Find us on Google+ Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels: June 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Swim Beach Duty

JoAnne Morgan

Every month, on a rotation basis the seven Camp Hosts and various Volunteers take turns in what’s, affectionately called, “Swim Beach Duty!”

Now before I go any further…NOOOOOO it is not like “Bay Watch.” Beach duty involves sitting at the beach and making sure no one breaks the rules. There aren’t many, but these are the top ones: NO dogs on the beach, NO fires on the beach, NO fishing on the beach, NO glass allowed, and the biggie…STAY within the buoy lines.

We’re there as a precautionary measure to prevent avoidable incidents, and be present in case there is an emergency. Moreover, the best part of all is we get a “big old” bullhorn!

We bring our cooler, some snacks or lunch, and for the most part, relax, enjoy the sun and the wonderful breezes – and of course the people watching.

As you can see from the photos, people come to swim, even though the temperature of the water is still a bit cold, relax, sunbathe, picnic, and enjoy more of the amenities here at Ridgway State Park.

Monday, June 20, 2011

At the end of the rainbow…

JoAnne Morgan


We experienced a horrible storm here last night! It really poured and the soaking continued until late this morning. We felt so badly for the people who were in tents. Some and I say some of them stayed. What troopers they were!

Speaking of troopers…During the storm, yes during the storm, some of our friends and fellow Camp Hosts decided to enjoy a dinner in the rain!

However, as they say - at the end of the rainbow lies a pot of gold. OK…maybe not a real pot of gold. When the sun appeared for a few brief moments, the lighting produced a magnificent rainbow, and then turned to a double one. How peaceful and beautiful it all felt then!

Families + Fun = Wonderful Memories!

JoAnne Morgan


Who knew there were so many single moms and dads who come to Ridgway State Park to camp with their kids? I knew there were some, but always felt the majority of campers were families with mom’s, dad’s, and the kids. However, that’s not the case.

We have seen and met some remarkable people, but to see the joy the “family unit” has camping (no matter what the definition), warms your heart.

This past weekend was Father’s Day weekend. We were amazed at the “family campers” who camped here were moms with their kids, dad’s with their kids…and dad’s who just wanted to spend some real bonding time with their kids alone – without the mom. What beautiful memories!

Ridgway State Park not only provides all of the amenities for families to enjoy their camping experience, they encourage it! Some of our volunteers love to help with this event.

One event they host is the Huck Finn Day. Kids can come to the stocked fishing ponds and fish free. Rods, reels, bobbers are all provided. If they leave with or without fish, they have a great time! Enjoy the Photos

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Surgery for Sandy...Again!

JoAnne Morgan


Oh boy! What can I say about our poor girl other than it is so hard to help one of your best pals when they are hurting.

Yep, she somehow tore out all of the stitches in her eyelid. I hate to report this so if you have a weak stomach…better skip this blog post.

It looked like you had a piece of raw meat, and sliced it in half!!! Totally GROSS!

So, we rushed her to the vet where she had the entire surgery redone. The good news, she was not put entirely under, there are double the amounts of stitches, they are much smaller, and will dissolve.

We are going back to the vet this Friday for a recheck. We pray this is going to work as they said this was our last chance at repairing the incision. I guess we didn’t want to know what happens if this doesn’t work – so we are going with this WILL work.

Now for those of you who have pets, and the vet puts one of those x-ray type collars on them after surgery – we found a great one the animals can see through, isn’t sharp, and is padded around the neck and all exposed edges at Petco.

So far…this seems to be working without the dog (or us for that matter) going insane!

I’ll keep you posted on her recovery!

The Sites

JoAnne Morgan


On some “down time,” we decided to take a drive through Colona to Ridgway over Log Hill Mesa. By the way - Log Hill got its name from the settlers who drove their wagons and had to tie large logs behind them to slow their descent down the hill. They left those logs at the bottom of the hill and soon the Mesa became known as Log Hill.

This little fact was one we learned at a Ranger program here at the park. We had Jane Bennett, a local storyteller as a speaker. The talk was on the early ranching days in Ouray County.

From there we drove through the mountains to the south of Ridgway.

Nothing special…other than the most beautiful scenery this area has to offer!

The People

JoAnne Morgan


One of the fun and memorable things that we experience as Camp Hosts is meeting some wonderful people! Now that’s not to say they are All fun and wonderful…but the ones I will share with you are!

Probably the most fun and memorable person for me was an adorable, precious five-year-old girl who was traveling with her grandparents for a week. Her name was Olivia and the night before they left Elk Ridge Campground, she came over and said “I have something for you” – she handed me several pictures she had drawn and one especially brought tears to my eyes.

She drew a picture of our mobile home, golf cart, Sandy (our dog) and various other items, which I am sure, will be self-explanatory when you look at the drawing. LOL

It made me miss my own grandchildren even more than I already do! Moreover, it made me feel blessed to possibly, have made a wonderful and memorable camping experience for her. The next morning I went to their camper and dropped off a stuffed animal, and a butterfly pin. Hope she likes them!

For Rick, it was Jerry Funk, who wrote about his quest to climb all 55-14,000 foot mountains in Colorado. Rick had some long discussions with him and even bought his book.

The other “celebrity” we met and were both fascinated with was Jake Billingsley, who was on Survivor Thailand (2002). He had some interesting stories, and if you would like to read more about him, click on this link.

Then there was the father and his little girl who had gone fishing, caught some trout, and knocked on our door and offered us some fresh trout for dinner.

Or, the couple we met from Chicago who had an amazing custom made Teardrop Camper with a private, screened entry who we were able to share lots of camping and hiking stories.

