Kat got the news from Amazon: an invitation to start work seven weeks early. That’s good news because Amazon won’t work you off the clock, they pay much better and we get two or three blissful days off-work each week. Rain continues to fall in Elkins, and on too many nights we have had to collect over-loaded garbage bags in a drizzle, lest the ‘possums and ‘coons get there first. We haven’t had a full day off in two months, and we are tired.
I have enjoyed working most of these two months. It feels good to have some structure, to do useful work, and to get a paycheck once again. People have an emotional need for work. Work fills up most of our waking hours leaving us less time to focus on our trials and tribulations. Sometimes it is unpleasant, but if it were always fun, they wouldn’t call it work.
We’ll miss some of our clients more than others. We’ll miss Mary Maytag, who runs the laundromat with her husband, whom I call Richard Kimble. (He’s not The Fugitive, he’s the one-armed man with no name. He has both arms, but one was in a sling most of our time here.) We’ll miss Mr. Jimmy, who like me used to be in the home-building business and would love to get back. We’ll miss our hiking guide/diamond miner/paleontologist Richard. Then there’s our pal Mustang Charlie, a local dishwasher who sprung $35 for a season pass to park after work beside the river and down sixers of Bud Platinum. We won’t forget Purple Heart and Tunnel Mountain, dog walkers who usually stroll together and give us the weather forecast (there’s no radio, tv, or internet in our campground). The former is a Viet Nam vet, the latter a retired Bed & Breakfast operator.
We’ve learned things about camp hosting. It may be less stressful to host a campground than a day use area; collection of the fees is easy when they’ve driven in stakes. Neither is an easy job. You really need to embrace the attitude of “Jimmy crack corn, and I don’t care”. Otherwise, plan to go crazy if you are at all driven or competitive. Those camp hosts who last a decade or more learn to roll with the punches and never take the job or themselves seriously. That could have been our problem. But don’t let me discourage you. Ours was one campground out of tens of thousands in this fine country. That’s too small a sample to draw any conclusions.
On we roll on our 500 mile trek to central Kentucky. Along the way we will try to park in a few Corps of Engineers campgrounds with full hookups. Each will honor our America the Beautiful pass and its 50% discount. Soon we will commence another late summer and all of autumn in our adopted home town, Campbellsville, KY.
As for Elkins, hey, we’ll always have cachapas.