Larry Farquhar

Our adventures, from Larrry's viewpoint.

August 2007 Travel Log

08/21/07: Huntington Lake, Sierra NF, CA: We elected to work this summer at Huntington Lake, CA, partly because it was near Yosemite and the Sequoia's. We visited Yosemite a couple months ago, and took the past couple days to visit the Sequoia National Park. It was another enjoyable "mini" vacation, with dining out and staying in a hotel. We deserve it! The Sequoia trees are HUGE! Although the park was full of tourists, it wasn't too bad in the middle of the week. We enjoyed a short hike through the Giant Forest where we could get away from the crowds and noise. While driving back to Morro Rock, we encountered 4 Black Bears. They didn't seem to care about the tourists snapping photos. One set of bears was a mother and her two cubs. Tourist were out of the cars and getting pretty close to the bears. We left the scene, as it was getting very close to someone getting hurt.

Sequoia National Park, CA General Sherman at Sequoia National Park, CA. Black bear at Sequoia National Park, CA.

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July 2007 Travel Log

July 2007 Travel Log

07/17/07: Huntington Lake, Sierra NF, CA: Time is starting to fly (slip) by now. We can't believe how fast these past two weeks Huntington Lake Sailing Regatta, CAhave gone. Perhaps this can be attributed to how busy we've started getting. Weekdays are still mellow, but the weekends are crazy! Our campgrounds have been almost 100% full on the weekends. Since we're also mainly "first come - first serve" on campsite selection, we're finding our busy weekends start on Thursdays. People come early to get the premium campsites near the lake. Huntington Lake is primarily a sailing lake. These past two weekends there were large sailing regattas on the lake. We had a lot of all sizes of sailing boats competing. We managed to slip away for a little while to catch a few photos.

When you get this many people partying on a lake, there's bound to be an accident. After a late night in the local "saloon", four men who worked at the Boy Scout camp across the lake were returning by boat to their camp. Two had life vests on, two didn't. In their condition, a fight broke out while on the boat. Fighting in a small 14' fishing boat on the lake at midnight resulted in a capsized boat. Frantic calls for "HELP!" were heard from the shore. A few good Samaritan's from shore headed out in their boats to provide assistance. Three of the men were rescued. The fourth man's body, not wearing a life vest, was recovered a couple days later. Here in our campground, we've had a few recent minor emergencies. A 75 year old man left to go hiking, but was over 6 hours late when we were asked to call for a search to start. Luckily, he returned to the campground 15 minutes later. He had gotten lost. We also had to call an ambulance last night for an 84 year old woman who tripped in her tent and seriously (broke?) her leg. Ah, the fun of being a campground host.

I've previously mentioned about our Bald Eagles around the campground. While we haven't sighted them lately, campers have. We've been shown a tree in our campground where a large Bald Eagle is regularly seen. Campers even captured a video of this Bald Eagle leaving his perch, swooping down over the lake, and snatching a trout from the lake. WOW! We live here and haven't seen this much yet! We're too busy out working and cleaning bathrooms, while the campers camping directly on the lake sit around and can enjoy the scenery more than we can. But we're keeping our eye out!

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June 2007 Travel Log

06/12/07: Huntington Lake, Sierra NF, CA: One of the main reason's we select an specific area to work for the season is to enjoy the local area. While here, we wanted to visit Yosemite National Park and the Sequoia National Forest, both a couple hours away (in opposite directions). We're just finishing our 2 days off this week, but we made a mini vacation to Yosemite. We left the motorhome and originally thought of tent camping in Yosemite, but knew we only had a couple days. We elected to stay in a hotel and eat out, which is more expensive, but utilizes our limited time better. Besides, we got a hotel with a hot tub!

We enjoyed our mini vacation to Oakhurst, CA, which is 14 miles from Yosemite. We spent a day exploring the southern parts of Yosemite, including the Mariposa Sequoia tree grove, and Yosemite Valley. This is a beautiful park, but Connie didn't think it was anything more spectacular than where we're working. We did a couple short hikes, observed numerous waterfalls, and the well know El Capiton and Half Dome rock formations. We rode the free tram around Yosemite Valley and spent much time in the Visitor's Center. We'd never been to Yosemite before, except individually many years ago as kids. Luckily, it wasn't very crowded yet. Perhaps someday, we can return and camp in the park and spend more time. But this mini-vacation was well deserved from our recent hard work getting the campgrounds open.

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May 2007 Travel Log

May 2007 Travel Log

05/29/07: Huntington Lake, Sierra NF, CA: We survived Memorial weekend pretty good. Although we try to not let it get to us, there IS frustration in this job. In this case, the reservation company (Reserve America) really screwed us up! We have no control of this other company. They were telling people all of our campgrounds were full. They were taking reservations for only one of them (Rancheria). Ugh! So we ended up with one campground full (160 sites) and the other 6 campgrounds empty! Actually, we were takingThe Sierra Mountains people for the other 6 campgrounds on a first-come basis. While one campground was full, the other 6 ended up being about 50% full for the weekend. Larry also upset a host couple at one of the campgrounds. We only have 2 golf carts assigned to all 7 campgrounds. Based on the previous year's setup, our largest campground only had 1 golf cart and the other was assigned elsewhere. After only one day of a full campground did we realize this wasn't efficient! While Rancheria campground has 160 camp sites and 45 toilets to clean, the other campground with a golf cart had 48 camp sites and 8 toilets. While the 2 hosts at Rancheria were only 60% completed after 8 hours of work, the other campground's host (with the other golf cart) was sitting around all day. That lasted one day! Larry re-assigned BOTH golf carts to the largest campground. It made a HUGE difference the second day of the weekend. Of course, the other campground host complained and threatened to leave, although they did understand the reason for the cart re-assignment. As of now, they've decided to stay, but have told us they can only do "minimal" work on half of their campground, since it hurts her knees to walk to the 2nd bathroom. Ugh! 2nd bathroom (8 toilets)! Connie has 18 bathrooms (45 toilets) here to clean!

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April 2007 Travel Log

04/29/07: DorraBelle Campground, Sierra NF, CA: Soon after I wrote my previous entry, we had snow again. Over 3" this time! But that's been the last time and the weather has been great for the past week. We've started the physical labor of working on this campground and do our muscles HURT! We've started by simply clearing the roads and sanitizing the water system. Clearing the roads has involved shoveling LOTS of dirt off the roads, and blowing/raking the pine needles. Larry also gets to play with a chainsaw tree pruner. Connie started sanitizing the water system, but the snow came and we found a broken pipe. We've fixed the broken water pipe and have started over. This simply involves pouring gallons of chlorine bleach into our water tank, running the well pump, and getting the bleached water through all of the water spigots. Tomorrow, we'll drain the system completely, then run clean water through the pipes and fill the large water tank again. Hopefully, our water will pass health tests. A few more workers also start showing up tomorrow, so we'll have help cleaning this campground.

Connie and I have been up to the campground we'll be staying at, and Connie will be a host at. It's Rancheria campground located on Huntington Lake at 7,000' altitude. We're currently staying about 16 miles from there at 5,000'. When we first went up there, there was still quite a bit of snow. We've gone back twice, most recently today. The snow is melting pretty quick and we hope we can move up there with our motor home next week. We'll have to make sure electric works first, then we can move into our host site there and start getting that campground ready. Larry's managing 9 campground's in the area, with a staff of about 15 people. Luckily, we get to use a company truck for all of this travel. We've been here 2 weeks and haven't had to drive our Jeep. This is going to save on gas money this season!

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