Larry Farquhar

Our adventures, from Larrry's viewpoint.

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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June 2008 Travel Log

06/22/08: Kinnikinnick Campground, Huntington Lake, CA: About half of the 15 campgrounds, 2 group camps, and 4 day use areas Larry (I) manage are about 23 miles from Huntington Lake. They are located in deeper wilderness backcountry we refer to as the "high country". The drive is mostly a narrow one-lane EXTREMELY bumpy road. But the scenery is GORGEOUS! I make this 60 mile round trip drive once a week to visit the campgrounds and employees. While it's a beautiful drive, it's also very tiring and stressful. More than once I've come within inches of hitting an on-coming car or rock, with a cliff on one side. There's MANY blind curves. I've included a photo below showing the road, and the view.

The campgrounds we have up there are near Lake Edison, Florence Lake, and Ward Lake. Due to the narrow, windy road, it's mostly tent camping. However, every once and awhile, we'll see some crazy fool trying to take a 30'+ trailer or motor home up there. Here's a sampling of the beauty in this area. It's near the Kaiser Wilderness and is part of the High Sierra Nevada mountains.

The High Sierra Mountains  The Road to the High Sierra Mountains Edison Lake Lake Edison The High Sierra Mountains Huntington Lake Regatta 

Back at Huntington Lake, the Sailboat Regatta's have started. There's sailboat races here every weekend.

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May 2008 Travel Log

05/28/09: Kinnikinnick Campground, Huntington Lake, CA: I can't believe I forgot to talk about our little trip back to Arizona. Back on May 9th, we took an extended weekend and flew back to Queen Creek, Arizona to attend our youngest daughter Cynthia's college graduation. What was supposed to be a joyous weekend turned out to be the opposite. We arrived on the day of the graduation ceremony. However, Cindy's canine friend, Gidget, was in the animal hospital. Gidget lived with us for a few years and is one the best buddies we've had. She loves the outdoors, camping, and is a wonderful hiking dog. However, now she had fluids all around her lungs and had difficulty breathing. Since we spent sKaylee and Andyo muchCynthia's Collge Graduation time at the animal hospital, Cynthia missed the graduation ceremony. We took the entire family out to a wonderful graduation dinner. The rest of the weekend was more trips to the hospital. Cindy's spent over $1000 already for Gidget, and they still don't know what's wrong. They've eliminated Cancer and Valley Fever. Cindy's on a VERY tight budget, and these expenses are killing her. As of today, there's still no prognosis. We're all very scared and saddended on what the outcome may be. We were able to convince Cynthia to pose in her cap and gown for a photo shoot. We did get to spend some time with granddaughter Kaylee. She's growing SO FAST! She's now beginning to talk. She calls us "Papoq" and "Granmamma". How cute! And the other exciting news is Leslie (eldest daughter) is expecting her second child this November. Great timing, as we'll be finished with summer work just in time!

Back to the present - we survived the Memorial weekend with campers. Actually, it snowed and was cold the entire weekend. We had MANY cancellations, with many campers staying one night and then leaving. There's still a few large drifts of snow in some of the campgrounds. There's still some work left to finish opening the campgrounds completely, but there's no huge rush now. Although the snow has stopped, we've had a couple days of rain. It's still in the mid 40's during the day. But the good news is we have TELEVISION at home now! Our satellite system provides our Internet connection AND out television connection using the same dish. Up here in the forest, it can be a challenge finding BOTH satellites through the trees. Last year, we didn't have Internet or TV because of the trees. This year, we're ina different campground. By pulling the motor home forward in our RV site, we were able to get Internet. Howeve, we didn't have TV. We tried a few things, then moved the RV forward a few more inches. We now have BOTH! This is luck, as we're finding holes through the trees in two directions from the same satellite dish. I didn't mention that the front tires of our motor home are about 12" in the air (with large blocks under them). Since we're pulled forward in the site, it slants on this end. The blocks are keeping us level.

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April 2008 Travel Log

04/27/08: Dorabelle NF Campground, Shaver Lake, CA:  A couple days ago, we moved MUCH closer to our final location for workamping this summer. Since there's still too much snow at Huntington Lake and the campground we'll be living at, we're staying about 27 miles away in another Forest Service campground. We're at Dorabelle campground at the the 5000' level. This is another campground managed by our employer, California Land Management. Although this campground isn't open yet, some of the staff is staying here (free) while we organize and work on getting ready to open all campgrounds. The larger area we're assigned to is the southern portion of the Sierra National Forest. This area is split into two sections, each ran by a "Site Manager". Larry is Site Manager for the Huntington Lake Recreation Area and the Kasier Wilderness. Clayton Vanderpool is new this year and the Site Manager for the Dinkey Creek area. Clay and his partner, Joan, are also staying in this campground as is our boss, Allan Friedman (and wife Sylvana).

Kinninnick Campground Entrance - April 2008 Kinnkiinnick Campground Host Site in April 2008 Kinninnick Campground Host Site in April 2008 Clayton Vanderpool and Joan Black Dinkey Creek, CA

Yesterday, we drove to both areas to check on the snow condition. WOW! We walked back to Kinnikinnick/Catavee campground at Huntington Lake; this is where Connie will be camp hosting at this year. This is a recently renovated campground and is fairly modern. Last years campground was much larger and rustic. This year she has 48 campsites (instead of 148) and 8 toilets (instead of 50) to take care of. Even though she did have another host helping her last year, this campground will be MUCH easier to take care of. There's still 3' - 4' of snow in our site! (see photo). It'll be at least a couple more weeks before we can get into it. We also visited our new friends (the other site manager) campground. Since this is their first year, they're pretty eager to get going. They also have a lot of snow, but they'll be able to get into their host site soon. They may even go shovel out enough to move in. We also took a 2 mile hike through the snow to view their campground. It ends at a beautiful creekside picnic area. Dinkey Creek is running full blast right now. Being back on this beautiful mountain feels great and reminds us of why we love it up here.

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March 2008 Travel Log

03/23/08: Livingston, TX: Happy Easter! No problems getting our 7th day free at Fort Sam Houston. We then moved toward Livingston and stopped in Katy, TX for the night. The wind was blowing extremely hard and I was ready to get off the road. We spent one night at the Katy Elks lodge and had an electric hook-up. We then continued the next day in strong winds to Livingston. Connie wasn't feeling good and slept the entire trip. We've been settled here at the Escapee headquarters RV Park for almost a week. I'm sorry to say, as much as we hated the train in San Antonio, the highway noise here is worse! We got placed in a RV site along a highway with a 70mph speed limit. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles constantly road by. I'm getting eager to be at work on our quiet mountain. Speaking of, we have a little over 3 weeks to report for work.

We've spent our time here taking care of personal business, and working on a new RV related website. I'll announce it when it's ready. We've been having some toilet issues. When in San Antonio, the toilet wouldn't stop running water. We took the flushing mechanism apart, but the water still runs at times. Unfortunately, we didn't recently catch it. Connie got up from knitting on the couch and stepped into a pool of water. The toilet had been running for 5 - 10 minutes and overflowed. Half the motor home was flooded. We grabbed all of our towels and mopped up the mess. In a couple days, we'll start making our way back to Phoenix, then to Fresno for summer work. At least I'll get away from this noisy highway!

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