Larry Farquhar

Our adventures, from Larrry's viewpoint.

November 2008 Travel Log

11/19/08: Queen Creek, AZ:  Other than a long day traveling back home, our return trip from Jamaica went without incident. Connie spent some time watching our grand daughter Kaylee. But our return from vacation was well timed, as just a few days after returning our eldest daughter gave birth to our second grand daughter. Welcome to the world Khloe Mae Smith! Her nirth went smooth and all is great. Here's a couple photos of Khloe after only a few hours of birth.

 Khloe Mae Smith  Connie and Khloe
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October 2008 Travel Log

10/28/2008: Skyline RV Resort, Queen Creek, AZ:Happy Birthday to my lovely wife, Connie! It didn't take long for us to get back into being "grand parents". We baby sat Kaylee the other night. Today, we were woken up early with a frantic call from our daughter to watch Kaylee. The 2 year old has been a bit sick lately and needed to be watched today. Our daughter, Leslie, had already missed enough days 5 Generations of the girls.from work and will miss more soon when her new baby arrives. As a high school teacher, she doesn't get paid maternity leave.

The other day, Connie's grand mother celebrated her 94th birthday. She lives an hour away from here and Connie's mother was also visiting from California. Connie enjoyed spending the day with them and took the opportunity for another "5 generation" of daughters photo. Although Kaylee wouldn't sit still, here's a photo of 5 generations of the "ladies".

When we visit our daughters house, I enjoy use of the high-speed Internet connection. It's MUCH faster than my mobile satellite system, which isn't too bad on speed anyway. But I sure notice the difference. WOW!

10/24/2008: Skyline RV Resort, Queen Creek, AZ: Much has happened with us in these past few weeks. The "October Fest" to help celebrate Larry's birthday went off great. Since most of the workers had already left the area, the remaining 8 people had a good time with good food. Every week for the past 6 months, we had either a weekly pot luck or social event. This helped everyone enjoy their summer more, get to know each other better, and allow the workers to share ideas. We'll try to encourage weekly social events again next year. Before heading to Reno, we closed down all of the campgrounds except one. We were mostly lucky, as the day after closing down a couple water systems, we had a few days of very cold weather. The other 3 couples had their water pipes freeze, and we had a broken water pipe in the last open campground. Guess we should have closed that water system sooner as well. Our motor home was lucky and survivied without frozen pipes or problems.

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September 2008 Travel Log

September 2008 Travel Log

09/17/08: Kinnikinnick Campground, Huntington Lake, CA: I realized I never included a photo of our host site at Kinnikinnick campground. InThe water is cold!order to get satellite signals, I needed to move the motor home far forward in the site to clear the trees. Our large satellite dish is actually getting an Internet satellite AND a DirecTV satellite. So it has to be clearing trees in two different directions. As you can see from the photo, the RV site isn't level at the entrance, so the front of the motor home is WAY in the air! But it's worked for the past 5 months - it just looks pretty funny with the front wheels a couple feet in the air.

We just finished our two days off. A couple days ago, we had a pleasant picnic on the lake. Although we work and live on the lake, we haven't takenMt. Tom Lookout the time to "enjoy" using the lake. Yesterday, we took a long day drive circling the Kaiser Wilderness. This 90+ mile drive took us far back into the forest with beautiful views. Unfortunately, forest fires in the area (over 100 miles away) created smokey conditions, so the views were not as great. But it was a nice day for a Jeep drive with a relaxing picnic.

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August 2008 Travel Log

08/10/08: Kinnikinnick Campground, Huntington Lake, CA: Business is as usual around here, except we're all starting to get an "end of season" attitude. Because of this, we're holding a pizza party/meeting to re-motivate the employees and remind them to provide quality customer service to the campers. Sure, we're starting to get burned out and are tired of the few troublesome campers, but we can't let it affect us.

Unfinished Printer CabinetThe renovation project has came to a crawl while we wait for the new captain chairs to be delivered. It's going to be another 3 weeks for the chairs. We did remove the old television from the overhead cabinet. Due to space limitations, we carried out computer printer on the dash board. It never looked good, but was convenient. With the overhead TV removed, we plan to place the printer up thereElectronics Cabinet on a wireless connection. Since this isn't a wireless printer, we purchased a Network USB hub. The printer plugs into this hubm which is plugged into our wireless router. The result is the printer is now wireless. We can add another 4 USB devices to this hub and make them wireless on the network., Hmmm... perhaps the external hard drive. While we plan to finish off the interior of this cabinet, the attached photo shows the printer moved to the new location. Since the DVR and DVD/VHS player was also moved to the new TV stand, we moved the remaining electronics (Internet) to the top shelf of the "electronics" cabinet.

