First Time Meeting Great-Grandpa

When I was sure I would be coming to Charleston, I reached out to my Dad who lives in Ohio to ask if he wanted to come down and see the baby while I was there.  He lives in Ohio, but he got excited about the idea and booked a flight to come and see us.  It turned out that I would be having my 53rd birthday while I was there, so he scheduled his visit to coincide with my birthday which was really nice of him.

I dressed Oliver in a Doctor Love outfit because I thought Dad would get a kick out of it

Dad stopped and said hi to Finn first which was nice

Then we took a billion pictures

My dad is only 73 for those of you who are wondering and yes ladies he’s single 🙂

Four generations me, Oliver, Kyrston and her Papa

What happened next was 2-1/2 days of amazing meals and family time.  Dad kept picking up the check which was so nice of him and I kept telling myself my diet was starting September 1.  Charleston has some amazing food.

Had an elaborate dinner at Hall’s Chophous where Jeremy works

The baby was in the booth next to Jeremy and slept through the entire thing which was amazing

They are both tired but Kyrston was super excited to get out.

Finn loved the bone we brought him back

Kyrston and Dad went alone for lunch to S Lightly North of Broad. I babysat and did just fine.  Dad is eating a pot du creme.

And lots of baby time

We tried on all the outfits!! He’s already outgrown newborn

This was my absolute favorite moment. Oliver and Dad were looking intently at each other and then Oliver threw up all over dad. It was priceless!! Dad handled it very well.

The morning of my birthday Dad checked out of his hotel and was driving to see my sister and her kids in Charlotte, but he wanted to take me to breakfast first.  Again I tried to pay but he was having none of it and we went to Jeremy and Kyrston’s favorite breakfast place called The Early Bird Diner.   They were thrilled to meet the baby and once again he slept through the entire meal.

Jeremey greeting Denise their favorite waitress

Once again happy to be out and about.

From Left: Jeremy, Kyrston, me, and Dad

It was a wonderful couple of days and I am so grateful that he took time off work to come down and see us.  I will be flying out on Saturday and as much as I hate to leave I am anxious to get back to Lee and Jack.  We will be coming back in November for Lee to meet his grandson and again I am very grateful that Lee held down the forst so I could do this.  Oh one last thing.  Oliver got me something for my birthday.  It was incredibly thoughtful and the note in the card was my favorite part.  Being a grandmother is really special.

 


 

Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

First Time Seeing Mom’s Condo

Jeremy was off on Tuesday and Wednesday and since my Dad wasn’t coming until Wednesday, I decided to give them so quiet time, borrowed their car, and drove the two hours to Myrtle Beach where my Mom lives.  You may remember when I went with my Mom looking for a condo.

She found one not long after we went looking, but I haven’t had an opportunity to see it until now. Kyrston and Oliver has an appointment in the morning at the pediatrician and while I was waiting for them, I received the mobile that I ordered him.  It was all ready when he came home from his appointment (the doctor said he was in “textbook health” and he really liked it once we turned it on.  Jeremy also dug out some of his baby pictures so we could see how much he looked like Oliver.  It’s too soon to tell but there is definitely some resemblance there as well.  Jeremy also brought home an awesome bib that one of the regulars at his restaurant bought him.  Love it!!

 

Jeremy..what a cutie.

Fantastic!!!

Around 1pm,  I headed out and it was a beautiful drive.  I really loved her condo.  It was much bigger than it looked like in the pictures and her view is fantastic.

Spare bedroom has enough room for a double and bunk beds.

Master bedroom

Loved the kitchen and dining area.

Huge balcony and great view

After spending some time seeing the apartment we went down to the Marsh Walk and ate at a restaurant.  It was surprisingly crowded for a Tuesday evening and we had to sit outside to get a table.  IT was HOT (I found out later the heat index was 115), but the food was really good.

Nice Boardwalk

Lots of boats you can hire including this super cool pedal bar boat

The marsh area was lovely

The restaurant was known for their hush puppies with cinnamon butter. A little too sweet for me.

My crab cakes were the absolute, best I have ever had though.

After we ate we took a walk along the beach and I got to see the condo from the ocean.  Beautiful night, water was warm, and the view was great.  I left soon after though because I was trying to get home before dark, but I was really glad that I got to see it.  We will be coming back to the area in November and I hope to spend more time there.

