Three Calls from Wyoming

Julie examines the caboose on display in Llano, TX.

Julie examines the caboose on display in Llano, TX.

Some of you might be wondering what I’m doing with all of my free time these days, only putting in 12-14 hours a week at Enchanted Rock. Seeing the sights around Texas? Exploring every inch of the park? Kicking back in my camp chair and reading in the sun?

Well, something like that.

While my Facebook page must have my friends convinced that I live an enchanted life (pun intended), full of frivolous activities, I’m actually doing a lot of work.

Cherie and Chris over at Technomadia wrote a post a few days ago about how the work/play balance is a tricky thing to master as a working-age RVer, a subject I’ve written about in the past myself. And this week, it couldn’t be more true.

When I arrived here in Texas I had four big things I needed to get done in addition to all of the fun-time adventuring I would like to do. I needed to release my e-guide, I needeed to line up a summer job, I needed to “move” to Texas, and I needed to do my taxes.

And progress is being made!

The e-guide is all written. It’s about 90% of the way through final edits. Yes, this project has been over two years in the making, and I can finally say, with no small satisfaction, that it’ll be out soon. Soooooon. And I can’t wait to share it with you all! More details to come.

And Wednesday (and part of Tuesday) I worked my butt off to get 13 applications with six different National Park concessionaires out for the summer season. Yesterday I interviewed with two of those companies in Wyoming, both went well. Today the third contacted me.

If you’re wondering what I mean when I say ‘concessionaire’, check out this post I wrote in 2013 about working in National Parks. I’m not going to bore you all with the details this time as I’ve explained it all in the past, except to say that a fair bit of thought (and math) needs to go into choosing which opportunity to go with as a budget-conscious traveler. The job with the highest hourly wage is not necessarily the highest paying, and many of these full-time hours but minimum wage summer positions barely earn enough to cover the cost of traveling to and living there.

On that note, I would like to send my sincerest thanks and gratitude to all of you who contribute to IO through PayPal donation, and do your Amazon shopping using my affiliate link. Because of your support, I can take opportunities in locations that I couldn’t afford if I didn’t have that extra income coming in. In 2013, I turned down an opportunity in Yellowstone because I estimated I would only be able to break even on the deal, where at the Badlands I’d be able to save $150 or so a month. This year, I’m going to be able to work at Yellowstone because of You, that really means a lot to me.

Where was I? Oh yes, being productive.

In between the applications Wednesday I also set up an appointment to get Cas’ water heater replace finally (yay!), and did a phone interview with a lady writing an article for Yahoo Travel about full-timers. She asked me about what my dating life is like as a single nomad, and I told her. I really hope that doesn’t come back to bite me in the you-know-what.

But! Now the pendulum has swung the other way, and it was time for a little of that relaxation that us RVers have such a reputation for. Today Julie and I drove down to Garner State Park to do some hiking and met up with someone from RVillage who is park hosting down there for the TPWD. It was a good day at Garner State Park, once I can get the pictures onto the computer I’ll be posting about it.

So whatever challenges have been presented to you this week, I hope you all find some time for a little R&R of your own this weekend. Like an RV, people also need to recharge their batteries now and then.

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Becky

Forget about what the world tells you your life should be like. At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and go full-time RVing before retirement. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

24 Comments

  1. Ed @ Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets on February 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    You are absolutely going to love working at Yellowstone for that organization. And if you are at Old Faithful and possibly IN the Lodge, you will have died and gone to heaven. Your time of will be spectucular as well, whether throughout the park, or south into the Tetons. Whohoo!!

    As an aside, just out of curiosity, what about your resume got you the job. Specific education? Past “park” experience?

    Can’t wait for your e-guide.



    • Becky on February 17, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Yeah Ed it’ll be good fun if I end up working there! Even if I don’t end up at Old Faithful though, I’ll enjoy it I’m sure.

      I would think for these kind of jobs past park experience would matter more than specific education (I have two Associate’s degrees, neither related directly to this kind of work). One thing that I’m sure helps me, I put a lot of time and detail into every single application I fill out, and tweak my resume and cover letter for ever specific job, no generic stuff.

      And thanks, I can’t wait to share it with you. πŸ™‚



  2. Jodee Gravel on February 9, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Looking forward to the eguide! I think your experience would make it possible to choose your spot now so I hope you hold out for the best ones πŸ™‚ Glad you’re still enjoying the wilds of Texas.
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..First Post From the First Day in Our First RigMy Profile



    • Becky on February 9, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      You made it, congrats Jodee! Just read about your first day on the road.

      I’m glad that you took the service center and site stealing setbacks in stride, there will be a fair bit of that ahead on your new adventure and the best thing you can do is laugh about it and move on. The idyllic morning sunrises over lakes will make it all worth it. πŸ™‚

      And Cheetos for dinner, I laughed at that. Safe travels and happy trails. πŸ™‚



  3. Rene Kipp on February 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    We visited Yellowstone a few years back. We had just one day in the park due to other obligations. It is beautiful and I’m glad you’ll be able to spend time there. Old Faithful was quite the site.
    Rene Kipp recently posted..It’s Gone Forever…My Profile



    • Becky on February 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Only one day, that’s a shame Rene and I hope you get the chance to go back once you and your husband have your RV! I went as a teenager with my family and I remember Old Faithful being pretty, we only had a day or two there ourselves.



