I started working early May at High Plains Camping, located at Exit 70 on I-70 at Oakley Ks. HPC is primarily a one-night RV Park. Mary has worked extremely hard over the last decade building the Park into stop that would be a memory on one's way to their destination. She has received high ratings and high grades from Woodalls and Good Sam to name a few; and A+ ratings from guests who have participated in Guest Review.
I met Mary via Twitter, then Facebook around a year ago. When I was planning my '09 Fall Trip it had to include a stop at HPC, and a one night visit turned into two. This was in mid-August of last year and one can go back to my Aug '09 posts to read about the Park. I also have a link to HPC on the right.
Well, because of that friendship that developed, I am now spending 3 days a week working there. I drive out on Sunday evenings, work Mon thru Wednesdays and leave Thursday mornings to come home. I do weeding, gardening, planting, painting, sweeping and clean rest rooms/showers and the laundry room and whatever else Mary has on my to-do list. One of my pet projects is de-weeding this area that has overgrown with bindweed, rye grasses and what ever else. See what I have uncovered.
The other day, I kept hearing this hissssss, hissssss. No rattle, just hissing. Now when I go out to that spot, I have a long tool with me and I make lots of noise and shake the bushes. I really don't want something hissssing at me any more, even if it is a bull snake. I just uncovered an animal hole the other day. Could that be the source of the hissing sound?
Here's a couple of my 4-legged friends. The big one is Harey and the little one is Hareitt. Can't figure out which one is which? Neither can I.
It seemed every week I worked there, the weather was a factor in how much work I could get done outside. It rained, rained, rained. I'd come home to Ellis and the weather would clear up thus leaving a lot of outside work for Mary to do when she could. I did miss some weather excitement here at home - two different weeks there were several tornadoes around the immediate area one week and the next week a micro burst did considerable damage around town. My house and daughter's made it through those experiences. I had several anxious hours, waiting it out in Oakley and wondering how everyone was faring at home.
I like the work, it is sometimes taxing on me at times and I hope I am of worth to Mary in what I am able to get done. I like the variety and the work gets me outside and when it gets hot, I can move inside and work. Mary has even trusted me to open the office in the morning, giving her a chance to sleep in a morning or two.
Several weeks ago, I had a pleasant surprise when my friend Geri (I met on my southern states trip in '08) from Florida, let me know that she and her husband Chuck, would be coming thru the area. Geri had been having a rough time recently that resulted in some unexpected surgery while in they were camping in Arkansas. So their forward movement to Spearfish SD was slow. They came to HPC and ended up spending 3 nights. That was mainly due to an accident Geri had when she was closing the door on their 5th wheel trailer there in Oakley. A gust of wind caught the door just as she was closing it and yanked her out the door and threw her to the ground. Her left shoulder hit the bench on the picnic table. To make a painful story short, she went to the hospital in Oakley, had tests and found that she had badly bruised herself. Thankfully, she didn't break any bones, but it has been very painful.
While they were visiting, the Browns from Nebraska spent a couple of nights at the Park at the same time. I met the Browns and their dog Kaycee at Harlan County Lake, near Alma NE last June - my first trip right after I retired. The Browns were going to Atwood KS, where a 40th high school reunion was taking place over Memorial weekend. That was a great friends reunion week for me. Geri and Chuck followed me back to Ellis, on Thursday, and spent a few nights at the City Lakeside Campground.
The first place I parked my trailer, turned out to be location for the water to run down the slopes when ever it rained. Wasn't real happy walking through the mud all the time (remember I said earlier that it rained so much when I was in Oakley), so I moved the trailer about 20 feet west onto a little grassy knoll. Now I was 40 feet from the hookups. I had an extra 20 feet of 30 amp cord and ended up buying another 20 feet of water hose. To keep the cord and hose up off the ground I bought some of that wire garden fencing and used that to hold the cord/hose up off the ground and out of the water washing down the slope, Now my big problem is emptying my holding tanks from 40 feet away. Well, I only have 20 feet of sewer line . . . so I got to initiate my blue tote. Blue totes, for those not familiar with trailering, are containers that you dump your "waste" into and then haul the stinky thing to the nearest dumping hole. I simplified the process for you as it's a hot, stinky job. I am not really relishing doing it this summer when the temperatures are in the 90's/100's. But "snaking" waste thru 40 feet of sewer hose doesn't sound much better.
Here's one of the pretty sunsets over the prairie we get. And here's a sunset with an approaching storm.
And, here's the storm (below picture).
US Hwy 83 runs north/south and is a very busy highway for transporting over-sized loads - in this case parts to the wind turbine machines. Most of the equipment is headed north but occasionally I see bases and blades heading south. The "pilot car" business must be booming as we see these oversized loads almost every day. I once said that I should get into the "escort" business (meaning pilot car) since it seemed to be so lucrative.
Got some funny side glances from people I didn't know. Now I call it the "pilot car" service.