Adventure Comes in Many Ways

Once I realized how much I like to use the word adventure, I began to wonder if I was using the word correctly, which lead to a little Googling.  Here’s a definition I came across that resonated with me.Lilacs

  1.  an undertaking usually involving unknown risks
  2.  an exciting or remarkable experience
  3.  engaging in an exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.

After absorbing this information, I feel I am indeed using the word adventure correctly.  With that said, allow me to share part of this summers adventure – my exploration of unknown territory.Idaho

First we’ll need to backtrack…..  When Al and I sold the house and moved into the RV full-time three years ago, it wasn’t a dream or something we’d given much thought to.  There was no plan, no budget, and no bucket list of destinations.   From what I’ve gathered, most folks embark on this lifestyle via a well prepared plan including goals, budget, and destinations in mind.

Arco, IdahoWe on the other hand moved into the RV full-time on a whim.  You see, life had not only thrown us one curve ball, it had thrown us a bunch of curve balls.

We were faced with several losses and challenges which drained us emotionally.  Instead of sitting on the front porch feeling sorry for ourselves, we decided to throw caution to the wind, jump in the RV, and wing it.

It’s been an interesting ride and definitely an adventure, but every now and then, I have felt lost….. certainly not physically (well, except for last week when I got ‘turned around’ so badly, I actually admitted to being lost.  Ah, but that’s a tale for another post).  I’m not sure if that lost feeling is part of the grieving process or just part of normal life.

wildflowersWith that said, I started talking to Al about temporary work otherwise known as Workamping in the RVing community.  There are all kinds of positions out there geared toward the RVer and temporary seasonal jobs.

The term “Workamping” is actually a blending of the words work and camping and is a registered trademark of Workamper News ;  a great website matching up RVer’s with work assignments.  Another popular website is CoolWorks, and then there’s word of mouth and forums.

Last winter when Al and I realized we had no summer travel plans in mind, we decided to look into Workamping opportunities.  Although we did get called for a few locations, we chose the Idaho job.  One – we’ve never been to south central Idaho and two – we were introduced to the RV Park owners at a social gathering in Phoenix.  After a three-hour luncheon with the owners, it was determined this could be a win-win situation for both couples.

our home for the summer

our home for the summer

We now have a month under our belts working at the Mountain View RV Park in Arco, Idaho, and I can honestly say that up to this point, this has been the perfect scenario easing us into the Workamping experience.  It has been a win-win for both couples.

Since Al and I ran our own business for fifteen years, we’re self-starters, and we’ve stayed at enough RV Parks to understand what needs to be taken care of.  We asked the owners for a quick list of priorities, then jumped right in and started taking care of things.

What things, you ask……….

There's always lawn mowing. Al was having fun riding a tractor again. Not sure how long he'll consider it 'fun'.

There’s always lawn mowing. Al was having fun riding a tractor again. Not sure how long he’ll consider it ‘fun’.

Getting out the tools, had Al doing a little Tim Allen male grunting

Getting out the tools had Al doing a little Tim Allen male grunting

With music playing in my ears, there was a little dancing while painting going on

With music playing in my ears, there was a little dancing while painting going on

We all know by now that I enjoy baking. This day, I made pies for the restaurant.

We all know by now that I enjoy baking. This day, I made pies for the restaurant.

On a daily basis, Al and I will ride around the park in the golf cart making sure garbage is picked up, the bathrooms are clean, and campers are enjoying their stay.  I’ve even waitressed in the restaurant a couple of times when they got short-handed.  Do you know it has been over thirty years since I last waited on tables?  I jumped right in and acted like I knew what I was doing and had so much fun that I volunteered to waitress regularly.  I know, is that crazy?  I enjoyed meeting and talking to the locals coming into the restaurant for a meal.  They are all eager to share the beauty their home state has to offer, giving Al and me plenty of ideas to explore on our down time.

Exploring the backcountry near Mackay Idaho.

Exploring the backcountry near Mackay Idaho.

