I discovered during the first week at Kodachrome Basin State Park that I won't be a camp host in the campground. A couple will arrive the end of the month to fill that position. Instead I will be working in the Visitor Center. I wasn't sure how I felt about that as my parking space near the Visitor Center was pretty isolated, especially after 9:00pm when the rangers left. I kept the curtains closed all the time – partly to block the sun, but also because everyone driving through the parking area looked into my rig. There was a post, covered with a plastic bag, at the front of the space. After a week or so, the bag was removed – the sign said “Camp Host.”
Once that sign was visible, every other night or so, some late arrival knocked on my door around 10pm. “I have a reservation and don’t know where to go,” they said. I would be sitting in bed reading, ready to turn out the light, but would throw on a robe and talk through the window, telling them where to go. I didn’t like this and talked to Aaron, the park supervisor, about it. I had no way to contact anyone should there be a problem. Of course I could get dressed, go open the office and use the phone there, but that did not seem like a very good solution. I’m fairly brave, but felt very vulnerable in this spot.
Aaron told me I could move my rig into the ranger housing area – there was a site with hookups which had a trailer on it. Brandon moved the trailer up to the maintenance shed and on 8/10 I moved Mehitabel to the new site. The bag went back over the camp host sign.
My new home was surrounded by the red cliffs and the sedimentary pipes that Kodachrome Basin is noted for; I could leave my curtains open. The ranger houses were nearby. Liz and Rachel, the two ranger aides, lived in one, Aaron and his wife in another. There was an ancient juniper which gave late afternoon shade over the picnic table, though it was still too hot to think about hanging around outside except in the early morning and late evening.
Every morning and late afternoon, a cowboy led a string of saddled horses along the gravel road right behind my rig. There was a horse-riding concession at Kodachrome Basin and the horses overnight in a corral over by the maintenance shed. I hoped to go on one of the rides once the heat abated in mid-September.
I started working full time! Aaron overheard me mentioning the
need to work full time part of the year in the future to make some
money, said he was looking for another employee and asked if I wanted the
job. I jumped at the chance, spent an hour or so filling out reams of
paperwork and waited for it all to go through the system. A week or so later I
became official and was now a ranger aide at Kodachrome Basin State Park
until the end of October. A new RV adventure!
Another tire went flat on my car – this must be my year for flat tires. I put on the spare (which did a number on my arthritic wrist) and took the flat up to a service place at Bryce Canyon to be repaired.
I had worn a dress just once during the four years of my rv adventures, so I got committed and filled a 13 gallon garbage bag with all the useless “dress” clothes I had brought with me, keeping just one or two items. I took that, along with a bag containing two pair of shoes, up to the Post Office/Library/Health Clinic in Cannonville, which seemed to have another life as a Goodwill location. It was silly to carry all this stuff around if I’m not using it; it felt good to be rid of it.
My dad’s heart is wearing out; he has just been placed in the long-term-care section at The Willows in Westborough, MA, where he has been living for the past several years. I will be making a quick trip to the East next week to visit him, staying with my son Brian.
On one of my free days the end of July, I drove to Cedar Breaks National Monument, about 1.5 hours away. Elevation is a bit over 10,000’ so it was lovely and cool up there. The wildflowers were gorgeous: lupine, larkspur, Markagunt penstemon, white and very pale blue columbine, Indian paintbrush and sunflowers galore. I saw three dead deer on the road during the drive, one live doe, two huge herds of sheep (they are brought up to graze here during the summer), and two big woodchucks.
I had a local fix-it guy come out and paid him to do some caulking around my leaking skylight, but it didn’t work. He said he would come back and try again. Guess I might have to have a total recaulking job done during November when I’m in Tucson. Hopefully there won't be too much rain at Kodachrome Basin before then as I don't like leaks on my rv adventures. That guy didn’t want to scrape off the old caulking – said the skylight might end up cracking since it had likely gotten quite brittle over the years.
The hikes are lovely here in the park (the only ones I’ve done so far), and there are more hikes to do in the 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. I have taken advantage of the cool mornings occasionally, as well as after 7pm some evenings. I am longing for the cooler weather to explore further.
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