Monday, June 27, 2016

Little Missouri State Park weekend #2

This week has been a little slower for guests. There’s campers and horses on the upper loop and two tenters at the end, but nobody beside us. One group rented out a large shelter and parked around it, with horses in the corrals beside them. One tenter is a father and son from Minnesota and the other is a couple from Pennsylvania.There’s been a few hikers that come for a couple of hours on the trails.

Curt spent a day mowing grass; otherwise it’s usually a couple of hours of work daily. The large shelter that was rented hadn’t been cleaned yet this year, so we pressure-washed the area. After people left last weekend, we cleaned up the leftover hay laying around and the pen areas. Last week when cleaning a different shelter, Curt and PJ (ranger) saw a bull snake. There was a bird nest on a board near the top of the shelter, and the snake was trying to crawl up the post, but wasn’t able to. The robin tried her hardest to get the snake to follow her and leave her babies alone. It’s hard to see in the pictures as it was a smaller snake, about 3 feet, hard to see in the grass.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them. 

We had two nights of severe weather alerts. One had tornadoes involved and there was one sighted near Mandaree, across the river from us. We just had ugly clouds, lightening and wind at the park. The other night, again, had ugly clouds, a lot of lightening and wind. We’ve been lucky. We asked where we would go if there is a tornado; the only concrete buildings are the vault toilets. We could probably get a dozen people in each; there are six. There is the shower house (not concrete) and ranger station (log cabin).

We had one day of 90 and now has been in the 70s, but the winds have been absolutely crazy for two days straight; 20-30 mph with gusts to 50. This week the campground is close to being booked for the upcoming 4th of July weekend. Hopefully the weather is nice. 

For more pictures, please click here.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Little Missouri State Park weekend #1, with horses

The first weekend of work at Little Missouri State Park we had 16 camping vehicles and 45 horses. The area beside us was full (7 sites). We have 30 corrals in front of us, along with the hay barn and sheds. The ranger station is beside us. There are more campsites and corrals in the upper loop. You don’t have to have horses to camp here. There are 35 camping sites and 65 corrals.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them. 

We’ve been greeting guests, helping with self-registration (we don’t do reservations as they can do them on-line), mowing grass, selling hay and firewood, cleaning horse manure off of the road and grass (the horse campers clean their corrals), picking weeds, spraying weeds, cleaning pit toilets and showers and whatever needs to be done along with the rangers.

I’ve started an album for Little Missouri State Park and will add pictures with each blog post that you can scroll through. It may take it a little while to load as I add more. You can click on them to enlarge them. For more pictures, please click here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to work we go…

We started our camp host position at Little Missouri State Park north of Killdeer, ND this week. Our site is next to the ranger office/residence with a full hookup site, although only 30 amp. We are able to plug in to the next site that has a 50/30 amp. There are two rangers that work here, P.J. and Zach, who we will be working with. We’re not exactly sure what we’ll be doing, but it’s a beautiful area in the North Dakota Badlands. The State Park is 20 miles northeast of Killdeer at the edge of the Badlands, what is called the Little Missouri Breaks Country; called “Mako Shika” or “where the land breaks” by the Sioux.

We drove from Dickinson on Highway 22. As you get closer to the Manning and then Killdeer area, you will see a lot of oil well sites. This area is known as the Bakken formation. As of 2014 North Dakota was the second largest oil-producing state in the US, behind only Texas in volume of oil produce. In 2015 the price of oil dropped and the production has gone done. Some companies have sold out or stopped drilling. But it’s still quite a sight to see some of the wells and flares.

Our camp host site.

For more pictures, click here. I’ve included pictures of the drive from Dickinson to the park also. I will add more pictures of the park later.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sweetbriar Lake Recreation Area, North Dakota

We’ve camped at Sweetbriar Lake Recreation Area multiple times. It is one of our favorite boondocking spots. Usually during the week we are the only ones around, but the weekends are busy when the weather is good. Today when we got there (a Thursday), there was one RV already parked on the west side and some on the east side of the lake. We stayed about a week and it’s been busy the whole time with campers, fishing, boats, kayaks. One Saturday was free fishing and Take-a-Kid Fishing day sponsored by the Bis-Man Reel & Rec Club.

There are grass areas mowed where you can camp. Some areas have picnic tables and fire pits. There are multiple gravel roads on both the west and east sides of the lake. Some camping spots are level and large, some small or uneven. There are some picnic shelters, two public boat ramps and two boat docks. Curt fished almost daily, but got mostly bullhead and baby walleye. On the Morton County website it states there are suppose to be walleye, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, northern pike and large mouth bass.

We had 4G 3 bar Verizon and 11 TV channels. There is no dump station or electric hookups. We did see some people filling water near the picnic shelter on our side. There is a dump station and water at a gas station in New Salem.

There are geese everywhere, you really have to watch where you walk. Also lots of pelicans. There is highway noise as it’s right off I-94. It was much busier this time, maybe it’s the time of year.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

For more pictures, please click here.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Try some fishing?

We’re boondocking at Sweetbriar Lake near New Salem, North Dakota. We bought a North Dakota fishing license this year since we’ll be by the Missouri River for a month camphosting and hopefully will be able to do some fishing on our days off. There are suppose to be walleye, perch and largemouth bass in this lake. We watched some neighbors fishing yesterday and all they got was bullheads. We’ll see what we get.

I’ll do a campground review later. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.