And there has been plenty of down time allowing us to explore the area….  Craters of the Moon National Monument, drive the old mining roads near Mackay, take a trip to Twin Falls to watch Base jumpers at the Perrine bridge and see the stunning sight of Shoshone Falls.  With so much going on, where will I ever find the time to blog 😉

I’m not sure why Al and I are so enjoying the Workcamping gig, but we think it has something to do in knowing the position is temporary.  We also realize we have the freedom to pack up and move on anytime we’re unhappy.  That sense of freedom is liberating.  After all, it’s not as if we’re trying to build our resumes 😆

For a few days next week, we’ll pack up the RV and take a vacation from our Workamping duties.  Oh yes, this summer is definitely turning into a summer filled with exciting and new explorations….. adventure all around and in many different ways!Craters of the Moon

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences – Eleanor Roosevelt


Sisters on the Fly: Caravans, Campfires, and Tales from the Road


83 thoughts on “Adventure Comes in Many Ways

  1. I think you like the workamping experience so much, because it is nice to stay in one spot for a bit, once in a while. And, there is the feeling of achievement running the RV park. After traveling full-time for over a decade, my husband and I are currently enjoying “long term” ( a few months at a time) house sitting throughout the US for the same reason. We still feel free, there is still adventure involved, but this time, we can combine it with comforts and unlimited internet, electricity (all needed to run our business) and water. The closest stores are 30 minutes away, and we have not gotten lost yet. 🙂

    • It is nice to sit for a while. As someone mentioned, there’s a feeling of being grounded. My husband and I have talked about the ‘house sitting’ options as well. Looks like I’ll need to spend some time perusing your blog. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Great post, Ingrid! Glad to hear the workamping has been a win-win to date! Knowing it is temporary and you have that freedom to leave is wonderful. Having that sense of freedom is definitely liberating! I hope you both have a fabulous summer there. The ‘mini-vacations’ from the working will keep those wheels rolling a little bit and when it is time to move on, you’ll be singing with Willie Nelson, “On The Road Again”! 🙂

  3. Ingrid, I enjoy reading your blog; we have a similar philosophy on life and follow many of the same bloggers. I have found them a valuable source for inspiration and a wealth of information. I am especially enjoying your posts on Idaho and am taking notes. We will be at Mountain View for a few nights the 3rd week in July to visit the Craters of the Moon Park . If you are still there I hope we have an oppourtunity to meet. We recently sold our Phoenix home where my husband and I grew up and now live in Utah. We are newbies to RV travel and are 1 year into our RV adventures. I definitely understand the need to be grounded part of RV living which is why we have chosen our path as part time RV’ers. I can’t wait to hear more about your workamping experiences. I have always thought volunteering to workamp at a lighthouse enticing and may be one of our future RV adventures.

    • We originally planned on being part-timers but we’re still searching for that home base. We haven’t found that “it” yet. We’ll be at Mtn View RV Park all summer with the exception of some short get aways. (currently in the Tetons) Be sure and remind me of your stay and perhaps we’ll meet over drinks. I would love to hear why you left Phx and moved to Utah.

  4. After reading your definition of the word “adventure”, it confirmed that Barb and I named our blog properly. This lifestyle is absolutely and adventure! It looks like there is quite the variety of things to do there and you will never get bored or run out of items on your “to do” list. Perfect for your first workamping gig!

    • I was afraid we’d get bored in this area, but after a month, we’ve barely touched the surface on all that’s available to see and do. Therefore, it is definitely turning into a good summer so far. AND yes, adventure is very fitting for you two.

  5. I am so glad that YOU got to bake for them!! Glad the work camp is working out for you…
    But I’m with Terri…. gotta have me some more barns!

    • We came across some great old abandoned mining buildings, but the light was really bad and difficult to capture. I’ll keep working on it 🙂

  6. Sounds like a great workamping place and I have no doubt that you will be a hit with the customers in the restaurant, you have such a welcoming and friendly personality!

    • Awe, thank you. I’m afraid the novelty of waitressing wore off quickly LOL, but I sure don’t mind helping out where needed. We’ll be ready to roll by September 🙂

  7. As a waitress of many years in my (much) younger days, I had to laugh at your pitching in. I suspect I would enjoy it for about two days and then, no more …. I hope you get up to the Sawtooths and Redfish Lake. It’s quite lovely.

