Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Preparing The Park For A Long Holiday Weekend


This is what I woke up to most everyday last week.  In some places the fog was so thick that I could only see about 50’ .  I still had to do my rounds.  By the time I finished  sanitizing the restrooms most of it had burned off and I started to remove layers.  The hooded sweatshirt came off and was dropped over Angel.  She was still shivering.

The frog I found in one of the breezeways (that’s what they call the area between the two restrooms and where all the supplies and stock is kept.)  The next picture is of a baby rattlesnake in a paper coffee cup.  It’s about a foot long.  I captured it to get it out of the area because there where so many little kids around.  I later found out that it was not the thing to do.  Extremely dangerous!!!!!!!!!  One thing about the babies, is that when they bite, they release ALL their venom. The older ones can regulate what they release.  Needless to say I won’t do that again.

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A couple of days later I was on the deck reading, when I heard someone near the restroom say that there was a “rattlesnake”.  I of course had to go take care of the situation.  I grabbed my Park Radio and called Maintenance.  It was just sunning itself in the middle of the road.  I stayed there until Danny put it in a tall garbage can.  I got a couple of pictures before he put the cover on securely so that he could relocate it outside of the CG.

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          In the road.                                    There’s the rattle and there’s the head.

All week long as I drive all over the park, it seems like the ground squirrels and the California Quail (I call them Kamikaze Quail) wait until I am close and then run across the road right in front of the cart.  That must be their way of having fun.  I haven’t hit one yet.  They are really fast.  I finally got a picture of this one quail. (sorry, not very good)  Many times it’s the whole family


There were campers throughout the park during the week, several family groups and as each group left I would have to check and clean the sites for the next one.  In the pictures below, all that wood was left in the middle of the tree to the right.  That tree would have made a great fort if it was in your backyard, but not in a County Park.

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Below is the last site that I had to get ready for the weekend.  Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and a food locker.  There is water available nearby that is shared by several camp sites.  On Thursday the park started to fill up.  The picture on the right shows several tents on one site multiplied by three sites.  These sites are not usually filled all the time.  It’s across from the Camp Host site. (mine)  By Saturday the park was completely filled and they even opened up some sites in the group CG and the equestrian CG.  Most of the weekend was keeping the restrooms stocked with TP etc.  Then on Monday there was a max exodus and by 1pm there were only 3 sites occupied.  That’s when I got to WORK and check all the sites.  The worst thing was to clean up all of the water balloon pieces.  Yesterday I worked 7 hrs and was exhausted.  So today I VEG!!!!!  That’s why this posting is late, just too busy or too tired to do it.

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Below, additional critters, ground squirrel under a food locker and one of the Ferrell pigs.  The black dot at the end of that path.  He was huge, probably three feet at the shoulder.

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Don’t forget, you can click on the picture to make it larger.

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day and remembered why we celebrate it.  I thank each and everyone that has served and/or died defending our nation.

Thanks for visiting

IMG_2910 That’s my Angel working with me the whole time, such good company.

Susan and Angel

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Another Week In the Life Of This Camp Host

I could start this with Lion and Tigers and Bears Oh My, but I won't.  It's more like elusive Bobcat, sexy Lizards, and inquisitive Squirrels.

I finally saw a bobcat that didn’t like his picture taken.  He is to the right of the middle tree.  You can click on it make it larger.


Below is one of several lizards that live under my deck.  It was interesting watching how they hunch up their backs and try to make themselves look bigger to impress another.  I even saw them copulating.


This guy below likes to tease Angel.  The tree is right nest to the deck.


During one of my early rounds I spotted this deer and was finally able to get a picture before it went down the hill behind it.


The next afternoon I was sitting inside reading when this doe and her fawn meandered by my window.  I was able to quietly side the screen aside to take several pictures.

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Normally It is early when I see the wildlife, like this turkey hen, however this fine fellow trotted through the CG in the afternoon even when there were campers all nearby.  The kids were thrilled.

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My son, Ted came out last night to visit.  He spent the night and in the morning he was able to fix the connection for the power cord on “My Spot II”.  I hope this will solve the problem of my power going off for no apparent reason.  He also checked the fluid levels in my car.  Even though I work on Sundays, I was able to take off a couple hours to go down the hill to San Jose to do some shopping which included transmission fluid and motor oil.

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He takes much better pictures with my camera.  This hummer is one that he took.  Other than those couple of things on my “honey do list” , we just hung out and looked at Luxury Motor homes for when he wins the lottery.  Oh yea, thank you, Ted, for getting a new battery for my laptop.

After he left I did my last round through the CG, cleaning vacated campsites, checking the state of restrooms and helping a couple of campers by switching their sites.  They didn’t want to be next to a family with two toddlers and two crying babies.

I hope you all had a great week as I did.

Thanks for visiting                         


Okay, where did those wiggly things go?  They were here a second ago.

Susan and Angel

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mothers’ Day

Everyone accounted for.  I got a call from all of my kids. Since I don’t have long distance on my land line, they have call me.  The cell phone only works when I go down the hill.


This past week has been a bit of trying to get a routine in place.  So far it seems to be working.  I get in about four hours a day, except for my days off.  It’s clean and restock the restrooms, (checking them 3 x a day) In the afternoon I pick up litter when a site is vacated and again after 6 pm for those that take their time.  Anytime that I out in the cart and in the CG, I give the campers information or answer questions.  There’s always something new.  Sometimes they pay for one site and then change their mind and use another one.  So I have to let the rangers know.  Last night a lady complained that she had reserved a particular site and when they got there someone else was in it. The man that was in it had been told to take any site that was open.  Come to find out the previous campers had knocked down the site marker post.  The ranger had to take care of the situation.

