Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Location, Location, Location

In many ways life the last couple of weeks has been fairly routine. We went to work each day; came home each evening; seemed to go out again most nights for one thing or another; and spent time seeing friends and family. Joan says "We are always doing something. We are hardly ever at home" and I agree. We both like it that way. When we grow up we want to be like Florence.

Our friend Florence (89 and counting)
Florence always says she'll sit down to read or watch TV when she gets too old to go places and do things. She lives near Boston and still walks several miles a week. I'm playing softball a couple nights a week; Joan and I both workout at the gym 2-3 times a week; and we have started a gentle yoga class.

In addition to our normal routine we also hosted Thanksgiving at the lake for a group of 40. Joan is the oldest of 7 and her dad is also 1 of 7. Between brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, 2nd, 3rd, and "to infinity and beyond" cousins there is a large community of her family close to us. My family put up a 9 spot of participants, hers the balance. It was great. Weather was in the low 70's with a brisk breeze. everyone spent most of the time outside.

My Over 50 softball team The Kardiac Kids participated in and won our monthly tournament the weekend before Thanksgiving (we won all 4 games; came back from an 18-4 deficit in the first game to win and had to score 22 runs in the last 2 innings of the last game to win; we scored over 100 runs in 4 games).

And Joan and I have been actively researching workamping opportunities; We submitted applications with several workamping organizations and individual campgrounds with job openings throughout most of the western states. Last week we received two emails asking if we would be interested in camp hosting positions; one just outside Yosemite National Park and the other near Mt Hood. We contacted the operations managers of both opportunities to discuss specifics. Both positions sounded great and we felt comfortable accepting either opportunity. We talked about it, slept on it and finally decided on Location, Location, Location. I called the operations manager in Oregon and we have accepted the position just outside Mt Hood National Park. YAHOO! Our first workamping job! We are really excited! And scared!

We have a call scheduled next week to discuss the details; when, what, etc. Until then we are trying to keep from over-reacting. We think we know what we're getting into but you just never know until you go out and do it. The normal 9-5 may not be everyone's perfect job, but it does have its merits: regular paychecks, benefits, and usually a routine you can count on. Workamping will be a whole new ballgame for both of us. We've always lived in Florida (so where do we pick for our first opportunity? About as far away and different from Florida as you can get in the continental US!). We have a good friend in Washington, but both of our families are spread across the southeast. Look out Skype, here we come!

We're thinking that we'll need to wrap up our normal jobs early to mid March in order to be in Oregon by the 1st or 2nd week in April to start orientation. We don't want to rush to Oregon in 'Vacation Mode' traveling 400-500 miles a day. It's approximately 3300 miles from here to there so if we keep it at 150-250 miles a day, that will still take 2-3 weeks of travel if we don't stop to visit or see the sights along the way. Our original thoughts about a workamping lifestyle were driven by a desire to slow down and experience new things. We might as well start off on the right foot by taking our time.

Location, location, location.....that's something we expect to change regularly from now on. There are a lot of locations that we want to see and explore. And workamping will allow us to do just that!


  1. Congratulations on the workcamping job. 22 runs in two innings? Can you guys tryout for the KC Royals, they could use the help! We hope to meet up with you somewhere out west. Enjoy the ride!

  2. Congratulations! We lived in Oregon for over 30 years. It's beautiful. You will love discovering the Columbia River Gorge with its waterfalls and hikes, Silver Falls State Park with 11 waterfalls you can hike to in one day, most on one loop trail, Portland which is a very comfortable, larger-sized city...so little time so much to do.

    Which campground will you be working at? Be sure to have plenty of warm clothes and rain gear.

    Our best to you in your new workamping position. I'm sure you'll keep us posted on your adventures.