Just plugging along

We have been pretty busy at work so far this season at Luton’s Teton Cabins.  It took about a week to complete spring cleaning all the cabins and the lodge.  Every log gets wiped down with a damp rag, and then oiled with Old English Wood Oil.  It is a tedious process, but the wood looks fantastic when we are done.  Many guests this year have commented on how nice the cabins look, and they are surprised to find out they are over 25 years old.  Brad and Joanne, the owners, are very particular about cleaning, and it shows.  We have already received several 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor this year, and the season is just getting started!

We have a fantastic group of work campers this year, which really makes for a pleasant work environment.  And, based on our first pot luck, they are all good cooks as well!  Karen and Al are back again along with Jodi and Ken who worked here a few years ago. Joining our experienced crew this year are Shawn, Erin and Melissa.

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Dan, Joanne, Karen, Brad, Shawn, Erin, Jodi, Ken, Melissa and Al (standing)

We have managed to get out and do a few things on our days off, when the weather has been co-operating.  We had a few days of snow early in the season and it’s forecast again for tomorrow – ugh!!! We have also had some wind, rain, hail and flood warnings. This year the Tetons received over 600 inches of snow, and the snow melt has caused the rivers to be near flood stage.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that the road to the cabins does not get closed.

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Snow Day!

We went up to Yellowstone National Park with Karen and Al for a day.  There was a lot of snow in the park.

P1000101P1000094With all the snow, we knew the waterfalls would be spectacular, and we were not disappointed!  It was a bit windy out, as you can tell by Dan’s hair!


 

And no visit to Yellowstone would be complete without getting caught up in a buffalo jam!

And to top off the day, we met up with Tom and Ellen at the Old Faithful Cafeteria for dinner.  They are working out in West Yellowstone again.  It was great catching up with them, and we plan to get together later in the summer.  


And to continue with our crazy weather, last night it was raining to the East, which resulted in one of the nicest rainbows I have seen.  Melissa and I went out to take some pictures, and half of our guests were standing outside taking pictures as well.  No rain…no rainbows!  Thanks Melissa for the photo!

We are looking forward to a great summer and expect to be busy as the cabins are near capcity all summer.   Hopefully the crazy weather will settle down soon so we can get out and explore the area more on our days off. We should have more time to explore since I won’t be sidelined by a broken foot like last year.
Quote for the day:  “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside 24 hours.” – Mark Twain 
 

 

Ready for a good summer!

Hello everyone, it’s time for your favorite dog blogger to post again!  My parents have been very busy with work, so I thought I would get you caught up on what I have been up to.

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Keeping my peeps informed!

While my parents were busy working in Wisconsin, I was back at my grandparents house, keeping them busy.  I really enjoy my time there, because they spend all day playing with me, taking me for walks, and lot’s of cuddling time.  It’s a good time!

After we left Wisconsin, we stopped in Minnesota and I met my newest cousin, Simon.  Right now, other than being cute, he’s not very exciting.  He just sleeps a lot, and he’s not eating real food yet.  Hopefully by the time I see him again, he will be sitting in a high chair, tossing some food onto the floor for me.  Then I will be more interested in him.

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Simon’s pretty boring right now

Once he gets bigger, I will have to teach him how to throw my football.  Gary and Julia spent some time tossing the ball to me, and I enjoyed my time at their house.

IMG_0864But it was time to move on, and I really enjoy traveling.  I was excited when we arrived back at Luton’s Teton Cabins, as it is my favorite work camping job for my parents.  They walk to work, so I know they are close by.  With a 45 minute lunch, I get to play every day when they come home.  I have them well trained already!  They even surprised me with a new football!  I have acres and acres of playing field!

IMG_0939Yes, this place is a dog’s dream!  What’s not to love about this view?

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And the fact I can walk around off-leash is a bonus!  Lot’s of trails right on the property for me to check out.  There are 4 other dogs with me this year.  Casey and Honey are back, and they have already stuck their noses in my butt….sigh.  I also met the two new dogs, Lilly and Molly.   I also heard there are two cats that like to walk on a leash, but I have not met them yet.  I think I would like them.  Cats are usually more polite to me.

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Happy to be back!

When I am not out playing, walking, or marking my spots (need to let the elk, bison, horses and bears know I am around!), I spend most of my day waiting for my parents to reappear from the bushes.  I am not allowed to go beyond those bushes where the cabins are.  So I just sit in the window and wait.

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I know it’s going to be a great summer again!  My parents said it should be very busy, as they are already booked full for most of the summer.  Hopefully they won’t be too tired to go for regular walks on the property.

