Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 

Go Back   Montana Owners Club - Keystone Montana 5th Wheel Forum > GENERAL DISCUSSIONS > Full Timing in your Montana
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-02-2022, 01:57 PM   #1
DutchmenSport
Montana Master
 
DutchmenSport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Anderson
Posts: 1,710
M.O.C. #22835
I have finally reached Nirvana!

As a follow up to this post: https://www.montanaowners.com/forums...ad.php?t=86336

I have finally reached Nirvana! Yep, my campground host gig has finally become reality! For the entire month of August, my wife and I are campground hosts at Pilot Mountain State Park, in North Carolina.

We arrived August 1. Prior to that we spent 7 nights at Brown County State Park (Indiana), and then Sunday night (July 31) at Fox Fire (Milton, West Virginia) KOA, and then drove on to Pilot Mountain State Park on August 1.

We arrived about about 1:15 pm, checked in at the park office, got settled in on the camp host site and then met with the Park Manager at 3:00 pm for an orientation to our duties and responsibilities as a campground host. I had a lot of questions and he gave us a lot of information. When everything was said and done, I was really overwhelmed. but excited as can possibly.

My wife and I went for a 3 mile walk, around the campground and along the main road to begin to familiarize ourselves with everything.

This morning (Tuesday), got up and hit the job running. What a great day! What a nice State Park. Everyone we encountered was super friendly, helpful, and excited we were here.

So, the dream I've carried for about the last 15 years finally happened and I couldn't be happier, even if I were a flea buried under the coat of a Saint Bernard in the middle of winter!

Now, a word about Pilot Mountain State Park. My wife pointed out to me that we are really in a very "special" and "unique" position right now, and we are experiencing something that a lot of people never will. In fact, if we were not campground hosts, we would never come to this camp at this state park. Why?

Because this campground is 100% primitive camping there is no electricity, no dump stations, and common water spigots through the camp site area. There are 2 modern shower/bath houses with modern bathrooms. No pit toilets. There are 2 sites that would accommodate a 40 foot camper (no hook-ups at all), and generators are permitted until 11 PM. Quiet hours are 11 pm to 7 am.

The only exception is the site designed for the campground host, which does have full hook-ups. Considering we do not boom dock and we always camp where there is at least electric on site, this is a state park we would have never, ever camped at. So, that's why I say, this is really unique opportunity for us ... and we get it for the entire month! Wow!

Now, because there is no electricity on the the sites, that means ... yep ... you already know where this is going ... don't you!...... this means there are no Las Vegas lights at night blaring across the campground, blinding every campfire in the park. And oh my goodness, was it dark last night! So wonderful!

We are not turning on our outside lights after dark at all, unless we are actually walking in or out of the camper. Beside the front door is an electric panel for the camp site. The park installed a small motion sensor light right there that stay lit for about 3 minutes and then goes dark again if there is no motion. And that's perfect!

So, my complaining and belly-aching about light pollution at night can be silenced for the next 30 days. And when returning back to RV style campgrounds, I suppose I'll be complaining and belly-aching again, and again, and again how utterly non-sensical it is to have lights at night that resemble a gigantic Christmas Tree on the Las Vegas strip or one gigantic night club or disco dance hall ball!

And, it's so darn quiet here too, it's awesome! And oh yea ... I get to use the "Bobcat" ... 4 wheeler thing sitting there too!

Nirvana! Oh yes! My dream is now reality! How wonderful it is to be able to spend my retirement in a place like this ... well ... at least 1 month of retirement!



 
__________________
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
2019 Montana High Country 375FL
2014 Chevy Silverado Duramax, 6.6L Dually
DutchmenSport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2022, 02:12 PM   #2
MandK
Montana Fan
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Western NY
Posts: 204
M.O.C. #28430
Congratulations on reaching nirvana!
When we were at Mayberry this spring I looked into that park and saw that it was primitive.
You’re right, we won’t be going there. You’ll need to be on your best behavior, all those primitive campers will be checking your gig out pretty closely as they add your life to their bucket list
Enjoy, sounds great!

