Settling in

Originally, I thought I would be able to blog every couple days, but I think I will have to be on a weekly rotation for now.  We have been BUSY the days we are working, and when I’m home, I need time to stare at a wall, because we need to be ready to head out again an hour or so after getting home.  Our days are flying by!

Last “weekend”, Tuesday and Wednesday, we had a working day and a fun day.  On Tuesday, we got all our chores done.  We went to a farm market held in town, and were blown away by the fantastic selection.  We were able to do most of our shopping there!  The fruit was especially good.  We picked up strawberries, apples, and peaches, and vendors were passing out samples of lots of other things we had never heard of.  The tropical fruits were delicious, but much more pricey compared to the old standards.

We divvied up the other big tasks of the day; JJ did the laundry and I went grocery shopping.  (You just can’t get batteries at a farm market!)  Throw in a quick RV cleaning (only 15 minutes to do the whole darn thing, vacuuming and all!) and dump your holding tanks and put in fresh water, and you’re done for the week!

We went into town to meet new friends for Taco Tuesday at the Hacienda Mexican Restaurant ($1 per taco!).  Trish and Samantha are working at another CLM campground just about 6 miles north of us, but in a completely different world.  They are just far enough into the boonies that they don’t have internet or cell phone service, or even landline phone service!  They are also at a slightly higher elevation, which means they’re colder than us.  They seem to be thriving in the austere environment, but it would drive me crazy to spend a summer completely out of touch with the world.

On Wednesday, we did a very popular Big Bear trail, Castle Rock Trail.

That sign should say “1 Mile, straight up”

It was a short but tough trail.  At the top of the mountain, there were lots of rock outcroppings.  Clearly, one of them was the famous Castle Rock, but from our vantage point (darn trees!) we couldn’t tell which was the tallest.  JJ wanted to scramble up one, to try to see the famous view of the lake.  I took a deep breath, and followed after him.

We popped over the top of the rocks, and Voila!

The best news is, I successfully got back down, too.  (Note for the future: up is much easier than down, because you’re not looking at the 100 feet below you!)  We stopped at Boulder Bay, a small cove of Big Bear Lake, and wondered if we were perhaps on a movie set.

The work week was a hard one.  The campground was completely full with holiday revelers.  We felt like we spent all our time checking bathrooms (16 rolls of tp is nothing against 200 women!).  Monday was the real doozy, as the majority of the campground checked out on the same day.  95 sites needed to be cleaned, as well as the usual bathroom cleanings.  Unfortunately, the day proved to be too much for the other host couple.  Between the heavy workload and the heat, they realized that the job wasn’t quite what they had expected, and they decided to try their hand at another, slower campground.  So, JJ and I put our heads down and got to work.  We managed to clean all but 6 of the sites before our boss came around and told us to knock off of cleaning for the day.  Everyone was pretty impressed with our feat, and we felt like we had seriously accomplished something.

It wasn’t all nose-to-the-grindstone, though. All the coworkers from our campground got together for a picnic dinner on Sunday.  Max and Dave hosted, and they provided delicious smoked tri-tip and pork loin from their new electric smoker.  It was fun to have time to just relax with our new work family, and to get to know everyone a bit better.

Dave and Max’s newest child

There’s so much that I want to write about, but it should probably wait for another day.  On the rare moments of calm (like sitting on the golf cart, and waiting for the last guest to pack up so we can clean their site), I daydream by looking out over the mountains, and plan all the stories I want to tell everyone here.  It’s a fascinating world with a whole new community, landscape, and adventures.  I’m having a great time!

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