Take care everyone and have a great summer!

 

Quote for the day: “Ever wonder where you would end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?” – Robert Brault

 

 

 

 

Settled in for summer!

After we left Wisconsin, we stopped in Minnesota for a few days to visit Dan’s brother Gary and his wife Julia.  We originally planned to stay at a local county campground, but it was booked up solid for the weekend.  Julia had met us out at the campground, and Dan rode with her to a private campground a few miles away, to check for availability.  They had not been answering the telephone.  I stayed behind with Makena in the truck/fifth wheel.  They were able to get a spot for us.  Turns out there was a Harley festival going on, so everything was pretty booked up and the gal in the office was too busy to answer the telephone.  I drove the fifth wheel all by myself, to the campground.  I have driven it a few times before, but never by myself.  Now I just need to stop looking in the rear view mirror!  I met up with Dan at the campground, and he had me back into our spot.  Never did that before!  But he provided excellent guidance, and I feel a little more confidant now.

Gary and Julia are now grandparents for the first time!  Their daughter Carmen and husband Luke stopped over with Simon, who is now two months old!  Welcome to the world Simon!

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napping with Uncle Dan

We had a nice time visiting with everyone, and headed towards Custer, SD to visit with friends and former co-workers.  The best part of working for Amazon, is the people we meet.  And we have been able to meet up with fellow Amazon Camperforce everywhere we go.  Although I forgot to bring the camera along for a few meals, we met up with Linda and two of her co-workers in Keystone, where she will be working this summer at a gas station/convenience store.  The next day we met up with Bob for a good meal at the Alpine Inn in Hill City.  We were joined by our friends and former co-workers at Crazy Horse Phil and Rudee, and both Margaret’s that we had worked with.  They have both since retired.  Bob will be working this summer at Crazy Horse and has been very impressed with the fact it is more than just a mountain carving.  You can look back in our blog to the summer of 2014 to read more about our Crazy Horse experience (or type Crazy Horse in the search box on our site).

The next night we managed another get together, and our friends Chery and Dick also joined in.  We were happy that Bob could join us again, as it is always nice to meet fellow work campers.

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Dick, Phil, Jonell, Bob, Rudee and Cheryl

We hope they all have a wonderful summer, and will certainly meet up with them again!  Since we had a long drive from Custer to Moran, WY, we left very early and had a pleasant day of driving.  We knew we were getting close to our summer “home”, when snow started appearing out our window!  Yes, 65 degrees, sunny and snow!

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We arrived late afternoon to Luton’s Teton Cabins, and were met with hugs from the owners, Brad and Joanne.  Wonderful people to work for!  Co-workers Karen and Al had arrived a few hours before us, and we met another new co-worker, Melissa.  There will be two additional couples coming this week.  Dan and I start on Monday, May 15th, and we are excited to get back to work again.

Most of the snow at the lower elevations (we are at 6800 feet) has melted, but the Tetons are exceptionally beautiful this time of year.

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We have already seen a moose, fox and Makena has been keeping an eye on a gopher that is just outside of our fifth wheel.  We are looking forward to another great summer!  I will post more on our jobs once we get started for the season.  This is our view for the summer, from the cabins.

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Quote for the Day:  “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neal Donald Walsch

The Tetons are Calling

…and we must hitch up and go!  Our six weeks in Wisconsin has come to a close, and it is time to head West for our summer work camping jobs at Teton Cabins in Moran, Wyoming.   The cabins are located 5 miles East of Grand Teton National Park.

We have been busy helping out our friends Mike and Karlyn, getting their new business ready (Alumni Club Tavern and Eatery).  Hopefully it will open in late June or July.  Dan has been busy with finish carpentry, helping out the electrician, and other odds and ends.  My main job has been staining, sanding, staining and sanding.

Mike was able to purchase some gently used kitchen and bar equipment, so we have also been busy bleaching and polishing all the equipment.  We are very grateful for the opportunity to help out.  Mike paid for our spot at the Wisconsin State Fair RV Park, and Karlyn packed us sandwiches every day for lunch, which was an added bonus!  They even took us to see their youngest daughters last high school play “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”  Maddie played Logainne Schwartzandgruenierre, and did an excellent job! (and yes, I kept the program so I know her characters name is spelled correctly!)

Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to see as many people as we would have liked, as we were working 6 days a week.  But we did manage a few fun outings with our friends Dave and Angie, college friend Mary, and college friends Mike and Sue.  We also met up with Laura and Mike, who will be retiring next year and selling their house.  They were very interested in learning more about life on the road.  Perhaps we will see them out on the road next year?!

