Well we are well into the year 2021 and I thought I should fill you in on how the summer of 2020 went! I have been wanting to post for a while now but just have not had the words! So many thoughts and feelings it has been very hard to manage at times. Every time I think ok we can get through this another dip in the roller coaster hits!
As many of you know I spent a lovely winter social season in Arizona. While at the big white tent in Quartzite I found a job for the summer season. I got hired to work in the office at a private ranch/campground in Napa, California, along with a friend as well. We were very excited and planned to take our time and start traveling up around April 1st. we were due to start on May 1st and wanted to take our time traveling. We all know how March went and come April 1st. we found ourselves still sitting in Lake Havasu Arizona waiting for word about our jobs! I didn’t want to travel there if we were not 100 % sure we would have jobs! About April 15th we got the word to go! Jobs were a go and we made the trip in 3 days. We had no choice but to spend our nights in Wal-mart parking lots since everything else was closed down.
I was very grateful that we still had a jobs. We Arrived and the park was still closed and we had to sit 14 days quarantine before we could actually work! Since the ranch was not open yet my job working in the office was not available however they still put me to work. We volunteered to do what ever work they needed from us. I spent a few days raking leaves as well as painting the pool deck oh yea and cleaning bath houses! I was never so happy as I was to be able to finally work in the office ! The ranch started out with day use only since we are governed by the state of California as well as the county of Napa ! That too lasted about 2 weeks before we got the word that we could fully open up to campers but with specific social distancing guidelines. June 12th was our first official full night opened on the ranch with people here !
Unfortunately it was only one night! First we had a small fire in the campground ! Thankfully the fire was put out even before the firetrucks arrived! Then we got the bad news that a fellow employee had tested positive for covid! That stopped everything! almost half the staff myself included has been quarantined and all have to be tested. All the campers have been sent home as well. So here we sit in Limbo once again. I picked a great year to start workamping! I do like the job and everyone I work with so that is a plus! And it is easy to work again when you know that it is only a temporary situation!
By the middle of July we were open and running but still with pretty strict guidelines and rules. But that all changed August 17th. That is the day the fires hit. We spent the morning packing up to evacuate then helping the ranch staff evacuate the horses. The horses were evacuated to a facility in town. We were evacuated to a campground in town as well. For the next two weeks we worked 3 hr. shifts daily helping with the upkeep of the horses waiting for it to be safe to go back to the ranch. Unfortunately we never returned to the ranch . There was not enough work for all the staff and we were laid off. That was two months earlier than expected, so we decided to head towards Lake Tahoe area and slowly make our way back to Arizona! We camped 3 days in the Eldorado National Forest. However Fires broke out there as well.
I then decided just to head back to Arizona, Williams had the coolest temps around ! It was a hot smoky miserable trip ! My first stop it was over 100 degrees at 6 pm I knew that was not gonna work. I used my jackery to power 3 fans trying to keep the animals cool. I choose to leave in the middle of the night just to beat the heat! We ended up driving 9 straight hours to get out of the smoke and get to cooler temps. And that is the story of my first ever workamping gig summer 2020.