Today we said “See ya on down the road” to our community of camphosting friends. It was bittersweet.
We’ve grown close to some of these folks over the past four and a half months. Yet, our case of “hitch itch” and desire for exploration and adventure is pretty serious. So, we sought out each of the hosts, snapped a photo and said our goodbyes.
We honked the horn, waved, and then made a right turn out of the park (only the second time we’ve done that since arriving). We have returned to full time traveling.
Here’s a very brief intro to the hosts. So much more could be said, but I need to keep my emotions in check.
Randy and Georgia
- Harrison’s baseball buddy
- Owners of Basengis, Ellie and Frankie
- They call Iowa home
- They worked maintenance
LaVonne and Duane
- We committed to 6 weeks of hosting to cover until this couple came for the rest of the season.
- They call Washington home
- Primarily worked the Entry Station (ES)
Caroline and Ron
- Our neighbors for 2 months.
- She was a charge nurse for 40+ years. He was in the newspaper business.
- Sports fans
- Apple product fans
- They call Wisconsin home
- Worked the ES
- Our other neighbor for 2 months
- She was a teacher
- She played an important role in training us for the job (since we had no formal training)
- Calls Alaska home
- A jack of all trades, working the ES, Nature Center, and assisting with hikes
- I’m gonna miss this woman!
- Calls New Mexico home
- The Nature Center queen (and I say that with utmost respect—she knows her stuff)
- New park supervisor this season
- Always a smile
- A good fit for the position
Jim and Marci
- Marci is a great encourager and became a good buddy to Miranda
- She was a nurse and he was a chiropractor
- They call Colorado home
- Marci worked the Nature Center primarily, but could be found in the ES occasionally. Jim is a handy man and would help out the maintenance crew as much as possible.
Don and Mollie
- Friends we met here two years ago—Mollie is the one who told us about the original 6 week opening
- They provided the majority of our on the job training
- Their children spent hours with our children over the course of our stay
- Mollie still works as a consultant. Don is training for an Ironman
- A full-time traveling family
- ES workers
Mark and Lynn
- Miranda’s mentors
- She was a teacher (still is) and his most recent job was in IT (he was a jeweler at one time)
- They included Harrison and Miranda in many of their park activities
- Full-time travelers
- Their dog Star is a beautiful gentleman. If I had a dog, I’d want it to be just like Star
- These two are “unofficial rangers”—they led many programs at the park
Bruce and Susan
- Usery camphosts from the past who agreed to take our spot for the month of March
- Bruce is a kid at heart. Susan has a wonderful laugh
- These two fill in wherever needed - they are both knowledgeable about the area
Joni and Kim
- Harrison had the joy of working with Kim
- First-time camphosts
- Kim always wears a smile.
- Owned their own business until they sold it off in recent years
- The Phoenix area is home base
- These two tag-teamed with Georgia and Randy in keeping the park clean
Charlie and Phyllis
- Our first neighbors at Usery
- Charlie is “in charge” of the archery range. Phyllis works in the Nature Center
- They are the only couple we did not get to say goodbye to (bummer)
- Affectionately referred to as the bird lady
- She calls Arizona her home
- She snuck out last weekend before we had a chance to say goodbye - she was heading to a birding event in Texas
- She led many walks and talks about the local birds