Tag Archives: potgut

Aspen Grove Campground, Strawberry Reservoir, near Heber City, UT

I have a few pix from our workamping gig, with American Land & Leisure, in the Strawberry Reservoir area near Heber City, UT, in 2010.

We didn’t work at Aspen Grove so the pix were taken before the season started; as you can tell by the bare aspen trees.

One couple works the campground and the area maintenance person also lives on-site.

You see much of the same wildflowers and wildlife here as in Lodgepole Campground; deer, moose, potguts (Uinta Ground Squirrel), hummingbirds, etc).

But if you’re looking for a campground on Strawberry that is smaller than the main one, Aspen Grove is lovely.  It is protected from the wind and the aspen provide shade from the high desert sun.  The campground overlooks the boat launch but American Land & Leisure does not operate it.

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There are about 60 campsites in Aspen Grove.  Some are reservable and some are first-come-first-served.  You can reserve a site up to 6 months in advance here: Recreation.Gov

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Father’s Day

The Unified Fire Crew came in, pulled down the broken tree and had it cut up in an hour!  Then Don and I loaded it in the truck and unloaded it to our site where we can keep an eye on it.  If we don’t do that, the campers will put a whole round in the fire pit and smoke it.  Most campers don’t bring an axe or a saw anymore.  Besides, it’s too green to catch fire.  It will just smoke.  Where’s that ibuprophen bottle?

Unified Fire Crew
Unified Fire Crew

Great Father’s Day!  We got to spend time with 2/3rds of our children and 1/3rd of our grandchildren.  The others were greatly missed!  I marinated and pre-cooked flank steak and re-warmed it in foil packs today after I baked the potatoes in the oven. Grilled the marinated pineapples so they were warm to eat. Used Mom’s Flank Steak marinade for the meat and pineapple – Everybody Loved It!  I’m grateful for all the loving Fathers in my life: my dad, Don and his 2 sons and 1 son-in-law-to-be.

Our view of Aspens
Our view of Aspens

50-person group arrived – wished I had the foresight to give them the bigger group area (which is further away from us) instead of the one they reserved (in our back yard). Of course, it would have been my luck that I’d get a reservation in for the bigger site and then I’d be in a real pickle!  There are lots of young families; maybe 10 infants in the group!  So far, they are a good group; no loud music and no ATVs.  I tried to sneak in the bathroom last night to clean it.  I propped the door open, as usual, and before I made any progress there was a young girl standing behind me who got startled with the loud noise of the toilet flushing.  It was dark so I had a flashlight.  She said, ‘Wow, that’s a loud toilet!’  She startled me and I said, ‘Oh, I’m just trying to get it cleaned up a little so you can use it.’  She looked at me with one of those looks, that I’ve seen from children at family reunions, that seems to say ‘I should know your name because we must be related since you are at my reunion but I have no clue who you are’.  She didn’t notice that I was wearing my Campground Manager sweat shirt and name badge.  I wondered how disappointed she was that I took the flashlight with me and closed the door behind me. :-}  I decided, this morning, how I would have to clean that bathroom.  I’m going to lock myself in.

Flowering Tree
Flowering Tree

This is the small tree in our front “yard”. 

A person came into the campground to tell us he saw a bear about ½ mile down the road. Not sure to believe him since he went back down the canyon the way he came. However, we do live in black bear country so we let the campers know to make sure their food and garbage is properly stored.

Potgut (Uinta Ground Squirrel) Triplets
Potgut (Uinta Ground Squirrel) Triplets

I’ve been focused on the baby robins but Don found the baby potguts!

We went to collect from a camper in site 14. The site was reserved for tonight (by the people in the adjacent site; we’ll call them the Snyders) but had been vacated early. The gentleman said Mr. Snyder told him he could have it for the night for Father’s Day. So I told him ‘Happy Father’s Day’ too.  Later, another camper asked me if we had any openings for one night. I told him to go to Loop A and pick a site that says ‘Open for next 4 days’.  When we drove around to collect, he was in another of the Snyder’s vacated sites. He said the gentleman in 14 told him it was paid for and he should take advantage of the free site.  We explained to him that he did not have the authority to do that since he was not the one who paid for it.  Mr. Snyder might have had a medical emergency and might request a refund for the site and would be mad if we told him it was occupied and couldn’t give it to him.  He understood and said he’d pay.