Loved her condo

Most of the high rises in this section are gone though and they are replacing with these individual homes.

Lots of people were evening fishing

Great place to rinse off your feet

Mom’s dream has always been to live on the ocean and I am really happy for her.  I am not sure if it would be for me., but it’s nice to see she got exactly what she wanted.


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

Oliver Meets his Great-Grandma

As soon as my mom and sister heard I was coming into town, they made plans to come down and see Kyrston and I.  I love that about my family, how we always come together for big events.  I was especially pleased to learn that my niece Bailey was coming as well.  It has been well over a year since I have seen her and I was excited to learn about what she was doing.

My sister, my niece Bailey, and my mom Connie.

Mom’s first great grand child

Four generations

Kyrston didn’t have a baby shower, but with so many of us together it turned into one.  Mom and Wendy brought a ton of presents and we all spent time talking about our experiences.  My sister Wendy is a labor and delivery nurse so she was full of the latest and greatest info. For example,  did you know that they file babies nails now instead of cutting them? We were all careful though to make suggestions and not hand down absolutes because ultimately Kyrston has the right to make her own decisions regarding raising her child.

Presents

We also spent some time helping Kyrston finish Oliver’s room.  My sister helped her build a shelf and I reorganized and cleaned the closet.

Kyrston hand painted all the animal pictures at the top. She did a great job!!

Wendy organized the shelves

I worked on the closet

So happy she has plenty of diapers to get started!

The best part was the opportunity to take some family pictures.  The genes definitely run strong in our family and it was nice to have us all together.  The only downside was being with my family, my weight gain was super noticeable to me.  Short and Tshirts don’t help, and it was really clear that as soon as I get back I need to go on a diet.  Kyrston mentioned that she went without gluten for 30 days and lost 20 pounds before her wedding and after much thought I am going to give that a try.  I adore bread, but I am willing to try it at this point because 155 is an all time high for me.

Love this picture

My sister is the baby whisperer

Love this picture too because as you can see the women in our family have tons of personality and wear it on their face.

Mother and daughter? They look more like sisters

Is Bailey next?? Sure after she waits awhile!!

After everyone left I continued helping as I could.  I finished up the closet, did laundry, ran the dishwasher, and helped with the baby whenever I could so Kyrston could get some extra sleep.  The best thing though was when Kyrston gave Oliver his first bath.  Up until this point she has been doing sponge baths, but she decided to give it a try and it was so very nice being here for one of his firsts!  They both did great and it was a very special moment.

Getting ready

Finn’s coming in to see what’s happening

Really sweet moment.

Getting a bath is hard work. Oliver’s tuckered out!

I hate that Lee is missing these moments byut really appreciate him making this possible for me. We sent him a Team Grandpa shirt picture to thank him

One last thing, folks have been asking me who Oliver looks like, so I found a minute and got Kyrston’s baby picture and put it side by side with Oliver.  Looks pretty clear to me 🙂


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

First Time Meeting Oliver

Finally the day arrived and I was super excited to be on my way.  Because I didn’t want to lose an entire day to travel I chose a 10:45 “red-eye” flight, but told Lee he could drop me off whenever was good for him.  It is a solid 2-1/2 hour drive down to the airport and making the pickup or drop off, and I told Lee I was happy to just hang out in the airport for as long as I needed to.  It turns out I haven’t been on a plane for four years.  The last time was a terrible work trip I made while we were in Minnesota.  It didn’t feel like it had been four years since I had flown, but after racking our brains we realized that was the case.

Thankfully things haven’t changed much. I was a little uncertain about the new REAL ID policies, so I took my passport along with my driver’s license but that turned out to be a non-issue.  The Portland airport is very nice, and I eventually found a little corner and tucked myself into it for the wait. One of the best differences from the last time I flew was no need to worry about going outside to smoke!  Talk about a game changer. No stress in between flights, no worries about going through security multiple times.  I could just pick a spot and plop down for the duration of the wait.

Nice, open airport

I found a little corner with a plug, desk, and chair. Score!!

I did splurge on a set of headphones. I hate the ear buds and these were actually the same price. I used them with my iPad to watch Amazon Prime shows, which was also new and a great way to kill time.

