I made it home -- a bit later than I’d planned, but in one piece.
The problem with my Minnie Winnie was in the right rear wheel. The brake cylinder for the wheel was blown and had been leaking for quite some time. Had I known of the problem I could have simply topped up brake fluid reservoir during my trip and avoided the problem altogether. However, since the RV sat in one location for three weeks, the fluid reservoir and brake line emptied completely.
To repair the problem, the Chevy dealership had to remove the dual wheels, the wheel hub and bearings to replace the brake cylinder. Four hours and $400 poorer the Minnie Winnie was ready once again for the road. By this time, 6:00 PM, I was eight hours late dropping the RV at my in-law’s home.
I need to give a very big THANK YOU once again to my in-laws, Terry and Teresa. They shuttled me between the Chevy dealership, Lake Sylvia State Park and their home. It was very comforting to have their support during this crisis.
During my stay as host at Lake Sylvia, many people commented on how lucky I was to have a hosting gig and how they wanted to become a host in the future. They thought it was great fun to vacation at the park for free.
Well, folks, be warned. It is not a vacation. There is a lot of work involved, if you take your hosting responsibilities seriously. Count on four to six hours of physical labor daily. Top that off with being on call 24 hours a day. Campers rousted me as early as 7:00 AM to buy firewood and as late as 12:30 AM to help them find their campsite. Add to that people asking special favors (helping them jumpstart their car, for example) and asking questions about the park throughout the day. A hosting gig is more like being an apartment building manager/superintendent than a vacation. To emphasize the amount of physical labor involved, I went from a starting weight of 178.5 pounds down to 167 pounds during my stay as host – more than an eleven-pound weight loss.
Still, it was great fun. I met and worked with some terrific people. The kids were a joy to watch playing. And the park is so beautiful to live in. During the middle of the week, it can be quiet and restful too.
Just remember, if you are hoping to become a host in the future, the job is not a vacation for free. If done well, it is a service that you provide to the campers, the park staff and the state of Washington. A service that you do for a minimal consideration, which is a site to park your vehicle.
Regardless, I’ll be returning to the coast to work as a host in Twin Harbors State Park in September. I hope to see you there. In addition, I hope a few of you decide to become park hosts because there appears to be many hosting opportunities available in Washington.
Goodbye for now. I’m off home to work on the Spokane Scottish Highland Games. (See photo above.) I’ll resume my blog fully next June when I hope to return to Lake Sylvia State Park.