We are a Big Rig looking for a Tent Experience.
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Camp Hosts at Blackfoot Reservoir in Idaho. So what is our job here... Keep track of who is camped in the developed sites and the dry sites and the day use areas. Number of vechicles, trailers, tents, if they have filled out fee us permits. etc. Record if users have not paid so BLM enforcement an follow up. Monitor parking control, site use, and general usage of the grounds. Monitor and sweep johns and sidewalks as needed. No major cleaning requested. Be a presence and represent the BLM in a professional mannor. Report major issues to the BLM and or law enforcement. We are the eyes and ears to make sure everyone is respected and have a meaningful experience. WE don't clean johns, mow lawns, or clean fire pits.
It was in the upper 70s last week. But this week not so nice as on this Wed should be in the 30s and SNOW. Still lots of snow on the mountains. Reservoir very full and still lots of snow met to come. Locals say the reservior has not been this full for oveer 20 years.
We (as in Terry) helped the BLM get the water system turned on and tested. They called later and said go turn it on. On Monday the electric was turned on as the recreation area opened for the season.
Didn't know how the power to a campground works but every two sites has its own feed from the main panels. Think of all the power cables that takes. 16 electric sites here.
Got our HughesNet Gen5 Mobile Internet system set up and working. No need to call in each time we move it.
We were one of the first people to get this service in the country. Normally the new Gen5 service is only for sataionary use but we are allowed to use it as a mobile and that means we don't have to call Hughes to get registered when we move. This is a spot beam service so a lot more complicated. After noticing we were not folowing pointing procedures, we discovered what we were doing worng, and it came right up and we locked on to the spot beam. Much easier than we thought it would be. Not much more than setting up a DirecTV portable dish. We got this system through the wonderful folks at http://www.mobileinternetsatellite.com/index.php
Barb and Joe are great to work with and made it so easy to learn how to make this work for us and got us moved up to get this as we were pressed for time leaving the Tucson area.
Now a few things to know about this mobile service. Hughes requires you to buy a business account through a vender like above and use a .98 dish unlike a residential .78 oval dish (like a directv dish). So a little bigger to carry around but it is 3' 3" round so not that huge. See the pic below. All you need to know is at the above link and feel free to contact Barb with questions. We could not be more happy with our service. Oh and BTW Hughes gives you unlimited downloads for the first 20 days so you can update any large files you may need. And if and when you use up your your download limit they don't cut you off but allow download speeds of about 3 Meg. So even that is fast for satellite internet, me thinks. My old DataStorm F1 dish that I had for over 10 years had a max of 1.2 download speed. With this I will still have double that speed even when over my download limit. WOW can't beat that. And as a backup we have Verizon 4G grandfathered unlimited data when in good service area. And here with good service with a Willson WeBoost Cell Amp we are good to go with a backup system.
See the dish is not that big. But by being bigger it makes for easier pointing and less loss of sig in bad weather etc.
We go to Pocatello to the BLM office on Tuesday May 16 to get our badges as we have passed background checkes and ready to do our thing.
Everyone has been so very friendly to use and have welcomed us with open arms. As some of you may know I love my campfires an fouud a firewood service in Soda Springs that sells bulk firewood at a good price so we will have all we want. Another great reason to be here. As you can see in the picture we found a big stash in a dry campsite when we arived and as good hosts scooped it up for us.
Moving along getting all the requirements completed for us to be BLM campground hosts in Idaho.
Paperwork, yes lots of paperwork. You would think we were applying for a home mortgage or something.
First applications and BLM forms including resumes were sent back via Priority mail.
Then we were sent to a local government processing center for fingerprints, ID verification, and photos.
Next came filling out a online FBI background check for government non-sensitive personal.
All that is now done so getting the RV 5th wheel ready for travel as they want us on site May 10.
The 5er is in the shop getting brakes worked on. Had to get some new brake magnets and a couple of drums turned.
In the meantime stocking up on things we will use as hosts..
Bought a small 3.5 q ft chest freezer that fits nicely in the 5er and later maybe outside.
Next a must have for the good life, a portable ice maker.
Since we will have electric/water/sewer at the host site. We are gunna be spoiled as we are used
to boondocking for much of our summer travels.
We get to trime the campsites with a weedeater(BLM mowes the grounds) so we will bring our own battery
operated one and so why not stuck up on cutting cord. We are getting a $20 a day stipend so some costs are on us.
AND who wants to bend over picking up trash so Ya a trash picker upper unit was in order.
