Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Hello again Blog Readers:

Now that we have escaped from the campground for two days and are visiting our friends Kathy & Sally in Coeur d’Alene, ID, we have the use of their wireless internet and I can update this blog at record speed. Hooray! The main problem we have had lately is that the air card we got from Verizon only 50 days ago has already gone bad and after we jumped through all their hoops, they sent us another one. Of course, they don’t deliver to a campground so we had to wait until our days off to pick it up at the Radio Shack in Cle Elum. That meant we had no internet or e-mail access for a week. Now I have to see if the new one works.

Luckily, there is no big news to report of the same nature as the tree disaster of the last blog update. Yesterday, the loggers started to harvest the fallen trees in the campground and they were also going to take out about 15 of the ones that were still standing that seemed questionable. Our area managers want to reopen Thetis Loop, but those of us that work there think it is too dangerous. We will have to see what happens next.

Mostly what has been happening since our last update is that we have been working harder and longer because the warmer weather caused us to have a lot more campers, and we have been having visitors, with many more expected during August.

Jeanne and Rodger, 2 of our neighbors from Park Sierra, were visiting us this past weekend, and will return next weekend, along with Rodger’s son Marty and his daughter. It was great to see them and Marty brought out a great meal for all of us on Saturday.

In the more stories from Lake Kachess category, we have several incidents from this past weekend. On Sunday we walked over to one of our loops, Mineral Creek, only to find that one of the barricades used to close off Thetis Loop had been moved across this loop instead. The other barricade was totally missing and has yet to be found. So Thetis, which is supposed to be closed because of the danger of falling trees, was totally open! All done by some prankster in the middle of the night. The other incident was that this is the first weekend that we have been getting “stiffed” by people with regard to firewood sales. We keep bundles of firewood in front of our rig and there is a pay box where they are supposed to insert $6 for each bundle they take. Someone took 3 bundles and paid nothing, and the next guy took 1 bundle and paid $2. So much for the honesty of campers. A story on the good side of campers is that one of our older couples who is camping with us for several weeks, drove home to North Bend for the day and brought us back a container of raspberries from their garden. That was really nice. Of course, it happened during the time when we are having ripe huckleberries and blueberries all over the campground, so we possibly weren’t as appreciative as we would have been another time. We had huckleberry cobbler for dessert three times over the weekend, and we have brought enough here with us to Idaho to do it again for Kathy and Sally. Yummy!

One problem has been that Elaine has severely pull the rhomboid muscle in her back on the left side and has been in a lot of pain from it. We even drove to Redmond to the urgent care to find out what was causing it, and that was their diagnosis. So we haven't been kayaking or fishing and she has been taking pain killers and icing it. Hopefully, she will be better soon. The biggest problem is that we are getting older, and it is a bummer when these things happen as a result.

There are some pictures below that I have been unable to blog at other times.

  1. Mary and Elaine in camp host uniforms
  2. Mary and Elaine at Cooper Lake
  3. Chipmunk eating like our campers!
  4. Mary, Marsha, step-brother Richard, & his wife Carol
  5. Mary & Marsha – the twins, on her recent visit with us.
  6. Elaine & Frank – one of the other hosts.
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I have been meaning to update this blog for quite some time now but would you believe it, our air card developed a major problem and we have been unable to connect for about a week or so. Now that we have convinced Verizon to send us another one, we are reduced to driving 26 miles to Cle Elum to the Radio Shack/coffee place where they have a WiFi connection. Good – that means I can download some of the pictures I have been wanting to put here for you.

The big news is that last Friday we had a major freak wind storm go through our campground. A camper came running down to get us yelling about trees landing on campers and injuries. We hustled down there and found that at least 8 huge hemlock trees fell over in Thetis Loop, which had only been open for 2 weeks. One tree landed directly on a tent trailer, one on a tent, and one on a car. (see pictures below) There were 4 trees down on the loop road which prevented anyone from evacuating. Thank goodness there were no injuries because we could not have managed to get an ambulance in there until Marvin cut up 2 of the smaller trees, and then the fire department arrived with their huge chain saws and cut up the larger ones. Everyone was very upset about all the danger and quite a few people left the other loops as well. We had no trees down in our 2 loops, but the Gale Creek Loop had 2 trees down (on the road, of course), and Box Canyon had one down. Right after the wind did all this, a thunderstorm hit too, so we were working in the pouring rain. The entire campground was closed down until things settled down, at about 2 in the afternoon. The amazing thing is that because this happened on a Friday, the entire campground was full of campers again by 6 PM!

Things have been very busy for us because we have full campsites every weekend now, the day use areas are very busy every weekend too, and we have lots more campers during the week too. We continue to have many visitors. Sunday, Elaine’s friend Linda Lightfoot, whom she has known since kindergarten, and her partner, Greta, drove out and brought us a delicious dinner. Monday Handlebar Jim and Yolanda, from the Boomers, arrived. Jeanne and Rodger, from Park Sierra, will be here Friday. Another Boomer called us a few minutes ago and the call was cut off, but I suppose they will be coming soon too. Our close friends, Mike & Marilyn, Joe & Carla, and Pat & Linda will all be arriving Aug. 5. Next week we are going to visit Kathy & Sally at their place in Coeur D’Alene, ID and then Aug. 13 they are going to visit us. It is great to see everyone!

