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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let The Adventure Begin!

Rick Morgan
On Wednesday May 18 we shifted Tiger II (our RV affectionately known as T2) into “D” and started our 340-mile trek to Ridgway State Park, in Ridgway, CO – just outside of Montrose, Ouray and Telluride. While we had lots of heavy rain on the way, the good news was NO snow - even the passes were snow free.

We pulled into site 98 in the Elk Ridge Campground at 4:00 PM. Our first impression…this is really a beautiful place, lots of trees, overlooking the reservoir, with the San Juan Mountain Range as a backdrop. This would be a “good thing” as this little spot in paradise will be our home for the summer.

We woke Thursday morning to snow. Yes, snow! We spent the day meeting some of the parks staff, rangers, and the other camp hosts and were given a basic orientation of what it means to be a camp host. We also, checked out the 38 sites that will be under our watch along with a quick tour of the entire park.

We are “official” now and Friday was our first day on our own. So, what do we do? As a camp host our job is to make sure campers arrive to a warm welcome and a clean campsite.

As camp ambassadors, we make the rounds in “our” little section of the park in our (park provided) nifty golf cart to help us navigate, and welcome campers to the Elk Ridge Campground. With the provided tools and our “wheels” we clean out fire pits and pick up any trash left behind by previous campers. We also serve as a support to the excellent camp rangers making sure the park guidelines are being followed - stuff like making sure the leash law is being adhered, no ropes strung between trees, and no collecting firewood from the grounds. In the evening, we sell firewood with the sales benefiting “The Friends of Ridgway” – a group that helps to provide additional resources and programs for the park. I know many of you are wondering if we have to clean bathrooms – the answer is NO. Ridgway has a paid staff that takes care of that…and along with the entire staff here they do a fantastic job making sure all visitors have a fabulous, positive and memorable experience.

This past Saturday and Sunday we had our formal orientation and training. We met all the other camp volunteers, hosts, staff, and rangers – probably 50 plus people. It is amazing to see how many people, that work as a family, and their overall effort to run the park. Oh… Did I mention the weather was great on both days? No rain and plenty of sunshine.

Since we arrived, we have added an addition to our 26’ home with a 10 x 10 outdoor-screened room. And now that we are settled in, our future posts will share pictures; experiences and stories about our new summer home in Site 98 at Ridgway State Park.

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