We met people from all over the world, and many, many locals. We learned quickly to go with the flow and that rules were just suggestions in the far north. Beside the standard campground tasks we built a woodshed, did maintenance on remote cabins, and directed tourists to the mile marker where you see the moose.
This job would have been much nicer in a truck camper, since it would have been so much easier to pull out on our two consecutive days off mid-week. Even so, we managed to get north of the Arctic Circle and down to Denali to camp. As campground hosts, several attractions in the Fairbanks area gave us free passes so we’d be able to tell our visitors about them.
This was an unpaid post, but we got a $70 stipend every two weeks, a free campsite, and propane. The campsite had no hook-ups, the water had to be hand pumped, and dumping was a challenge.
The following winter we headed to the panhandle of Texas to work at Palo Duro State Park. We did not escape winter as it was one of their worst in history. They were rebuilding the road to the canyon, so we spent most of our three months there on the rim. We worked in the visitor’s center/museum/gift shop. It was a totally different experience from Alaska and we were bored a lot of the time. Again, if we’d had a truck camper, we might have left. They finally finished the road, and we moved down to take care of the Hackberry Campground.
We got to know the Panhandle and Amarillo quite well. We visited places like Cadillac Ranch and traveled Route 66. We got a campsite here with full hook-ups and a discount at the gift shop, but no money.
We had always intended to do more, but life got in the way. Since we’ve had our truck camper, we have applied to be hosts in national parks, but these positions are harder to come by. We would definitely do it again but, this time, in our truck camper.” – Sue and Don Graf, 2008 Ford F350, 2013 Arctic Fox 865