so far down into this clear pool and see the bigger trout.

Here's where the big fish hang out!

Here's one that is ready to give birth.

After getting our fill of looking at the trout and making plans to come back next week with poles and bait we took a ride through the park in the truck. We came to this one overlook and captured a picture of the fishermen below.

We'll be back next week!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

7/9/07 Our Days Off Change

We're off today, a Monday. This is new for us as we usually have off on Tuesday and Wednesday. With the roofing jobs going on Dan and Barb thought it was best to change our days off. It didn't make sense to tear the shingles off of a roof on Monday, put a tarp on it, us be off the next two days and Bob get back to it on Thursday. The change in days off make no matter to either one of us, its all good.

Today I made potato salad. I don't make this often because Bob doesn't eat it, it has mayonnaise in it. Its hard to make this dish for one person but I made enough to share with Barb and Dan. With them working twelve hour days, seven days a week, they just don't have the time it takes to make it themselves. I was happy to give it and they were happy to receive it so it was a win-win situation.

The rest of the day we puttered around the house. Bob installed our new water softener and what a difference that makes! I didn't realize how hard our water was until I did a load of dishes. I put in the usual amount of dish detergent and had suds galore!

We're picking more tomatoes now, grape tomatoes that is. Our larger tomatoes will be ripe soon and I can't wait to eat that first one. The cherry tomatoes will start in a few days too. In years past we were already getting tomatoes by this date so the waiting is killing me!

We went through our brochures today to find something to do tomorrow. We've got a plan!

7/8/07 Getting Back to Normal

Ahhhh,,,,,the crowds are gone and we're getting back to normal. Only a handful of campers are in campground as most everyone has pulled out and moved on.

This afternoon, while relaxing with Barb in the office after our chores were done, we heard a loud BOOM and the electric went out. This is not good. We can't use anything in the office/store. Barb called the electric company right away and they said there was a large fire in the area and that they were going to possibly shut our electric down anyway. They told her they would get someone out as soon as possible. With this news all I can think of is all the ice I bagged melting!

Of course the electric goes out on a day when its in the mid 90's. It sure didn't take long for the office to get hot. Since this happened in late afternoon and the over nighters were starting to arrive we just had the campers pick a space and told them to come back later when the electric came back on to register. Thank heaven this didn't happen earlier in the weekend when we were packed!

I had walked outside to get a breath of fresh air and realized that I had not taken a picture of the finished ramp to the front door. Remember when Bob was working on this?

A side view....

It took about three hours before the electric came back on and was I ever thankful that the AC was working again!

Bob had turned everything off in our rig with one exception. The TV in the living room wasn't unplugged and when the electric came back it wasn't working. Oh no, did it fry with the electrical surge? We tried everything including calling Direct TV Customer Support. They talked us through different things to try to no avail. We made an appointment for them to come out but they couldn't get to us until Tuesday and we picked the earliest appointment available,,,,,between six and eight in the morning! We're hoping its closer to eight.

We watched movies on the VCR/DVD player since we didn't have regular TV in the living room.

It didn't take long for our house to cool down again once the electric returned so at least we had a good nights sleep.