Last night, a lady knocked on my door after 9 pm wanting to know if I had some gauze.  She had cut her finger and it wouldn’t stop bleeding.  I thought, ok what should I do?  I’m not an EMT.  What are my responsibilities as a Camp Host regarding First Aid?   It was a tiny knick on her finger near a knuckle.  I ended up wrapping it up for her with a band aid and gauze to keep the band aid on. As an after thought I probably shouldn’t have done anything except maybe give her the band aid.  I checked on her this morning and she was just fine.

In between the times when I’m out checking out the CG, I get my camera out.  I’ve seen deer and coyote in the CG, but have been too slow and they are too fast, so I haven’t gotten any pictures of them.,  I guess I will just have to settle for flowers and birds.  Below are some of the wild flowers beside the road.  The bottom two are super tiny, smaller than a dime.

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                           Here’s the sign at the entrance to the CG that I am in.


This evening I tried to get some pictures of the hummers.  They are territorial and acrobatic. At one point there were five or six vying for the feeder.  I think that I could only get three in one shot.  Some times they fly right up in my face.

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Today I saw my first snake.  I wasn’t sure if it was something that I needed to report, so I did.  Danny from maintenance came out to remove it and take it somewhere else, but by the time he got here it had slithered away into the tall grasses.  I did get a picture, but when I showed it to Danny it got deleted.  Next time I’ll take more than one picture.  I do know that it wasn’t a rattlesnake.  Anyway that was the excitement for the day.

Enough tales from a Camp Host.  I hope that you all were able to connect with the mothers in your life.

Thanks for visiting

IMG_2882 Just watching those Hummers

Susan and Angel

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just A Little Of This And A Little Of That


First of all------- Happy Cinco de Mayo.

From what I’ve been told, when the holiday falls on the weekend, it is crowded, especially in the day use areas, however this past weekend wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be.  Consequently, there wasn’t that much to clean up in the CG sites. 

The other CGs opened up after being closed all winter.  We had a couple of Scout groups and I must compliment them on how they left their sites, not much for me to clean up. Until then I had 22 sites plus 9 sites for the horse CG.  Now I have added 18 more in the newly opened CG and a large group CG that is open only when reserved.  It sounds like a lot, but it’s not too bad right now, however once the schools are closed for the summer, who knows.

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Let me back up a bit. 


Last Monday My son Ted came out for a visit and to bring me a heater.  I dropped my other one and broke it.  He also got my WI FI working on my computer and put up my Wilson Antenna.  I still can’t make phone calls, but sometimes I can send a text.  I had worked a few extra hours last week so that I could spend some time with him even though I wasn’t off until Tuesday.  We went down to San Jose to get a new router, as my old one didn’t work.  We also went to Applebee’s for lunch and shared.   Then it was back up that curvy road.  We visited and I showed him around the other CG putting out reservation slips for the upcoming weekend.  He left before dark to get back to San Francisco.  My new days off are Tuesday and Wednesday, however, I think that I will just do restrooms in the morning to help out maintenance and it gives me a couple of extra hours for when I have visitors. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday after doing the restrooms, I didn’t do much of anything, other than take some more pictures of the “neighbors” and read.  I’m re-reading the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon.  I have six of the seven that are already published. The eighth one will be out in June.  I’m already on the third one since I got here in April.  Oh!  On Wednesday,  I did go down the hill for groceries. 

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0ne of the lizard that lives under my deck.

              Just one of the humming birds. (The ants haven’t found this feeder location)

                                                        That’s a squirrel on the tree that alerted Angel.


Angel got all excited when this guy got a bit too close.  Just doing her job!

Back to work on Thursday.  We had to make sure that everything was done for the opening of the other CGs.  The spiders come out every night, so we have do remove their webs when ever we see them.  There are a lot of black widows as well as others. 

Most of the campers came in on Friday, some on Saturday and by Sunday they were gone.  I’m finally developing a routine, Restrooms cleaned before 8 am, go home fix breakfast, go back out check on the sites after check out time (1 pm), pickup trash, go home and then do a final run to check on the sites where they take their time.  Each run I make I check on the restrooms to see if they need re-stocking.  Some days I am putting four or five miles on the cart, depending on what I have to do.

Saturday  there was a “Star Party” scheduled. So during my rounds I would let the campers know about it, where and when.  It seemed to work, because a lot of them made the hike up to Observation Hill.

The three pictures are views down into the CGs from the hill.  The third one shows Grant Lake.  You can click on it to make it larger.

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This group is from the Friends of Grant Astronomy Club (I think).  There is usually a “Star Party” once a month. 

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One of the telescopes was pointed at Jupiter.  The picture below (sorry not very good) is of Jupiter.  It’s that little dot above the crescent moon.  (the bigger bright spot)


It was cold and windy, so I left as Saturn was just showing over the horizon.  I passed about fifteen more people hiking up  the hill.

When I got home, I plugged in the heater and lost power to “My Spot II”.  I checked all the breakers and still no power.  I gave up and went to bed and stayed warm under my down comforter.  It took a while, but when I got back after the restroom run, it came back on by itself.     ???????   Oh well, I have power.

Sunday, it was back to the routine and by night there were only two sites occupied.

That’s a week at JD Grant County CG.  I hope that you’re all having as much fun as I am, although the cold and wind isn’t fun.

Thanks for visiting


Taking a break from guarding Mom from that squirrel.

Susan and Angel