Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Doing the Waskesiu shuffle in San Diego

When the kids were little we used to like to stay in Beaver Glen at Waskesiu because we could have campfires on that side.  In the trailer park we had full hookups whereas in Beaver Glen the best we had was electric but we could have a campfire.  One year I remember sending the kids off with 2 pails to refill the water tank so I know we didn’t have water hookups that year & I don’t remember ever having them except when we were out in the trailer section.

Even in Beaver Glen you had to know how to do the Waskesiu shuffle but it became particularly important as we started spending more time there without the kids.  You absolutely had to know the Waskesiu shuffle in order to stay in the trailer park for any length of time. In theory it was possible to make reservations in either Beaver Glen or the trailer park but in practice you might as well not have bothered.  We tried one year but it appeared that the minute the reservation line opened up some very determined people camped on the phone line until every possible site was booked.  And they had lists of relatives so that they could sequentially book the same site over the course of the summer.

What we eventually learned to do was to move into the trailer park in late June, before the summer rush hit.  There was a set percentage of the sites that were saved for first come first serve and if we went before the first of July weekend we could be certain of getting one of those non-reserved sites.  And then began the Waskesiu shuffle. 

We could only stay in one site for 3 consecutive weeks before we had to leave the park and re-enter it.  At that point, if the site we were previously occupying was still open, we could re-occupy it for another 3 week period.  If we were foolish enough to check out on a busy weekend there was a waiting list.  They actually handed out those little bits of numbered paper like they do in Canadian Tire at the (non)service desk.  So if you left on a busy weekend you could find yourself spending some time in Beaver Glen before you could move back into the trailer park. 

On the other hand, there was no penalty if you left early, before your 3 weeks were up.  They would refund your money in full for however many days you had left when you left early.  So the trick, or the Waskesiu shuffle, was to deliberately leave early.  You would simply wait for a quiet mid-week day at which point you would go tell the gate nazi that you wanted to check out and check back in.  They knew how the game was played too but they did insist that you left the park.  So you would throw your sewer, water & electric lines on the ground, roll up your awning, move the lawnchairs and BBQ out of the way, hook up and pull out the gate.  Then you would immediately re-enter on the other side of the guard house.  Marilyn would usually go up the lane to check to see if anybody was coming in before I made the quick exit and re-entry.

If you did the Waskesiu shuffle a couple of times over the course of the summer you could stay in the trailer park more or less indefinitely.  When we arrived here at Pio Pico it turned out that they have their own version of the shuffle.  This park only has sewer

connections in half of the sites.  In a similar fashion to the park at Morgan Hill they also only have one functioning sewer dump which would have made it a pain to dump if we had stayed in the site they initially assigned us. 

So this morning we made the rounds of the sewer side checking out all the sites where somebody was checking out.  There were 12 sites coming vacant and about half of them would have been suitable for us.  We made a rough list in order of

our preference and then waited in line for Pio Pico’s version of the shuffle.  They had a pretty well organized and fair system.  I was surprised at some of the sites that went first – 2 that we considered least suitable were the first picks of other (obviously less knowledgeable) campers.  Eventually we got down to only one that we thought we could accept and people kept not taking it.  Finally enough people still hadn’t taken our preferred site and our turn to pick came up so we took it. 

Other than getting moved we didn’t accomplish a whole lot today.  I did pull the outside dual on the curb side and take it to be fixed.  When it was raining so hard up in Ramona I took time off from cursing the rain to notice that I could hear a tire leaking.  On closer inspection it was obvious that I had a slow leak around the valve stem.  That tire has had a slow leak for over a month now & I have never been able to figure out where the leak was so the rain wasn’t all bad. 

When they took the tire apart today we could see that the hole around the valve stem insert had corroded badly.  A mere $44 and at most 10 minutes later they had a new valve stem installed.  I got the tire wrestled back onto the hub and torqued down and that was pretty well the end of my day. 

Yesterday we were parked next to a 1956 Flxible.  I spoke briefly to the guy who owned it and got directions to a tire shop but those directions turned out to be worse than useless, thereby confirming my opinion of Flx owners.

While I was fixing the tire Marilyn tracked down the laundromat and figured out the local system.  This place has some bizarre laundry system that involves selling us a card that we won’t be able to use anywhere else and will no doubt have lost long before we come back here.  The card was only 2 bucks and it would cost much more than that to make a point by going elsewhere so she swallowed her pride and coughed up the 2 bux. Mind you, she had to pre-load the card with money and the money machine only takes increments of $5 and the machines take $1.75 so the scam continues.  I think we’ll stop somebody on the way out and sell them the card.  At least at Waskesiu we could have gone to Julie’s laundromat – Wash-ka-soo.

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