Wednesday, April 15 to Saturday, April 18, 2015 (Monck Provincial Park, Quilchena, BC)

Wednesday, April 15th...our first official day of work at Monck Provincial Park! We were up bright and early (first time in a very long time that we were woken up by an alarm clock!) and with a thermos of coffee, snacks, lunch and bottled water, we were in the golf cart and on our way down to loop 1. Doug and Sue led the way in the Park truck.

It was a gorgeous, but chilly start to the day. We started work on the popular lake-front sites...

We load the needles onto the tarp and then the four of us each take a corner and dump it into the box of the truck....

Here are a couple of before and after pictures. Doug and Steve worked on this site...

...while Sue and I worked on the one across the road...

Steve has had a bad back since his late 30's so with all the twisting and bending over, by 10:30 it was starting to take it's tole. Great...we just got started and already we thought we might be down a fourth worker! After taking a couple of Advil and resting more often on his Strong Back Chair he managed to complete the day. We were all feeling it...guess we're not as young as we think we are :-)
Eight hours and twenty-one sites later, we were finished for the day...time for a well deserved happy hour! Sue had put on a crockpot of hearty hamburger soup for dinner...which she shared with us. Thank you, Sue! We filled our bowls and dragged our tired butts into our trailer...just what we needed before settling into our recliners to watch the first hockey playoff game. The Vancouver Canucks vs the Calgary Flames...the Flames won game one, oh well.  I had an ice pack on my knee...for some reason, my left knee decided to act up (it's usually my right knee). It actually started bugging me yesterday after bracing the 5 gallon water containers while filling either didn't like the extra weight or I twisted it slightly...sheesh! So between Steve's back and my knee, we make quite the pair!

I lasted until 9:00 and then, with two Advil and Volteran massaged into my knee, I headed for bed...Steve managed to watch the rest of the game then he applied some IcyHot to his back and joined me.

Thursday morning we were up and out again at 7:30. Steve and I were surprised at how good our bodies actually felt...we were afraid we wouldn't be able to move! We started the day off by cleaning the last four sites in loop 1 and then moved on to clearing the pine needles off the sides of the road and beach trails...

It was lunchtime when we finished with loop 1 so we went back up to the compound to eat our lunch. Here is Doug adding to the needle pile...

After lunch we started on the playground area. I wish I had taken a "before" picture but you can tell by the number of stacks of needles that it was pretty thick!

 Steve resting his back...
Tucker came with us this afternoon to help out...
 The playground looking pretty darned good!

Now it's time to pick up all of the needle stacks. We even had our very first camper come into loop 1 this afternoon. By that night, there were four taking advantage of free camping (loop 1 is open with free camping, with no services, until the end of April)

Our shift finished at 3:30...and with sore, aching bodies (again), we all quickly changed into shorts to enjoy a well deserved happy hour in the sunshine.
Tucker was also exhausted!
Hmmm...maybe playtime?
Please throw my toy...

Friday we were up and at it at 7:30...again! Today we were starting the day-use area. This is the trail from the playground to the day-use area...
Steve and Doug raking...
 Me, Sue and Doug amidst all the piles of Pine needles...

Sue and I finished up around the picnic tables while the guys went to get started on the beach. It was after 2:00 when we decided to start loading all of the needle stacks that Doug and Steve had raked up at the beach. We weren't finished yet but a good portion was cleaned up...good for visitors coming to the park on the weekend. Getting the stacks onto the tarp proved to be a challenge because of the strong wind this afternoon. It was gusting really good...nice that it blew the morning clouds away but a pain trying to keep the tarp flat!

We finished at 3:00 give us enough time to put everything away and shower before heading off into Merritt. We needed to pick up some mail at the post office before they closed at 5:00, plus we wanted to fill the water will be so nice when the water is turned on in the park!

This morning while working, Doug mentioned he had a craving for pizza and suggested we go to Boston Pizza for dinner. Well, his suggestion was met with a resounding YES! We had also decided to take the weekend off (our bodies needed a rest!) so it was a great way to end our first 3 days of work. We figured in the three days, we had removed 24 truck loads of needles!

While Steve was having his shower, I discovered that a mouse had been in the bottom drawer in kitchen. I happened to have a yam stored in the drawer and it was partially eaten, as well as some chewed toilet paper in the bathroom cupboard! Wonderful! So before we left, I emptied the drawer in the kitchen and Steve set up a mousetrap inside.

We enjoyed pizza and beer and were home shortly before 7:00...just in time to get changed into comfy clothes and relax in front of the TV. The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames were playing their second playoff game! Oh yeah...the mousetrap in the drawer had a mouse in it, Mickey had eaten his last yam. so Steve took care of that too.

The game (that the Canucks won) had just started when there was a tap on the was Sue telling me there was a deer outside our trailer. It couldn't have cared less that we were all watching it and snapping pictures.

It was so nice to have our normal relaxing start to the day Saturday morning! We're not used to having to get going to work in the mornings! After all, it's been almost 5 years since we retired!

I took advantage of no work today to cook a big breakfast...just no time when we started work at 7:30...not to mention that we're not used to eating breakfast so early.

Steve's job for the day was to try and figure out how the mice are getting in. A couple of years ago when we had a mouse issue he plugged every access point he could find with steel wool. Since we started using Fresh Cab we've not had a mouse problem. Steve had read on another RV forum that several others have had great success using Irish Spring soap, so instead of replenishing our depleted stock of Fresh Cab (big mistake) we decided to try the less expensive soap. After getting all set up in our work camping site a few weeks ago he had cut up several soap bars and placed them all around the trailer frame wherever he thought the mice had access. Well for the first few days he kept finding some of those pieces on the ground and figured it was probably the chipmunks that are running around here.

So after inspecting and finding that all was good with the steel wool, then vacuuming up mouse poop, he cut up and placed more soap bar pieces in those areas.

While Steve was busy with that, I went with Sue into Merritt. We did laundry, ran a few errands and were back home around 2:00. Shortly after that, Steve and Doug went down to the boat with their fishing gear...still time to get a little fishing in this afternoon.

Sue and I each did our own thing inside our trailers...putting laundry away and cleaning up. At 4:00, we decided it was time to relax with a glass of wine and were sitting outside when Toni joined us. She and Doug have been quite sick with bronchial infections. Toni was feeling better so came up for a visit...Doug still is not doing well. Sounds like he might be making another trip to see the doctor!

After a boat wasn't very fruitful...Steve and Doug returned home and joined us for happy hour. We sat chatting for another hour or so and then decided to call it a night...time to go in and get dinner going.

Tomorrow Steve and Doug are going quad riding....should be a great day for them! I have a full day of household chores...along with baking, banking and blogging!


  1. Your posts never disappoint!..onwards to another week of those never ending needles!!

  2. Well we are glad to hear you have survived your first days at work! Never saw so many stacks of pine needles before....

    1. That pile is a lot bigger now and we still have 2 more loops to do. Thankfully our bodies are adapting to the work.
      HA! Go CANUCKS!!!

  3. Sounds like work for sure, but the campground looks great! How long will you be working there? I'd really like to try some workcamping next year. What do you do with all those pine needles?

    1. We are here until just after the Sept. labour day weekend. The needles get burned but we are waiting for the water to be turned on in the park and a rainy day.

  4. I was thinking about going to the campground this weekend and came across your blog. It's not really clear on the website if they charge a fee til May 1st or not?
    It says for Winter/Off-Season
    Park gate is open to boat launch and Loop 1 campsites, no fees, no services until Oct 31, reopens April 1.

    And then Main Camping Season (full services and fees)
    May 1, 2019 – Sept. 30, 2019