Retiree a fixture at Maple Canyon campground

By Mark Johnston

Daily Herald

Published: Sunday, Sept. 2 2012 8:00 p.m. MDT

"It's getting harder as I get older," Whitney said, admitting it takes him a little longer to get the work done than it did three years ago.

He frequently gets help from local Boy Scout troops and other volunteers.

"I'm a firm believer that if you get volunteers, use 'em," he said. "It takes a lot of work off my shoulders."

With or without the help, Whitney wouldn't give it up. He enjoys the work, enjoys his trailer, enjoys the simplicity of it all.

"It's simple, it's easy. Most expensive thing is keeping gas in this generator so I can watch my John Wayne movies," he said, showing off a collection of DVDs including some of his favorites — "Green Berets" and "Chisum."

If he's not enjoying a good movie, he's working his way through a stack of used books picked up from the book exchange in Spanish Fork.

"Usually by six or seven o'clock I'm plugged into a movie or reading a book," he said.

The 17-foot trailer is a bit small, and one day he hopes to upgrade if even by just a few feet. But it seems that's a lot of money and a long way off.

Still, Whitney seems comfortable in the old trailer, shaded from sun and sheltered from wind by a nice canopy of trees, a comfortable mattress to sleep on, a table to eat and work at and plenty of friendly neighbors coming and going from all over the world.

The best part of living in the trailer is that come the end of the season, "Just hook onto it and," Whitney whistled, pointing down the winding road to the valley below, "down the canyon I go."

By the time September rolls around he's usually looking forward to leaving, but by that time he's also signed the papers to come back the following year.

While he'd initially planned on only signing up as camp host for a single season, just to say he had the experience, Whitney is working his seventh year and planning on doing the same next spring. The winter he'll spend down in the valley, maybe in Nephi.

"Home is where the trailer is now," he said.

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