For a summer that blew by the same can't really be said for the last two weeks.
Guess that's how there things go - right?! It didn't help that the weather certainly became coolish - bordering on heartstoppingly cold. One night even went down to a harsh -7C if you can believe - and yes we were sleeping in the tent. We even had our own water fountain down at the lower water faucet with it splitting from the cold.
Thankfully the days were warmish - mostly.
Between the cleaning and registering of campers we managed to get all of our packing and loading done plus a few renovations jobs done on the van.
One last look at the entry sign to our Provincial Park this summer Kentucky-Alleyne. I mainly took the photo to capture the beautiful yellow of the aspens in behind. It wasn't long before the wind took all the pretty leaves away.
Our compound - well the service area really - complete with gravel and a chain link fence which stands right by the sign. Looking a little sparse without the large 5th wheel. Just down to the van and our tent during the last few weeks. And yes, that is a brown pit toilet - our 'bathroom' for the five months.
As promised - a picture of our completed shelving system at the back of the van. Instead of shelves with a door we opted for cubbies. Each has about a three inch lip to hopefully catch things from falling.
Although we did intend to do just the one project we ended up taking a bit more on. There is an area at the back near the floor that was painted the cream colour. That being Rufus's area whilst driving it was starting to look a bit rough. We decided to paint it the same 'chocolate brown' as our lower kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we didn't pick that same brown up at Home Depot in Westbank (more than an hour away). We tried to match it in Merritt but couldn't quite get the right tone. All ended well when Derek spotted and suggested this red - amazing!
We L.O.V.E it!
With the cool mornings and evenings - Cassia and her animals have taken to hanging out at the furnace. Looks like the dinosaurs are as much heat seekers as the Wood Clan.
So, the interior of the van is looking pretty good these days.
And not to be outdone…….
Look what Derek decided to get himself involved in - AGAIN! (Guess he didn't learn from the first time he decided to paint our van - right?!)
If you missed last year's 'simple plan' it's worth a look!
It all started innocently enough - as these things do - right?! This is my side - but what got the ball rolling is that the green was - or has - been flecking off for some time now on Derek's side. Something just HAD to be done. Which in this case turned out to be more paint. And while we were at it why not new colours.
So - here we are - working on our 'new' look.
There it is partially done. All to coordinate it all what with needing to await our next trip into town to pick up more paint. I was really quite ok with a partial paint job - and it did take some negotiating back and forth between us - but finally I succumbed to Derek's need to pair all the way to the fiberglass top.
And so - that's what we did. I know - I know. But hey - at least we are original - right?! The other side looks much different by the way although using the same colours. This is good though because you can play - spot the animals - kinda like looking up at the clouds.
We are calling it our desert camo look - wonder how we can top it next year?! Well, we won't if the bloody paint would just stick already!
Anyway, obviously we had much to keep us busy over the last few weeks of working.
Things really had quieted down so we really did have time on our hands.
Time for a farewell dinner hosted by two of our favourite campers - Bev and Leo. Here's Leo cooking up our burgers.
And here is a group dinner photo of us, Bev and Leo and two more friends Pat and Cathy. Pat and Cathy look after three Forest Recreation Site campgrounds about 1 1/2 hours away from our park. Interestingly, we first met them back in 2006 when we took over from them at Kentucky-Alleyne - and they were also the operators of Skihist before we worked there. It was nice to see them after all these years.
Certainly not the best picture of me - but Bev and Leo stopped by a few days later with a gift for each of us - our own Trembling Aspen walking sticks.
Such nice gifts from a great couple - we will sure miss them two. Speaking of which - I met a ton of great people this summer. The weather may have been the pits most of the time but we had a lot of great campers.
Want a stat? Here's one for ya - this summer I registered a camper 2,315 times in the 148 days. So, I wrote down the last name, town or city, number of campers, my initials, the dates of camping, number of days and fee amount two thousand, three hundred and fifteen times!!!!
A special thanks to everyone that made this summer fun for me as I walked the circuit stopping in to talk to each and every camper - including but definitely not limited to: The Millers, Bev and Leo, Terry and Cathy, The Adolfs, David and Maria, Atlan and his family, Chuck and June, Pearl and Bruce (+ Pearls sister and husband), Rudy and Inga, George and Gail, Mr. Mears, The Bailey's, Randy and Shirley and of course our Mexican friends Chris and Juan who definitely drove the furthest to reach us.
Plus, the hundreds more whose names I didn't get but whose company and conversation I enjoyed nonetheless.
After five months camping in the forest and with cooler temperatures on the way - this brings tears to these Park Facility Operator's eyes. Ha - no - it wasn't that bad - but it is nice to bring the season to an end.
Nothing like an empty park to bring it home. Of course, as I walk around I can see and hear all the RV's and goings playing in my mind.
And so - just like that - the end has arrived.
An early morning shot after we spent our last night down in a campsite at Alleyne Lake.
Later, the four of us took one last walk over to Kentucky Lake.
Highlights for us this summer were (in no particular order):
+ the Western Toadlet migration -
we sure enjoyed visiting with Andrea and Alan and their crew
+ enjoying the wildlife that visits the park, particularly hearing the call of the Loons
+ our weekly visits to Merritt - the pool, watermark and library
+ taking Rufus out to the group site
+ visits from friends and family
A fitting last picture I thought - as we head out and say goodbye to the Park.
A good 5th season of operating a campground.
For me it was our best season yet. This type of work definitely has it's ups and downs and collateral damage - but in the end I can look back and say that it went well.
Where to next summer? Well, we really don't know right now - we have our eye on a few other parks in a much warmer climate.
Where to this winter? That's up next.