Memo to self: leave the cap lights off if I am camping near Dutchmen
__________________
Mark & Karen
2021 3121rl - slide toppers, cottage white
2021 F-350 SRW CC LB - B&W Companion, Timbren, Bakflip cover, TST 507 tpms
MandK is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2022, 09:17 PM   #3
DutchmenSport
Montana Master
 
DutchmenSport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Anderson
Posts: 1,710
M.O.C. #22835
After a busy day of walking, driving the Bobcat, meeting new folks, walking the campground, tending to the campsites, and studying out tomorrow's reservation list, I found myself exhausted, but at the same time thrilled and unable to go to bed and sleep. My wife hit the sheets and she was snoring within seconds. Me, not so fortunate. My brain will not shut off and is in over drive. So, I decided I would take the little girl doggie outside and stretch out on the umbrella folding love seat camping chair and enjoy the night sky.

And how magnificent it was too! First, the bugs or critters or whatever they are, chirping (these are not crickets), making a symphony of rhythmic melody. I laid back with little dogging on my chest, her nose under my chin against my neck, closed my eyes and just listened. It was awesome! The crickets, or cascades, or whatever they are sang in unison, rising to a crescendo and then down again, lulling my sense of sound, drifting my mind off into another world of existence, so beautiful, so peaceful (so loud).

The next thing i noticed was the little girl dog breathing under my chin, on my neck; in-out.... in-out ... I felt her warmth and sensed her loyalty as she seemed to melt into my chest. Her breathing was almost hypnotic what I really paid attention.

I finally opened my eyes which had now adjusted to the dark. I suppose I'd been outside for about 20 minutes when I finally looked up. The sky was dark, with a haze of light cast by the brilliant star light. No clouds anywhere, no moon that I could see, just the pure night sky through the tops of the trees. In the midst of the darkness, the stars twinkled. I staring at them. And the longer I stared, the brighter they became. No need for a telescope or binoculars. The human eye is much more sensitive to faint light than we we give it credit for. Soon, I realized I could see, what seemed like to be, a million stars! The more I studied, the more I could see. Amazing! Spectacular!

I gazed upward and then I saw it. I had not seen one for over 50 years ... a shooting star! It lasted for only a mere 2 seconds, but it was enough to fill the thoughts and imagination for a lifetime at the thought of how far that bit of rock burning in our atmosphere had to travel to give me,.... yes, just me .... a two second light show.

It was now I signed a breath of such relief. I muttered a little "Thank-you Lord for this marvelous blessing."

My eyes were now taking in the full night sky. The stars were all shining bright as diamonds in the sky. I could feel the night air beginning to cool on my face and hands. Petting that little girl doggie as she so wonderfully laid there on my chest with that nose still buried in my neck. Now I'm feeling her warm breath against the cooling night air. Another awesome experience!

I had forgotten how perfect an experience like this truly is! Not since my childhood, when I was, 11 years old, when us boys would all get together with our cots and blankets, gathered together at our favorite spot under a solitary tree at that rustic campground where our parents parked their travel trailers for the season. There was no running water, no bath houses, no electricity. Campfires created light for the night and that was the extent of it. We'd lay in our cots, look up at the night sky, count the stars, listen to the bull frogs croaking and the crickets chirping, and in the far distance, our parents laughing around their own campfire. We'd tell stories ourselves, laugh, joke, carry on, and eventually fall asleep only to wake up in the morning with the sun just cracking over the horizon and covered by a sheet of dew on the tops of our own blankets.

Not since my childhood have I experienced such a marvelous night as tonight. Sad, I must now go to bed. But, tomorrow is another day to be ever so thankful for this amazing opportunity I've been given to not only enjoy such a great camping experience, but to also give back to others to help them experience such a joy as this too!
__________________
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
2019 Montana High Country 375FL
2014 Chevy Silverado Duramax, 6.6L Dually
DutchmenSport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2022, 08:32 AM   #4
BB_TX
Montana Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: McKinney
Posts: 6,530
M.O.C. #6433
Your descriptions of the stars brings back a lot of memories. As a kid our family and friends used to camp out under the stars any where we could find a good place away from every one else. No facilities at all. No tents. Just army surplus cots under the stars. Coleman stoves and lanterns. And a great view of the milky way.

