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Old 11-16-2014, 03:26 AM   #1
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One month anniversary at full-timing...

This past Friday marked our first month living full-time on the road. During this period we worked out most of the kinks operating our trailer interior and the tow process from campground to campground. The St. George area has proven to be a great spot for beginners like us: a few state parks (Snow Canyon and Quail Creek) and BLM campground (Virgin River Canyon) in relatively close proximity to a decently sized city with all the comforts of the home area we left (library, variety of grocery stores, health facilities, gym, decent eateries). We always had in the back of our minds that we would take about a month to get settled into our new lives and then get serious about looking for work. St. George is booming and there shouldn't be a shortage of work opportunities - we hope!

We have been able to explore both Snow Canyon State Park and Zion National Park and found the smaller state park more to our liking - less touristy, less people, and a more intimate size to explore. The campground isn't too big with about 30 sites or so - a mixture of tent sites, dry camping and electrical/water hook ups, nice bathrooms and solar heated showers. A variety of easy-going hikes are within walking distance or a short drive and easily offer a sense of solitude and stillness without having to work too hard to get it.

During our 14 days of stay at Snow Canyon (which were broken up by visits to Quail Creek, Zion, and Virgin River Canyon), we made friends with the campground hosts - two full-timing couples. One of the couples mentioned to us that they were heading south for the winter on December 1st. It turned out the campground management had only two weeks to fill that couple's camp hosting duties after another couple bailed out on the opportunity. The wife and I were planning on wintering in the area anyway, and so the departing couple put in a good word for us today. Management interviewed us and within an hour hired us as part-time campground hosts. We'll start December 1st and work five days a week from 0800 to noon, and in turn get free rent and full hook-ups (water, sewer, and electrical) throughout the winter. As a bonus, our co-campground hosts have been full timing for 18 years, so we can get a lot of advice from them as we go through our first winter outside of comfy southern California.

We'll keep looking for additional part-time work in the city but we feel a lot better having our rent taken care of for the upcoming winter months, and not having to spend a significant amount of our monthly budget on propane to keep warm. We've already met many good people, mostly couples traveling about, and the good vibes just seem to lend towards our good fortune so far. If any of you have any advice or stories about camp hosting, I'd love to hear from you.

Right now I'm writing from the comfort of our AS at 3:10 AM in Quail Creek State Park. I can't sleep because of a chilly, howling wind outside with gusts up to 60+ mph (according to weather underground). My wife and I are among about 5 other groups in the campground, two of which are tenting, or at least were doing so before the high winds picked up late evening. The wind gusts have been rocking our AS for the last six hours while the wife and I poked our heads between the rear bedroom curtains like two little kids spending their first night in a tent in the backyard - I even had the high beam flashlight streaming out to watch the sagebrush get whipped around! We know it's not toughing it out in the midwest or Rockies but it's all new to us and it's for this that we left the confines of our boring, repetitive apartment life... we live for this.
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:20 AM   #2
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Mmmm.....and what a life to live for.

Sounds like everything is coming together, and the camp hosting job was just meant to be. You'll learn a lot, doing that, from the job and from the people you'll meet. There are a lot of folks out there doing it.

We never camp hosted, never wanted to stay in one place for a season , but I've found a few places I would be glad to stay for a month or so if the opportunity arose.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy....and keep us posted on your new life.


Maggie
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:23 AM   #3
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Thank you for the update. It's nice when a plan comes together! Good luck with the extra job hunt.

I have a co-worker that lives in St. George. He and I have spoken over the phone since 2003 or so and we have gotten to be pretty close, but I wouldn't know him to see him! Knowing that we have a travel trailer, he's always telling me that we need to head his direction. We might do that some day. We also have some other friends that live in Tucson that we would love to see on that trip. Ah, the possibilities.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:27 AM   #4
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Hi Westcoastas im so excited. I hope to head that way next year how long will you be there?
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:54 AM   #5
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very inspiring post. On the 5th of Dec, we will celebrate one month of full time as well. Thanks for the thumbs up on these campgrounds. We will be out where you are a lot in 2015.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:02 AM   #6
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I just celebrated three months and am having a ball. Headed to Mexico next week for five weeks of surfing, then coming back to Quartzite for a couple of months....
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:11 AM   #7
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Mmmm.....and what a life to live for.

