By Machelle James
While we celebrated a quiet Christmas here at home, we are now getting ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve and say Goodbye to 2020! We have a good friend, Alan, staying here on the property in his travel trailer. He helps us with practically everything and has become a great friend and confidant to us.
Alan also has a well-behaved dog and is working with us and Jenna on her dog issues. (Read the previous article if you are lost on this conversation.) He was here for Christmas and we made sure we made him feel welcomed. AJ and I smoked bacon wrapped Filet Mignon on the Traeger for an hour. Then we finished it off with a quick sear of melted butter from our cast iron skillet. All I can remember is how quiet we were while we savored each bite of Heavenly bliss!
Some unexpected, and good, updates
In between eating and meal planning, we also have some updates for you. First, our friend and a fellow business owner, Pam, is giving us a Direct-to-Garment Printer and a Solvent Printer/Cutter. Basically, this means we can make some of our t-shirts and stickers now that we have this equipment! We were both so surprised and thankful for such an enormous gift!
Pam also is a tree expert and she graciously walked our 15 acres to let us know if we had bark beetles in our trees. Come to find out the trees look droopy because they are THIRSTY, not because we have bark beetles. She also showed us which trees/shrubs are suckers and which ones to remove in order for the pines to grow big and healthy. So, we bought 400 feet of dripline and starting watering our trees.
We also are having a chainsaw party with our friends so we can tackle this job, as all the trees are tagged that need to be cut. We are having a very dry winter here at this point and have had only two light snowfalls so far.
Our General Contractor update
I called the owner of the company that we are using (he was recommended by a local General Contractor that couldn’t take on our project) as our General Contractor. The Superintendent that was assigned to us for our job was slacking and I told the owner of the company how incompetent his employee was and asked WHY wasn’t he getting the bid to our bank? He apologized profusely and he made a few calls and we are now 80 percent done with the total bid of our job.
It is so unfortunate that WE have to beg to get the numbers to the bank, as clearly the ball was dropped on our superintendent’s end. There are just no excuses for this kind of delay as there is a formula for them to follow. It not only delays our funding, it delays our start date and finishing date. I cannot say whether or not we will recommend this company at this point – we will see as the project starts and finishes.
A surprise interview
We recently signed up with our new reservation system. We chose Campspot as we have met many happy campground owners who use this service. We received a phone call that they would like to do a feature story on us and our building of a campground from the ground up. They also haven’t had the opportunity to watch a campground being built from scratch. WOW! Are we are thrilled at this opportunity to share our story with another audience. We should be featured in the middle to end of January, and I will happily share that information when the time comes.
AJ has been a busy bee getting our website up and functioning. It looks SO nice and clean and way different than the one we have now. I am so fortunate to have a highly talented Computer Guy that can do almost anything when it comes to web design and online security.
Now, if only we can use his mad skills for our Wi-Fi setup! Remember, our little town has Frontier Internet and we have DSL for our Internet. However, we have the option to upgrade to fiber optic for a whopping $800 a month! It is a 3-year contract and we are seriously torn as we know Starlink will be here in a year or so. That service will only be $100 a month for the same speed.
We know campers need their Internet, but would you NOT stay here if you couldn’t stream Netflix? If you could check your email and send email, is that enough? We are in a tough spot as the other options such as Hughes Net and others just do not work well up here.
Final thoughts as we say Goodbye to 2020
I think of a roller coaster when looking back on the past year. We’ve had highs and we’ve had lows. The scenery is constantly changing and we need to adapt quickly to what is needed. From Planning and Zoning, Civil Engineering, Town Halls, Electrical Plans, Flood Plans, Soil Samples, Permits and Banking… It is WAY MORE than we could have ever imagined. Would we change course? NO WAY! We know it will be worth it in the end. If becoming a business owner were easy, everyone would do it!
Happy New Year to you and your families! We wish you health, happiness and prosperity!
Thank you for following our Campground Journey and See You in the Trees!
And please leave a message!
AJ, Machelle and Jenna
Read previous articles here.
Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.