35 years ago we could see the milky way from our backyard here at home. No more. Growth and the associated light pollution makes it hard to see anything but the brightest starts and planets. Miss that.

Enjoy your new adventure.
__________________
Bill & Patricia
BB_TX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2022, 09:26 AM   #5
mlh
Montana Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Salem
Posts: 6,788
M.O.C. #2283
I get to see when you are talking about almost every day. The bugs singing almost every afternoon, the stars, the moon and I feel so blessed. It never gets old. I saw a program just last week about Appalachia. They ended at Shenandoah National Park on Big Meddow late in the evening with the bugs singing. I thought that was the best part of the show.

If you are looking for another place check out the camps at Lake Momaw in Bath County Va. it’s a 2500 acre lake with water tested clean enough to drink. It’s close to Hot Springs Va, resort and a word away. In Hot Springs there is fine dining and world class golf. It was the home of Sammy Sneade.
Lynwood
__________________
www.harrellsprec.com
Lynwood Harrell
323 RL HC 2008 F250
mlh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2022, 10:45 AM   #6
DQDick
Site Team
 
DQDick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Wilsey
Posts: 18,690
M.O.C. #11455
For a number of years we worked for Fish and Wildlife all over the country. Wherever we were, we locked the gate at 5pm and had the whole place to ourselves or one or two other couples. Loved that private camping feeling.
__________________
Dick, Joyce, Diego, Picatso and Gustav
2017 3720 RL, and 2013 HC 343RL
Pullrite Hitch, IS, Disk Brakes, 3rd AC, Winegard Traveler, Bathroom door mod, Dometic 320, couch for desk swap, replaced chairs, sun screens, added awnings, etc.
DQDick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 12:08 PM   #7
DutchmenSport
Montana Master
 
DutchmenSport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Anderson
Posts: 1,710
M.O.C. #22835
How about a 1 week report?

OK, I've been at this Camp Host assignment for 1 week now. We arrived Monday, Aug 1 and today is Monday, Aug 8.

Is it still Nirvana? My answer is simple.... "Yes!"

There are 42 campsites, all are privative. The host site has full hook-ups. It's been hot. We've had rain. We've had bees and hornets and yellow jackets. There has been a steady flow of campers coming in, and a steady flow going out. Over the week end, the sites were about 75% full. Tonight, (as reserved), there is only 1 camper and the host. It's going to be another very peaceful, very dark, very isolated night.

Doing my rounds yesterday, (my wife and I were walking with our dogs), we saw a deer standing at one of the bath houses. We've seen several dear on the trails around the park, in the valleys, in the forest, and wandering across the road.

I report to the camp office in the morning and drive the "buggy" (it's a Bobcat, all wheel terrain vehicle, with the bed in the back that dumps like a dump truck) ... and pick up the new list of reservations for the day. When driving yesterday, my wife and the 2 doggies were with me, and we rescued a box turtle (with yellow marking on it's back) from the middle of the road.

The Cicadas (I learned what they are finally) are so danged loud at night, it drowns out everything. Even talking to some of the camping guests, they say they've never heard anything like that before (city folks... hum?) and one fellow said, they lulled him to sleep. (remember, these are all tent campers, they hear everything all night long!)

My little girl doggie loves to ride in the Bobcat now. At first she was rather upset over it. Now she runs to it and wants to ride. The little boy doggie adjusted immediately. The noise didn't bother him a bit.

The doggies are perfect camp host dogs. They love the small children and when walking the kids come running up to us, want to pet the dogs, the parents love it that we give the kids time and attention, and our dogs love the attention also.

My wife and I are walking over 5 miles a day, just doing campground duties. I know we could be riding the Bobcat, but we enjoy walking. Oh, it's hilly, for sure. I've lost a little more weight already. We went to Wall Mart in Mount Airy yesterday and I purchased a pair of new blue jeans ... a few sizes smaller!

The moon is just a sliver in the night sky now. The roads are getting harder to walk at night. Last night for our last walk around the campground, (about 9:30), I kept walking off the edge of the asphalt on my side and then my wife would keep walking off the asphalt on her side. We laughed, joked, hugged .... and I even got a kiss in the faint moon light! (now that was nice ... and romantic!)

