Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Hands up - who has seen the movie 'Into the Wild'?

If you said yes, then you know what we mean by this title - sort of - we are not going all Chris McCandless on you - only in a small way.

If you didn't raise your hand then by now you are beyond confused. Watch the movie!

In addition to completely wasting our time on frivolous internet sites these last few weeks, Derek and I HAVE been making some progress on our work plans for next summer.

It is very early to be doing this but we are going with the 'early bird gets the worm' theory.

Last year we waited until the new year to look for our summer work. That worked out ok but we took a more reactive kind of approach - we saw a job posting and we applied.

This year we are altering our tactic somewhat.

We are finding the places we would like to work and contacting the employers directly.

Smart - right?! Ya - I know, it only took us to 43 and 48 to figure this out.

No, we are not that out of the loop - but we were starting to rest on our laurels a bit, up until last summer we had worked for the same BC Parks contractors for three seasons as Park Facility Operators. Wonder what that is and what we do all day - here it is - our post on the day in the life of a PFO.

Anyway, we have now sent off our resumes to the contractors of the all BC Provincial Parks we feel that we would like to work and would be suited to. Since we work well as a team, we look for those parks that are an average size - 40 to 70 sites - knowing that we could handle that together as a team, without additional employees. Although we work well together - working with others? Well, not so much.

This has gone very well and we have even been going back and forth with a contractor of a northern - very northern - campground - actually two small campgrounds close together. All is well, except that the number of hours cannot be promised. Ouch - so we drive 1900 kms (1,200 miles) from lower BC to a job where we don't know how much we will actually make. Hmmmmm.

Although it would be a guaranteed job right now we are putting it aside for the moment to see what else we can dig up.

In the mean time, the thought of going north has struck a cord with Derek and I. Ever since we headed that far - and farther - just into the Yukon - on our honeymoon back in 2002 we have been thinking about the pure majesty and awesomeness of the northern landscape. Have you been up there? Have you read Jack London? The Call of the Wild? Well, we are answering that call!

Going into the hinterland of BC got us to thinking that we should just go for broke and really go north. And so - today we spent the day sending off our information to the YUKON!

Yup - THE Yukon.

Amazing right?!

Public parks there work a little different than in BC, so we are not quite sure how it is going to go. In BC, the parks are owned by the provincial government but operated by private contractors who bid for one or more parks (a bundle) who then hire people like us to manage the parks. Not the best system - a whole bunch wrong with that but we have learned to work within the system and not grumble to loudly.

In the Yukon it seems that the provincial government is in total control of the parks. Not knowing what else to do we sent off our email of inquiry and resume to the email contact. We'll see what we get back.

Just to cover all of our basis we also sent out inquires to eleven (so far) private RV Parks. You just never know - right?! I don't know if they would need us but we'll see.

**This just in - we have just received an email back tonight from one of the RV Parks that they may be in need of our skills and will contact us again in the new year.

Now who wouldn't want to see the northern lights from this proximity?! 

At the same time we have been doing quite a bit of research on the Yukon and what it means to live there. For instance - did you know that Whitehorse is on average one of the driest cities in Canada!? Who knew! A very important piece of information for these sun seekers - especially after being drenched repeatedly last summer in east central Alberta.

For those of you that have been following along for sometime you know that we have mentioned our intent to give up this winter traveling gig and are working on plans to settle down. True. Maybe. Anyway - we are working on transitioning to a more normal typical common traditional DARN! A lifestyle with less traveling. This could also possibly mean not working parks for the summer. However, at the moment working the parks during the summer is what we know - it's what we do. It's not always a position that we like but we do it well. With this up coming summer being our fifth, we've really come to have a system for our family in place. 

This could be us! Well, one with no hair, brown hair and a kid, that is.

This could be the summer that we live in the van for the five or six months coming off of a winter of living in the van for five or six months. For the last three summers we have worked at parks that offer a cabin to move into which has been a complete luxury for the Wood Clan. To put it on a scale you could relate to it's like moving from your say 2,000 square foot home to a 8,000 square foot home. Pure heaven of space - although more to clean - I know - that's true. But for us moving from the 98 square feet of the van to the 400 to 500 square feet of the cabins, we put it up there with winning the lottery.

Many that we have met along our journeys ask how we get our parks jobs. Well - we just apply really. In addition to contacting the park we would like to work for directly, we keep an eye on sites such as Working Couples and the classifieds website Kijiji. And really just googling all the key words usually brings up a variety of listings. We are looking for jobs a bit different than what most RVers (read retired Rvers) are familiar with, such as Camp Hosts or Work Campers where an rv spot is generally swapped for hours worked. Since we require cool hard cash, sites like HappyVagabonds and Workers on Wheels don't really work for us, but I do check in with them once in a while just in case. 

I'd do this in a minute! Guess we'll have to just spend the winter up there too!

And Derek would be here in a minute! I found this picture on a great new site Tammilee Tips. Nice to see someone else enjoying a good craft brew - Yukon Brewing.

So, YUKON - here comes the Wood Clan!

Settle down? Maybe... There is always next year to decide that - right?!


(I think I've been listening to the Road Less Travelled and Society - Into the Wild a bit too much.) 

Give them a listen - go on - do it!


  1. That is the beauty of this lifestyle, no hard and set rules and, plans are written in chalk. Just go where the mood strikes.
    Good luck with your employment search, I am sure the perfect opportunity will jump right out at you.

    1. Thanks George and you are right - plus there is just so darn much to see and experience.

  2. Humm......maybe we'll have to go back to Alaska next summer

  3. Maybe Derek could get a job as Beer Taster. I think he might be very good at it. ;) If there is an ice cream factory Cassia could be a quality control taster as well. That would leave you free to Blog!

  4. I saw the movie, I was spellbound. The guy made some mistakes, and they could have easily been overcome. As we say about Mexico, "know before you go". Never understood why he didn't have food when there was a river there. Fishing is primordial. Sad ending but what a way to go!

    1. So true Chris. There are so many things you wish he had done differently. Hind sight though. I don't think I could watch the movie again - so so so sad. But - he did it his way - right?! Definitely spellbinding.....


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