Original plans were to stay east of the Mississippi this year and do the Carolina Renaissance Festival with Julie in the fall, but after a couple weeks of job searching it became pretty obviously that I wasn’t going to find any summer jobs in the area that were in an interesting location and earned enough money to be able to take the time off for fest. So starting over two weeks ago I expanded the search and started sending applications and resumes to several of the big outfits out West.
After a lot of silence, I heard back from three places Wednesday afternoon and quickly set up interviews. Lake Powell (Aramark) was on Thursday, and Yellowstone (Delaware North) and the Badlands (Forever Resorts) were on Friday. All three places made me an offer right after their respective interviews which put me in the unusual but interesting position of having options for what to do this summer.
I started writing a post about Xanterra, Delaware North Companies, Aramark, and the other companies who have concierge contracts at the big National Parks out west, as many of these places have RV spots on site and pay for part of the site cost in addition to offering an hourly wage for a full-time position. In that post I’ll be talking about the application and interview process, job expectations, pay, and what cost of living looks like, but I figured for now just giving everyone a personal update on what’s happening was best.
After the last interview I had a matter of hours to make a decision, and it was a tough one. Yellowstone was weeded out because it was the most expensive of the options, in that it would cost the most gas to get to being the farthest away, would give me the least amount of savings per month since the site and food plans were more money compared to the hourly wage, and would be the farthest from the closest Amazon warehouse once the season was done.
The pros and cons for Utah and South Dakota were so close that in the end I literally flipped a coin, how’s that for a decision making process? As I posted on Facebook on Friday, all three places are in locations I find very beautiful and perhaps next summer I’ll try one of the other two.
The pre-travel giddiness is taking hold now. It’s nice to have plan in place for the summer. There is a lot to get done in the next three weeks, I gave my two-week notice at Lowe’s on Saturday and now I have only a few days off to get Cas travel ready again as this coming weekend I’ll be in Myrtle Beach for the wedding of two friends of mine and the weekend after that I’ll be at Kings Mountain park on the NC/SC border with some other friends to have one last hurrah before I’m gone from the area for a while again.
The last time I was at the Badlands was on a family road trip when I was 14 years old, half a lifetime ago. I remember looking for fossils and bones and hiking and having a lot of fun, and now that I’m older and a bit more patient I think I’ll enjoy it even more this summer. The picture for this post was one I stole from the internet, but I look forward to taking a lot of pictures myself when I get there.
I’ll be working at a gift shop, all three interviews were for retail positions as I have a lot of experience and skill there. More details about the job itself and the campground will follow, but it also sounds like there are shuttles from the Lodge for employees to other attractions in the area like Mount Rushmore, and that’ll be pretty neat too.
Okay, back to work with me. More details to come as time permits. Have a good week all!
Image courtesy of daveynin