The Brown’s – the Harley motorcycling family from Palisade, CO who owned a peach orchard and told us all about Colorado peaches and offered to bring us some tree-ripened peaches in August! Yum…can’t wait!

Now all of the people are not famous, and haven’t written books, or been on TV or in the movies – some every day, sweet, kind people come to the mountains to camp, enjoy the Colorado outdoors and one another.

Another time I will write about the Rangers, Camp Hosts, and Volunteers we have meet while here at Ridgway State Park - but for now I wanted to share some special memories with you.

Sandy had Surgery...What do we do?

JoAnne Morgan

Well…wouldn’t you know it!! The dog has cracked her premolar (large tooth on the top in the back) and has a huge benign tumor over her left eye. She had to have surgery today at the San Juan Veterinary Clinic in Montrose, who came highly recommended to us by our Boulder vet, Alpine Hospital for Animals.

We had to have her there at 8:00am and were able to pick her up around 4:00pm. So what do we do all day in Montrose, CO? Explore of course – one of our very favorite things to do.

We went to the Montrose County Historical Museum, which is located in the old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot - What an unusual museum it was…tons of exhibits inside and outside of the building. The people we met there were so nice, and extremely helpful in giving us more of the area history.

Now being lunchtime - We were waiting to cross the street and this little old woman looks up and down the street watching all of the traffic go by and says, “What has ever happened to my town?” Clearly, Montrose was becoming much larger than she wanted it. Rick asked her where the best place in town to eat was and she told us – the Daily Bread of course - so on to the lip-smacking, local “mom and pop” restaurant. The homemade buns, along with the food we ordered, were some of the best we have ever had.

After our lunch break, we drove the outskirts of Montrose and found (with the help of the historical museum folks) the Montrose Botanical Gardens. WOW! Who knew? The gardens are new being established in 1995 – but boy-oh-boy, we could only imagine how this must have looked when the flowers were all in full bloom. The photos hardly do it justice.

We then headed to the Montrose Library while we waited for a call to pick up our girl.

Poor baby!

On our way home and we were invited for a watermelon and cake treat by one of the other Camp Hosts. That’s one of the nice things here – you do meet kind, (not always, but mainly) and interesting people.

Dennis Weaver – “Ridgway’s Best Kept Secret”

JoAnne Morgan

On our days off (Tues & Wed), we have been visiting local sites. One of these was the beautiful and interesting “Dennis Weaver Memorial Park” - many of you may remember him from “Gunsmoke,” “Gentle Ben,” or McCloud.”

The park is nestled along the Uncompahgre River, with the San Juan Mountains as a backdrop. For us it was a place of quiet, and serenity.

A trail runs from Ridgway State Park all the way to the town of Ridgway, where along the way either walking or biking, you can stop and see the magnificent eagle, and visit the Memorial.

The PHOTOS don’t give you “the feeling” of being there – but I do hope they help you to get a good overview of the park. Maybe next time you are in the area, you will make a short detour.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

OK…this is some kind of work!

JoAnne Morgan


Well by the title you would think we are non-stop, however not the case at all!

Saturday we did “our rounds” in the morning, again in mid-afternoon, and once more in the early evening. Therefore, we had tons of time to hang out, take a few small hikes, photos of wildflowers, and enjoy our first campfire with a beautiful sliver of a new moon shining through the trees.

Sunday, today we had an added duty in addition to rounds. We had swim beach duty! Now before I go any further…NOOOOOO it is not like “Bay Watch.” Beach duty involves sitting at the beach and making sure no one breaks the rules. There aren’t many, but these are the top ones: NO dogs on the beach, NO fires on the beach, NO fishing on the beach, NO glass allowed, and the biggie…STAY within the buoy lines.

It’s merely a precautionary measure to prevent any accidents and be present in case there is an emergency. Moreover, the best part of all is we get a big ole bullhorn!!!!! However, with the water levels in the lake so low waiting for the run-off, the water was extremely cold, and hardly anyone showed up! Then back to camp, took a nap, a short hike and wrote this blog.

Of interest, when you see the photos of the mountains, they make look a bit hazy and that’s because we are getting the smoke from the Arizona fires, along with the smell. Maybe the winds will pick up and clear the valley.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Back in action!

JoAnne Morgan

Whew…What an adventure this past 17 days has been!! From my computer crashing, sending and receiving it back from Dell, visiting the Ute Indian Museum, receiving our uniforms, two-way patrol radios, golf cart, leveling the RV (yet again), taking the dog to the vet (who is scheduled for surgery on the 8th), getting my blood work done, learning the procedures, working in the visitor center/gift shop, Rick working on a Facebook page for Ridgway State Park, meeting almost all of the rangers along with the seven other camp hosting couples, attending park sponsored meetings and events, adjusting to the unpredictable mountain weather, Rick leaving for Boulder for a day and a night to run his 33rd Bolder Boulder with our daughter Andrea (leaving Sandy & I taking caring for the campground), and last but not least…our microwave is broken and in for repairs with an uncertain future date of its return!

So – there you have it! Officially, you are current with us, and our new adventure!

Now I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong vision of our lives here as camp hosts in Ridgway State Park – we are LOVING IT!!!

Even though we woke to the two-way radio hearing…a car is in the lake, send for a probe and a diver, or there are cows in the campground, and headquarters there is a bear sighting! The radio’s, preliminary use is for communicating to the rangers who really run the park in coordination with the camp hosts and excellent staff. It all makes for one really fantastic team!!!

We are at site #98 in the Elk Ridge Campground, so if you are “in the neighborhood” please stop by and say hello! If you’re not in the immediate neighborhood, please join us on facebook.com/rjrvtravels and on Twitter @rjrvtravels and SEE PHOTOS HERE