    • Yeah, by the third time, I was so over waiting on tables. Fortunately, I’m only needed in a pinch which works fine by me. Sun Valley and Redfish Lake is most definitely on the agenda. We’re waiting for the weather to warm up which it has just started thank goodness. We were not digging the cold. I’m afraid we’ve become desert dwellers 😉

  8. Somehow the place and the people around you are making your first gig enjoyable and hope it continues. Who know you might find a new calling after this. But on the other hand having enjoyed rolling on and carefree in the past year is somewhat balancing you out.
    You sure look like a pro painting a piece of wood and baking your pies 🙂
    Too bad, Idaho won’t be in our route this summer. It will be our last state in fall.

    • Oh, I’m disappointed. I thought for sure you’d be meandering around Idaho this summer. I think I’ll be more than ready to roll by Labor Day. Actually I’m ready to roll now LOL and will settle for our 4 day get away on Sunday. It’s all part of the experience of “living the dream” 😉

  9. Great post, Ingrid
    Glad to hear things are going well, we too are doing kinda the same thing this year, we just got a house sitter for a year and we are going to go and work in Manitoba around the Whiteshell Provincial Park area, we have family there as well, This fall we are going to be heading South again to the Arizona area for the winter, I guess time will tell how it goes.

    • Congrats and remember it’s only temporary and it’s an adventure. We’ll be doing our usual this winter as well – Arizona with a January jaunt over to Texas for birding. Have a great summer and maybe we’ll see you in AZ 🙂

  10. Enjoy reading your RV adventures, as always. The workamp sounds like fun duties to take on. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, Ingrid!

    • Thank you Beth and although the gig is going fine, I AM getting a little antsy to roll. Thankfully we’ll have a get away and then return refreshed. That’s the plan anyway 🙂

  11. So glad you’re enjoying your summer work camping gig! We love our summers on Lopez Island — this will be our sixth year (!!) as interpretive hosts. It provides a wonderful balance to all of the traveling that we do the rest of the year. As a bonus, it’s really nice to not have to deal with summer campground reservations. Love your header photo — we had a picnic at Shoshone Falls last week on our way to Three Island Crossing SP.

    • Isn’t Shoshone Falls lovely? I was there on a Saturday in the middle of May and the weather was iffy with storms rolling through. So I didn’t get to spend as much time hiking around as I would’ve like. Hmm, I’ll have to look up Three Island Crossing SP. There’s so many wonderful places to explore in Idaho!

  12. We stayed at Mountain View RV Park, but it was the RV park in Mountain View, not Arco. I had to Google it to make sure we weren’t in the same park and didn’t know it! I hope you enjoy watching the terrain turn from green to brown!

    • If I’m not mistaken, I think you were in the town of Mountain HOME. That’s an area we’re hoping to explore…. especially the dunes. We left the Midwest many years ago and are quite familiar with brown landscapes…. less mowing LOL!

  13. Ingrid,

    Congratulations on embarking on a new adventure, sounds like you and Al are enjoying it. When the pension checks started rolling in we added the word “work” to the list of inappropriate 4 letter words. Cleaning bathrooms for me is the big deterrent, as my last experience was bootcamp.

    We had originally planned to return to the coast via that area, but the collapse of our dollar has dictated a more Northerly route.

    • Well, without a doubt, Al and I are eating our words considering we’ve said many a time “We’ll never…. ” and now we find ourselves doing stuff we “never” thought we’d do. Oh well, I guess that’s why I like referring to our life as an “adventure”…. stepping out of our comfort zone and doing things we never thought we would. Wishing you a fabulous summer trip.

    • The sites vary in spacing and we picked a primo 30amp lot. Plus it’s close to the owners home and garage, which is convenient for Al. We lucked out with this Idaho location and have plenty of places we look forward to exploring.

  14. Boy, the definition of adventure sure fits all fulltimers! Your header photo is absolutely gorgeous, as is that photo of the red barn with the snowcapped mountains…Wow! Sounds like you and Al found a perfect place to do a little Workamping. Enjoy your summer:) We look forward to reading about all the places you find to explore around you.

    • The header photo was taken at Shoshone Falls and the barn photo was taken near Mackay, Idaho. We’re definitely seeing some beautiful country this summer. Heading over to WY on Sunday for a few days and hoping for good weather and plenty of photo-ops.

