Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Working Girls

I don’t want you to think that my blog posts are becoming more infrequent because my new working schedule has overwhelmed my time or that the wilds of Idaho have made me forget about RVAGOGO.  In fact, it is because our 4G’s have shrunk to an abominable 1X and the bars have all but vanished into cyber hell.  There is 3G in Orofino, which is the closest town, but at 45 minutes away we don’t get there but once a week.

Opening day kind of made us sad since
we had to let other people into our wilderness paradise.
We are really getting a kick out of our work camping experience.  The deal is we work 30 hours a week (for the two of us) with four days on and four days off.  When I told my 90-year old Grandma that I was going back to “work” she exclaimed, “You are going to work and are not getting paid…what kind of job is that?”  Now this is coming from a woman who was widowed young with five kids and worked well into her 80’s – she is no stranger to hard work.  When I explained that we are working for in-kind payment in the form of our campsite and hookups, she seemed to approve. 

On our way to clean up a "mini camp" we found more
work that needed to be done in the form of removing an obstacle. 
Our days on are filled with virtually mindless, nonstressful tasks that run the gamut from trail maintenance, checking campsites for occupancy, cleaning fire pits, litter pickup, refurbishing horseshoe pits, cleaning restrooms, raking leaves, and whatever else we see that needs to be done.  There is total freedom as to what we do and when we do it.  Our hours pass by quickly and we frequently laugh at how nice it is to leave work with no stress or responsibility on our shoulders.  (Sorry to say that for all of you who are reading this at your desk.)  This job is certainly not going to add any more gray hairs to my head. 


The reservoir has 80 "mini camps" available for primitive camping.  This one we could drive
to so we set out to clean up the trash and fire pit.  Not a bad office!
So far the campers have been respectful and no trouble.  Well, except for the guy who parked his truck where he was not supposed to and the turkey hunters who were target shooting across the hiking trail.   But these minor infractions are not like the horror stories from years past when a hunter killed a deer and dressed it out in the bathroom…or the man who threatened to shoot his drunk neighbor because he didn't  like where he parked…or the two guys that stole the self check-in lock boxes for the pittance of money that was in it. 

Betsy did a terrific job blowing leaves and dirt from the roads.  Hope the campers appreciate her hard work!
The campground is on a first-come first-serve basis with self-check-in until late May when it will open for reservations.  Then, we will be working in the entrance station and handling the computer reservations.  This means we will have to have “training” and be learning a new skill since neither of us have used the NRRS system.  What a great resume builder!  Betsy can list it right under her PhD.  Let’s hope this system is no trouble because we don’t want any stress in our lives and want to be the cheerful smiling faces that campers see when they first drive into Dent Acres Campground.

Raising the flags at the entrance station - Betsy's soon-to-be new office.

Cleaning the kiosks while sporting my red Army Corp hoody.
Betsy attending a staff meeting with Ranger Brittney (in the green) and Chuck and Linda (the other work campers).
Now this is our kind of staff meeting!
Our work camping job will end in late June and we will be sorry to go...the time is flying by.


3 comments:

  1. I know you two are right at home there:) I think they will have their best camp hosts ever!

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  2. Looks like the perfect hosting job! I'll be watching for your posts as we may try camphosting some day. Thanks!

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  3. Your work is so challenging, indeed. But the thing is, you clearly enjoy every bit of it. Cheers!

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