The Nitty Gritty Details of Running a Resort: Wimps Need Not Apply

Workamper housekeeper jobSince Jim got the world’s tiniest violin out and told you about his hard days here at the ranch, I’ll take this opportunity to tell you what I’ve been up to.

This summer, for me, it’s all about cleaning. I’m on the housekeeping and laundry squad. Rah! Rah! Rah!

Some days it’s just me, another workamper, and co-owner, Paulette Vickers. Mid-week, my job can be easy, and there might not be a single cabin to clean. On these slow days, I’ll go work in Paulette’s garden, which is a great change of pace, since I love playing in the dirt, and her yard is awesome.

But on the weekends, when we have to turn over nine cabins before 3pm check-in, that’s when things get really dirty, and the “all hands on deck!” call will go out for everyone to pitch in.

Read more

Just Call Me Lisa Simpson: Saving the World a Can at a Time

Recyclng program Lake City COFor as long as I can remember, recycling has been a way of life for me. Growing up on the left coast, I can’t remember a time when I threw cans or bottles in the trash. So imagine my surprise when we left our little Northern California cocoon, and got a reality check by seeing how the rest of the country approaches the recycling issue — or rather, avoids it altogether.

During our early days on the road, I kept getting annoyed at the number of RV parks that lacked recycling facilities. About the only places that did offer any kind of recycling were national parks, which only take aluminum cans. It killed me to toss recyclables, but in our little 5th wheel, I felt we didn’t have a choice.

For a while I considered being as green as my RVing friend Sara, and carrying around our recyclables and compost matter until we found a collection point. But honestly, I’m not that gutsy, and unwilling to put up with storing this stuff in our shower where she does. Also, with our big ol’ dog Jerry along, I don’t want our RV smelling any funkier than I think it does. I had to pick my battles, and into the trash went our recyclables.

Read more

How Remote Is Too Remote, for Workamping, or Just Living?

Lake Fork Gunnison River Vickers RanchFind us a boondocking spot in beautiful country in the middle of nowhere, and we’re all over it. When we started looking for a summer workamping gig, we wanted a job in remote, mountain location. There were a couple of forest service jobs we could’ve taken, but we ended up here at Vickers because 1) it paid more, and 2) it offered us the chance to see if we’re resort owner material.

But the one thing we didn’t really consider, were the foodie sacrifices we’d have to make to live and work in a really remote mountain town with a year-round population of 500 people.

Read more

Perks for Housekeeping Workampers

Lots of laundry for Riverbend workampersHola, housekeeeping … me name is Jaime. I am here to clean your rooom. Knock, knock. Hello?

OK, I didn’t clean the rooms. And the housekeepers at Riverbend all spoke perfect English. Nonetheless, my workamping job at the hot springs in Truth or Consequences gave me a good taste of resort management.

Good enough to now know that we could easily run some sort of lodging business, someday. And good enough to know that we would hire workampers to do the dirty work.

Read more

Channeling Chickens, Coping with Cancer, and Workamping in New Mexico

snowstop02.jpgEverything happens for a reason. If we hadn’t have gone back to Los Angeles, we never would have learned that our beloved Jerry’s cancer has made another ugly appearance. You can’t tell by looking at him; he’s as playful and spry as ever. We only took him to the vet for a new heartworm medication, but left knowing we had to get him into oncology treatment, fast. So, we hightailed it back here to New Mexico, to visit a wonderful clinic in Santa Fe, the Veterinary Cancer Care clinic.

We always wanted to see Santa Fe, just not under these circumstances. The closest, most cost-effective RV lodging we found was at Cochiti Lake campground, about 30 minutes south. It’s an Army Corps of Engineers lake, and a bargain at $12 a night.

Our trip into the city was quick; just enough to see the vet, walk around the plaza, and get a good feeling about the place. This joke that a local told us, says it all:

Question: Why did the Santa Fe’an cross the road?
Answer: Because she was channeling a chicken.

Read more

A Weekend from Hell in Paradise Island RV Resort

So this is paradise, eh? Well, if your idea of paradise is parked in a crammed, dumpy RV “resort” for a whopping $40 a night, where you are so close to the next RV that you can’t roll out your awning, where you have snotty French Canadian neighbors that refuse to say hello or make eye contact, then Paradise RV Resort in Fort Lauderdale is for you!

Read more

Deciding Not to Decide

cows_07.jpgIt’s a swampy night here in Vero, and we’ve spent the last few hours swatting away bugs while enjoying the last of the holiday season. This monumental year is coming to a close, and even after thousands of miles and too many towns to count, we are both nowhere closer to deciding where we want to live, or what we want to be when we grow up.

We have our favorite regions, but really, the only decision we’ve been able to make, is to decide not to decide. In essence, that is a decision of sorts, right?

Read more