March 14, 2022
My search for a job did not take very long at all. Within a few days of submitting applications, I was awrded with two offers in Escalante, Utah. One was markedly better than the other so I accepted it. I will be working part time throughout the summer at Yonder Escalante RV resort and I’m so excited. The community is dog friendly and I am encouraged to bring Sophie to work with me at the front desk. They have a drive in movie screen and classic cars for you to sit in while you watch the nightly movie. They have free coffee and fruit for guests in the morning and free popcorn to go with your evening movie. There’s a pool, fancy bathhouse, and hot tub. The pictures of the place online look nice and it’s close enough to do day trips to Zion, Bryce, and Capital Reef national park as well as the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It looks like the elevation there keeps the temps from getting too hot in the summer which would be fine for us anyhow since they are giving us a site with full hook ups for only $150/month while we’re there. The other place that offered a job wanted $375/week for my site fee so this was an easy decision. Many of the work camping jobs posted are downright exploitative in the small amount they pay or the amount of time they expect work campers to do free labor in exchange for a free site and utilities. I was glad that I didn’t have to look too much to find a place that seems to value their employees and offer a good deal for the site and use of amenities. I am so excited to be at a nice RV park with hopefully a nice community for the summer after spending all winter in the wilderness boon docking. I’m also happy to be going somewhere that loved ones can come visit without having to stay in the RV with me if they do not want to as this place offers cabins and airstreams for rent. We also applied for another artist residency for next year in Roswell, NM. They offer a three bedroom home for the year and and monthly stipend and have no expectation that the artists put on classes or workshops which is incredible. Here are some photos from Yonder’s website.
The job starts in May so we will still be hanging out in AZ through April. I think our next stop will be somewhere near the Petrified Forest National Park which is about a five hour drive north for us. It will also get us about halfway to our destination in Utah. I haven’t started looking for a spot to camp in yet, but I did check briefly and found that there’s lots of free camping in national forests near the park so I know I won’t have a problem finding spaces. The tough part will probably be trying to find the spot best for us just going by info I find online with many to choose from.
We ended the week with a long awaited visit to the Mini Time Machine museum of miniatures in Tucson. It was pretty incredible. The place was bigger than I had expected and had maybe 5 rooms full of houses, villages, outdoor scenes, carvings into the lead tip of a pencil, intricate silver figurines, and tiny wood carvings. The amount of detail crafted into tiny objects is so beautiful and fascinating to me. When I was a kid, I loved playing with dollhouses though I think my love of miniatures then had more to do with feeling like I could control my own tiny world free of any problems or chaos that may have been happening in my real world. Maybe that’s still a part of my love of miniatures now…I also learned that people love miniatures as our eyes are drawn to things that contain the most information for our senses. I haven’t made my own miniature creations since our dreadful stay in Indiana, but I’m excited to get back into one once we are stationary in Utah for a while.
We have also been working on a video this week about where to find free camping in Patagonia. We have agreed to wait to release it until we are ready to leave. I’m not trying to overestimate the popularity of our YouTube channel, but we did post a video about free camping in Sonoita and ever since we did, all of the good sites there are constantly full. Several weeks ago we went by there to fill our water and check it out and an older couple approached us and said they recognized us from the video we had put out about camping there and they found it helpful. So we learned something…don’t publicize a great free camping spot unless you are willing to lose your options there.
Lastly, I’ll share a moment of pride for me this week. I fixed the toilet all by myself! We noticed that the bowl was not holding water and that the seal must not be working correctly. I simply looked this problem up on Google, watched half of a YouTube video and found a solution. We picked up some plumbers grease which I applied to the seal and Presto! No more leak for now. Thank goodness I don’t have to take the toilet apart for now. Dealing with poopy things is one of my least favorite activities. Aside from that triumph today has been a nice day of taking it easy. There was a Vermillion Flycatcher (I had to look it up) hanging outside my window in a tree all day today. I took a couple of photos of it and sat out in the sun with the dogs to write this entry. Life can be very sweet sometimes if you take time to notice and appreciate these small moments.