Potgut (Uinta Ground Squirrel) Family
Potgut (Uinta Ground Squirrel) Family

It’s so nice to have time to observe the wildlife.  Mama potgut showed up while we were watching her little ones.  She laid over the hole to nurse them.  We are eating rainbow trout tonight (caught from Strawberry Reservoir)!  A camper caught more than his wife wanted so he gave us 2 really nice ones last night!  Don bought his fishing license today…probably because the pressure is off?  Since I usually have to beg him to keep the fish he catches.

A slow day-in-the-life of a workamper

We’ve seen evidence of a mouse-in-the-house lately.  So, we set an electronic trap and put a bait block out last night.  In true ‘Don’ fashion, he took a picture of the bait block so we’d be able to compare it in the morning to see if any had been eaten.  (He’s so resourceful!)  So, my morning started by noticing that the electronic trap had been tripped.  This electronic trap is enclosed so you can’t see the prisoner until you open it.  It is ‘supposed’ to electrocute the little rascal where you don’t have to see it.  There is a light that flashes when it has been tripped.  The light was flashing!  I’m not going to open it!  Then, I noticed that the WHOLE block of bait is GONE!  Whoa!  That must be some big mouse!?  I found it under the book shelf, only a foot or so away, where he’d dragged it.  Maybe he had a friend helping him?  We did see some nibble marks so he at least got one dose of poison.

I usually do some exercises with 10 lb weights before I open the blinds in the morning.  Today I skipped the ones where I have to lay on the floor. :-}  Then I open the blinds to let the sunshine in.  I can see the entrance road from my position at the table, where I do my morning reading and work on the computer but the windows were foggy on this morning and I could hardly see anything.  So, I was surprised when Don had been sitting on the couch for a while and then noticed we had a geyser at the Dump Station!  Water was pooring out of the drinking water pipe.  Wonder how long that had been going on?  Hope the tank isn’t almost drained!  Turned out that the valve had frozen.  Don got it ready and called maintenance for a new valve. 

Although our campground is open, we don’t have any campers today; what with the snow and it being a week day and school is still in session.  I headed down to the lower loop in my trusty golf cart to see if Comet would do the trick on those pesky sink stains.  On the way, I checked the fee tube, put up a couple signs on the sign boards and on the water hydrants and spray painted the Fee Envelope box.  A FS employee came in to mark trees for the sprayers tomorrow.  After I finished scrubbing bathroom #2, I went to introduce myself to her.  She asked me if I saw the camper in the small white sedan.  I hadn’t, but she told him to talk to the Host because he was looking for a site for a couple weeks.  Turned out that he went up to the trailer and knocked on the door just as Don was changing his pants because he’d noticed a tear in them that had enlarged to the point of disrepair.  (By the way, you can always count on knocks on the door when you are 1) eating, 2) showering, 3) using the bathroom, 4) changing clothes.) hahaha  Anyway, this gentleman wanted site 14 because it said ‘OPEN’ on it.  Well, actually, they all say ‘OPEN’ on them.  But they also say ‘UNTIL’ and a date; which is only a couple days away.  He must have been in too much of a hurry to read the other half of the sign.

Well, since the tree sprayers are coming in tomorrow, and nobody can be in the campground when they spray, there is no sense in letting anyone camp tonight.  So I turned all the ‘OPEN’ signs around to show the Reservation dates.

Maintenance came with the valve; hydrant fixed and we turned it off so it wouldn’t freeze again. We’ll open it before customers get here for the busy weekend.

Don fixed the water connection in our rig; replaced a part.  He removed, what was left of, the company decals from the company truck with a blow dryer and rubbing alcohol.  Then we put the new decals on.

There are some over-hanging limbs around the campground that we’ve been meaning to get to.  So, we outfitted the truck for the duty.  I drove while Don sat in the back watching to see if the poles touched any limbs.  Mounted on the truck, the poles are 15′ high.  If they did, he’d tell me to stop and he’d lop them off.  There was only one time when he actually needed the ladder.  I got out to help him with that but I really didn’t need to.  It was very secure and not very high.  I’ve seen scarrier things! …enough said

Tree Trimming Outfit
Tree Trimming Outfit

We went over to the supply building to return a couple tools and get a few more supplies and some gas.  We closed the gate behind us so we wouldn’t have to worry about campers and sprayers colliding tomorrow.  Along the way we were able to enjoy some wildlife.

Hawk over Strawberry Res
Hawk over Strawberry Res

A hawk hoovering

Potgut - Uinta Ground Squirrel
Potgut - Uinta Ground Squirrel

A potgut posing

Duck
What kind of duck is this?

and a duck ducking