Monday, June 25, 2007


Hey-finally we’re back on the blog with more stories from Lake Kachess! Have been so busy and been trying to find time to write and post some pictures but it isn’t easy with the schedule we have been keeping. The good part is that it hasn’t just been work that is keeping us hopping. We have been having lots of visitors and we love it. Also, we have managed to go and visit several friends on our days off and enjoyed seeing them and their beautiful homes and surroundings very much.

In our last blog update we mentioned that we were going to visit Jim & Diane Fisher-Baker. They were camp hosts here for 3 years and we got lots of good tips from them during our time together. They have recently purchased a very nice manufactured home in a gated community overlooking Lake Chelan so we were able to drive up there in our car and stay in their spare bedroom. Their home is lovely and so is the view and the weather there – much warmer and drier than here. We enjoyed 2 days of yakking and walks in the area, great meals prepared by both of them, and a nice lunch out at Blueberrry Hill Restaurant. On the way home we did some much needed shopping in Wenatchee, the largest town in the area.

When we got back from that visit, we had an e-mail from Terry & Vicki Webb, a Boomer couple we met last January at Quartzsite. They wanted to come to our campground with 2 rigs of people from their Unitarian church. So we reserved them 3 spots in our loop and had three days of visiting with them at Happy Hours. Their friends were delightful, we so enjoyed getting to know Terry and Vicki better, and we hope all three couples come back again since they all have homes in the Seattle area.

Next we were very pleasantly surprised when our young friends Anja and Ole and their dog, Moritz, appeared at our campground. We met them in Mexico about 10 years ago and have had several visits with them since then but not for about 5 years. They live in the Los Angeles area and work in the film industry. They were on their way to a wedding in Seattle and came early to see us. What fun, with lots more yakking, Happy Hours, and shared meals for 2 days.

On our next day off, we went with Frank, one of the other camp hosts here, to visit his friends Chuck and Jerry who have a small farm in Enumclaw. They have done wonders with the property, which has a fabulous view of Mount Rainier. Since it was a sunny, beautiful day, we had an awesome view of the mountain. We were also able to enjoy a delicious lunch in their garden in the sunshine-hooray! They raise a few chickens and turkeys, as well as a pheasant and a few baby turkeys, plus three horses. After serving us a feast for lunch, Jerry took us to do some exploring and shopping in nearby towns. They sent us home with dozens of fresh eggs-yum.

The day after that trip, we were very pleasantly surprised by a phone call from our old friends Lee & Susie Blattner, that they were heading our way. Luckily we have a campsite fairly near our rig with a long parking slot for their rig and car. They stayed three nights and there was, of course, more gabbing and eating. They were here through part of the weekend and we are always busy checking in campers and doing other chores, so we were glad they understood about our time restrictions.

They left early on Saturday, and several hours later, our friends Joe Jackaway and Karen Blue arrived. Joe traveled with us down to the Panama Canal and back in 2004 and we haven’t seen him since. Blue has been his traveling companion ever since we introduced them on that trip. She was a high school friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in 40 years. She wrote a book about women reinventing their lives by moving to Mexico and when I read that book, I got her current e-mail address and arranged for our Panama group to visit her in Ajijic, near Lake Chapala and Guadalajara. She and Joe hit it off and the rest is history. It was fabulous to see them again and catch up on all their news. They could only stay until Sunday, but we managed to have a great dinner together around a blazing campfire and a nice breakfast the next day before they left.

Since we have been complaining about the weather, we need to admit that we finally had about 4 days of nicer weather last week. The sunshine rejuvenated us and recharged the batteries on the rig as well as our own! Unfortunately, after all the wet and then the warmth, it also brought a big mosquito infestation. They were here for about 5 days and smoky fires were encouraged to keep them away! Today we noticed that they are pretty much gone, but perhaps that is because we had a huge rainstorm starting yesterday and continuing all night and the temps today were cold again, with snow returning to the slopes above the lake.

Despite the changeable weather, we have been having more and more campers. Last weekend the campgrounds were all full again, the first time this has happened since Memorial Day weekend. I’m sure we will be having lots of campers over the week of the 4th of July too.

Tomorrow we drive to SeaTac to pick up Adrianna (Paige), my 16 year old granddaughter, who will be staying with us for 13 days. I’m sure we will be getting out the kayaks, going for bike rides, and hopefully getting in some fishing while she is here.

