It has been a whirlwind of activity; both work and play since mid May. I parked my home at Red Bridge campground on May 15 to work as a camp host on the Mt. loop in the Mt Baker- Snoqualmie National Forest. Little did I know this job that I had been anticipating and looking forward to would be short lived; 7 weeks to be exact. As a work camper I would have 2 jobs for the season and 2 way different experiences.
I landed the camp host job in January 2019 at ‘The big tent’ where 100’s of vendors from all over the country to sell their wares and many employers come to recruit people for summer jobs. Fun! California land management hired me to manage 14 campsites. https://www.clm-services.com/
My beautiful home was situated next to a beautiful crystal clear river.. Free! No rent! My kind of home. Way before May rolled around I visualized and got excited thinking about my surroundings.
25 hours a week, $12 an hour.. my responsibilities included checking in guests who had reserved on line, collecting camp fees for the (4) walk-in sites, selling firewood, sprucing up the campsites once campers pulled out, reconciling the money collected each week with the manager and least favorite job.. cleaning 2 pit toilets 2-3 times a day. Check out the 5 week camp host series in the playlists of Serene and Simple life channel if you like.. Day ll – Sat. and wrapping up the weekend https://YouTu.be/f83V3YVhRfk
It was an exhilarating, fun and serene job. Definitely something I had never done before! I managed my own time clock (without the clock!), felt independent of bosses and free.. unlike most side jobs I’ve experienced in my life.. no one micromanaging me, telling me what to do or when.
I’d most likely do it all over again except after 7 short weeks the mice took over and ran me out of town.
God provided me a ‘back up’ plan back in January. I had met with HR from Ruby’s Inn In Bryce Canyon City. They offered me a job as their first car camper after convincing the board that this was the wave of the future.
Though it sounded great; my sense of loyalty kicked in as I had already accepted a job with California land management. Kara from HR told me to call her if it didn’t work out. Okay great; but I couldn’t imagine it not ‘working out!’
1150 miles away.. on my way to Utah! Though not so fast.. the manager of Ruby’s Inn General store where I would be working told me I could take my time and whenever I chose to arrive was cool by her!
With a much needed ‘regrouping’ time after the mouse escapade I decided to add 5 more National parks to my growing list of already visited. Mt Rainer was my first park as I exited Washington, next Glacier National Park in Montana, Grand Tetons, Wyoming; finishing off my 2 week vacation in Colorado; visiting Rocky Mountain and Mesa Verde National parks. Definitely a whirlwind of activity and sightseeing!
I arrived in Bryce Canyon city on July 15.. a significant date.. 10 months full time on the road as a car dweller. 9am Monday morning I met with HR and filled out my paperwork. Tuesday morning started training for the ‘retail clerk’ position. Easy and fun.. retail and food service being my back up ‘make ends meet’ job for 45 years.
This second of the seasonal jobs was 40 hours a week, beautiful back drop with friendly, happy guests from all over the world. No mice.. awe.. very nice!
Here are the ‘Pros and Cons’ of 2 way different ‘seasonal jobs’ (on Serene and Simple life channel as well) https://YouTu.be/ADvrOJ-5Dj8
Camp host outside Granite Falls on the loop in the Snoqualmie National Forest and Retail Clerk at Ruby’s Inn Bryce Canyon National Park
PROS and Cons of both combined .. (reference camp host job first then retail clerk job second in bullets)
- beautiful site.. next to a river.. serenity at it’s finest.. second job -nice site near restrooms and showers though not private
- $12 an hour with a free site as opposed to Ruby’s- $8 an hour with $100 a month taken out of paycheck for a site at Ruby’s Inn
- No WiFi or cell.. had to drive 17 miles for a signal.. rough on business as a digital nomad! Ruby’s- good WiFi and signal as well as places to hangout indoors (common area near pool) to do work
- My own boss, 25 hours a week scheduled however I chose, 40 hours a week at Ruby’s to make up for the loss in pay!
- Lots of responsibilities with money handling of guests, needed to answer ?’s and police vehicles coming in even if ‘off duty’ sign up.. Ruby’s- work 6:45am – 2:45pm – 8 hours then done for day!
- Rain rain and more rain first few weeks of both jobs.. difference was I was indoors working at Ruby’s
- Isolated.. made friends with campers then by myself majority of time vs new friends at Ruby’s could connect with socially a bit
- No showers.. $6 for 5 minutes, 17 miles away.. Ruby’s- 1 minute walk and free!
- Bathroom duty with 2 vault toilets 3 times a day.. gross! Ruby’s- easy salesperson job!
- Uniform that was men cut pants and tuck in dreary polo shirt vs Ruby’s- colorful t shirt and any bottoms (including jeans or shorts) of our choice
- Mice vs no mice!