  15. Ingrid,
    I have been enjoying your blog for a few months now. I enjoy reading about your adventures.
    It was fun to read where you are workamping as we will be visiting Mountain View in July (19&20) on our way to our first workamping/volunteering position in Oregon. Maybe we will have an opportunity to meet you. We are looking forward to exploring Craters of the Moon and surrounding area.

    • Craters is very interesting. I wonder how warm it’ll be in July. Will you be staying at the Mountain View RV Park? If so, be sure and say hi. Just ask for “Ingrid”.

  16. We plan to be in Idaho in August. Not sure exactly where yet, but we’ll give you a shout if we get in your neighborhood!
    We’ve discovered through three different workamping jobs that it has its ups and downs. Hope your first experience continues to be a good one.

    • We too hope that by the end of the summer we still see this as a good experience. However, like anything in life, there’s ups and downs.
      DO let me know where in Idaho you might be. The first week in August, I have a wedding back in IL to attend. Other than that, we’ll be around.

  17. I’m sure that workamping is not for everyone..I am pretty sure I would only last a few weeks…especially if it included cleaning the bathrooms..Dennis, on the other hand, would be quite an asset, with his McGyver-like need to repair everything broken, neglected or in a snarl..Hey, it’s always good to “change things up” a bit..Glad you are enjoying of our favorite states!!

    • Al’s having a great time playing McGyver and I don’t mind the restaurant work. I’m not thrilled with the bathroom duty, but so far it hasn’t been too bad…. never thought I’d say that! But then again, I find myself doing things I never thought I would. There’s that adventure thing again. Redfish Lake/Stanley are next on the exploration agenda!

  18. You sure picked an ideal location to volunteer…reep the rewards of some outstanding area property for sure. We’ve found we weren’t ready to give up to retirement completely and learning the pluses in finding the right gig for sure! I’d dig waitressing too…love yacking it up at our window! Can’t imagine going back to just sitting on our old B&S deck day in and out at the same old place! You’re going to have a fabulous summer! Ps….YOU lost?!! No way! 🙂

    • I wouldn’t want to do this full-time but temporary and part-time is working out fine. The mobile lifestyle is addictive and after being here 30 days I’m already looking forward to getting the RV wheels rolling 😉 I know….. I never get lost, just turned around but boy was I hopelessly lost that day and without cell phone service so Siri was no help. I did manage to get myself out of the pickle without asking for directions 😆

      • No Siri…what’s that!! Look to the sun and travel south lol!! Yes…I agree too many times were longer than we want in mist areas..oh to have heavier pockets! We miss traveling more!!

        • I was traveling in a torrential downpour and couldn’t tell where the sun was and then of course I was way out in the country without cell service. Just me, the cows, and fields of ‘potatoes’ with long open country roads. BTW… I’m in Idaho so I call all agriculture fields ‘Idaho potatoes’. Al just laughs at me. In a couple of months, when it’s obvious it’s a cornfield, I’ll still call it ‘potatoes’.

  19. I’m so glad to hear that the gig is working out well for you. The two of us can certainly agree that a part of the appeal is the idea that like you, we could pack up the RV and move on down the road if we didn’t like the experience and it wouldn’t matter. I have been thinking about the way that different volunteer/work camping gigs have different hours of service schedules — some of our friends work 8 hour days several days in a row, we work a few hours each day and have only only 2 days off — during which we still do a minimal amount if we are in the campground — just because it’s easier for us to do those few things daily than to let them build up. And the idea that these gigs CAN be arranged in various ways — not just X hours a day starting at M O’clock and running until Q O’clock. I really love that flexibility We can rise more of less at will — seeing as we are habitual early risers anyway. We work a bit, take a nap if we choose, work a bit and that’s that. The only drawback is that we tend to get people stopping by with questions at mealtime — whenever that might be — seems an inevitability.

    • The owners here are super flexible and pretty much leave it up to us to get the job done, except when I’m needed in the restaurant in which case I’m given a work time frame. After thirty days in one spot, that hitch itch starts to set in for me. Thus, I’m glad we’re heading out of town for a few days on Sunday. The break will be nice. Hope you guys are enjoying your gig as well.

