Hard to believe it is almost the end of July. And we’re in California not Montana. What the heck happened you ask?
We left Vermont on July 14th heading for a workamping position in Whitefish, MT. After a 6-day drive to get there from the east, we ran into a slight problem. We were not impressed with the campground where we were to stay for the summer. To say I was disappointed is a huge understatement. We were hired to work for a company that operates a couple of motel/hotels in Whitefish, and they had reserved us a spot in the RV park right in town. I guess I should have been leerier – with RV Park in the title. Let’s just say that it was not up to our expectations, and we decided not to stay. Our neighbors were an arm’s length away, and many were long-term residents with barking dogs tied up under their trailers, or just running loose. You get the picture. Not that the campers weren’t nice, just not the environment we were seeking. I won’t go into the sordid details but we set up camp, discovered many things *broken* including the water hook-up and campground staff, ate a quick dinner, and talked about what to do. Less than two hours later, we both decided we could not live here for the summer or even one night.
Our very first experience with workamping was a bust! Luckily for us, we started the trip with enough money to see us through a year. So we pulled up the outriggers, hitched up to the trailer and headed for the only other campground near town as it was approaching dark – the KOA right outside of Whitefish. We had just quit our jobs before we even started! I am sure that was a first for me. Lesson learned – if possible, check out the campground you will be living in personally. Do not rely on the human resources person who hired you. She assured me that it was a decent campground based on information from folks on site but obviously they do not have the same standards that we have.
I will comment on the KOA campground. While it was an expensive night’s stay, the campground was clean, the staff friendly, the site roomy and we got a free breakfast in the morning. I would recommend staying there in a pinch. Too expensive for more than one night in my opinion but at least it felt safe and comfortable.
We spent the rest of the night there discussing our options. My first thought was to go up into Glacier NP and find a campsite and relax for a few days. We needed to recover from our six-day drive, and after the debacle in Whitefish, we needed to have some fun! And I needed to muster up the energy to start another job search. So, that’s precisely what we did. Jim had just turned 62 in May – the magic age for an Inter-agency Senior Pass – so we could dry camp for only $11.00 per night. Since it was still early in the season for Glacier, we had no problem getting a campsite.
There is a happy ending to the story! Stay tuned for You’re in CA, not MT?? Part II…….