I was thinking yesterday.....I know, I know.....that can be a dangerous thing, nonetheless, I was thinking about our life, and how easily TLE and I are able to settle into new environments, new experiences, new jobs. Whenever she is a little uneasy about a new situation I am there to reassure and encourage her, and she does the same for me when the tables are turned. Knowing your partner is calm, and cool about a new place, or job helps you get to the same place more quickly, and I guess that is one of the key ingredients for why some couples take to this lifestyle and stay with it more easily than others. Obviously I cannot, and do not speak for those singles who become nomads. They are a different breed than I, and I have the utmost respect for their ability to be solo vagabonders. It is not in my DNA to be alone for long periods of time and I cannot imagine doing what we do by myself.
There are, obviously, advantages to traveling alone.......you can make course corrections much more quickly as yours is the only counsel you will typically seek in making a change in direction. Any mistakes you might make will usually only affect you, and no one else. Over the years I have come to deeply appreciate TLE's perspective, and have benefited too many times to count from her advice. There have been times when I have regretted not taking her advice.
The other side of traveling as a couple, for me, is the shared experience. Since we pretty much spend 24 hours per day, 7 days per week together we share the same sunsets together, the same vistas together. Whenever we reach a destination, whether it be on a bike ride, a hike, or in the Newell I am always excited to see if it is as meaningful to her as it is to me.
Sometimes there is shared disappointment such as we both experienced early this summer when all of our hopes and dreams for Tahoe Valley Campground vaporized in a cloud of smoke over a few short days. We had both put in a lot time and effort over the past year to make the summer of 2017 the best ever at TVC, but sometimes the efforts and plans of mice and men are not rewarded. While it is my nature to spend time ruminating over why things went sideways, TLE is always there encouraging me to move on mentally. Staying busy 7 days a week with work, and hiking has helped me to focus on the wonder of the 'now', and to let the disappointment of the past fade away. Life is too short to dwell on disappointment, right?
At any rate, my whole point in this somewhat rambling missive is that we have a wonderful nomadic life! Everybody does the nomad thing differently, but how TLE and I do it works for us.....we have this wonderful symbiotic relationship, and like most relationships it can be complex at times, if we allow it to become so. When are able to keep it simple is when we thrive the most, and are the happiest. How we live as nomads continues to evolve, and will look different from what others do, but it works for us, and that is really the point. If you wish to become vagabonders read about others' experiences, but do not try to exactly emulate them. Hold on to the things others do that appeal to you, but put your own twist on it. There is no map for the nomadic journey.......you just have to make it up as you go, and be willing to make changes when they are needed. We have come to realize that we are the most alive when we avoid doing the same thing year after year......we got caught in that trap for a few years (for us it was a trap), but circumstances forced us to re-evaluate what makes us feel alive, and what makes us happy. For others a repeating yearly travel pattern is what works for them, it did not, in the end, work for us.
So, what did Wednesday look like? We arrived at the Mammoth General Store for our 'MID2' shift at 9:20 am. Things, as one might expect, were slow in the store at that time, but the foot traffic began to increase by 11 am, and from that point until around 4:30 pm business was steady. The store finally got an ice cream shipment around Noon on Monday (we were off Monday and Tuesday), so by Wednesday things were back to 'normal'. The temps most of the day were in the low 70's, and as a result we sold a lot more pretzels, chili, nachos and hot dogs. TLE I both punched the time clock a little after 5:30, and were home by 6.
Over the next 4 weeks our co-worker ranks will begin to thin as some begin to move on to other workamping endeavors. We do have the August 21st solar eclipse coming our way, which should result in a four, or five day burst in foot traffic. Delaware North (our employer) predicts a 150% increase for that time period since we are pretty close the 100% solar eclipse path (we will get 97.5%). Whether that is born out remains to be seen, but we have been verbally prepared for the possibility of an added shift during that time period.
Thanks for stopping by!