What Was I Thinking?

This is week two of our summer work/camp position in Buffalo Bill State Park, which is about six miles from the adorable western town of Cody Wyoming, shown in the next two pictures.

busy day 3

busy day 2

Bill and I are Site Stewards at Buffalo Bill State Park which, on paper, looks like it would a great outdoor summer job to have. We both love being outside, and how could you not love working outdoors here where everywhere you look there is something beautiful to look at…? The spot in the next two pictures is one of my favorite places to take a little break during the workday.

busy day 5

busy day 6

This next picture is what we wake-up to every morning. It changes constantly throughout the day as the clouds move in and out and as the sun touches different spots of the mountain creating lovely shadows…

busy day 4

The people here are all very nice. And, after work, we sometimes have little happy hours, and we even have a picnic table and b-b-q area right behind our RV that some past site stewards built out of reclaimed wood.. How nice is that!

busy day 10

busy day 9

They even made a little bird house and birds of every color come to visit everyday…

busy day 7

But “what was I thinking”, when I decided (and convinced Bill) that being site stewards would be something I would love above all else in the work/camp world? Well, according to the job description we received on day one of our jobs, we are to clean and sanitize about twelve bathrooms, mow grass, hand water where irrigation doesn’t reach, and “special projects” as assigned… three days a week/eight hours a day… That’s where it all went south, when the “special projects were assigned…

The first thing I let us get roped into was working a split shift on Tuesday’s. The Park Assistant Manger asked us if we would mind working from 7-11 in the morning on Tuesday’s, then go to help out at the Buffalo Bill Dam (shown below) Visitor Center from 3 p.m. 7 p.m. He said Bill could drive the electric cart that transports visitors from the parking lot to the Visitor Center, and I would be perfect to greet visitors and help sell stuff in the gift shop… I agreed because we want to be helpful, but I really never have liked working split shifts… when I get home from work, I don’t want to have to go back again in the evening… but I agreed so now that is what we do…

Explor Cody 10

But, OMG, what “WAS I thinking” when we were asked to take down snow fences and pull out the fence poles that hold them up…? The picture below is me trying to operate the pole puller, which weighs about 25 lbs all by itself. You have to lift it over the pole to get it on, push down with all your might (which at my age I dont’ have a lot of might now) then when you get the pole up out of the ground, you have to hold on to it with one hand while you try to hoist the 25 lb pole puller up and off of the pole you just pulled out of the ground.. OMG it is hard, manual LABOR, and not anything like I could have even imagined it would be… They told me, “oh, it’s easy, we have a pole jack that does most of the work for you…” Most of the work my A##! I hurt in places I didn’t even know I had after even a half a day of working this “special project”…

And, of course, before you can even begin to start pulling poles out of the hard ground…, you have to first undo all the little rusty wires that are tied around the poles that secure the snow fence to the poles and keep it around the trees… Once you get all the rusty little ties off, well then you have to pull all the fencing down, roll it up, and try to carry it to the flat-bed truck that we haul it back to the shop yard in…There is NOTHING easy about this kind of work. But, I’m doing it, and I even do it with my lipstick on… I might have to work like a man…but I don’t have to look like one…

Yesterday while Bill and I were taking down snow fences, a man working with our Park Manager, asked us how we got selected to do the hardest jobs in the park? I said “well because I’m stupid comes to mind”. I told him that I wanted to try being a site steward for a summer without having any idea of what it would involve here at Buffalo Bill State Park. He said he is a Park Manager at another park not far from here and wanted to know if we would be interested in being Park Host there? He said he would hate to “steal” us from this park but he has two open positions and he can clearly see we are great workers… He said all his Park Host have to do is clean campsites after campers leave and be there in the park four days a week to answer questions for visitors… I said it sounded GREAT to me right now, but we already committed to this Park and we will honor that commitment.

However, our Park Manger did come and ask us if we were being worked too hard and I VERY quickly said YES! So he said next week we will get trained on how to operate the big John Deer riding mowers and just do that from now on. He said he will let the younger, full-time, maintenance staff take down the remaining snow fences. YEAH!!! I wasn’t about to argue, but the fact of the matter is there are only about 15-20 fences left to come down… Bill and I already did about 40 all by ourselves…

So, next week Bill and I will still clean bathrooms in the morning, but in the afternoons we will be mowing all the dark green areas you see in the picture below.

busy day 8

And, we will be doing it on big John Deer riding mowers… Sounds like a perfect plan to me, and just maybe I won’t have to be saying “what was I thinking”, anymore..!

Stay tuned!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bill
    May 26, 2016 @ 20:36:25

    Yes what were you thinking!!!!!
    Got to love you.


    • beyondcinderella
      May 26, 2016 @ 21:01:01

      Well Babe, like I responded to our friend, Karen Parmenter, “apparently I wasn’t thinking clearly at all. But you can bet I won’t make that mistake again.” Love you too, and thank-you for supporting my bad decisions…


  2. Ellen Kaufman
    May 26, 2016 @ 20:44:25

    Well you do have a beautiful area to work and thank God you got out of taking the snow fence down, because just maybe you would have had to put it back up before you left the campsite. All and all you have it pretty pretty nice. Those happy hours sound like fun , now if you can just figure out how to get out of the split shift. Happy trails to you and keep having fun ….love you guys
    Aunt Ellen and Uncle Harvey


    • beyondcinderella
      May 26, 2016 @ 21:06:37

      Yes, Aunt Ellen, I told Bill the exact same thing, that I can just imagine that we would be asked to put the snow fence back up again before we leave here the first of September… All in all we do have it really nice here, and we are having lots of FUN… We will keep our commitment to this park until we leave to go beck home to Arizona in September. We love all of you too. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures to come. XoXo


  3. gotham girl
    May 26, 2016 @ 21:08:47

    Gosh…I really worried about that when you first told me you were taking that type of job…but…like I knew before I even got to your sentence you would make good on your word. That is what has ALWAYS impressed me about you. You say you gonna do it and by golly come hell or high water you will. But SMART to have been truthful and take the lesser load. You both don’t need to do that kind of labor now that you’re retired. Pretty soon the parks all over the USA and Canada will be calling you!!! Keep the postings coming! So good!!! Love you guys…so much!


    • beyondcinderella
      May 26, 2016 @ 21:48:55

      OMG Frister, I so love your testimony to Bro and I regarding when we give our word we will stick to it, “come hell or high water” We will do whatever it takes to do what we commit to do no matter what.. But, like you mentioned, we do need to be “SMART” at our ages… and even though we hate to admit it… sometimes we do have to take the lesser load… Xoxo Always!!


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