We also want to thank Dan’s parents for taking care of Makena for us, so she did not have to spend all day with her paws crossed, waiting for us to get home.  We know she is always well taken care of at their house.

As luck would have it, my brother Jerry was singing with his friend Bobby Way on my birthday back in April at an American Legion Post in Brookfield.  Mike and Karlyn joined us for a fish fry before the show started, and my sister Margie and husband Greg came later on.  We were surprised to also run into my cousins Mark and Janet, whom I have not seen in several years.  A good time was had by all!

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Margie, Janet, Jerry, Mark and I

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Greg, Dan, Jonell, Jerry, Margie, Karlyn and Mike.

We made a lot of progress on the bar, and below are some “before” and “after” photos, showing that we have actually been working!  The building had old windows that were bricked up from the outside, and covered in drywall on the inside.  My project was to remove the drywall and window.  Dan built boxes to go inside the window, and these photos show the progression.  They will be used to display memorabilia when the bar opens up. (and yes, the prior walls were multiple colors!)

The bar has a basement that will be used for party rentals.  Mikes dad Jim designed the new walls in the basement.  The ceiling will be dry walled, and the tile floor will remain.

 

With the exception of the tile on the bottom step rail, the bar is now finished.  It has a bowling alley for a top.  Before…

 

And after…

And a final photo of Mike and Dan testing out the bar back in December before we left for Florida, and on our last day of work.

We wish Mike and Karlyn much success with their new business in Menomonee Falls, WI!  We look forward to seeing it this fall, when we stop through Wisconsin before we head down to Kentucky to work at Amazon in October.

Quote for the Day:  “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey

 

 

 

 

NASA: Space Shuttle Atlantis

If you have not visited the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex in the last several years, there has been a big addition to the complex.  The Space Shuttle Atlantis was added to the list of attractions a few years ago.  They did an excellent job in designing  a unique building around the shuttle.  When you enter the building, you will view two short movies about the history of the shuttle program, before the curtain rises and you walk right into the nose of the Atlantis.  For many, it can be an emotional experience.

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What surprised us, was learning NASA started to work on the shuttle program back in 1969, during the Apollo program. Their goal was to develop a reusable spacecraft.  After 12 years, space shuttle Columbia was launched on April 12, 1981.  A total of five shuttles were built.  Two of them, Challenger and Columbia, were tragically lost in 1986 and 2003, respectively.   The Atlantis building contains a nice memorial to the astronauts that made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Atlantis was first launched in 1985, and flew its final mission July 8 -21, 2011.  In its 26 years of service, Atlantis made 33 missions with 207 astronauts, and flew a total of 126 million miles.  The shuttle is displayed with its cargo bay doors open, and the control arm out.

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The main purpose of the shuttle was to build the International Space Station (15 countries have worked together on this project), and launch and repair the Hubble Telescope.  The Atlantis building contains many interactive displays, were you can learn about the many experiments the astronauts undertook in space.  You can spend several hours just going through all the displays.  So many things that we take for granted today are a result of the space program.

This is what the bathroom looks like for the astronauts.

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The building also has a model of the Hubble Telescope, which was named after American astronomer Edwin P Hubble.  It was launched April 24, 1990, and is about the size of a school bus.  It is about 354 miles from Earth.

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In 2018, NASA will be launching a new telescope, James Webb Space Telescope, named after the NASA administrator who was a major part of the Apollo program.  It will be about the size of a tennis court, with a 21 foot mirror, and will eventually be 930,000 miles from Earth.  This is a 1/125th scale model of the telescope.

 

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The building also contains the Shuttle Launch Experience, which is launch simulation, included in your admission, along with many other simulators where you can land a shuttle, dock the shuttle and use the robotic arm.  Dan’s brother Gary and his wife Julia were down visiting in Florida and we spent a day at the Visitor’s Center.  We all tried to land the shuttle.  Julia was the only one of us that successfully landed the shuttle.  The rest of us crashed!

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We have made several visits to the Center before we left Florida.  Our annual pass does not expire until February of 2018, so we do plan on going back when we are back in Florida.  We still have several movies left to see, and they always seem to be adding in more exhibits.  They have some added tours that can be taken for an additional fee, and we would like to do those as well.  So next year I will have a few more posts on the Center.

We would highly recommend a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.

Quote for the Day:  “The dream is alive.” – John Young, after landing the first Space Shuttle STS-1 at Edwards Air Force Base April 14, 1981.