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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Workamping Lessons








(Craig/Karin) As the summer begins to slowly wind down, we have nearly seen all of the places here in West Virginia that we said we would. Our latest adventure led us to the Greenbrier Trail. This is a 77 mile trail that runs along the Greenbrier River in the eastern part of West Virginia. We picked up the trail in a small town called Marlington. The trail is paved for a mile or so, then it turns into a wide path consisting of crushed gravel. We traveled from south to north, heading slightly uphill as we pedaled. The elevation gain was unnoticeable, being that the trail only rises 220 feet over 77 miles.
It was a beautiful trip as we cycled for about 23 miles. We did get some rain, so we had to pull over and throw on the ponchos. The spookiest part of the trip was when we arrived at a tunnel that went right through a mountain. According to the map, the tunnel was only 520 feet long. There must be a sharp curve included, because as we walked into the tunnel, it was truly pitch black. Karin looked at Craig and apologized for not bringing a flashlight along. Craig’s response to that was “lets go”! As we entered the tunnel and all turned to black, Karin was rather nervous and let out a few “expletives” as we blindly went ahead. The darkness didn’t last for long. We went around the bend and there came the sunlight. As we exited the tunnel, Karin said to Craig “that wasn’t so bad”. Craig responded with a silent smile.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, one of Craig’s tasks is to ride around in a golf cart at check out time to make sure that people are checking out. Craig was in area 3 when a kid ran up to him and reported that there was a snake at their campsite. As Craig arrived, the frantic mother asked him to get rid of the snake. It turned out to be a rather large black snake. Craig attempted to grab the snake by it’s tail to move it, but it turned on him and poised itself to strike. Now a black snake is not poisonous, but it can bruise you with it’s bite. Craig just didn’t feel like getting bit that day. He decided to just push it towards the forest. Once the mother saw this, she became frantic again, wanting the snake removed to a far and distance land. So before the snake could escape, Craig took a stick and flung it into an open area. He then took the stick, pinned the snake’s head down, grabbed the snake with two fingers just behind it’s head at the jawbone and picked up the snake. Wow, the snake was nearly as tall as Craig! A good five feet in length. The father had come back now and saw Craig lift the snake. Craig looked at the father and said “I used to watch the Crocodile Hunter”. Well, they found a sack and tried to get the snake into it, but Craig figured that as soon as he released the snake into the sack, that he may get bit. So Craig jumped back onto the golf cart, holding the snake up and out of the cart, and drove off to the rear of area 3. There he released it, and everyone lived happily ever after.

We only have about four weeks to go here. The campground is still very busy, but we can sense that things are slowing down. Our contract runs until September 7th. We may stick around for a few days to raft the Gauley River (Craig is still thinking about that). Our next job will be in Campbellsville, Kentucky. We will be working for Amazon.com. That runs from October 15th until December 23rd. We will be visiting with Craig’s parents in North Carolina in between this job and Amazon.com.

We have learned so much from our experiences here at Mountain Lake Campground. We would like to share a few with you.

Never assume, although in most circumstances, you’re probably right.
Craig was waiting on a female customer. She wanted a primitive campsite (no electric or water) to put her tent on. As he was taking her payment for the site, she received a phone call. Craig couldn’t help but to hear her ask the person on the other end of the phone “do I have any clients lined up yet for tonight or tomorrow night?”.
GOLF stands for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.
Karin had a married couple come up to the counter wanting to play miniature golf. A little while later, the couple came back and returned their clubs and golf balls. They also returned a blank score card. Karin asked “who won”? The gentleman responded that his wife had won. Karin then held up the scorecard and said “but how do you know? There’s nothing written on the scorecard”? The gentleman said “lady, we’re married. I knew the score way before we ever played”!
Great Danes are invisible dogs.
Karin was approached by a woman in the store. She said that there was a terrible odor over near the toy section. Craig went to investigate and found a large pile of poop right in the middle of the floor. The woman said that it must have been a dog. Craig thought to himself that the only dog that could have done that (it was big) was a Great Dane! Neither Craig or Karin could recall seeing a dog come through the front door.

Children and their parents are easily entertained.
This continues from where we left off concerning the Great Dane. Craig went back to get some cleaning materials to take care of the mess. As he came around the corner to the location of the poop, he found two young boys. They had decided to walk through and slide around in the poop. There were “poop-prints” everywhere. Their parents were just standing there……and laughing very hard. They just thought that the kids were so cute. After they left, Craig cleaned up the mess. He looked at Karin afterwards and said “thank God for bleach”.

Honey is not always sweet.
There is a sign in the store that reads “Honey Wagons must be paid for by noon on the day that you order it”. Seasoned campers know what this means. The new campers always ask what a “Honey Wagon “ is. A honey wagon is a tank on wheels that is pulled behind a truck. It’s purpose is to empty the sewage tanks on a camper, since the campground does not have sewer lines running through it. The truck then hauls the honey wagon to a dump station and dumps it. After explaining this, the customer’s smile always goes away. Their thoughts of someone pulling around a cute little wagon that’s selling jars of fresh honey straight from the beehive….just vanished.

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