Challenges in Opening a Campground

We’re just dang-near ready!

We wouldn’t be this far if we didn’t have some of the hardest-working-greatest-attitude hosts in Oregon!

Shore Bird
Shore Bird

They look like this shore bird; walking quickly from task to task.

Angry Old Bat
Angry Old Bat

This bat fell out of a vent as we were cleaning around the outside of a restroom.  Look at those TEETH!  He only hissed when I tapped his nose with a stick.  hahaha   Well, he wouldn’t smile!

Windy Sunset
Windy Sunset

 We’ve had a couple very windy days on the central Oregon coast.  The wind comes up in the afternoon.  So I wanted to get out early this morning but I had a couple things to do first.  And that’s the way the whole day went.  Until I ran out to take the sunset picture from Tillicum Campground.

Notes from my Workamping Journal:

We are Area Managers over 10 campgrounds with 8 host couples.  We were supposed to open 2 campgrounds today.  We’d also planned on opening additional loops in our year-round campgrounds.  One is delayed due to a sewer repair, the others are delayed due to hazzard limbs/trees in the campgrounds.  The grass is growing like crazy and it’s all we can do to keep up with the hosts’ requests for more gas and weed-eater line, let alone parts to repair things that break under the “campground-opening-pressure”.  Last week I scheduled a training session for this afternoon.  So I’ve been putting it together a piece at a time and planned on organizing it this morning (after my phantom walk on the beach).  Before I even got out to the office to start, I got a frantic phone call from a host.  She and her husband host the campground where the sewer work is being done.  Fortunately, this host can find humor in any situation.

Me: Hello 🙂

Host: I have a teacher here, with 3 bus loads of 2nd-graders, who was told the campground would be opened today and she has a reservation. 🙂

Me: Let me talk to her. 😦

Me to Teacher:  I’m very sorry for the misunderstanding but there are open holes to the sewer lines and we cannot let 50 2nd-graders into the campground.  Besides the hazards of the holes, there are no restrooms available.

Teacher:  But I have a confirmation!

Me:  What do you mean by a confirmation?

Teacher:  You told me, over the phone, the campground would be open and I could bring the children.

It wasn’t going to help her to argue about it at this point.  I remember the telephone conversation; in February – BEFORE the snow storm made such a mess in our campgrounds.  It sounded more like information gathering to me.  I expected a follow-up call to confirm but never got it.  I offered a couple solutions and she hurried off to, hopefully, implement Plan B.  I think our host actually helped her come up with a Plan B.

We did have a heads-up, yesterday, when Smokey the Bear’s escort showed up at the campground asking questions.  I had this sinking feeling about what would happen today but she hadn’t left me a phone number when she called back in February.  Anyway, I felt bad that the host had to deal with the situation that I was responsible for.  I called later to apologize to the host.  She said her husband was out at the gate directing traffic.  So I had to ask about that (since the gate is closed).  The sewer contractors need to come through the gate to work.  But the FS is putting in a new restroom or pump house, or something, up the road.  They weren’t ready for the building so they parked it in front of our gate until they were.  The sewer contractor decided he could eat his lunch until he could get through the gate.  All is well in the glass-half-full campground.

As I walked around the campground, waiting for the perfect sunset pic, I took note of late campers who hadn’t yet paid, and reservation cards that may have blown off their posts.  One reservation card was off and I couldn’t find it in the bushes (where I usually find it).  It was in the loop that’s furthest from my rig.  I walked back to the office to get another card.  After (tackily) tying the card to the post with a bungee I noticed a camper without a receipt.  They were trying to get their tent set up before dark so I left them with an envelope.  He chased me down to give me his fee and asked to borrow a rake.  I hate driving the golf cart, so I was on foot…in the furthest loop from my rig.  But I, cheerfully, said “Sure!”.  I considered driving the cart back but…as I said…  Besides, walking is a good stress-reducer for me.

Okay, there’s my 2-hour-explanation of why it’s risky to expect a campground to open on time.  If you have a reservation (written confirmation) and the campground is late opening, you will get a phone call.  So I’m just talking about a first-come-first-serve risk.


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