Campers SmokerWe continue hosting a "social" every Sunday evening. It's a casual event with 2-12 people attending. The employees have beenEmployee pot-luck. having potlucks about every 2-3 weeks. It's great to see everyone involved with each other. Connie's also been "mixing" it up with the campers. She's received wine, breakfast, lunch, and dinner from campers. Recently, a camper brought a huge smoker to the campground. Connie was invited to use it, and did she! We smoked a chicken, then splurged and smoked a stuffed tri-tip. Yum!

 

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July 2008 Travel Log

07/31/08: Kinnikinnick Campground, Huntington Lake, CA: This coming November will be our 30th wedding anniversary. We've decided to treat ourselves and splurge. We've made plans to sped a couple weeks in Jamaica. We've never been there and we got a good deal on an all inclusive package. Since we work all summer, winter is our time to have fun. Okay, between the motor home renovation and this trip - we didn't put as much back into savings as we hoped. There's always next year.

07/22/08: Kinnikinnick Campground, Huntington Lake, CA: Although business in our 15 Forest Service campgrounds started slow in June, they've made up for it after the Independence Day holiday. Most of the campgrounds are near capacity 3-4 days of the week. We're already starting to look forward to the end of Labor Day weekend, as business usually dies down to a slow crawl. Don't get me wrong, we're having fun. We've also made some new friends in the campground and haven't had much problem campers. Time still seems to be flying by. It'll be time to start closing the campgrounds before we know it! We'll probably request to return here again next summer.

We've also taken the next step in our living room renovation and have ordered a pair of new captain chairs. While we could have had our existing chairs reupholstered, we splurged and purchased a nice set in ultra-leather. OUCH! The drivers and passenger chairs, in ultra-leather, with a few optional remote cables (for swivel, etc) and shipping came to a whopping $2400!! But we had planned/expected this. Even then, we were quoted an incorrect price ($1800), so they gave us a $145 discount due to their mistake. Full price should have been $2545.   

07/14/08: Kinnikinnick Campground, Huntington Lake, CA: Hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe Independence day! That weekend was finally the start of us being busy in the campgrounds. Until then, we've had a slow start. But the holiday weekend was almost 100% packed. We were turning some campers away. The weekend was safe, but not without a few trouble-making campers. Luckily, it wasn't anything serious. Came Monday morning, the campgrounds emptied out. But that was only for a couple days, as they started pouring back in on Wednesday. We had another full weekend. However, this time, the campers were better behaved. We were surprised to hear how quiet it was this past weekend at 10:00pm. Normally, the parties are just getting started. This weekend, everyone was in bed, or talking quietly around their campfire. We think the difference is in the type of campers this past weekend. These were mainly sailors, as there was a large sailboat regatta for the weekend. There's more regatta's coming up. These are respectful campers!

We've finally taken the drastic step of remodeling the living room of the motor home. In past logs, I've mentioned how we've been planning this for a few years. We started last winter when we trashed the RV sofa and installed a home style dual reclining love seat. Now that we're staying still for awhile, we started the remaining renovation. I've started a technical article that will talk about the renovation in more details, and include  photos. In short, during these past few weeks we tore out the living room carpet, removed the 3 captain chairs, installed laminate wood flooring, and installed a new televison table with a 32" LCD TV. We're ready to order new captain chairs for the driver and passenger seats. We won't be replacing the recliner, as that's where the new TV is located. The old overhead television will eventually be removed and that space converted into storage. The big question is where to create a computer work area? We have ideas, but that will need to wait until we have the new captain chairs installed to see if the idea will work or not. In the meantime, our dining table doubles as a computer desk.

Work has been good. Time sure seems to be flying by! Connie and I host a weekly "social hour" at our camp site every Sunday.CLM Independence Day BBQ If you're in the Huntington lake area, stop on by! The company also hosted an Independence Day BBQ at the local group campground for employees. Connie and CLM Independence Day BBQI did most of the planning, with the company paying for the food. It was a good relaxing time for all of the employees. Everyone seems to be getting along fine and doing their share of the work. Besides one serious employee problem, all is well now. I enjoy having a huge staff, as more minor tasks are getting accomplished. Of course there's some things I wish would improve, but that would be the case in any job. Connie and I keep discussing if we should return here again next year. There's many pluses to returning, but we'd also like to experience and see other parts of our country. Hmmmm... decisions, decisions.

June's monthly expenses have been posted. They're not as low as we'd like. We had the Jeep worked on, fixing the broken shock mount from January. The Jeep also had to have some differental seals replaced. Starting the motor home living area renovation also added to the bills. In addition, we renewed our Escapee RV Club membership for 3 years, and our quarterly Internet bill was due. This all adds up. Next month's expenses won't be any good either, as we've purchased the new TV and other items for the renovation. We'll probably have the HUGE bill added for the new camptain chairs as well. But that's okay! That's why we're working for the summer - to help pay for this renovation.

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