My original idea was I would sleep on the red-eye and then be bright eyed for my first meeting with Oliver.  Unfortunately the woman behind me on the flight was a talker and did not go to sleep so  I barely slept at all.  I had a quick layover in Charlotte.  Again awesome not needing to run outside and grab a smoke.   MUCH less stressful. The second flight was very short but unfortunately the airport was very busy so we sat for 20-30 minutes on the tarmac waiting.  Finally we took off and we landed with no issues.  I got my luggage, went outside, and my daughter was waiting for me.

At my request the baby stayed home (I didn’t want to meet my grandson in a parking lot), and Kyrston took the opportunity to leave the house for a bit. It was wonderful seeing her, but a bit surreal because she did NOT look like she had just had a baby.  Since I had just seen pictures of her 9 months pregnant I needed to do a mental adjustment.

I should probably mention at this point that I intentionally did not have a ton of expectations for this visit.  First of all I have never been a grandmother before and when I had my children my parents were working so I have no experience with anyone coming to stay with me.  All I wanted to do was meet my grandchild and help my daughter.  I intentionally didn’t give it more thought than that.

I would be lying though if I didn’t say I was a little nervous about meeting my grandson. It’s been years since I had spent any significant time around a baby and I had no idea how I would do.  Turns out it was amazingly easy.  Muscle memory is an interesting thing, and without even thinking about it I found myself repeating physical motions (Burping, swaying, holding etc) I had done with my own children. I also felt like he had been in my life forever.  That was probably the most interesting thing.

It truly did not feel like a new relationship at all. Lee says its because Kyrston is part of me and he is part of Kyrston, which is probably true, but I really felt like he was one of mine.  I remember my mother saying something similar to me after she first held Kyrston and I finally understand it.  The phrase “continuation of my line” finally makes sense to me because there is a link from me to her to him.  That’s the best I can do to explain it.  Besides I know you are anxiously awaiting the pictures so here you go!!

He’s like check me out!!

So so sweet

My son-in-law Jeremy is really involved which is wonderful to see

I was happy to jump right in and really thrilled she let me. Some new moms are more possessive. I was prepared for that but not looking forward to it and glad Kyrston wasn’t like that at all.

I stayed awake as long as I could on Weds (I think I made it to 6:30pm) and then woke up eager to help on Thursday.  It was Jeremy’s first day back at work, which is super hard in and of itself, and Kyrston’s first day alone with a newborn. He was able to take three weeks off of work. This is another thing that has definitely changed for the better.  Lee was only able to take a week’s vacation and then I was on my own.  It’s MUCH better to have additional time and help, because newborns are no joke.  Yes they sleep most of the time, but when they are awake it is like trying to solve a puzzle.  They cry in response to anything that’s wrong and you have top run through the entire list until you figure out what they need.

Love sleepy time

My blanket is a big hit! I told her this is NOT an heirloom blanket it is a use and abuse it blanket!

He mainly sleeps in an arms reach co-sleeper which is pretty great because you can sit on the couch and see when he wakes up.

One of my favorite things has been to try out all of the presents I have been sending.  Through the generosity of the people supporting this blog, I have been able to send lots of small presents and seeing them in person is awesome.  I also brought a suitcase half full of thrift store clothes I had brought and trying some of them out was definitely in our future.

He seems to like this baby play gym I bought him, but I think it will be a bigger hit when he gets a little holding. At this point he just looks at the butterfly.

My favorite thrift store find was this Tigger onesie…50 cents!! Tigger feet are the best.

My favorite was how this mural turned out.  If I had tried it the tree would have definitely been crooked!!

One interesting thing was as soon as I got here I started seeing little things I thought she needed.    On Friday I went out to Target and picked up a few things.  It was fun looking in person although I was a little disappointed in the selection.  I was able to find newborn Nuk pacifiers, and this cool hedgehog.  I really wanted a mobile that would go on the bassinet but was unable to find anything.  Thankfully Amazon has something and I purchased this which will be delivered on Tuesday.

Who doesn’t need a musical hedge hog!!

