Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Into The Wild–am I really doing this???

All my life I wanted to be a Ranger, Park or Forest service, but the competition for those jobs has always been really tough, i.e. 5,000 applicants for ONE job.  Well, today Smokey the Bear and I turned 68 years old and tomorrow I head into the wild to work for the National Forest Service through California Land Management (CLM).  I just can’t believe this is happening.
And competition… nadda.   I went to Quartzsite AZ last winter to learn about turning rocks into jewelry.  While there I took the opportunity to become a sawyer (someone cuts those rocks into slabs like slices of bread).  Another sawyer was talking about “camp hosting’ jobs and referred me to a guy who runs the CLM contract with the White River National Forest.  I called him.  We talked and he hired me on the spot.  He was thrilled to find a single person who wanted a remote site.  He joked yesterday at a training session how most people he hires ask, where’s the water, where’s the electric, do you provide this and that.  He told others, all I asked was if there was water nearby for my kayak.  It is kinda funny.
So, my camp will have no water, no electric, no nothing, nadda.  But it will have lots of people… and I will have to deal them and with the money and math, and I’m not good at any of that.  It’s a popular spot for ATVing.  Ick.  But I am committed and will make the best of it.  Should make for a very interesting summer.
And since it’s my birthday, my son called me on Skype (which we had not been able to make work right) but today it worked and my grandkids got to talk to me, see me talk, and move and show them things.  The 4yr old girl was fascinated with my van, my bed, my solar shower, my refrigerator, etc.  I am so fortunate to have her daddy as my son.  This was the best birthday present ever.  Thanks Chris.
OK, I will try to post updates here when I come to town monthly to resupply.  Everyone have a fun summer.
Into the Wild I go. 

Happy Birthday, Smokey.

Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.