Sounds like everything is coming together, and the camp hosting job was just meant to be. You'll learn a lot, doing that, from the job and from the people you'll meet. There are a lot of folks out there doing it.

We never camp hosted, never wanted to stay in one place for a season , but I've found a few places I would be glad to stay for a month or so if the opportunity arose.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy....and keep us posted on your new life.


Maggie


Maggie, I'd love to know the names and locations of the places you felt you could spend a month at a time. It's always good to know what others have enjoyed. Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:35 AM   #8
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Just off the top of my head.....

Edisto Beach, SC
Natchitoches, LA
St. Marys, GA
Charleston, SC
New Orleans, LA
Floyd, Virginia


There are a number of places out west, but my fear of heights/driving in mountains....not to mention loss of Doug-the-driver ....makes those prohibitive at this point.

The area itself must be special, beloved, and unique, is my criteria.


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Old 11-16-2014, 12:02 PM   #9
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WOW, that sounds like so much fun. I wish I could do that, but apparently, God has other plans for me.

Thanks for letting me enjoy some of your life, tho. Best wishes on your new life.
BTW, pictures would be nice.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:49 PM   #10
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Some pics of the campgrounds...

Here a few photos of the campgrounds we've stayed at: 1. Virgin River Canyon, AZ; 2. Snow Canyon, UT; and 3. Quail Creek, UT. The fourth pic is one of the benefits of staying at Snow Canyon - a relatively easy hike to get that precious solitude.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:03 PM   #11
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Beautiful!

Have a blast.


Maggie
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:40 PM   #12
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My daughter got her first RN job at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St George. Hopefully you won't have to "visit" her in the cardio ward. Have fun and stay safe.

How's the Tundra working out towing your 28?

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Old 11-17-2014, 03:12 PM   #13
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Reason One to visit Utah - Zion National Park

We played tourists for a day: Watchman Campground; Court of the Patriarchs; view from Weeping Rock; and the Virgin River below Weeping Rock.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:14 PM   #14
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So far Kelvin it's worked out great, although we haven't gone up and over the Rockies yet. The gas mileage is about 10.5 mpg but I knew that going in from the Tundra owners here on the forum.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:15 PM   #15
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Beautiful photos and looks like so much fun to full time and travel the country. Not being retired, our full timing experience over the last year (prior to purchasing a home again in August) consisted of staying parked in an RV Park, except for an occasional weekend excursion. Not the fun kind of full timing. But your full timing ... truly amazing and I'm envious! Enjoy and keep sharing your photos.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #16
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Going to start working on resignation letter now.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:25 PM   #17
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FrankandMike, we can't retire but still need to work in order to sustain this move a lot longer than just a year. We just gave us about a month to get comfortable on the road.

BoldAdventure, I know you're getting there. That day when I told my partners I was quitting was the day that got me to not look back. I think it's a tougher jump when you have children but I can see now from the forum that it can be done.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
Going to start working on resignation letter now.




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Old 12-05-2014, 10:38 PM   #19
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If you get into southern Nevada from the St. George area for some off-season camping, you might enjoy the Valley of Fire State Park, and the Katherine Landing CG near Bullhead City, AZ.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:53 PM   #20
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If You Get To South Texas

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Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
FrankandMike, we can't retire but still need to work in order to sustain this move a lot longer than just a year. We just gave us about a month to get comfortable on the road.

BoldAdventure, I know you're getting there. That day when I told my partners I was quitting was the day that got me to not look back. I think it's a tougher jump when you have children but I can see now from the forum that it can be done.
We have a small ranch about 1.5 hours north of the Mexico border. Water and Electric available. You are welcome to stay as long as you like ... and we will travel from Austin to meet up and camp with you for a short weekend. Beautiful nights with amazing views of the night sky.
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