Terry and I have been fulltiming for almost nine years and volunteering /workcamping for nearly 8 of those. Most of our jobs/positions have been fairly predictable. Several of those have been places that we have returned to for many years because we love the job, area, etc. Most times the jobs are predictable…set hours, duties and very routine. There is some degree of comfort in predictability, but to us, that is not why we became fulltimers! We like to experience new things and adventure is high on our list.
One of our favorite places to work is at Heise Hot Springs in SE Idaho. This is our 4th season here and we plan on more. Terry and I are not the typical workcamper here. Those have set hours to work in the office, park campers, clean buildings and those type jobs. We, on the other hand, have no set hours and wear many hats.
Terry is the resident fix-it person. He is the computer guru, electrician and troubleshooter maintenance person. He mows greens on the golf course and runs shuttles for the boat trips. He also handles campground regulation issues. A former state trooper for 30 years, he is proficient at handling difficult people and problems.
I wear many hats as well. My main job is landscaping, tho I do other things as well. I fill in at the office if needed and clean cabins when there is no one else to do them. I bake all of the cheesecakes at the pizza parlor, do food prep and assist as needed. I am also the cook at the remote fish camp 18 miles up the river. I think of all the things I do here, the fishcamp is my favorite and I look forward to it each year.
Last Thursday was a pretty routine day for me. I got up at 5am and headed out on my daily walk. I try to get in 5-10 miles a day which means about 2 hours in the morning and an hour in the evening. After returning to the fiver I ate my obligitory oats and fruit. Then I headed for the pizza parlor to get ready to bake cheesecakes for the weekend. As this was the first baking session after the winter, I first had to locate all of my pans and associated equipment. This took a while…a true treasure hunt. Finally…I was ready to start. I opened the cooler, located all of the ingredients and got ready to start. Oooopppps…no mixer…where is it? Ahhhhhh, must be in it’s winter home up at the house! After a phone call…it was located and suddenly appeared. OK….break time, to allow all the ingredients to come to room temp, the oven to heat and me to get something else done.
I headed out to my trusty mule and we started to get the flower beds in shape. First…I have to locate all of my good tools, which I try to hide every fall. (Otherwise they get lost, abused and treated badly) Surprise! They are where I left them and all in good shape! I was even presented with a brand new lawn mower! Soooooo…..I get to work and start cleaning out a hard winter’s worth of debris. After an hour or so, it is time to head back to the kitchen.
I got the cheesecakes ready for the oven and warned the new help not to open the oven door…even tho they would be tempted…it would result in “death by cheesecake gramma” if they did! I taped the door shut and set the timer on my watch. Off I went to the flower beds. 45 minutes later I was back at the oven. I had two hours to get something done before the cakes had to be tended to. I started on the beds again and got a call from the office. A cabin had been vacated and a drop in had shown up to rent it. Could I clean it? Sure…I looked at my watch and figured I had an hour to get the job done.
I headed for the cabin and finished in time to go back to the oven and prop the door open…….another hour and they could be removed to the cooling racks. By now it was lunchtime, and I grabbed Terry and we headed home for a bowl of soup. Half an hour later we were headed back to the office. I got the cakes out of the oven and arranged to have one of the girls put them in the cooler once they were room temperature. They had come out beautifully even tho I used a new recipe which had not been tested by me.
I headed once again for the flower beds and was able to put in another three hours before it was time to head for home and start on dinner. I checked that the cakes were in the cooler and all was well….tho I had to stress that “No….you can’t cut the cakes tonite! ” Tomorrow…then you can sample and sell!
Fast forward to today….I got my walk in this morning before it started to snow in earnest . Yes…snow in mid May!. Needless to say…I am inside the fiver, typing a new blog entry and enjoying the unplanned hours off. We work hard here, but we love it. We keep busy and know that we are appreciated.
Life is good!