Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Chasing Water

Paul and I had initially ruled out Washington Lake as a potential summer site because of the lack of a water system.  We had no intention of pulling the trailer out of camp once every couple of weeks to fill our tanks with water.  We learned last year that American Land and Leisure provided a water trailer to the hosts.  But when we arrived at the lake on June 18, we were told the trailer was in use in another campground and that we wouldn’t get it for at least a week.

You have never seen such a concerted effort at water conservation as we made the first week in camp.  We used as little water as possible to clean restrooms.  We used two cups of water to wash the dishes; four cups to rinse.  I had visions of running out of water mid-shower, with my hair and eyes full of shampoo.  Thankfully our conservation efforts paid off.  Our area managers refilled our tank after the first week; we got the water trailer the second week.

We were a little concerned as this trip was the first time there had been water in trailer’s holding tank – ever.  The previous owners had always been hooked up to a water system.  So had we.  We weren’t sure the pump would work properly.  Thankfully it worked with only a minor glitch.  We found a small leak in the system.  Paul repaired it and we’ve had no problems since.  Now I vacillate between remembering to turn the pump on and remembering to turn the pump off.  Remembering to turn it on is easier – if no water comes out of the tap, you turn on the pump.  Seems I’m always forgetting to turn the pump off.

Like our campers, we pull the water trailer to Lost Creek campground to fill the water.  The tank holds 110 gallons; it takes about half an hour to fill it – if you use only one hose.  It took us three trips to figure out that if no one else was at the water station, we could use both hoses and cut our filling time in half.  I guess we’re not the quick studies we thought we were.

When they built Washington Lake in the 1990s, they made the conscious decision not to put a culinary water system in.  We actually met one of the builders in camp during our first two weeks here.  When I asked him why there was no water system, he looked me in the eye and said, “Cost.”  Not only cost to build, but cost to maintain.

Our Washington Lake Veterans know this.  You can tell the veteran Washington Lake campers – they’re the ones with four or five large blue water jugs parked under their 35 – 40 foot trailers.  They’re also the ones who come into camp, secure their site, leave something or someone in it and then go get water.  It’s much easier on the tow vehicle if you don’t pull the trailer all the way up the mountain full of water.  But we do get a lot of messenger-shooting from the folks that don’t know.  What do you mean we have to drive all the way to Lost Creek to get water?  Lost Creek, by the way, is less than 2.5 miles from the entrance to our campground. 

It could be worse.  When we had water issues at Hoop Lake, we advised our campers to boil the water rather than sending them 30 miles down the road to Mountain View.  Still, if you want to avoid leaving camp, bring your water with you.  In fact, wherever you plan to camp – bring a supply of drinking water.

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