Since our last blog post we have been asked what’s it like being a work camper. I (Jennifer) worked at the largest campground within Grand Teton National Park so this was our life during those two months:
*Amazing mountain views…. everyday
*Endless hiking trails
*Wildlife, everywhere! Bears, foxes, elk, moose, bison, pica, wolves, mule deer, eagles, osprey…..
*All the customers are HAPPY because they are on vacation (ok, 99% are happy as there is always that one person that isn’t)
*Being in a beautiful place makes people friendly-customers and co-workers
*Quick commute. My commute was a 3 minute walk. So, that means more sleep too!
*Sometimes you get tips and free food! Repeat customers treated us to breakfast, ice cream sandwiches when it was hot out and hot chocolate when it was chilly.
Ok, now the down to Earth facts:
*Tourist are everywhere obviously so one must have patience for answering the same questions over and over.
*Tourist drove s-l-o-w because they need to. Wonder if they miss seeing wildlife because they went the speed limit or missed that overlook turnoff? That would just be horrible.
*Work campers are paid slightly above minimum wage BUT you get full time hours, a cheap place to park an RV, free electricity, free laundry, a discount at the
gift shop, and lots of free activities (boat tours, kayaks rentals, whitewater rafting, horseback rides….)
*Job is easy but repetitive. You say the same thing over and over and over again.
*Cell phone service is spotty and you have wi-if but you are sharing it with all the employees.
*You can get caught up in the little area you are in and realize it’s been almost a week since you drove or went outside the park.
*Amenities like the grocery store are not a quick drive. It was almost an hour to drive to Jackson to go grocery shopping and the choices are pretty limited. But between 4 grocery stores and K-mart, we made it work. Luckily, we had mail service so we did a bunch of on-line ordering, thank you Target and Amazon Prime for free shipping! Oh, but that hour drive was beautiful!
*Dealing with tourons (tourist plus moron equals touron). They think because they are on vacation they can do stupid things, like getting close to a bear is just fine (suppose to be 100 yards from a bear), letting the kids drive the scooter while they eat ice cream is also so safe.
Best questions asked by tourists:
Q: What is the white stuff on the mountains? A: That would be snow
Q: Are there whales in Jackson Lake? A: No, there are not since it’s a lake and not an ocean
Q: What time do you let the bears out? A: They are wild animals and not in a zoo so they go everywhere and anywhere they want.
Q: What time do you feed the animals? A: Again, they are wild so they eat when they want to eat.
Q: Can we drive up to the Grand Teton? A: No, you have to hike. That was always followed by a sigh and disappointment.
Q: Can we use our satellite tv? A: Yes but you might actually want to check out the park and not just sit inside watching tv.
Q: Can you give me the best camping spot? A: Sure, you and the other 500 people that asked all get the best spot.
Q: What National Park are we in? A: Grand Teton.
Q: Are we at a KOA campground ? A: No, you are at a campground within the National Park.
So, are we going to be work campers again? Yes, absolutely!! But ask us when or where and the answer is I don’t know, maybe Grand Teton again, maybe not, just ask me later……