  4. Dave on February 8, 2015 at 10:26 am

    My wife does most of our shopping on Amazon, so she never thinks to use your link. Gonna have to teach her. Texas to Yellowstone? Just curious how many miles you have on your truck. We just can’t wait to be doing some traveling as you are. Cheers!



    • Becky on February 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Texas to Yellowstone will be about 1,300 miles, I always look this stuff up when I’m job searching to figure out how much each job would cost me to get to. πŸ™‚

      Bertha had 87k miles when I bought her. She’s at 144k now, I’ve had a good $2000 in maintenance and repairs on her in the past year and really cannot predict how much longer she’ll last, but keeping up on the fixes and maintenance means she’s still reliable and runs well. She hasn’t left me stranded yet!

      Best of luck to you and your wife getting on the road Dave, and thank you for making the switch to my Amazon link. Every little bit helps!



  5. Jan Hoesly on February 7, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Your cousin Ron and family will be visiting Yellowstone in late July . It would be great if you could connect! Happy trails.



    • Becky on February 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      That would be nice Jan! Once I know more about where I’ll be at in the park and what my schedule will be, it’ll go up on here.



  6. dawn from camano island on February 7, 2015 at 7:21 am

    You’ve been busy, Becky! I admire your planning, logistical skills & the great care, thought you give to your decisions & the fact that you’re living your dream! ^5! I’m looking forward to hearing more about your e-guide. Super cool that you’ve already begun getting interviews for the summer–your dream summer gig is just around the corner. Have a good day there in the land of state-shaped grills…have never seen that before!



    • Becky on February 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      It took me a while to figure out what ^5 meant, but I got it now, haha.

      Yeah the summer job is all decided actually, sales associate for the Yellowstone Association, it’s a non-profit educational organization. Not sure which location I’ll be at yet inside the park, likely right at Old Faithful inside the educational building.

      And thanks, it was a busy day full of directing traffic (got up to 70 again) but luckily not so busy that we needed to shut the park down. That’s always a plus. πŸ™‚



      • dawn from camano island on February 7, 2015 at 9:49 pm

        The Yellowstone Association does great work–and dang! Right outside Old Faithful! You’ll love being associated with them! The park is crazy busy during the summer but I’m guessing you’ll love it! Huh. I thought it was gonna be the Badlands.

        There must’ve been a lot of happy folks out at the park today–I have never heard of a place with those kinds of parking problems. Bue hey, at least the park isn’t being loved to death.



        • Becky on February 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm

          Yeah I’ve heard it’s really busy, but I kinda like it like that – makes the day go faster. I did Badlands two years ago, so I wouldn’t go back, I like seeing something new every year. πŸ™‚



  7. Dwayne on February 7, 2015 at 3:25 am

    Hi Becky:
    Have you considered one of those oil rig guard positions down there in Texas. I heard they pay about $150 a day. Boring as all get out, but a way to build up your “slush” fund. Would not be really able to do any sight-seeing, but for a month long job that would be over $4000.



    • Becky on February 7, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      I have peeked at them before Dwayne. The vast majority of them require two people because they’re 24 hour deals and a security license of some sort, but maybe one day. πŸ™‚



  8. Jeff on February 7, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Becky,

    I recommend a trip to Colorado Bend SP west of Lampassas. Spicewood Canyon trail is one the most scenic hiking trails in all of Texas. The trail to Gorman Falls is boring and rocky but the view of the water going over a porous limestone cliff facing north which creates a unique environment of outdoor stalagmites covered in greenery is worth the trip.

    I agree with Old Fat Man. East loop trail at Lost Maples State Park is a 5 mile trail. Great scenery along the trail and once on the ridge great views of the Texas Hill Country.

    Pedernales Falls SP is worth a visit.

    Jeff



    • Becky on February 7, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks for the tips Jeff! I’ll add them to the list.



  9. gumo on February 6, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    I have a feeling that Texas is not going to want to let go of you and your nomad and working lifestyle so prepare yourself for a lot of opportunities and reasons you should stay in the Lone Star State for a while.

    Yellowstone sounds great for a summer job but make plans to return to Texas for winter.
    gumo recently posted..Conclusion…My Profile



    • Becky on February 6, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      We’ll see Gumo, it’s far too early to plan for next winter. πŸ™‚



  10. Old Fat Man on February 6, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    If you haven’t seen Lost Maples SP, it is worth to trip in my opinion.



    • Becky on February 6, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      It’s on the list!



  11. Tom Dunn on February 6, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Sue & I are planning a trip to Wyoming in mid June. Made reservations at Colter Bay on Jackson Lake. We’ll also drive to Yellowstone. At the risk of sounding creepy, we were at Zion last summer. Just coincidence I promise!!



    • Becky on February 6, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Haha! I giggled Tom, with how fast you responded to this post I could almost believe you and Sue were stalking me. πŸ˜‰



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