First days on the job

Well, as advertised, we did indeed hike the Cougar Crest Trail on Wednesday.  The trailhead is just across the road from our campground, and it’s a two mile hike to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail.  So, from our campground, we could walk all the way to Mexico or Canada on that same trail!  We contented ourselves with vistas across Big Bear Lake, and a sight line to San Gorgonio Mountain, the highest peak in Southern California.

San Gorgonia is the snow capped peak in the center

On Thursday, we had a half day of on the job training.  Our mentor was Dave, a camphost who worked here last year. He is thorough and patient, combined with a great sense of humor.  He has a happy-go-lucky attitude and was a pleasure to work with.  Best of all, he was willing to hear out my thousands of questions.  Anyone who has worked with me knows that I want to have a whole system view of my workplace, no matter what the task!

The first step of the day is to check our two bathrooms for tp early in the morning.  Next we head up to the kiosk at the front of the campground, where all the reservations are managed. We check to see if there were any reservations that did not come in by the time the kiosk closed the night before.  If so, we head to those sites to see what equipment the campers have (motorhome, car, tent) and report back to the kiosk so they can check in the guest.

We then get a highlighted map of the campground, showing us who is leaving, which sites are reserved for the night, and which sites are currently occupied, but also have a reservation for that night.  We continuously work our way around our two assigned loops, cleaning up sites as folks head out.  In between campsite cleanings, we clean each of our two restrooms.  I know that in the busy season (when all 140 sites can turn over in one day), I will need to let some things slide, but right now I’m determined to have the sparkliest sites and bathrooms around!


One of our bathrooms

A clean site

Raked and tidy

We break for lunch/siesta when our sites are done, and head out again mid-afternoon to check on our restrooms.  It’s back home for an early dinner, and then we head off in our golf cart to sell firewood, answer questions, and make sure than important safety rules are being followed.  (And most of the rules are about fire prevention.  In this drought, it’s incredibly important that we only have fires in the firerings and that hot car engines stay parked on the concrete pad.)  I was very glad for my years in the Library, because I was up to the challenge of answering questions about stuff I didn’t know!  What is going on at the visitor center?  (I will get online and look at the schedule!)  How do I get here or there?  (I will check on Google Maps!)

I like working outside, with the mountains and wildlife for company.  I like working with Nat (who’s now going by JJ, for Jonathan James).  I also like meeting folks from all over and hearing about their travels.

Just a couple things I don’t like.  I might be allergic to something up here–I am a complete snot ball every morning when I wake up.  I’m also have trouble adjusting to the daily temperature changes.  Afternoons are hot with no clouds, and it’s in the 30s by the time we wake up in the mornings!

We are off today and tomorrow.  We’re tired after our first week, so I doubt we’ll have any huge adventures, but I’m looking forward to a stocked refrigerator, clean laundry, and Taco Tuesday ($1 tacos at the local Mexican joint!).



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