I am posting some pictures below of the people mentioned in this episode. I have some great ones of Chuck & Jerry and the super shot of Mount Rainier from their place, but I am having trouble keeping my internet connection so I will try to post those next time.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

6/10/07 Another rainy Sunday here at Lake Kachess!! It is getting tiresome and we are hoping for warmer weather soon. Since we have been having rain off and on for the last 8 days, we have had very few campers, which has been kind of nice as we can then get a few backlogged tasks done. Last Tuesday we went in to Cle Elum on our day off, which is a decently sized town about 25 miles east of here. We wanted to arrange for a Radio Shack guy to come out to help us get hooked up to satellite TV using a remote dish, since all the trees here prevent reception using our roof-mounted Motosat. He can't come until this Wednesday. Cle Elum is a nice little town and we enjoyed being there. We had lunch at the Mexican restaurant called El Caporal and it was delicious. We also hung out at the coffee place in the Radio Shack store because they have great flavored coffees and fast wireless internet.
Tomorrow we are driving to Lake Chelan to stay overnight with our friends Jim and Diane Fisher-Baker. They were the ones who worked here 3 summers in a row and they hooked us up for this job. Now they have bought a small place at Lake Chelan for the summers, but will still be RVing the rest of the time. We are anxious to see them and discuss things about the job! Also, it is usually warmer and drier there so we are hoping for better weather. Next weekend should be very busy here as we are already getting lots of reserved sites for Father's Day.
I've got to go because tonight we are having a staff potluck at the A-frame cabin we can use. Movie night will follow. It beats sitting in the cold and rainy evening here by ourselves.

Friday, June 01, 2007

6/1/07 For the past week we have been at Lake Kachess campground, having sunny days and being very busy. This situation of being employed 30 hours a week really cuts into our free time! But what a beautiful place this is, with trees everywhere and a large, gorgeous lake. Because of all the rain and snow this past winter, the lake is the highest it has been for about 30 years. In fact, as we drove here, we passed many areas where there was still snow on the ground. We have seen deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and lots of birds.
When we first arrived here, we expected that we would be camp hosts at a loop called Thetis, which is right on the lake. Because this is a small loop, we would also be responsible for working in the entry booth to collect day use fees on Fri, Sat, and Sunday. Well, because of downed trees and other damage, Thetis loop is not open and there is no projected date for it to open. It all depends on the Forest Service and when they get all the clean up done and the sites ready. One of the other loops, Beargrass Flat, was without a host, because they hadn’t arrived yet, so we parked there and worked that loop, and also the booth. Last Wednesday we had to move because those hosts were arriving and we were in their spot. So we moved to site 55 and hated it. It was too surrounded with trees for us to have any solar, we couldn’t get level, and it wasn’t very private. The very next day Ron & Charmaine, the camp hosts on 2 of the other loops, Mineral Creek and Lodge Creek, quit. They had worked here last year on a different loop and were not happy with the manager this year and with the way some things were handled over the very busy Memorial Day weekend. So we were again moved, this time to their spot and we are now working both of those loops and have an occasional stint in the front booth and at the boat ramp. This weekend will probably be fairly quiet, which suits us fine because we are still in the learning phase of this new job. The other camp hosts are very nice people and we are also getting along well with the manager, Laraine, and her husband, Marvin, the maintenance man. There have been a couple of meetings and also a social evening together last night. One of the nicest hosts is a guy named Frank, from Yuma, who handles Gale Creek loop and the picnic area all by himself. I have taken a few pictures around the campground and I will try to attach them at the end of this.
One of the problems here was no internet access, so on our first day off we went into Issaquah, and purchased an air card. Now we have access but it is slow. We also have limited phone access because we have a low signal unless we are attached to our trucker’s antenna. This means we can’t have the phone with us when we leave the rig. So we leave the phone off and just return calls if people leave messages. Today we tried to tune in our satellite TV and are unable to do it at this site because of the location of trees around our site. So on our next day off, we will probably have to go into town again and purchase a portable dish and long cable that we can put in a clearing to get a satellite signal. It is looking like we will be spending all our earnings on items to make our stay here more comfortable!
Another problem we had was another leak in the hose going into the water heater, a problem Pat Jenkins helped Elaine with when we were in Quartzsite in January. This time Elaine got a better hose and appropriate fittings and installed it and our leak is fixed. Isn’t she a marvel?! Actually, I have been wanting to tell a story about what a marvel she really is, so I will do it now.
When we were on our way back from Spain and stayed overnight in Madrid, we told the guy at the hotel that we had to leave early in the morning to take the metro back to the airport. He said to just leave the keys in the room. So we did that and when we got down to the entry area of the building, we learned that there was a big deadbolt type arrangement being used at night and we could not get out without a key. So we tried to get back into our room to get the keys, but those doors were locked automatically behind us. We tried knocking, ringing the bell, etc. but couldn’t get anyone to respond. Time was passing and we were going to be late for our flight check-in if we didn’t get out of that hotel very soon!! So Elaine got her Swiss army knife out of her suitcase and used the little screwdriver tool to take off the latching hasp for the deadbolt. We managed to make it to the airport in time thanks to her wonderful mechanical skills. They are also helpful here in the campground, and with our new rig. It would have been priceless to see the looks on their faces when they arrived at their hotel that morning and found their lock all disassembled!
We have been having warm weather, even hot (89 degrees today) but colder, rainy weather is predicted for next week. More stories from Lake Kachess (is this like Lake Wobegone?) in a week or so.