Another really fun thing I was able to do was help make some of Kyrston’s favorite foods.  When you are breastfeeding you need 2K calories a day and as a new mother sometimes you just don’t feel that hungry.  Kyrston stocked up on the ingredients for some of her favorite childhood meals and one night she made a pot roast and another night I made meatloaf.  These are all hearty meals and good for a nursing mother, plus they heat up well so she could kind of eat whenever it worked for her.

Speaking of that it’s kind of weird staying in someone else’s house.  We usually bring our home with us, and it’s been a long time since I have spent an extended period of time in someone else’s home.  I am trying to be a good guest and provide some value but it does take some effort.  One thing I really wanted to help with was organization, but initially this wasn’t received that well.  It’s not like I wanted to take over, but its a small space and a little organization goes a long way.

Kyrston had done a great job of getting inexpensive stuff in advance of the birth, but it was time to sort through most of that and get some order.  Once she knew I wasn’t planning on going crazy with her stuff, she let me work on the baby clothes and I did lots of sorting by sizes.  Then I washed everything and put the current stuff in drawers and the near future stuff in labeled boxes.  Don’t get me wrong she had done a great job setting everything up but Oliver was already out of newborn sizes since he was born so big and people had given her quite a bit of stuff after the birth.  I was thrilled to do it, because it gave me something constructive to do while they were both sleeping.

One last thing and then I am going to end this post.  I am amazed by how much computer apps have made a change in child rearing.  It makes sense of course.  They have changed everything in out lives, but it never occurred to me how it would affect this. She has numerous apps on her phone, but the three most interesting are as follows.

  1. Baby Tracker App – This is amazing and totally free!! You track when you last fed and what side.  So easy to forget that when you are sleep deprived.  Tracks how many diapers you change and whats in them.  Again great information to have for the doctor if things don’t seem right.  It has charts and graphs and you can share the results with multiple people.  We have used this multiple times and its super handy.  Big fan!
  2. Kinsa Bluetooth thermometer with its own app – Kyrston did a ton of research and found this one to be the most accurate.  As soon as you take a temp it loads it into the app and you can add symptoms.  It’s also Underarm, mouth, and rectal which is nice.
  3. The Wonder Weeks App – Again totally free this app explains when new developmental stages are coming and what to expect.  Babies get super fussy right before they start new behaviors (ie: smile, crawl, walk etc) and this app walks you through those.  Oliver is headed for a developmental change in one week and it’s helpful for a new mother to understand why her baby might experience behavior changes.
  4. Sound Machine App –  The baby loves white noise (medium fan sound is his favorite) so they were using this app with a speaker.  The only down side was if the phone rang or something came in the phone it might go to the speaker.  I actually had an Ohm sound machine in the RV that I only used when I used to travel for work and on impulse I grabbed it and brought it with me.  They really like it and it gives them more flexibility when at home.  The app is still good for traveling.

I’m really fascinated by all these changes and fully aware that my conventional wisdom may not be the best.  That’s part of the reason I am really looking forward to my sister visiting.  She is a labor and delivery nurse and up on all of the latest techniques, and we have a list of questions to ask her!  Can’t wait to see her and Mom because we haven’t seen them in over a year. Oh and since Lee isn’t here I asked Kyrston to be my proofreader.  I told her to feel free to make a comment or two which you can see below.  How sweet is my girl!

Jeremy and I are delighted at the arrival of our son, but the struggle has been real (as They say). It has been wonderful to have my mama here. I find that I constantly have questions and she has tons of wisdom to share. Plus, she’s doing laundry/dishes/taking the baby/ordering me to sleep- all of which is extremely helpful. I am especially grateful for those of you who have used their Amazon link when making purchases. I don’t usually like people making a fuss over me, so the fact that she could send me gifts with free money meant that I could enjoy them guilt-free!  Lastly, I just want to give a huge and loving thank you to my mom’s friends who have sent me gifts and positive vibes. This transition has been pretty wild, but I feel like I’ve got a world’s worth of love and support behind me. -Kyrston


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

 

 

 

 

 

Potpourri

This evening I am headed out to see my daughter Kyrston and meet my Grandson Oliver, but before I leave I wanted to do a quick post with some pictures of what I have been doing the last couple of weeks.  I know I have been terrible about posting this summer and I am sorry for that.  One of the main reasons is our desktop computer has died.  This computer is the one I used for all of my pictures etc  and without it I don’t have a great way of creating these blog posts.

