Current Location: Chester, CA
We survived the last crazy weekend of the season. It really wasn't all that bad; maybe we've just become accustomed to it. The arrivals on Friday night straggled in, starting around 2pm and lasting until sometime after 10pm. We were in the store until about 9:30pm, at which time we left Dez to handle the rest. When we drove by for security rounds at 10:00, she was still there, but thankfully was gone by 11:00 when we returned.
Today, most everyone departed and we are now back to the peace and solitude. I know it's not good for business, but I sure do prefer the campground like this. However, I also realize that if it was always like this, we wouldn't be here since they wouldn't be able to afford us. So I guess we should be thankful that it was a busy summer.
We still have 3 weeks of work left. Holy cow, only 3 more weeks?? Could that really be true? There's a lot of work still to be done to prepare the campground for closure (it closes Oct 10). In addition, the other workamper couple with whom we worked this summer departed this afternoon. So we will also be picking up some of their slack. The store will become very quiet and the shifts will probably drag by; but the grounds will be busy and those days will no doubt fly by. As we have done throughout the summer, we will split our time between the two. And I'm sure before we realize, our 3 weeks will be up and it will be time to hitch up and hit the road.
I find myself with very mixed feelings about that. I'll be sad to leave, but excited for the next adventure. Once again, I find myself feeling anxious about the unknown. Excited, but also a little scared. We've come to know this as home and soon we will have to say good-bye. A lot of the same feelings we had in April are resurfacing. I wonder, will it always be like this after an extended stay?
All in all, it's been a great first summer. We worked hard, but also found a lot of time for playing. There were moments of frustration and we hit a period in mid-summer when we were feeling weary. But I think that is normal. We managed to find a second wind and it felt like our attitudes were adjusted overnight. I don't know exactly what caused our perspective to change; perhaps we just realized how lucky we are to live our dream! How many people in this world can really say that?
From our perspective, this season was a huge success. Not only did we get along well with the owners and our coworkers, but we bonded with quite a few of the campers as well. There are many regulars who come here every year. Some rent a site for the season, others just make it up for a few weekends a year. But we made friends with many of them and will depart with a handful of email addresses and phone numbers so that we can stay in touch over the winter. It really warmed our hearts to be embraced so quickly and strongly.
Before our arrival, I frequently said that what will make or break this experience will be the people. We had a good idea of what type of work we would be doing and were pretty certain we could handle that aspect of it. But as with most situations, if you surround yourself with good people, then even the worst situations are bearable. We get along pretty well with most people and can tolerate almost anyone, so we were pretty certain that we would be able to last the 4 months we committed to. But we didn't want to just get through it. We didn't want an experience where we were counting down the days and longed for the end. Been there, done that. We wanted a happy and memorable experience. We got all that we wished for and much, much more. And it's mostly because of the people (ok, the location and the bald eagles weren't so bad either!). It's hard for me to believe that future workamping gigs will be as special.
As our season winds down, I find myself reflecting frequently on the last 4 months. We have learned so much, both about running a campground and about ourselves. We are starting to get a better sense about what our full-timing life might look like, at least for the next couple of years. I will be sharing a lot of this over the next few weeks. I haven't blogged as much as I had hoped to this summer, but I have a feeling that I might make up for some of that in the near future. So stay tuned!
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