On the way to Vail Colorado and Finalize My First Work Camp Jobs

After finalizing the house sale and taking care of some paperwork and setting up a few things on Friday, May 13, I started heading west towards Vail. My first stop was at Great River Bluffs State Park in Minnesota overlooking the Mississippi River. I have been to this park before but it has been many years. There were a couple reasons for stopping here. It is a relatively short trip from where I was staying in Green Lake, Wisconsin and I needed some downtime after all the commotion of finalizing the house sale. Also I had put in for camp host position, at this park. That I found on the Minnesota state volunteer website. And I wanted to introduce myself to the manager in person and see if there was any availability. Unfortunately he was not there for the weekend but I did talk to one of the other park rangers and they passed on the information. I stayed there Friday and Saturday night before heading on my way on Sunday. It was a cold and gloomy weekend but I got a little hiking and took in some of the beautiful views from the bluffs (see the photos below).

Views from one of the outlooks of the valleys below.

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Here are some views of the Mississippi River from a different vantage point.

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This is a great rustic Park with many hiking trails and is only about 13 miles out of La Crosse Wisconsin. One of the reasons I put in for campground host job at this park is it is close to Arcadia, Wisconsin. Which is where “Sonia” my wife was born and raised and I have many friends and in-laws that live in this area. So it would be a great area to spend a month or so. This way in my off time I’ll be able to spend time visiting them. On Sunday we headed west towards Des Moines, Iowa. My plan was to stay at Saylorville Lake a US Corps of Engineers Park just north of Des Moines. I got in late Sunday afternoon got settled in with the plan of staying there and just unwinding the next day. On Monday me and Maxine did some hiking in a little sightseeing around the park, she got to go swimming and I got to unwind. It was a much nicer day in the low 70’s and sunny. My plan on this trip heading to Vail is to drive hard one day and then take a day off spending two nights at a stop, not doing much of anything the second day. This has been working great so far. On Tuesday I got up and got moving kind of slow hitting the road about 9:30 the plan was to drive most of the day heading through the rest of Iowa and across most of the state of Nebraska. Tuesday evening around 6:30 we got to North Platte, Nebraska, and headed about 10 miles south of Interstate 80 to Lake Maloney State Recreation Area where I plan and spending Tuesday and Wednesday nights. There’s a nice campground that sits right on the water on the west side of the lake with electric hookups, these sites are $16 a night +5 dollars day use charge. At $21 a night it’s quite a deal. Here’s a couple photos of the sites we had right on the water.

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And now for the update on my first work camp jobs as campground host later this summer. On Monday I got a phone call from Rick the park manager at Great River Bluffs Park. And he was willing to offer me a position for both the month of July and August. But as I explained to him I was also trying to get a job for the month of July at Sandy Lakes Recreation Area further north in Minnesota. But I told him for sure I would take the month of August into September. He said that was fine and that I should let them know as soon as I could. On Wednesday I followed up with a call to Tammy the park manager at Sandy Lakes. Sandy Lakes is a US Corps of Engineers Park on the headwaters of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota. She had told me that she was planning on contacting me today and my timing was great. After talking a short time she told me that she did have a position open for the month of July and it was mine if I wanted, I told her that would be great. So I called Rick back and told him that I could do the month of August to the middle of September, he said that would be great also. So I pretty much have my summer planned out now all the way into October. The plan will be to finish up in Vail make my way back to Minnesota doing my two campground host jobs there. And then continuing to Wisconsin where I will put the RV in storage for about three weeks. My sisters “Bonnie” and I have been talking about a trip to Scotland for several months now, but I told her I would not know for sure until I knew the house was sold. Now that the house is sold I’ve committed to the trip. This is a package tour that a friend of hers was putting together, so all the people are from Wisconsin and it will be limited to a small group. We plan on leaving a few days earlier and then meeting up with the group and stand a few days longer. The group packages 10 days long but we are looking at a little over two weeks. I’m hoping to have a campground host job for the month of October at Blue Mound State Park in Wisconsin, but I will have to wait to hear back on that one. So with all that said it looks like I will have a busy few months ahead of me. But it’s nice to have some plans and I’m sure there will be plenty of downtime. Well tomorrow Thursday I will continue West with plans and getting to Vail sometime Friday. That’s it for now best wishes to all and take care.

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