      • I understand the “after 30 days” — We are hitting that point ourselves and to be honest we haven’t gone anywhere or done anything since arriving. Today we are going to take 70 mile drive to see a casino and campground we’ve heard campers talk about, and the Twin Cities are plenty close. But for some reason I’ve been quite content till now. But how long will that last?
        Most of our almost 5 years on the road have been spent 2 weeks at a time. So far each time we have spent longer in a place I HAVE ended up itching to go — I really wanted to see if having some routine would help get over that. So I’m eager to see how this works. Havin’ a good time so far.

        • Glad to hear all is going well in your neck of the woods. There seems to be a nice balance between rolling and sitting and I know for us that balance is ever changing. Love that sense of freedom.

  20. Another great post with fabulous pictures! Ah, we can so identify, we plunged into this lifestyle much like you two! We’ve wanted to try it sometime but it has to be the right place and time. Hope all continues to go well and look forward to most posts.

  21. Ingrid this sounds like a great adventure! good for the two of you to be open to possibilities. It sounds like you have carried your positive energy right into Workamping!

    • It’s been an enlightening adventure thus far and a reminder as to why we closed our biz. There’s no stress involved with this gig making it enjoyable plus I know it’s over in three months 🙂

  22. What a great idea, Ingrid. Looks like you and Al are the ideal couple to employ as Workampers. You approach everything with your usual enthusiasm and Make the work into fun. Reminds me of words of the song ‘A Spoonful of Sugar.’. 🙂 Enjoyed your photos as always.

    • Thank you Sylvia. We’d like to find a house project to work on like yours but haven’t found one in a location we like. So we opted for a little Workamping to keep us active until we find a project.

  23. I’m glad you are liking it. We spent some time in Mackey and drive the road from there into Sunday Valley. Gorgeous!!!

    • Saturday we drove the 4×4 roads around the old mining town in Mackey. Fun! Sun Valley and Redfish Lake are next on the agenda. Between work and fun, I’m having trouble keeping up with the blog!

  24. Our lives have so many similarities, full time rv’ing was never on our radar thought it has turned out to be the best thing we could have done at this point in our lives. Workamping can be fun, we sure enjoyed last winter and I always enjoyed workcamping at our place in VT. Looks like a wonderful park to spend the summer at, see you in a few days.

    • Thus far, we have no complaints. Let’s hope the rest of the summer goes equally as well…. I’m having doubts. Looking forward to seeing you guys Friday and hiking a Lava tube.

  25. So glad you’re enjoying the gig! This is our 5th Summer workamping and we do it for many of the reasons you mentioned, including how “grounded” it makes me feel. Hope the rest of your summer goes well, and you get that perfect mix of adventure and grounded.


    • Thank you Nina and I think you pegged it with the word “grounded”. Perhaps that’s why it’s working out so well. I think next time we may look into something with a shorter time commitment considering hitch itch usually starts in after a month or so.

    • You would need to slow down first 😆 You two do like to move around a lot. I don’t think I’d want to workamp year round – meaning going from one gig to the next, but from time to time, I can see it working nicely. Enjoy my home state (oops former) 🙂

  26. This is really cool Ingrid. A wonderful opportunity to make a few bucks, meet some interesting people & not feel weighted down to staying in one place! A definite win-win!

    • Yes, it does appear to be a win and I do enjoy meeting fellow RVer’s from all walks of life. And a stress free situation is the best 🙂

  27. I enjoyed hearing about workamping and other adventures (definitely true to the definition), Ingrid. Your work days, photos, scenery are lovely; and oh, what a special sight is the bouquet of lilacs. Congratulations on taking charge of your life.

    • Thanks Jet. I loved having all the lilac bushes blooming near my RV. The scented air was wonderful. Unfortunately, they are done blooming but what a treat while it lasted. Our summer should be filled with lots of ‘firsts’ for us!

  28. I really enjoyed this entry! I smiled throughout the entire read. Taking a bit of a risk is what makes the adventure of life so thrilling. And, workamping sounds like something fun to do when it’s a good fit for all as your situation clearly is. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and yes it’s wonderful when a situation is a good fit. We had concerns, but so far, so good.

    • Thanks. Every workamp situation is different but for the most part the duties are very similar from RV Park to RV Park. Lots of different options out there and we’re just beginning to learn all the positions available.

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