You may recall a post we made last February where we laid out our plans for 2016. At that time we were still months away from the start of our Alaska trip. In that post I wrote about how RVers like to say plans are made in Jell-O. Yeah, so, there's a reason for that. Let me bring you up-to-date on our wiggly, jiggly travel plans.
In early April, we arrived at Carrier RV Service in Eugene for a day or so of maintenance on Scoopy. Tom, the owner, also did a "We're Going To Alaska" inspection to make sure all systems were a go for our big adventure. It was during that inspection that he discovered a big problem with our back slide. We've had issues with it since our late-December stay in Tucson, but we had no idea it was barely hanging on and needed some serious attention. Still, with a little duct tape here and there, Tom thought we'd be okay on our trip to Alaska, but advised we get it fixed as soon as possible upon our return.
Scoopy during her service at Carrier back in April 2016.
So that's where we're headed. Eugene. Not, according to our original plans, to the Teton Valley. Sad! Tom needs a week for the slide repair, so we are moving out of Scoopy while the guys at Carrier remove and overhaul her back slide. (Srsly, couldn't we all use a little work back there?)
There is no worse feeling than being completely displaced from your home while it is being repaired. That said, we do get to spend the time with dear friends. We'll say goodbye to Scoopy and head north to Portland and spend a few days with Glenn and Kris before we drive even further northward to Whidbey Island to stay with our friends Dan and Sherrie. Honestly, we are so blessed and grateful to have these people in our lives. And funny, we've seen more of them since we have been fulltiming than we did before! They can't get rid of us!
Another thing we weren't expecting prior to going to Alaska was my trip to the ER in Bellingham. Though peace of mind is "priceless", somehow the hospital and doctors managed to put a hefty price on it anyway. Between the upcoming expensive slide fix and the spendy ER trip, our Alaska budget was blown before we even took off! But you know what they say, "Alaska is a once in a lifetime trip!" And it is, so after lots of consideration we figured out a way to make it work and went to Alaska in spite of the busted budget! (We will write a blog about our Alaska expenses in the not too distant future, btw, so future travelers can get an idea of the expenses of an Alaska trip.)
Also in our 2016 plans was a trip to Ireland and Norway in November/December. Clearly, something had to give, so we reluctantly postponed our Europe trip until we could replenish our travel fund.
There are loads of ways RVers make money to support their travel habit. Our friends Clarke and Elaine have tackled some interesting jobs during their years on the road, so we took a page from their playbook and applied to work at Amazon during Peak Season, otherwise known as CamperForce. I know, sounds exciting, right?
In four of their fulfillment warehouses around the country, Amazon hires thousands of RVers to work the busy holiday season, starting as early as August for some, through the must-anticipated dismissal date of December 23rd. We applied to the warehouse in Hazlet, TX, which would have been perfect, as it was only 180 miles from my parent's ranch! OMG, how awesome! But Hazlet was fully staffed by the time we applied. So we moved our application to Campbellsville, Kentucky. HIRED! OMG, we're going to Kentucky!! Our start date is October 15, which means we'll be working 10 weeks before we head back to the ranch in Texas.
It's hard work. Not mentally hard work, but physically. We will be on our feet walking miles and miles for four 10-hour days per week. When things get busy, there is mandatory overtime, usually an additional 10-hour day. Then, there is Voluntary Overtime, which is yet another 10-hour day. I'm not sure we're up to working a 60-hour work week, no matter how good the pay, but we'll probably try to do it at least once. In addition, Amazon pays for our campsite. Pretty sweet deal, right? In any case, the end result should be a fairly significant boost to our travel fund. YAY! I hope it all works out as planned, because in anticipation of that budget boost, we booked our tickets to Ireland for January 25-February 25, 2017! We ditched Norway to stay longer in Ireland and I am looking forward to seeing Steven's family - it's been a long time.
As soon as Scoopy is ready, we will head out to the Teton Valley. We won't get to spend as much time there as we wanted, but at least we will get there. On October 1st, we will begin our trek to Campbellsville in anticipation of our start at Amazon. Once released by December 23rd, we will make a beeline back to the ranch in west Texas, where my family and one or more of our kids will be waiting to celebrate Christmas.
Eugene to Campbellsville to Live Oak Ranch.
Then, we chill for an entire month before taking off to Europe. Upon our return, the travels begin anew. Keeping in mind the whole Jell-O thing, 2017 should find us heading east. Clarke and Elaine will be waiting for us in Florida, and maybe Michael and Lizzy will be there, too. Together we will meander up the east coast and see what trouble we can get into. We are soooooo looking forward to our travels, even if the route changes again and again. We love this life!