Farewell FOY, Hello Workamping Summer

We left Fountain of Youth last Saturday for our workamping summer gig, and headed straight to the coast. Just in time for the California poppy bloom!

California Poppies on our way to summer workamping job
The California Poppies are giving a show this year!

After enduring a week of near triple-digit daily temperatures out in the desert, the cool Northern California coast climate is a shock to the system.

Niland CA running Fountain of Youth
It’s hot hot hot in the California desert!

There’s something about leaving the comfort and routine of a location that shakes up your world. Everything is different. Figuring our way through it is a never-ending puzzle. Sometimes it’s frustrating. But this lifestyle is a constant learning opportunity.

You never know what to expect around the bend.

trail running with mud and Altra shoes
FOY Trails are always full of surprises!

This kind of sudden change just makes me feel more alive. Despite some unpleasant surprises like an electrical issue in the RV, I’m digging every minute of it. The situation is the boss once again, reminding us that we are just minions in this crazy game called life.

Denny's Speedway Rock Art Fountain of Youth
Takin’ a walk on Denny’s Speedway at FOY

Living, Working, and Dreaming Around COVID

Despite Covid creeping into every aspect of our life over winter, we had a great time at our usual spot out in the desert. I got some dog sitting in, and it was sooo nice. Riley is an awesome, rare breed of German Shepherd. She’s mellow but spunky, friendly but not overbearing. Active but has an off-switch.

Awesome German Shepherd Riley Rae
Awesome Riley!

It made my winter to have a dog around for a few days. This dawg is exactly what I want in our next pup.

Awesome German Shepherd Riley Rae
Can someone clone her for us?

Even better though are her humans, Martha and Ralph. Nearly 13 years ago their three-legged Shepherd named Codie Rae brought us together, and we’ve been friends ever since. They’re RVers now too. It was a blast to hang out in the warm (often windy) desert sunshine. Covid can’t take that away!

Oaktown Pack Reunion in the Desert
Best friends, best dawgs. Always.

We even had a full moon memorial service for our dogs, collectively known as The Oaktown Pack. Now the ghosts of Codie Rae, Travis Ray, and Austin Ray are part of Wyatt Ray’s memorial spot too.

Oaktown Pack Reunion in the Desert
The Oaktown Pack’s Spirit Lives On

Of course I’m gonna miss my family.

Being able to see my sister, mom and extended family more often than usual was nice.

Sis, Mom, & Me

Mom is doing great as a solo gal, thanks to all that my sister is doing to keep mom busy and engaged. I also dog sat my sister’s crazy Doodle, Marlo. She’s a good girl.

Crazy Doodle Dog Marlo

Then there was a reunion with my glamorous friend from L.A., Monina. She and I used to dance on American Bandstand in the late ’80s. If you’re reading this blog you’re probably old enough to remember Saturday mornings with Dick Clark. Yeah, that was us. She danced well enough for Soul Train, but I sure didn’t (and still don’t)!

Fun times thirty years after American Bandstand!

We had some good times in Hollywood and L.A., living la vida loca at the clubs. One reason I never wanted kids was because I was afraid they’d do the crazy things I did back then! My mom surviving my teenage years in L.A. is proof of her strength.

Denny's Speedway Fountain of Youth Rock Art
This will be the summer of sitting still

Summer workamping and staying in one place is the only thing to do this year.

Now that we’re back on the road, this lifestyle is a shock to our bank account. Have you seen the fuel prices in California?

“Topping Off” has never been so painful.

We’ve got a long ass drive ahead to get to our summer workamping job in Portland. I’m sad that the Trans Canada Highway adventure has to wait, but we work too hard to flush so much money down the toilet. Record setting fuel prices require extraordinary measures. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited at the thought of staying in one place all summer.

8 thoughts on “Farewell FOY, Hello Workamping Summer”

  1. I feel for you with the summer fuel prices. We had a 5,000 mile trip planned this last month and cancelled due to rising fuel costs. We did do a smaller trip with just the truck; not nearly as much fun. All of our summer camping will be close to home.

    • Marie, I’m glad we aren’t the only ones thinking like this. I flip-flopped about our decision for a while! Well, close to home camping can be just as much fun too, so enjoy! Thanks for sharing.

  2. You danced on American Bandstand?!?! Gurl, such hidden depths! Who knew!
    It was SO good to see you and Jim after so long! Spending time with you and getting back to the desert was amazing. Finally got to see my palm oasis! Woot! Being able to reunite the OP was so very special, thank you for sharing Wyatt’s beautiful memorial with us. And Riley is just as smitten with you as you are with her 🙂 Too bad she has 4 legs, eh? Otherwise she is perfect 😉

  3. American Bandstand! Git outta here! Monina on Soul Train! Wow, I watched that. Don’t actually remember her. Good luck with this fuel thing.

    • Stan it’s true! LOL! I should’ve been more clear, my friend was good enough to be on Soul Train but she wasn’t actually. Sadly the show had ended by then. But she was one of the best dancers on Bandstand!


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