By Machelle James
(Thurs., Nov. 5) — It is our last week before the crazy, cold and unpredictable weather comes in. We received a phone call that our Septic Engineer, Dan, and his team would be here on Thursday. They are going to dig the septic system area for two days to get the area ready for the septic installation. Apparently, our septic system can be installed in cold weather – you just can’t prep or dig the area in wet, muddy ground. Dan decided to work for as long as he can over the next 48 hours to get it dug out and ready for the next step.
Needless to say, AJ and I are “over the moon” excited to finally see the dirt being moved and the progress truly starting to begin. The area being dug now is 40 feet wide by 30 feet in length. It is also going to be 12 feet deep with a ramp area for the concrete trucks to back into. This is how big the area needs to be according to our state laws for Alternative Septic Systems.
It has been 1½ years since we started the process of building our campground and it truly took this long to get the whole process of engineering, the permit process, soil testing, water pressure testing, neighborhood meetings, planning and zoning meetings, county supervisor meeting, in order to even start digging. Even the banking is still not 100% in order, so we are using our saved funds to start the project until the loan is funded.
Our general contractor is still pricing out the materials and labor to submit to the bank. This is a tedious process as they want it narrowed down to light purchases and even how many nails we will need. It is a bit overkill, in my opinion, as we can estimate most of those costs; but the bank wants concrete numbers for every material and working hours.
Remember our fencing concerns from our last update? Well, we still haven’t 100% decided which way to go. We are leaning towards the wood fencing to save costs. I’m not happy and I am being kind of “pouty” about it. I understand the costs savings – I just don’t want to do it twice and have the money literally thrown down the drain in two or three years. I know what I like, and I like the concrete fencing. My visually based brain can see it, but my checkbook doesn’t. We are looking into all options before we decide. Who knows, maybe we will get a vinyl fence that looks like wood. (Shhhh. Don’t tell AJ, as I am getting pricing on this option!)
More good news: We just received our grading permit yesterday! We can start grading the roads as soon as we have the funding. It figures – everything is finally coming together in the winter! We will work as long and hard as we can to get up and running for our projected opening next spring. We are celebrating this night with hot beverages to toast the first real dig to move us closer to opening our Campground!
Last week was Halloween and we participated in our first event for Trunk-or-Treat with many of our friends and community members. There were over 45 vehicles that participated and decorated the trunks of their cars or trucks. It was invigorating to see the happy faces of the children and their parents. For those 3 hours, it was a somewhat sense of normality and we all reveled in it. We left the event already knowing what we will do differently and better for next year!
Jenna was dressed up as a piece of bacon and she just loved her costume!
I dressed up as a witch, and our ladies group performed the Witches Dance two times throughout the night. It was far from perfect, but it was fun and the kids were able to see the “Crazy Witch Ladies” dance with their decorated broomsticks. We all laughed and truly enjoyed being in the moment of Unity and Community.
We are so thankful for all the support we have from you, our readers, and from our family and friends. We look forward to continuing to share our journey with you.
Thank you for reading, and See You in the Trees!
And please leave a comment!
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.