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Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend at Chalk Creek

We had a busy weekend here at the campground. We were almost at capacity, with only a few regular sites open for walk-ins, as well as some primitive, overflow sites. Friday we were all hands on deck, prepared for over 50 check-ins. We fully expected them to ALL show up within a couple hours of each other, :-), but in actuality it was staggered throughout the day. We have a pretty good system set up here, where all the expected check-ins have their arrival packets made up in advance, labeled with their site and last name, filed in alphabetical order. The packets consist of a campground map, the policies, car tags, and a flier of the weekend's special events. After the guest checks in, we call for an escort, and one of the guys takes them to their site, spots them while backing in, and brings ice and firewood to the site if they've purchased it. Things went very smoothly, and we only had one no-show by 10PM. The best part of the night for us was the pizza party the bosses had for us workampers :-). Since everyone was on duty, they don't like for anyone to worry about dinner, so they have pizza brought in...cool!

Saturday was an interesting day; it was extremely windy here for one thing, and when I walked Chelsea early in the morning it was so hazy and smoky I thought there was a fire nearby. It turned out to be the wind direction was coming from the south, and carried the smoke and even some ash from the New Mexico wildfire at Gila National Forest. We didn't go in until after lunch as we had the late shift, and we tried to take the dogs out for a walk up in the forest. The air quality was so bad, though, that we just couldn't go very far. It simply wasn't worth it. The air did clear for awhile in the afternoon, but the wind just never stopped. An interesting tidbit...I received a few phone calls about availability of sites from folks who had been staying down at the Great Sand Dunes National Park about two hours south of here. Seems they had had enough of being sandblasted, packed up and left. I guess I don't blame them, and we were able to accommodate them for the night.

Candy Bar Bingo was our big event on Saturday night. Present a candy bar for admission, and you received a sheet of 7 Bingo cards. We had over 40 folks show up, and it was a bit crowded in our game room, but we squeezed them all in and we had a great time! I split the candy bars into 4 small piles, and one big pile for the grand prize blackout round. The competition was fierce, and the anticipation was high, but we finally had a winner, and all I'll say is I feel sorry for the parents of the boy that won that bag of candy :-).

Sunday was our centerpiece event, the Rubber Duckie Races. What a hoot!
We had it advertised all day.

The duckies are lined up and ready to race. Anyone can sponsor a duckie, $5.00 for an adult and $3.00 for children. You sign up for a number, and come out and cheer for your duckie. 50% of the money raised goes to the Buena Vista Humane Society and the other 50% get splits up as prize monies.

Joe gets the duckies in place for the first heat. The race takes place in the irrigation canal that runs through the upper campground.

And they're off! Which duckie will take the lead? We had twenty duckies entered into the children's race, so we ran two heats, and the top 3 of each heat competed in the final for the prizes. Otherwise, there are too many duckies trying to head down the canal :-).

They encountered some severe headwinds at the tail end of the race, but we finally had our duckie winners. I was in the office during the race, calculating prize monies and assisting guests, but it was fun listening to the play-by-play over the radio!

Our three winners from the children's division...13 years old and younger.

Then it was off on the adult's division...it was close to start...

The cheers intensified as one duckie pulled away from the pack....

We have a winner by several duckie lengths!..The net is to scoop our valiant duckies out of the canal before they head under the road and off down the mountain, never to be seen again!

Our three adult winners, two of which came promptly into the store to wisely spend their earnings :-).

We did very well over the first big holiday weekend, especially considering that the owners and two pairs of workampers were brand new at this :-). It seemed like everyone had a great weekend, in spite of the out-of-control winds we were experiencing, and the night-time temperatures did fall into the 30's Saturday night. All part of the outdoor experience. We did have pretty much of a mass exodus Monday morning, which kept the Monday crew quite busy. We're finding out as well, that Mondays are also busy with folks who were camping in the National Forest campgrounds coming in to dump their tanks. We still have several folks staying on through the week, and a decently busy weekend ahead. School gets out around here in another couple of weeks, and by Father's Day weekend, we're rocking most of the week through Labor Day. Its good to be busy!

I still have pictures from the last day of our side trip last week, so stay tuned for some interesting stuff coming up. I'm keeping very busy finding stuff to keep all of my faithful readers entertained!


  1. That ducky race looks like a hoot!

    We also heard about people being sand-blasted at Great Sand Dunes! Ouch! We weren't even sure we'd be able to go see it but luckily the winds really subsided by yesterday and it was a go. It's amazing. When you go, be sure to hike up to Zapata Falls too. I'm learning more and more about these CO dirt roads :) Some are pretty good, others, not so much!

  2. We are getting some haze down here in Southern NM as well but I think the SW wind is pushing most of it up your way. Hope they get it under control soon.

  3. What fun! I remember the last time we were camphost during a major holiday...keeps you busy but it is also lots of fun!
    Love those duckie races!!

  4. Sounds like a fun place to be for the holiday week-end. I love bingo AND candy so I definitely should have been there. And I know Moby and Handy, the Duckie Brothers, would have swam away with that race so it's a good they they weren't there. :-)

  5. Looks like a fun filled weekend!
    Have fun & Travel safe