That’s all about to change though because I am sure I will have lots to say about my trip to see my grandbaby and of course LOTS of pictures.   As a sneak peek here is a picture Kyrston sent to me. I absolutely adore this picture.

In preparation for my trip I finally finished a couple of things.  I recorded the audio book for the baby and I finished my cross stitched baby blanket!!

 

It’s been a long time since I read a childrens book out loud. Thankfully it came right back to me.

It hasn’t all been work though.  Jack and I have been doing some exploring.  First we went to visit Little Crater Lake.

He took a big drink of the crystal clear water

Another day we went to White River Falls State Park.  This park is a small Day Use area that overlooks the falls created by a defunct power plant.  Although the falls were pretty, you can’t get very close and it is in a super out of the way location.  Jack was bummed because he couldn’t get close to the water and although I am glad I saw it I certainly wouldn’t go far our of the way to visit.

Huge signs when we came in. Apparently people used to try to kayak down these falls and there have been several deaths. Big fences keep people out now and the day use area has a camp host. I am guessing mainly to stop idiots from killing themselves.

 

Beautiful vista. You could walk down and go fishing but because there were no paths up to the falls I gave it a pass.

I thought it was cool that the dam was built in the early 1900’s.

What else?  On another day off Jack and I went over to North Arm campground to visit Parson.  The camp host there is a nice enough guy, but who everyone really loves is Parson.  Seriously last year Parson got more positive comment cards than any person.  I wanted Jack to meet the ultimate campground dog so off we went.

They did pretty good together although Parson was having one of Jack’s nonsense.

And on another night I finally got to try out the Tollgate Inn in Sandy.  I have passed this restaurant more times than I can count and I finally got to give it a try.  It was delicious!!  Best of all they have an extraordinary bakery.  I’m not kidding everything was super delicious and this entire box of goodies was already $9.  Actually it’s probably a good thing I had no idea that bakery was there because I’ve already put on 20 pounds since I quit smoking and that bakery would have made it more.

 

From upper left: Mountain Berry muffin, Strawberry Shortcake, Cheesecake cupcake, upside down pineapple cake, strawberry and cream bear claw. They were all fantastic but the pineapple upside down cake was the absolute best.

Speaking of quitting smoking, we are both doing really good with that.  Lee finally got off the Chantix and despite his concerns he hasn’t relapsed at all.  He actually went down a pant size and had to buy all new jeans.  I am at an all time high 152 pounds, which is really bumming me out.  I am trying to get out an exercise more, but it’s tough when you work all day.  I am moving some though because Jack is super high energy and wants several walks a day.

One last update…we have been digging into the medical bills and have a status update on that.  So far we have paid $2K in deductible payments all of which came from an HSA account.  We still owe $6,600 to the hospital but have applied for charity assistance from them.  We received a letter stating they are partially forgiving the debt, but we don’t know how much.  We should have a better picture of that within the next 7-10 days.  The only bill they didn’t pay at all was a cardiologist bill, which I have appealed with BCBS.  They didn’t pay it because the doctors were out-of-network, but it is not like Lee had a choice who saw him in the ER.

The biggest problem is the Helicopter Flight.  The bill was $59,000 and the insurance only paid $10K.  The helicopter company actually provides billing appeal services and we have given them the right to appeal on our behalf. I have absolutely no confidence that we are not going to get completely whacked though, and I contacted a lawyer through the Hyatt Legal Plan I signed up for at work.  One lawyer said their was no point in negotiating a settlement until the appeals process was complete, which was ok by I didn’t get a good feel from her anyway.  I think the cost of an 83 mile flight was ridiculous and want some assistance in getting it adjusted to something reasonable but she kept talking as if the power all lay in the company’s hands.  Anyways I have some calls out to other lawyers on that as well so we will see.  Just wanted to give you guys an update and let you know where we were at.

Tonight I fly out and will be in Charleston in the morning.  I don’t know how long it will be before my next post, but hopefully it will be soon!


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

Looking for a Class A??

