Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Orientation and Connectivity

On Monday night I stayed in Alamosa, CO. Then on Tuesday morning, I drove over Wolf Creek Pass heading west on Highway 160.  I had perfect weather for this part of the trip.  I stopped at the top of the pass to get some pictures. I also stopped at a scenic overlook on the way down. The RV handled very nicely, on the way down I used 2nd gear to stay at 40mph, without braking.  There was hardly any traffic on the road. The speed limit is 45 for cars and 25 for semi-trucks.

I stayed at an RV park in Cortez, CO on Tuesday, this town is the closest to my job.  I wanted to check out the town and to stop at the grocery store.  I arrived at the office on Wednesday at 8:40am and was done with all of the paperwork by 9:10, they even made my ID card and badge during this time, but they did not have the list to know what RV site I was assigned to.  I was told check-in could take up to 4 hours, they usually check in a large group all at once. Since I was early, they processed my paperwork first and I was able to leave.

I didn't want to sit in the parking lot waiting for my RV site, so I decided to drive into Mesa Verde National Park.  I had read that some vehicles were restricted on the roads in the park.  You are not allowed to tow a trailer or a car behind your motorhome.  You must leave them at a special trailer parking lot just outside the park.  The ranger at the entrance said I could go on all but one road.  That road is limited to vehicles under 25'.  My rig is under 25', so I may be able to go on that road when it opens for the season. The Lodge and Campground in MVNP are not open yet.  The Lodge opens on April 19th and the campground opens on May 10th.

It is a long, curvy mountain road to get to the different cliff dwellings sites in the park.  I was not going to stay for a long time on this visit, so I did not drive through the entire park.  I drove to the Visitors Center and walked around that area. Then I drove to Spruce Tree House and the Museum and Spruce Tree Cafe.  I walked down the trail to see Spruce Tree House and went down into a Kiva. This Kiva was not very deep, maybe around 7'.

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Today was Orientation, scheduled for 9am to 5pm. They served pizza for lunch and we were done for the day by 3:30.  We met in the employee meeting hall.  This building has a large kitchen with a walk in refrigerator and an area with a TV, couches, and several game tables. On the other side of the building are the shower houses and laundry room.

Most of the subjects covered were about customer service and safety for food service employees. Everyone sits through the same Orientation, no matter what your job is.  I will be trained on the cash registers, so I guess that is why I had to sit through the information about customer service. There is always a possibility that I may have to fill in for someone in a different department. Not too much of a chance meeting with customers in the accounting department.

We met the Executive Chef, the General Manager and all of the managers for the different departments.  The Security Officer is in the RV site next to mine.

The property we are on was a campground, gas station and store at one time. The offices are in the old store/restaurant.  The general manager and all of the heads of the departments have their offices is this building that I will be working in. There are a few cabins on site for managers and some of the managers have mobile homes.  The college kids are in very small cabins (they look like storage sheds).  These do not have bathrooms or kitchens, they basically have beds, I was told they squeeze up to four in each cabin.  The website tells them they will be camping out for the summer. There is a girls dormitory inside of the National Park near the Lodge.

The RV sites are a bit rustic and there are lots of trees for summer shade. It smells of pine and spruce when I go out in the morning. I was thinking we would all be parked in rows in a parking lot, so this was a nice surprise.

There are gardens at some of the sites.  The neighbor nearest my back door has a plot all ready and fenced, just waiting until it warms up enough to start planting.  He said I could use one or two of the rows, so I may be gardening this summer.  I never even thought that someone would be gardening at the job sites.

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The employee wi-fi connection is very weak when I am in the RV.  It probably will work better when I am in the employee lounge area.  My Sprint Mobile Hotspot is in roaming mode here.  Sprint is usually unlimited, but not in "roaming", so I have to be careful when uploading pictures and stuff.  

I may have to wait to post blogs for when I am in Cortez.  I had no problems with my cell phone or internet in that town.  

Two weeks ago, I purchased a Kindle Fire. I am having problems reading blogs on the Kindle.  I can see my blog and if I click on the "dashboard" it shows the blogs I read, but I can't scroll down the list.  Does anyone read blogs on the Kindle Fire, is there an app or something?

No pictures of Mesa Verde on this post, until I get my WiFi usage worked out.

I have no problems posting pictures from my iPhone to Facebook.  I can use the 3g on the iPhone to check emails and search the web without any problems. I may be able to do a few short blog posts with one or two pics from the iPhone, I will play around with that over the weekend.


  1. Hey Teri,
    Hubby uses greader on his Kindle Fire and I use it on my smartphone. It's a free app the connects to Google reader or you can just enter the blogs you want to follow.

  2. Sounds as if you are fitting right in...good luck and have fun!

  3. Congratulations on your arrival at your summer home. I hope the summer is everything you want it to be.

  4. Nice to hear you're settling in. I stayed a month at the AA, or is it AAA, RV park near where I think you are. Glad you have shade trees.

    I liked Cortez. Durango is an interesting place also.

    Look forward to seeing some photos of MEVE, if you connection allows.

  5. You've certainly picked an interesting location for the summer. Enjoy!

  6. This sounds like a great place to spend the summer, will be fun to follow your posts this summer. We are just south of you at Navajo Lake in New Mexico, next week we are moving to Bayfield CO and I hope to get a day or two checking out Mesa Verde.

  7. Good to hear from you on what's happening there. It sounds like a nice place - especially since you seem to have gotten a decent campsite. I know what you mean about the sprint service though. I have a sprint phone & sprint air card. One of my older phones, I really had to watch it as it went into roam when it felt like it & I wasn't always aware of it doing that.

  8. WOW...I need to catch up on all you are doing!

  9. I'm glad you got there safely - I hope you enjoy the work and the park and the people. Parking among trees will be nice - it always smells so good, and if it's hot, they'll keep your rig cooler. Have fun!

  10. What a great area to spend the summer! I really enjoyed visiting Mesa Verde last summer and the little town of Cortez was quite friendly. The Indian Center downtown puts on a free traditional dance demonstration every evening in the summertime and it's a fun and educational time. If you get a couple days off in the summer, you'll really enjoy the Million Dollar Highway loop (Telluride, Ouray, Durango, Cortez). The most spectacular mountain drive in America! Have a great time!

  11. Sounds like a great place to do your summer job. Hope you can work out your internet and phone service.
    Enjoy the nice cool climate.

  12. Looking forward to hearing all about your workcamping experiences.


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