Sunday, July 29, 2018

12 down.....12 to go

5:08 am - Sunday - July 29th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 63º F, 100% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the southwest.....cloudy with a forecast high of 76º F.  

We have now, officially, reached the half way point of our summer.....12 weeks down, 12 weeks to go.  Within days it will be August and we'll begin to wonder where the summer went.  It's time to assess our decision to come to Maine to work the summer.  

We began to think about coming to Maine last July shortly after arriving in Yellowstone.  Since we were not going back to TVC to work anymore we decided Maine would be a good summer 2018 destination.  We had never been to New England, let alone Maine and the only time to go there is in the summer.....unless you like winter sports.  I joined and began to search their 'Hotline Jobs', as well as back issues of their online magazine.  There is also a Facebook group called 'Workamping for Full Time RVers'.  

Near the end of August, 2017 I came across a 'Hotline' ad for Smuggler's Den.  I checked their website and found they were near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.  I showed TLE the ad and she told me to send our resumes and see what happened.  I did so, and within a week we heard from Rain Holbrook via e-mail that she and her aunt would like to do a phone interview the next day when we were available.  I replied with a time and received a call from her at that exact time the next day.

We talked for almost an hour with TLE and I doing as much interviewing as they were.  By the end of the interview we decided to accept their offer, and within an hour or so Rain had emailed an employment contract for us to review and then complete if we wished to proceed.  By the next day we had completed and signed the contract, and emailed it back to them.  They wanted us to be on site by May 12th, and we agreed.

Over the course of the Fall and Winter Rain stayed in contact, and we continued to ask questions and get prompt replies.  We were impressed and pleased with the communication, and looked forward to our one month trip to the northeast, and then 5.5 months in Maine.  

Between Yellowstone and Maine there was the job at the Grand Canyon where I had my stroke and recovery.  There was a time when we thought it might be wise not to go all the way to Maine, but my recovery was quick and by the first of April it was a distant memory.  As you will recall I had the bicycle crash about 10 days before our departure, and was lucky there were no broken bones as that most likely would have derailed us from going to Maine, but I just had some bad bruises so our trip was still on.  We departed Fontana on April 17th....a few days later than we had planned to give me more time to recover from my bicycle accident.  I was still quite sore, but was able to drive the Newell with no issues.

After a wonderful 4 week journey we arrived safe and sound in Southwest Harbor, ME.....our home for the next 5.5 months.  As with all jobs it took me about a week to acclimate to my new job and responsibilities.  I hadn't done physical work outside for almost a year when we arrived at SDC, and it took me a good month to build up my endurance to where I wasn't exhausted at the end of every day.  As I write today's missive I am still quite tired at the end of each work day, but it is a pleasant 'tired'.    There were times during that first month when I wondered how I would ever work a full 8 hour workday, but here I am doing just that and doing just fine.

Would we do anything different?  Yes, we would not agree to work 5 days per week.  If we had it to do over we would only work 4 days per week, but we agreed to work 5 days and we keep our word.  If we were ever to return we would only work 4 days per week, and 7 hour work days like pretty much everyone else here (except for the owners).

The weather has been wonderful, and better than we expected.  The bugs were a small issue early in the summer, but now are mostly an afterthought.  I get the odd mosquito bite from time to time, and as long as I keep my distance from yellow jacket nests I don't have to worry about them.  The black flies were an issue the first two weeks, but I only got bitten a few times, and have had none since early June.  We really like our RV site, and wouldn't change a thing about it.

We are looking forward to our time after Labor Day (as we did in Yellowstone) when the crowds will once again dissipate, and the weather will cool making it more enjoyable to hike and go site seeing.  We have talked about returning to Smuggler's Den in the next few years, but we'll see.  Right now I am looking forward to no job in the summer of 2019 and seeing Alaska!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Clark and Elaine, Glad to hear you are all well! Yes to a 4 day work week! If we go back that will be a requirement! Have a fun and safe summer!