Let me start by saying I am not a fan of Class A Rv’s.  No offense to anyone that owns one, but for me they often feel claustrophobic and in my opinion don’t have the “homey” feel of a fifth wheel.  The single exception to that rule for me has been Cori and Greg’s RV.  From the beginning, it felt like a second home to me and since it is super roomy, they always play host when we all get together.  If you have been following along you know that last year they bought a Chinook and after traveling with it have decided to downsize and are selling their Class A.

I wanted to let my readers know about the sale, because I absolutely love this RV.  Cori had done tons of enhancements, including all new furniture, and of course it has a kick-ass solar system.  It is roomy, has tons of windows, and comfortably holds 10 people for a party!!  If anyone is looking for a new rig or a first rig, I think you should take a look.  It would be nice if we kept it in the family 🙂

Here is the link to the posting on RV Trader.

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2008-Country-Coach-ALLURE-470-CRANE-PRARIE-5008137772


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

Timothy Lake Catch-Up Post

I know it’s been awhile since I caught you up on what’s happening here at Timothy Lake, but it has been extremely busy.  At the very beginning of the season, we were short by one couple and then we lost two couples, so we’ve been very short staffed once again.  This has put Lee and I in a position where we were working extra hard again.  This time around, I did a better job of putting limits on my time, but Lee was back to working 10-12 hour days.  That’s just his ethic.  Frustrating for me though, because we had other stuff going on, and I wanted that time and energy focused on those things.

Finally we caught a break and they hired two more couples for the lake.  This allowed one of the couples who we had been cross training to come work with us and for the first time all season we are fully staffed.  Going to take awhile to get caught up on things, but I am thankful that we have some more help. Couldn’t come at a better time either, because we are finally starting to get busy. It’s been unsually cool and rainy this year which has led to lots of cancellations.  Fine by us because we were understaffed, but now that it’s getting hotter things are starting to heat up.

Beautiful colors

One of the things I am excited about this year is having a chance to do surveys.  The company is investing in a very comprehensive survey to decide where to invest more money in future years.  Walking around and talking to people gets me out of the office and if the weather is nice it’s a great way to start a day. Here’s some pics from one of my last survey days.  As you can see the Day Use areas are getting lots of use.

Huge groups come up and use the picnic areas.

 

Super cute kids on a rock

 

Lots of people jumping into the water off one of our docks.

One of the downsides of things heating up is the fires have started.  We have had two in two days in the area and the second one Lee was heavily involved in.  On Sunday, a gentleman from Russia came to one of our campgrounds and reported there was a fire about 3-1/2 miles away from our property.  His English was too poor to give us directions, so Lee followed him to the location.

Under normal circumstances we are extremely cautious about leaving our footprint, but if there is one thing we have learned over the last few years it is fire in the Pacific NW is nothing to mess with.  Three miles “as the crow flies” is right next door by less than a mile, and on a windy day it could be on our doorstep very quickly.

So Lee went to both check it out and get me GPS coordinates that I could report to Mt Hood Fire Service.  In the past they have been great about responding, but for whatever reason not so much on this particular day.  After an hour of waiting (and the fire increasing from a 15×15 area to to a 60×60 area) as a team we decided to send our water wagon to the area.

It started from a fire ring that some dispersed campers made and then didn’t put out properly.

 

It was in a meadow and moving pretty quickly towards the treeline.

 

Our team of three kept it contained until 1-1/2 hours later when the fire department finally showed up.  They didn’t stay long because it turned out to be in one small corner of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reservation and they made them respond.  Again, I found this unusual because in remote areas, whatever jurisdiction is available usually handles things. I was also surprised when the dispatcher mentioned how “remote” the fire was.  A mile away from huge campgrounds doesn’t seem remote to me.

The whole situation didn’t sit well with me, although our immediate supervisor was really complimentary about how we handled it.  Unfortunately on Monday our Area Manager wasn’t happy with the choice we had made to go off the footprint.  I understand his concerns about liability, but we didn’t make that decision lightly.  These are our homes and almost everything we own is in them.  I seriously doubt that if he had a fire a mile away from his house and no one was responding that he would just let it burn unchecked.

On the plus side our direct supervisor agrees and so do our fellow camp hosts.  We are the ones that would need to evacuate the lake if we had a fire and they were all very grateful that Lee and the other two employees jumped on it.  I am hoping these last two fires are not foreshadowing of things to come.


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