Monday to Saturday, April 20 to 25, 2015 (Monck Provincial Park, Quilchena, BC)

A week has gone by and it has been another busy one...working four straight days (Monday to Thursday). There are still only four (out of seven) of us working...two are still sick with bronchial infections and one won't be back for awhile due to cracked and broken ribs from an accident. The new contractor still hasn't provided equipment for the park but the (sick) manager did make a run into Merritt to pick up wider rakes, making life for us all much easier as we continued raking up mountains of Ponderosa Pine needles. We are trying to give the new contractor some slack because the company has taken on additional "bundles" of provincial parks, most of which (we understand) were poorly handled by the old contractor. The new contractor for Monck is a big company that has a number of other park "bundles" so is not new to the business. In the long run, this is a good thing for Monck Park but there are obviously growing pains for the company as it takes on the additional park bundles. Having said that, the water hasn't been turned on yet, equipment for cleaning washrooms hasn't been provided...and administrative items such as wi-fi to access the reservation system, receipt books, cash float, etc isn't here...and the park opens to full service with fees collected on May 1st (yes, that's in less than one week!). uniforms yet either.

Since Steve and I leave May 1st to go down to the coast and island for the month, we have been hard at it trying to get the sites, trails, and roadways cleaned up...a big job with only 4 of us. Plus without additional help we've had to look after the day use area and loop 1 that's now open to campers, so there's the fire pits, garbage and more raking. Our bodies have been screaming at us by the end of each last week we did 3 days...increasing to 4 this week. We have adjusted though, and it is getting easier.

Monday, we finished off the day-use area and parking lot. It was an absolutely gorgeous day! The lake was so flat...

Steve "caught" Sue and I taking a bit of a break...

Tuesday we started on loop was another beautiful day. So far we have 32 truck loads of needles in the compound ready to burn once we have water available. With no more room we are leaving the remaining raked piles of needles in loops 2 and 3 there until the burning begins...

Wednesday we continued with loop 2...and had it finished by the end of our day.
 A "before" picture...
...and "after" picture...
Break time...
Tucker wanted his dad to share his snack...
Steve had to take the trailer back up to the had a flat tire...

Thursday we got started on loop 3, managing to finish 17 sites, trails and the roadway. The remaining 34 sites, roadway and trails will have to wait until next week. We only have another 4 days left next week, so hopefully we will be able to finish the loop and get started on picking up the piles of needles. That is, of course, if the water gets turned on so we can start burning.

It was so nice on Friday morning to not have to rush to get ready for work. We had a leisurely start and really didn't do much all day other than a lot of odds and ends. We managed to get out for a walk late morning before the dark clouds came in. Doug and Sue went into Kamloops to take care of a bunch of shopping, so Steve and I took Tucker out on our walk.

We've been watching (and hearing) these Osprey nesting in this old tree near the day-use parking lot...

Tucker in his glory...he loves swimming!

Hmmm...looks like it is snowing over there on the hillside, I think we had better get home before it gets here!
This appears to be a duck and a loon...

We had all sorts of weather today...rain, hail and sleet/snow was a very chilly day! What happened to the beautiful spring weather we had been enjoying?!

The Stellar Jays arrived, trying to get birdseed out of the feeder that is made for much smaller birds...
 And this little fellow also made a visit...we've seen a number of Marmots in the area...

So far with our testing of Irish Spring soap as a mouse repellent we have trapped 7 of them. Myth Busted!! Doug and Sue's daughter will be visiting after we leave so she is picking up the Fresh Cab that we ordered from Amazon in the U.S. at a border crossing. It's much cheaper than Amazon in Canada. The four of us have decided to share in a larger order. Doug has offered to place some in our rig. Thanks Doug! So in the meantime we have decided to try something else that is recommended. We have purchased 90' of rope lights and surrounded our rig. Supposedly because mice are nocturnal they won't cross the lights. Will this be another Myth Busted? Saturday morning the trap in the kitchen was empty, however the one in the basement storage area was missing so Steve had to unload a few things but eventually found him...#7 still alive...but not for long. We're assuming he was already in our rig before the lights were placed...but time will tell if the lights work.

Shortly after 10:00 Saturday morning, Sue and I loaded our dirty laundry into their truck and headed into Merritt...laundry day, along with a couple of other errands.

While we were gone, Steve joined Doug on a walk around the campground with Tucker...and then took care of a few things around the place.

Well, that was a fast two days off...time to get back to work tomorrow. Only for four days, though, and then we are on vacation for a month. We are really looking forward to seeing Chris and Angela next weekend...and then over to the island to see Rob, Angie and Conner.


  1. We may be a small group armed with four rakes, a pitch fork and a tarp but we are a 'team of four' who have a great work ethic and take great pride in making Monck Park a provincial park to be proud of.. There has not been a day that goes by since April 15th that Doug and I haven't said to each other ' thank goodness for Steve and Dianne'.. We never could have accomplished as much as we have without their help. We will miss the two of you in the month of May..just think when you return the park will be full of happy campers!!

    1. We feel the same way about the two of you. We work well together and we're having fun at the same time! We're looking forward to the summer!

  2. Sounds like you guys are doing a great job despite being short handed. I bet it is an adjustment for you as I know how you like you leisurely mornings. Hopefully all your equipment comes while you are on vacation so you can hit the ground running when you return.

    Enjoy your time off!

    1. Thanks Jim and Barb. It's definitely been an adjustment but we are enjoying it. Once the cleanup is over our days should be much easier.

  3. Sure hope the lights work for you. We haven't had any mice since we started using them. Might just be luck on our part. You guys have done a very nice job of getting the park in order.

    1. Thanks Steve and Joan. Glad to hear the lights have worked for us hope. We were mouse free after our second night with the lights so we're keeping our fingers crossed.