Sunday I cleaned out 24 firepits as people left through out the day. I ended up walking almost 8 miles, up and down the hills, round and round the 1/2 mile loop of this campground, and went to bed pretty early. It truly was my busiest day so far, but tonight, it's back down to "nill".

This coming Wednesday, I'm going to ride with the closing park ranger and see what all he does to lock this park down at night. From the top of the mountain all the way down to the Yarkin River where they have canoe in campsites. The rangers have back roads they can take, not accessible to the public. The public has to hike their gear in (about a half mile) or come in by canoe. So, I'll have a great opportunity to see parts of this State Park that very few ever get to see! I'm looking so forward to that. I absolutely love being on the "inside track" of things.

I think in just this week, my leg muscles have strengthened enormously, my endurance has skyrocketed, I've lost weight, and I'm eating much better.

As a host, my wife and I are trying to be good ones. We are trying to be everything I always envisioned a host should be. For example: With all the rain, we opened up and dried out some sleeping bags using our Splendide dryer in the camper. We've given folks fire starter packets. We drove some hikers back up to the top of the mountain when they over judged the length and time and direction of the trails leading from the top to the bottom. We gave away our last BBQ fire starter. (thus the reason for the trip to Wall Mart). We even let some folks use our jumper cables because they ran their car battery down.

The park rangers, the office staff, the folks who run the visitor center, all, are so very friendly, helpful, and so full of energy. You can just tell these folks REALLY enjoy doing the job they do! They are so positive, it's almost like they know being able to work in an environment like this is truly a special gift!

Nirvana? Absolutely YES!

Returning back to a Las Vegas, strip mall, commercialized, neon, city light, stack-em-in-short=and=sweet, traffic, noise, confusing, hustle, bustle, concrete jungle some campgrounds and State Parks .... and definately commercialized and private campgrounds ... is going to be a pretty hard thing to do.

I am so blessed to be here!











And here's a photo of my current front yard, and back yard, and side yard, and the neighbors yard, and their neighbors yard! It's fantastic having thousands of acres as your personal playground!



Here's a photo of the "top". This was taken in April 2022 when we stayed at Mayberry Campground in Mount Airy, NC and drove on over to Pilot Mountain State Park and we met with the Park Ranger about solidifying the Host position.

__________________
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
2019 Montana High Country 375FL
2014 Chevy Silverado Duramax, 6.6L Dually
DutchmenSport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 12:43 PM   #8
mlh
Montana Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Salem
Posts: 6,788
M.O.C. #2283
We are blessed, you and I. What you described I like where I live. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of how blessed I am. Enjoy your stay.
We see deer does and fawns several flocks of turkeys and bears here at our home. The bear will walk across the deck about three feet from my wife. The deer are terrified of us, not. You can walk closer than 30 feet from them. The turkeys are not so tame they leave as soon as see you. The groundhogs always go in when they see you. They like my garden and being an old groundhog hunters I should shoot them but I like them.
Lynwood
__________________
www.harrellsprec.com
Lynwood Harrell
323 RL HC 2008 F250
mlh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2022, 08:15 PM   #9
Tucson Monty
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Tucson
Posts: 1
M.O.C. #21819
Nirvana!

I have been reading everyoneís posts for a couple years now and I have to sayÖ..this is the best string Iíve seen! Congratulations on finding your Nirvana!!
Tucson Monty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2022, 09:18 PM   #10
Denali
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 5
M.O.C. #30527
I go by Pilot Mountain on my way to Pigeon Forge occasionally, I keep looking for Mount Pilot but so far havenít saw the sign. DW doesnít dry camp, I have a generator and a 60gal fresh water tank and 2 40gal grey water tanks plus a 40gal black water tank. I donít normally dump the tanks for 5 days.
Denali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2022, 09:21 PM   #11
NWCampers
Established Member
 
NWCampers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Eastern Oregon
Posts: 36
M.O.C. #29366
Yes, congratulations on finding nirvana! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. You’re the type of host we enjoy and it sounds like you’ve positively impacted many campers already. What a great opportunity you’ve been given. �� Enjoy!
__________________
Shawn & Lindsey
2020 MHC 330RL | 2015 Chevy Duramax 2500
NWCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Montana RV, Keystone RV Company or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.