June 2010


Klondike Camping Resort is located in the south western part of Massachusetts near the small village of Otis.

Now that we are parked at our small piece of the Berkshire forest at Klondike Camping Resort in Otis, Massachusetts, the month of June was spent spiffying up our site, making improvements to make it cozy and make it our ‘summer’ camp.  In other words, very little traveling done this month other than to support local businesses.

Klondike sites are individually owned, about 1/3 of an acre in size, with water, 30 and 50 amp electric, sewer, and a small utility shed.  Most sites have park models on them (travel-type trailers not meant to be moved very often with residential appliances.)  Some of the site owners have gotten permission to clear their lots to have more open area, additional parking, room for sheds and screened rooms.  

Our site, though, is large enough to accommodate the 36’ Jayco Legacy fifth wheel, a few vehicles, the small utility shed, and plenty of room for the fire pit, picnic table and places to sit and enjoy the scenery, part of which is still our 1/3 acre.  Views of the forest out of our windows are absolutely gorgeous– we’ll keep the view pristine.  We have neighbors on either side of us but because the sites in this village (Klondikese for loop) are tiered, plenty of privacy still between us all.  

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Since everything is on a hill in Klondike, we had to raise the deck before enlarging it to accommodate our screened gazebo. 

June projects included enlarging the existing 8’ x 10’ platform deck to accommodate a 10’ x 10’ screened gazebo we bought at Home Depot.  The gazebo is  a great place to enjoy lunches or happy hours or practicing on our dulcimers – still surrounded by beauty but protected from the biting flies and skeeters that call this area home.   

We bought a resin picnic table from Costco that easily folds up for storage at the end of the season.  Larry also installed an umbrella-style clothesline and pole – out of sight when not needed but so handy and more economical to use than the dryer portion of our Splendide washer/dryer in the fifth wheel.  

Solar LED lights now line the driveway.  What a surprise we got that first evening after we ‘planted’ them to see they are not your standard white lights but changed colors from red to blue to green – easy to find our site in the dark now.  

A local landscape company delivered and spread out some decorative rock on the level part of the site.  The existing driveway material is suitable for driving on but particles clung to our shoes, no matter how well we wiped our feet before coming in.  Problem solved with the new rock.  This same company also cut down a dead tree right next to the bedroom slide – too close for comfort.  We had plans that afternoon and when we returned, we thought they hadn’t done anything because the site looked the same as before, until we noticed the tree down and cut to manageable lengths for splitting.  They did a great job cleaning up all the loose twigs and debris – it’s no wonder we thought they hadn’t cut the tree yet.

Flowers have been planted in the huge pots on the platform deck; we bought a hanging basket of colorful flowers and a shepherd’s hook to display them; we’re trying our hand at growing a tomato plant with the Topsy Turvy plant holder – we’ll see how green our thumbs are.  Lastly, Larry ‘planted’ a row of landscape bricks to delineate the new rocks from the existing driveway.  Not that we’re worried about the rocks rolling up hill – the bricks just add a nice finishing touch but are still low enough we can drive the golf cart on them.

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We purchased a 1998 Yamaha golf cart to get to the clubhouse and pool.  A rear seat and windshield were added to make it more accommodating.

Speaking of golf cart, we’d found one at the end of May and had “Dr.” Bob, the Klondike resident specializing in repairing and refurbishing golf carts, order and install a windshield and backseat for us.  Larry installed head and tail lights and finished off our cart with a patriotic wind sock and license plate – now we can tell our cart apart from the dozens of others here.  We were asked why we need a cart.  Most folks know we usually do a lot of walking, so why not get around the resort that way...  Klondike is spread out, up and down hills, with over seven miles of roads throughout the resort.  It’s about ¾ of a mile from our place to the clubhouse – a bit of a distance if you’re carrying a potluck dish or filling up our ice bucket or any reason that may require us to make frequent trips back to our site.  Much more economical to run the cart than the truck, and certainly less wear and tear on the truck.

But we are getting in daily walks, trying to cover about three miles every morning before it gets too warm.  Much of the walk is aerobic because of all the hills but we often stop to meet and talk to fellow Klondikers – sure hope there’s not a pop quiz on remembering all these names!

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We knew there were bears in the area but we did not expect to chase one up a tree.  This black bear wears "earrings" to note where the he was first tagged. In this case the bear was tagged in Connecticut in 2009.

Our walks are always invigorating, sometimes more so than expected.  The Berkshires has its share of wild critters – squirrels, black bear, fox, deer, and raccoons, to name a few.  We’ve lucked out and seen young black bears several times on our morning walks, one of which was less than twenty-five feet away.  Larry has been taking our camera with him and on this particular day, he got some great shots of what we suspect is a two-year old cub, scrambling up a tree, then playing peek-a-boo with us trying to decide which direction we were going.  After determining the cub was there solo, Larry took a couple of pictures, at which time we were joined by Cindy on her golf cart.  We asked if we could hitch a ride on long enough to get safely pass the little fella before we resumed our walk.  Twice we’ve seen a bear stroll between our site and our neighbor’s and another time, while stopped talking to some neighbors, one scooted across the road.  We certainly respect the bears and don’t feed them, although some of the Klondike residents have been asked not to.  They may not realize they are not only endangering themselves but also the bears that may be killed if they become a nuisance.  That would be a shame because the bears were here first.  

The folks at Klondike like to eat!  (More reason for our regular walks.)  During the Memorial Day through Labor Day season, there’s a fabulous all-you-can-eat breakfast at the clubhouse on Sunday mornings.  What a perfect way to start the day – good food, sitting poolside with friends.  In June, there were also scheduled dinners – potlucks, an invite out for pizza with several couples, the ladies’ only tea one afternoon – flowery hats and  white gloves not required but most attendees dressed up a bit more than usual while we enjoyed a variety of teas and scrumptious treats.  

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Ashley (shown with her parents, sister and grandmother) graduated from high school and will soon head to college.

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Tracy completed her associates degree and is now planning on starting her bachelor program.

During June, we attended two graduations – one for niece Ashley graduating from Waterbury Arts Magnet School and the second, sister-in-law Tracy getting her degree from Tunxis Community College.  We’re glad to be in the area for these special occasions.  

One perk to having our recently purchased Jayco Legacy fifth wheel here is that it has a sleep sofa (former owner Marie reminds us it’s called a ‘chesterfield’ in Canada), allowing us to have occasional overnight company.  Larry’s brother Brian and wife Bonnie, who were the site’s caretakers till we ‘evicted’ them earlier this year, joined us one weekend.  

Lucille’s brother Ray and family came up one Sunday and despite the wet weather, we enjoyed pizzas on the grill.  We also made a trip down to Cheshire, Connecticut, to take Larry’s mother out to lunch and shopping.  Our month went by pretty quickly between the site renovations and visits with family.

Until next month!


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