When time to relax will want to do it in a new
STRONGBACK Elite Heavy Duty Folding Camp Chair with Lumbar Support.
Nick Russell swears by this chair so must be great.
It arrived today and yes my back likes it.
We pitty the UPS drivers who have had to deliver most every day this week
as we are located several miles on a rough dirt bumpy road.
We have news.
I got a crown put in FUN. At least I
didn't have to go to Mexico as we have dental Ins.
Now more than you wanted to know about our
getting old and heath issues.
My lipids are like perfect (Ya I takes meds for that but still.)
and renal function (kidneys) have improved over 50%
My renal Dr. is happy.
<>My kidneys went south four years ago when a scumbag Dr. in Quartzsite, AZ put me on Avalox (an antibiotic) for bronchitis
and should not have as it caused my heart to go into flutter and did damage to my kidneys. The package said do not give to heart rhythm patients. I had an A-Fib event the night before and told the Dr. that. I had to have shock treatment and later an ablation to stop the flutter.
During this checkup I got to asking my FNP-C MSN about liver functions (as I like my happy hour)
So I had blood work labs for liver and Hepatitis done. My FNP-C MSN sent teh results to Adobe Research who is offering grants for liver scans etc. So held my berth and they called and told me my liver was healthy and I did not need to come in. OMG HAPPY.
Oh and my A1C is down to 5.8 which is very low for a diabetic . Was 6.7 last year.
I have been able to get off some of the diabetic meds.
I also had a successful ablation for A-Fib last May and now off more heart drugs. No more A-Fib events. anothr OMG HAPPY!
Terry had bad lipids last year and was put on Atorvastatin and now his lipids are all in range and looking very good.
So we are in a good mood and ready for summer adventures. Now if I can get over myself pitty over how old I am getting to be.
NOW the bigger news. I saw online where the BLM was looking for a campground host in southeastern Idaho. Looked like a good deal so I applied.
We got a call today and they offered it to us. Here is the web Volunteer.gov site.https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=15642 < style="font-family: arial;">
The host site
Notice the site is dug in the side of the hill so will have protection from the weather.
It is 15 miles north of Soda Spring, ID which has great grocery stores. 4G Verizon cell service. UPDATE very little cell service so the BLM gave us a weboost cell amp unit which makes it full bars of 4G for us inside the trailer. These are things one checks out ahead of time. Also researching the area attractions so can help visitors know what is alailable to them.
The city of Lava Hot Spring is just down the road west of Soda Springs and Pocatello is about 60 miles 1 hour away. The winding Blackfoot river feeds this reservoir and then drains going west for many miles to the Snake river. All great fly fishing.
So even I may get a Lic. and go fishing, me thinks.
The host site has water, electric, and sewer. The BLM cleans the rest rooms, cleans the firerings, and mows the grounds. We just have to keep track of visitors. No fee collection. Will keep the grounds clean and do a little weed eating where needed.. And do watever takes to make the area a great place for people to enjoy. These are public lands, which after all, we all own.
The BLM also offers a $20 a day stipend. Gees, like who would not like to be a camp host here. We are gunna be spoiled with full hookups as we are used to boondocking using solar and a generator most of the time.
This campground should be a weekend attraction for campers and fishing boats so should be very little traffic during the week. 16 sites with electric/water, shelters and another dry (boondocking) area for about 10 units. In this area people are allowed to have more units or tents so could get to be large group campouts as in parties, we shall see. Told be be liberl in the dry camping areas. Only 12 people per regular site so it more people show up to to send them to dry camping.
Now waiting for the paper work. Have to get security clearances as we will be considered like BLM employees.
Would much rather work directly for the BLM than with a concessionaire private company which manages many of the campgrounds these days.
We have been around campgrounds where they manage them and they are at times not user friendly. Seem many times treat their hosts like crap so to speak. And work them hard. Most all must clean johns, mow grounds, collect fees, sell firewood, etc. Sure I know some camp hosts swear by their concessionaires and all the best to them. Stay happy out there.
So what Ya think, have we lost our minds or are we in for a great fun, learning, people interacting adventure?
Was getting tired of our old routine as we have been there, and done that, in so much of the west and northwest. It ws a time to see if this would give us a littel more purpose to our days.
When staying in a BLM or FS campgrounds in the past often wondered what it would be like to be a Camp Host.
Well we are about to find out.
So Later... as we get ready for a different kind of summer.Ron