Yesterday Frank (our friend who is the host at Gale Creek Loop), joined us and we drove to all the other Thousand Trails campgrounds in the Cle Elum area to see them. Then we drove to Wenatchee where we got haircuts and did some shopping. It was good to get away from the campground for a while.

The blueberries and huckleberries are getting ripe all over the campground, so now we need to find time to pick some of them. It was lucky that the weather was so good while my twin, Marsha was visiting us because now we are having another rainy week. At least it is warmer than it was during rainy June, and we do have periods of sun. We are doing well and will try to do another update as soon as our new air card arrives.

I can’t find some of the pictures I wanted to download for you, such as the ones of me and my twin, and also some of my granddaughter, so I will download those next time. Please see the damage pictures below.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blog Update – July 10, 2007

More Lake Wobegone – opps-I mean Lake Kachess stories. Sorry about the long lapses in updates but we have been VERY busy with both work and visitors.

We had a big upheaval last week which was caused by our area managers. Our unit managers, Marvin & Laraine, are wonderful and all of our Lake Kachess staff get along well, work hard and do a good job. Then our area managers, Donna and Ken, show up and start nit-picking everything, never recognizing that a good job is being done here, and they lean all over Marvin & Laraine. Several times Marvin & Laraine have been very, very close to just quitting and leaving after Ken & Donna were here yelling at them and interfering in everything. Elaine and I told Ken & Donna that if Marvin & Laraine left or were fired, then we were leaving too. The other 6 hosts here agreed. On the 4th of July, we were absolutely slammed in our day use areas by picnicking families and in the boat launch area by boaters. Everyone worked really hard all day long and handled everything. Ken & Donna came over and weren’t happy with a few things and decided to fire Marvin & Laraine. They were going to tell them last Friday. But when we all got wind of it, threatened to have a mass walkout, and started calling and e-mailing the Thousand Trails office in Federal Way, they jumped on Ken & Donna and told them to handle the problem. After lots of meetings with everyone, things are now stabilized, and we are all staying on the job (for now).

Too bad all this was going on when my sister, Marsha was visiting, and also during the second week of my granddaughter, Paige’s, visit. Both have been delightful and cooperative house guests and we hope they had a good time here. The good thing is that the weather has been fabulous – so warm even that it is possible to swim in the lake. Paige & Marsha went kayaking with Frank yesterday, Marsha has done some fly fishing in nearby streams, and we have been able to drive them to local tourist places such as Leavenworth on our day off. Leavenworth is a town with buildings like a Bavarian village and is very charming. It is located in an area with lots of fruit trees and other crops as well as beautiful rivers. It was 101 degrees the day we were there! We were glad to get back to our campground which had temps in the 80’s. Marsha and Paige have seen deer, snowshoe hares, chipmunks, squirrels and lots of birds, even though the campground is busier. Yesterday, we drove to Seattle and had several hours and wonderful temperatures to visit Pikes Place Market and the waterfront. The views across Puget Sound were fabulous and we could see the snow capped mountains over on the Olympic Peninsula. Then we took them to the airport, where Paige’s flight left on time but Marsha’s was delayed by about 6 hours!! Avoid United Airlines if at all possible. Marsha has flown on it 4 times in the last 3 weeks and three of the four flights had delays of over 3 hours.

Two friends of Frank’s, Joe & Robb from Canada, were here for a week and we had so much fun with them on walks, at happy hours, and they served a delightful dinner. It seemed like we were laughing the whole time they were here.

Here is a campground story, typical of what hosts have to deal with. At 10:15 the other night 2 campers knocked on our door to tell us there were very noisy young campers next to them. We went over and found 3 young men with a huge campfire going. They had pulled big logs out of the forest (illegal) and had not registered or paid (illegal), and had their radio going loudly (illegal after 10PM). Elaine told them to turn off the radio and get a bucket of water and douse the fire. We suggested they go to the dispersed camping area outside our campground where they could party all night with their friends and camping is free. I escorted them to the entry gate and gave them directions and off they went. They were in the boat launch area the next day with their jet skis and they thanked us for telling them where to go. The other campers were also very happy because these guys had left. Hopefully, all of our incidents will end this well.

Last weekend was another very busy time at the campground, plus we had a Sunday afternoon visit from my step-brother, Richard and his wife Carol. They live about 40 miles from the campground, at Fall City, near Snoqualmie Falls. After they did a short hike, we had a clam linguine dinner by the campfire in the late afternoon. It was great to see them again, and we were glad they could come while Marsha was here. The warm, sunny weather continues and it is great to be here (provided the labor problems continue to be resolved). I will try to attach a few pictures below but since my internet connection is iffy, even with this new air card, I don’t know if I will be successful.