Resident Volunteer

Resident Volunteer

I can’t believe that in one week it will be time to move on; and I can’t believe how three months flew by, but I should be used to it at this point.

In my post from February, I mentioned that I was a Resident Volunteer. I’ve been working at Cherry Creek State Park since the beginning of January in the Campground Office. In exchange for parking and utilities, I help with reservations and retail sales for 32 hours a week.

I have to say it has been the perfect spot for me working at Metro State. I can take the Metro/T/Lightrail (I never know what to call it around here) to campus and don’t have to worry about parking the behemoth Sylvia downtown; parking is free at the station.

The campground is quiet in the winter months, there’s only 13 sites open, but April 1, my last day, the entire campground will be open – changing over night. In the past week there’s been so much green appear, and while I am angry at the turdus migratorius (robin’s) for not freaking migrating, there has been an influx of norther flickers. For a park surrounded by urban and suburban areas, it’s a great spot. The ladies (a herd of doe, sometimes joined by a buck or two), usually wander through the campground in the mornings will be in for a rude awakening next week.

Most of the time it is quiet in the office. I work Thurs-Sunday, and this week have been answering the same question over and over. (Yes, the campground is full if you were curious.)

I plan to continue with being a Resident Volunteer Jan-April for the foreseeable years. I tried to get a position in North Carolina for 2019, but it filled up already, so I am putting my name on the list for 2020. My plan will be to look for a more southern spot for next year. I am looking at you Arizona and New Mexico for warm opportunities. I got lucky this year with the low snow amount, and am not sure that will happen again: I feel extremely lucky for winter camping this year. On average I went through 100# of propane every 3 weeks, and we had minimal snow, so minimal worry on freezing. Colorado really does need the snow, we are several feet below our usual snow fall which impacts the region for our water levels and fire issues. Most likely we’ll be looking at a long fire ban this summer. I though am breathing a sigh of relief with surviving a mild winter and no further issues with the rig.

April 15 makes it a year since I’ve owned Stella and Sylvia, May 1 since moving in full-time. I can’t believe I’ve gotten so far!

What does the future hold?

The near future, I am going to be in the Park for one more week, then my friend Jen is coming for her yearly Mountain Sabbatical, so excited to get in Mountain Time, it’s really been a hustle for the last few months. After Mountain Time I have one more week at the MSU job, then vending at the Denver Flea, and rolling east mid-April to celebrate my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah. I’ll hang out on the east coast for a month and a half visiting family and friends in Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshirev and Vermont, then returning to Colorado after a wild weekend at the AIGA Leadership Retreat. I’ve taken on another volunteer roll with AIGA National, helping West Coast Chapters as a Chapter Advisory Council member.

No, Sylvia won’t be making the trek east, she’s going back in to the shop. (sound familiar?). She’s going to get some new axels and fabulous new tires. At some point I probably did something dumb like drive over a curb… in a home Depot Parking lot (or something)… I may have mentioned my lack of skill in driving this thing at the beginning.

I am nervous about rolling out, I haven’t pulled the trailer in three months, and hoping it’s like riding a bike.

When I do get back to Colorado, I almost immediately go up to Yellowstone. Yes! Yellowstone! I have been accepted as a vendor to sell my goods through the Pathways Program.

This opportunity came about, in part, from a meeting with Janet, a mentor in the RMMFI program I did in 2015 for new entrepreneurs. Last year she and I had a great brainstorm over coffee, and suggested I took a look at the town, Livingston, in Montana, about an hour north of Yellowstone.
Livingston had an arts fair over the Fourth of July last year, and while it was a bit slow, a woman named Carrie stopped in my booth. She turned out to be a buyer for Delaware North, one of the concessionaires in the Park and suggested my pieces would be perfect for their program. I have been following up ever since, and was able to get an application turned in at the beginning of the month.

I will be going up both in June, which will be a great “getting the lay of the land” for the second trip of over July 4th!

Yes! I will be at the Old Faithful General Store selling my goods over the 4th! I can’t be more excited.

The rest of the summer is falling into place as acceptances come through. I will most likely be headed up to Whitefish, MT the weekend after July 4th Yellowstone.

I will be in Estes Park for a few Monday Markets, and heading to Salida for a few days as well. Check the calendar here to see what is coming up!

Something else in the cooker is obtaining a position with a local art school as a Foundations Faculty member for their online program. Breathing a sigh of relief regarding the monetary units.

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