Yes, it snowed overnight here at the North Rim. A lot of it. And it does not look like it is going to go away today.
We arrived here at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on about April 26th, forgive me if I can’t remember the exact date, it has been such a blur! I started training for my job two days later, and man, is it ever a lot to learn! We finally got our telephone and internet installed yesterday, so I have a connection to the world again.
I have AT&T for my cellphone service, but it only gets a signal at very specific spots, all of which are not in my trailer. One is at the helicopter pad at the edge of the canyon, another is in the campground at one certain picnic table, and the other is in the employee restroom. I found out about that one because I had my cellphone in my pocket, and while I was in there, uh, doing my stuff, the phone rang!! It was my Mom, so I answered it, but I doubt very seriously I would have invited anyone else in there with me.
Here is a peek at my morning commute. This is along the Transept Trail. You actually see a side canyon called Transept Canyon here.
I have run into these deer several times. They don’t run away, just kind of look at me as if to say, “Oh, it’s just you.” Some mornings there are about 10 of them. I walk about 9/1o’s of a mile each way to the office. Later, when the park opens, I’ll drive about 12 miles from the office to the entrance station.
This one is looking south from the same spot, towards the canyon. It is another 13 miles or so to the edge of the North Rim from this spot. This is where I will be working this season. Boy, if ya have to work, this is the place to be! (Oh, did you notice the snow still on the ground? I took these photos on May 8, 2008. )
You know that sound you hear sometimes in movies, that sounds sort of like a needle being dragged abruptly across an old vinyl record? The one they use just before they suddenly stop the action and back up to an earlier point in time? Well, imagine that you are hearing that sound right about now! And then back up to here.
On February 6th, when I wrote that we had decided to go to work at a campground in Missouri, and told you all about how beautiful the place was, and we were really looking forward to going there, and yayaya, inside my little brain I was really thinking, Missouri, eh. Blah. Not blah to that campground, just blah to Missouri. Then last week I wrote about how I was just not getting the things done I needed to get done before we leave. I am just not that enthusiastic about going there because I want to be somewhere else.
Since I was 12 years old, I have dreamed about working and living at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Even before I knew that jobs could be had that would actually let you live inside of the national park, even before I knew how to go about applying for one of those jobs, I have longed to go there. Back then, when I was a kid, and had never seen a travel trailer, I used to daydream about going out there in a pick-up truck with a camper shell on it, because that was all I knew existed.
After Jim and I started living our full-time RV lifestyle eight years ago, and I had to start looking for a job for us every six months or so, I stumbled across a website called USAJobs.com. At first, I only searched for jobs, just to see what was available, because I did not think they had temporary seasonal jobs. I thought if we went to work for a national park, we would be tied to it for the long-term, and I could not ever get Jim to agree to that sort of job.
Well, about five years ago, when I was searching for jobs yet again, I came across a full-time RV’ers forum where someone mentioned that they had worked a seasonal job at a national park. So, off I went to the USAJobs site to look again. Oh. My. God! They did have temporary seasonal jobs, and lots of them, at all of the national parks out west. And so I started applying for any of the jobs I thought I could do.
One thing about our government, they do not make it easy to search. The job titles usually don’t have anything at all to do with what you think they might actually be. So, it was very time consuming, because I had to read all of the job descriptions and decide if the encrypted jargon equaled something I could do, or that I could convince them I could do.
Four years ago, I started filling out applications. Office Automation Assistant, Information Receptionist, Visitor Use Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator, even Laborer and Assistant Recreation Assistant (??). For four long years, I have dutifully filled in all the blanks, answered the questions written in secret code, and pushed the send button, to never hear from them again. Until last week.
On Monday of last week, a guy named Bob called me to offer me a job as a temporary seasonal Visitor Use Assistant at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The job has a very good rate of pay, it is for six months, it includes a full hook up campsite in the employee housing section, and it accrues annual leave. But, I had to decline the offer. I told Bob I really hated to turn this down, but that we also needed a job for my husband and he had not heard a word about his application.
I ended up talking to Bob for about half an hour, getting tips and information about how to apply so that both of our applications would get noticed. I ended the conversation with him by saying, “I am going to think really positive and say that I will see you out there next year.”
After I hung up the phone, I was depressed for a couple of days. I could not believe that after all that hard work, I had to turn down the job I had dreamed of all my life. So, I was sitting there minding my own pity-party business on Friday, when the phone rang again, and it was a different guy, Alan, asking for Jim. Alan offered him a temporary seasonal job in maintenance at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Jim said, “I really hate to say no, but my wife just turned down a job a couple of days ago. To which the caller replied, “What job was it? Who did she talk to? What is her name? I’m going to call Bob and see if the job is still available.”
So, Jim hung up, and a short time later, Bob called me back, and asked if I was still interested in that job. “Heck, Yeah!” was my reply. So, I interviewed with him over the phone, and he said he would call my references, and get back in touch with me.
Today, Bob called and told me my references checked out, and gave me a tentative job offer. Shortly after we hung up, Al called Jim and also gave him a tentative job offer. Now we are waiting for the package to arrive in the mail to fill out for a background check. But I truly believe, in my heart, in my little girl dreams, that I will be wearing that Smokey The Bear uniform in just a few weeks.
Sometimes the stars do line up just right.