Camper in snow
“PLAN A ….”
My February 1st blog mentioned 3 plans for Spring/Summer 2018. Plan C was really no plan at all. If things were such that we couldn’t leave we were to stay put. NOT GOOD. Not sure how we could arrange (or minimize) living expenses, but Plan B was a viable option. (I bought several books on how to live CHEAPLY out of a camper). And thank God for youtube,com! My wife knows how I think …and that scares her (LOL). Plan B included visiting friends and relatives between Maine and Texas. This plan did have the advantage of spending most of a Maine’s summer (arguably, the BEST time of Maine) with family and friends…and I could still do my fall job of football. Then Plan A came up …
Plan A – a plan that required ingenuity, risk-taking, and a sense of adventure! A plan that could minimize expense and/or compliment the adventure with an income. An Indiana Jones kind of thing! Wait! Let’s back up a bit: I’m the kind of person that learns from a combination of book smarts coupled with personal experience (future blog fodder). The latter can sometimes cause some issues but the learning often sticks with you. Having traveled out to Minnesota (my maiden voyage with the brand new camper!), smaller trips in Maine and twice to South Carolina, I feel pretty confident about hauling 7000 lbs behind my F150. So, back to Plan A…
I secured a job working at the world’s 1st National Park. Never been there (but Minnesota is 2/3 of the way; so, close). With my professional experience in physical education, coaching, and recreation along with leadership roles in public education, Yellowstone National Park (YNP) had the perfect job for me. I also had several personal experiences that certainly would help me land the job. I was an experienced grunt from the Army (Mountain Infantry). Maine also gave me many opportunities for wilderness camping. And finally, my 3 month tour with my son across the Southwest, sleeping on the ground and getting many miles on a bicycle rounded off my resume.
on a bike in San Diego
How did the opportunity come about? It started back last March. After accompanying my son on his trek across the United States, I returned home for an adventure across the seas! Well, mother nature saw otherwise. A titanic snowstorm rolled in on the day my wife and I were to head out for Hawaii. The whole East coast was shut down! So, what do you do on a snowy day waiting for the storm to slow down? Watch youtube videos of course. And one was on Yellowstone; more to the point, working in Yellowstone. On a whim, I went online and applied for a job (for year 2018). I got a call 2 days later … to make a long story short, I declined because they wanted me in the summer of 2017. So, fast-forward to October… I re-applied. On January 2nd, the director of programs emailed me …and the ball was rolling!
The interview happened on Monday, January 22nd. And the call came in on January 25th! I was offered the job! Big decision for my wife and I but we had already talked about it… And we would take it if it didn’t require her to work (later, she would rescind that requirement), and they allowed us to bring our camper. IT IS A GO! Deb does not have to work and they secured a spot for my 30’ “Campah”!
So, on May 25th, I start my new job as Recreation Director at Grant Village. The position is one that has me leading outdoor activities (hiking, nature walks, etc.) and running intramurals for the 200+ employees of Grant Village. Most of the skills I need I already have. However, not ALL the skills… I need to learn how NOT to become a meal for a grizzly. Also, I must acclimatize. Grant Village is almost 8000’ above sea level (ASL). The new adventure awaits!
All in the fantastic playground of a place called Yellowstone!
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Coming Soon!!! Youtube channel with movies of the adventures!