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Saturday, May 2, 2015

I Broke My Mule!

OH geesh.... 
first day on the job, 
I broke the Kawasaki Mule!   

Good thing that I know the maintenance man eh?   He came to rescue me.  I knew it was sputtering out like it was starved for fuel.  So he brought me a can of gas.  Nope.. wasn't that. 

Turns out the fuel pump took a crap, and although it's humming and making noise, nothing is getting up to the carburetor.  Thus... no workee....    So he put a tow strap on it and his worker Nick helped tow it back to the shop.

 but the GOOD NEWS is that now 
I get to drive the NEW John Deer Gator!!!! 

and this one has CUPHOLDERS!  
(the old Mule didn't) 

Now I can cruise in style, sip my coffee in between campfire pits and grill cleaning, and have a vehicle that starts up each time I need it to.  

I got about 50-60 campfire pits cleaned up on Friday, and all of the grills in the upper level parks and picnic areas.  That felt so good to be caught up and get them done in time for the weekend people to enjoy their visit to the park.  The last month's hosts left early in the week, so all the sites needed to be done before the weekend. We were going to be a full park because almost everything was reserved in the new loop, and a lot of the sites in the old loop were filling up too.  Whew! By 2 p.m. I got back to the motorhome and showered off a few layers of ashes and dust.  Then I was able to get in a quick nap before it was time to pick up Steve from his normal shift of 8-4.  

Our Friday evening was the enjoyable entertainment of folks coming in, eager to get onto their campsites and set up for the weekend.  The guy next to use backed his huge fifth wheel in with ease in one try.  You could tell he has done that a few times!  We told him so, and complimented his skill.  

Others were setting up around us, and each time we looked up, another huge rig was rolling in down the hill past our host site. It's almost like big schooners cruising past...  and the people are so smiley and happy and in a great mood to be camping!  The weather is just about perfect on Friday, in the high 60's   

Saturday was even better!!! It got up into the high 70's!  What amazing weather for May!   I wanted to get a few more grills cleaned in the lower level park picnic areas, but the may flies hatching are pretty thick down there. Not sure how many people planned to picnic down there, but at least I got the rest done like I planned.  While I was doing that, Steve happened to pop into the office to bring in some late night arrival sheets.. and it was SO busy that he helped at the office counter and drive up window for a few hours!   (It's his day off ya know)  But when people need help, Steveio is always there for his fellow workers.  What a guy! 

We came back to the motorhome where the doggers were patiently waiting for us.  They are really being good inside the motorhome with the shades drawn and the tv turned up to drown out any outside noises that might incite them to bark.  

We took them for a nice walk around the park, along the cliff edge, through the park along the stone fenceline and back to our campsite again. 

Binney is learning to walk on the long flexi leads instead of just a short leash.  We never use these long leashes when walking on sidewalks in town.  Having such a long line to wander on, it is a new thing for her. It's another form of  "freedom" for her to gain confidence and walk ahead of us a bit instead of meekly following us at our heels. With Binney we have to take baby steps, and introduce her to new experiences, one thing at a time.  

It was a good little walk to tire them out and rest again for the afternoon.  Binney was the FIRST one to turn up the walk into our campsite!  I think she followed her own scent home. That is a good sign if she ever got loose, we would hope she could find her way back?

This afternoon, I was setting back in my recliner chair, eyes closed, listening to "the campground sounds"  ... a lot of same noises we have heard for years and years. Every park sounds almost the same.  My childhood was spent on Chicaugon Lake at Pentoga Park. Our family would spend the entire summers in the campground, on site number 50.  My father helped with the final rounds and some repairs in the park, and got a break on our lot rent.  It was a great way to spend the summers... each weekend meeting new friends on Fridays and saying good bye on Sundays. Sometimes families stayed all week. A few local families like the Bowmans and Lantanges spent all summer with us too... all in row of campsites.  

Yup.. our whole family would camp in that little Mayfair travel trailer. 
2 adults, 5 kids, 1 dog and 1 cat.  

My sister and I had a little green tent out behind the trailer, and we could have friends from town come and spend the night with us.  Lots of times my little brothers would sleep in the back of the pickup truck instead of in the camper. 

We also had a boat that we could go waterskiing almost every day.  All of our friends came to learn to ski too.  We were the "happening" campsite of the lake!  Ahhhh those were the days! 

Today I was drawn back to those days... listening to the sounds here in this park on a sleepy Saturday afternoon.  The sounds were just about the same as I laid there with my eyes closed. I could almost imagine myself there.  The only absence was the droning of the motorboats or jet skis out on the lake....  At Pentoga Park that was a constant background noise.  

Ahhhh now you know why I like camping??

Later this afternoon, we dashed back home for a few things...  We are replacing the regular hosts scheduled for May because of a medical family emergency. They left a message today that they may not make it to the park until May 12th.  Steve needed to get some more clean work clothes for the next week, and I grabbed more food from the freezer and a few of my fiber projects I am working on. 

We are due for some rain and bad thunderstorms tomorrow night.  Glad it will be after the weekend folks go home, so everyone has a good time and doesn't run into bad weather while packing up or heading out. 

Meanwhile, we can hunker down in a quiet campground again for the week...  I only see about 10 sites reserved for the weekdays.  I can get some of the campfire pits cleaned a few each day instead of a whole bunch at once. 

Well, it's late now, 
our campfire flames died down, 
Steveio is off to bed 
so I better hit "publish" 
and get this done. 


  1. WOW, That JD Gator looks like one mean machine. Are you sure you did not break the Mule to get his replacement? LOL. Looks like you guys are getting settled int your routine. With a park full of weekend warriors, I am sure you will enjoy Monday's peace and quiet.

  2. Ahhhh, what a life! Someone has to live it, right?

  3. Nice! Love the old pictures! Nice to see people out camping so early in the season.

  4. Closing our eyes we see similar camping pictures as well but just not to when we were growing up but with our children. I can smell that campfire now.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  5. Sounds like a great place to be. Enjoy.

  6. Love our Kawasaki mule and it's not NEAR as new as the one you are using!

  7. So nice to read about childhood memories. Really takes one back.


  8. I had to laugh about the cup holders. It' doesn't take much to make some of us happy, does itt? I loved this post - the current and the past. We camped, too, when I was growing up, it was our yearly vacation. Big Basin State Park or Yosemite. Only two weeks, though. My parents both camped at Big Basin for the whole summer when they were young. That's where they met, so camping was definitely part of our family fun, too.

    Looks like Binney is adjusting very well - she really hit the jackpot with your family. Your dogs are so sweet. :)

  9. Love a rainy night in the motorhome. Hope it is sunny all week too.


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