Moving to and living at Cedar Springs – Kings Canyon National Park

So after 2 1/2 weeks of living in the cabin, I was able to move my RV to “Cedar Springs”, the staff housing area for travel trailers and motorhomes. The winter snow had finally melted enough for us to get in there, but it was still pretty wet and muddy. I took a drive to Cedar Springs in my car so that I knew where I would be taking my RV so I could be prepared…….I was pretty shocked and baffled as to the condition of the road. Cedar Springs was only a mile from “Wormwood” but you first traveled up a single lane paved road, then you took a right onto a dirt road that had chuckholes that were full of water, a road that was so deteriorated that most of what had been a paved road was almost gone, with crevices and craters where winter melt runoff had been flowing. The road towards the end became a hill that you had to access to the left to get over. Once I reached the top of the hill I see three trailers that have permanent wooden snow shelters built over them. The third one had been not been built very well because it had collapsed on top of the travel trailer and damaged the trailer. Right after that in the middle was the “Bath House” which included a washer, dryer and 2 sets of bathrooms with showers. Right past the bathhouse was my RV space which was clearly very wet with watering run down through my space and the other 5 spaces beyond me. At the very end was the RV of Doug, one of our maintenance staff.  I was not impressed at all and actually a bit ticked off with what was apparently considered a suitable RV space for living. At this point, I am here and don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. I did like the fact that we were up in the woods where it was quiet and peaceful.

I then went and retrieved my RV and made my way up that awful road with my 34 foot RV. I took it really, really slow so that I did not fall into one of the ruts and get stuck, nor did I want to shake and rock my RV  so much to knock stuff out of my cupboards. I managed to make it and then I had JR and Doug the maintenance guys help me get backed in and somewhat level. I wasn’t really happy with where I was parked because I was literally sitting in a mud hole on the driver’s side. I stayed put for a couple of days and decided I had to do something different. I was not level enough which was causing my refrigerator not to work and I did not like being parked in the mud…..I really wanted to put some boards under my tires to get them up out of the mud and water. I sought out JR and Doug’s assistance again……I had to pull my RV forward but in doing so being in that mud and water and being on a bit of a slope my tires and RV were basically sliding and leaning…….I kept on the gas pulling myself out of it, but it scared the crap out of me the way my RV was leaning so far. We decided that I could not go back into that same spot, so we re-maneuvered where I backed in more to the left toward the bathhouse where the ground was a little higher up out of the mud and used a couple boards under the right driver side tires to get me more level. I still wanted to have boards under the other tires but I wasn’t able to deal with this whole situation on my own and JR and Doug were not willing to listen to me or help me address my concern, saying it was fine. So that is where my RV stayed for the next 6 months and things got better as it dried out. One other issue with moving the RV over was that my front door and step was right over some new root and leave growth from the tree I was parked near. About a week later I got the big hedge clippers from the maintenance shop and spent several hours clipping back all the roots and brush so I could access my front door easier and not trip or keep scratching my ankle on the brush.

Just a few days later the other RV spaces were occupied with 6 rental trailers out of Bakersfield, CA. As our season was ramping up these trailers would be additional housing space for staff, along with the two permanent trailers, my RV and Doug’s RV which was parked at the end of the campground.

A few weeks later in the middle of May, we had a couple of good snowstorms that left us with about 3 inches of snow. I grew up in snow country and loved it, but at my age now (60 years) I just am not interested in living or having to deal with snow. The snow we had leftover from the winter when I had arrived had pretty much all melted so I won’t lie about flipping out over these snowstorms. My car was not outfitted to be driving in the snow so the first storm we got I hopped a ride to work with maintenance and then walked the mile home after work. The day was sunny and nice, but I also did not have the proper shoes, and with my bad knees it was not fun. Over the next few days, I was pretty frazzled with trying to figure out how to get to and from work. I was feeling disappointed that I was being viewed as an inconvenience by a few coworkers who had the ability and the vehicles to pick me up for work and bring me home. I ended up getting a ride a couple mornings with Doug the maintenance guy who also lived at the staff trailer park, but I had to go in on his schedule and he usually gave me crap. My general manager gave me a ride home a couple times. I got to the point I hated feeling this way so two other co-workers were kind enough to put some cables on my car and shoveled me out so I could use my own car. I made it to work the next day in my car, but during the day another snow storm came in. So at the end of the workday, I was feeling confident about driving home because I had cables on my car. Well, I was doing just fine till I reached the top of the hill that you have to go over just before you reached the campground and I spun out and broke the cable. So there I was sitting at the top of that hill knowing I could not go forward and not sure I was going to even be able to back down the bill….plus this road is one lane, there is no room for another vehicle so I am now blocking the road for anyone else who may be becoming. I called Doug in maintenance and told him my situation and that I needed help. I got out of the car and saw the broken cable was wrapped around the tire. I managed to get it all untangled and removed. I then proceeded to see if I could back down which I was managing to do when Doug arrived. He shook his head at me and said: “why were you even trying to drive your car up here in this?” I said, “because you told me that if I just had cables for my car I would be just fine, so I got cables on and this is the result”. Between the two of us, we managed to get my car backed all the way down the hill and out to where there is a “Y” and a wide area where we could park my car. Doug said my car was staying there until all this went away, to get in his truck and he would get me to and from work. Within about 3 days the snow had all melted and I was able to drive my car again.  I was never so happy to have this week and a half of chaos over with.

Around June we had some tree cutters who were doing some contract work to cut down quite a few trees that had been damaged over the winter and trees that had become very damaged from bug infestation. The tree cutters camped in their tents for a couple weeks up where we lived in the trailer camp park at “Cedar Springs.” During this time we had bear encounters at the campground at least 3-4 times. It was a junior bear who I believe was lured in by the tree cutters camping…..there were the food smells from food storage and cooking. One of my co-workers living in one of the trailers just down from me saw him twice…..once when he was coming right out of his trailer and another time in the field behind his trailer. I saw him one day after work….. I was coming down close to my RV when I saw him walking across our little road to the tree cutters campsite. I stopped my car to get a picture of him through my window, but then at that same moment, I saw and heard one of the tree cutters truck come barreling down the road. I knew I had best get out of the way before he ran over me, he was going way to fast for this area. The bear continued to walk off to the side of the camp when the truck pulled into the area right where the bear was, while at that same time the bear took off running due to the rattling noise of the truck…….I really thought that the bear might get hit. I don’t think that guy driving the truck even saw him until after he had stopped and then saw the bear. Everything happened so fast…..I stepped out of my car as the guy was getting out of the truck and I asked him did you even see the bear? and I could see a look of surprise on his face and the way he said…..Wow, Yes!

Jr bear 2

A bit earlier in the season, I had seen a black bear that looked like this one in our trailer campground. I had gotten up early to go into work and when I stepped outside my RV I saw him a bit of a distance off across the roadway near the woods where employees parked their cars. He was just slowing walking and then went in front of the cars. I thought he might come around and I could get his picture, but then I saw the back of him going towards the woods. I was a bit shocked seeing the bear, so I stayed right near my RV. I had not seen or been close to one in the wild before so I was taking precautions. I was bummed I did not get my own picture. The one I saw was about this size, no cub though and he had more blonde on his chest and more brown. This name, black bear can be misleading, as they may be black, brown, cinnamon, or even blonde in color.



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