We have 2 campgrounds on Butt Valley Reservoir. These campgrounds are in the mountains at 4150â€™. Ponderosa Flat is 3 miles from Hwy 89 on paved road. It has 80+ sites, including the overflow area. The Alder Creek Boat Launch and Day Use Area are about a mile past Ponderosa, on unpaved road, and Cool Springs Campground is another mile past that. Cool Springs has 25 campsites and 5 walk-in sites. Ponderosa and Cool Springs both provide beach access and are also heavily wooded in a beautiful mountain setting.
Rocky Point Campground is our largest, with 170 sites including the overflow areas. It is on the south shore of Lake Almanor, close to the intersection of Hwys 89 and 147. The sites are heavily wooded, providing great shade, even for most of the beachfront sites. The campground is at about 4500’ altitude. Daytime temps are warm enough to enjoy the lake and nighttime temps cool off for great sleeping. Lassen Peak, just 40 miles away, is a beautiful backdrop to the lakeview. Campers launch their boats at the Canyon Dam Boat Launch just a mile or two east of the campground. There is no fee for launching. All sites are first come, first serve. Some years PG&E has allowed the Rocky Point Hosts to take group reservations, during the off-peak season (prior to the first week in July), as long as the groups are respectful of the reservation restrictions.
We are working for American Land & Leisure, managing the PG&E campgrounds in the Chester/Lake Almanor area. We have 5 campgrounds, 1 group reservation-only campground, 5 day use only sites including 1 boat launch, 1 historic site and 20 Campground Managers to keep things running smoothly this summer. There is no charge for using the 5 day use areas: East Shore, Lake Almanor Scenic Overlook, Canyon Dam Day Use and Marvin Alexander Beach, all on Lake Almanor; and Alder Creek Boat Launch/Day Use Area on Butt Valley Reservoir. Each of our campgrounds have drinking water available and vault toilets and no electricity is provided for the general public. We have Hosts onsite at each of these campgrounds. The Host sites all have FHUâ€™s or we provide fuel for power. The pic is one of the Host sites at Rocky Point Campground – complete with a deck!
Volunteering for the Army Corps of Engineers
Lake Somerville, Texas
We had a great time at Lake Somerville. There was a great group of volunteers and a wonderful Volunteer Coordinator, Bill Keienburg.� His philosophy is that if you are having fun and feel like you are making a difference, then you are enjoying your job.
We lived in Yegua Creek Park and were primarily responsible for maintaining the Nature Trail in that park. It is a beautiful, 1 mile, trail through the woods. Trees are labeled and the trail has a crushed granite base, lined with white limestone rocks.� The farrell hogs like to look for grubs underneath the rocks, scattering them out from the trail.� We found that, generally, the hogs did not like rooting in the sharp crushed granite. So if we placed the liner rocks on top of the granite, they’d leave it alone. The hogs were pretty alert. We couldn’t get a good picture of them.
We also volunteered to break a couple new trails – rather, old trails that had become overgrown. There is the Visitor’s Overlook Trail. This trail goes from the Visitor’s Overlook, that overlooks the dam, traveling about 1.5 miles to the William’s Cemetery. We cut a new entry to the existing trail that was easier to see from the parking area, and it is easier to walk.� We installed entry fences with split cedar rails, painted signs with trail maps and mounted them at the entries.
Williams Cemetery is an old, unused, cemetery that had been lost until a few years ago when the volunteers were looking for the USACE boundary in that area.� The cemetery was primarily used for the Williams family, although there are quite a few other family names there. It is an African American cemetery, or in local terms an “old black cemetery”.� It was abandoned in the 1950’s when the American Legion volunteered to maintain the Somerville city cemetery. Their conditions were that, because they were not a segregated organization, the city cemetery will no longer be segregated and would be available to anyone living in the city limits regardless of race, creed or color. We also helped maintain this little cemetery. We designed and painted a sign for it and all the volunteers installed it. Cub Packs and Scout (Boy and Girl) Troops volunteer, every year, to help with the maintenance.
We enjoyed watching the wildlife at Yegua Creek Park. We monitored the Bluebird nesting boxes and regretted having to leave before the eggs were hatched. The cardinals were plentiful and we had to move a nest, with eggs, out of our bumper when we left. The deer were also plentiful. We made friends with a little buck we called “spats” because he had markings on his feet that looked like he was wearing spats. We also made friends with an injured deer that a Gate Attendant nicknamed “scarface”. He looked like he had a tangle with a bobcat. He had his ears chewed up and looked like a broken jaw. I’d hate to see the bobcat, because this little deer came out the winner!� The Texas Bluebonnets gave us a great send-off in March.
Our Summer 2006 Challenges
Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, east of Salt Lake City, UT
It’s good to remember challenges – we learn from them!� As Area Managers we deal with challenges in several campgrounds, but as Campground Managers you only need to worry about your own campground. We met many, many wonderful campers and without the great Campground Managers we had, we would not have survived!