Wednesday, February 10
“Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! . . . .”
I stick forty dollars into my pocket.
I toss Bridget and Reggie into the Perfect Tow Vehicle and we motor across the flat desert. Over a sandy wash we go and turn in to park at the camp host site. We’re way overdue with our payment for a two-week permit at Midland’s Long Term Visitor Area, Blythe, California.
The camp host couple has a picnic table outside their RV. It’s set up with the paperwork for selling permits.
First thing after hello, I apologize for being late.
“I have a knack for missing you! I can’t see if you’re home or not from where we’re camped.”
We settle in at the table in the warm sunshine and chat while filling out the permit.
“Do you want to be a camp host?”
The camp host proceeds to inform me of an opening. The Bureau of Land Management is looking for a resident host for Coon Hollow Campground for the next season.
“I’m not interested, but maybe someone who reads my blog will be,” I reply.
Where is Coon Hollow Campground?
Remember when the crew and I went over to Wiley’s Well LTVA? Well, Coon Hollow is up the road, further into the desert, from Wiley’s Well and it, too, is a Long Term Visitors’ Area. Rockhounding is one of the attractions of the area. Also exploring the Bradshaw Trail through the Mule Mountains.
Ever wonder what a camp host does?
The following is an excerpt from the BLM website regarding the camp host position at Coon Hollow:
“Duties: The LTVA host position involves greeting visitors and providing them information regarding travel directions, use of facilities, campground regulations, and recreational opportunities. Tasks include monitoring facilities and checking for compliance with rules and regulations pertaining to parking, campfires, noise levels, sanitation and safety; and collection of fees.. Minor maintenance of campground and facilities may be required if needed between weekly maintenance crew rounds. Problems or possible violations will be brought to the attention of visitors and supervisor. Daily visitor use data will be collected and recorded.
Qualifications: Volunteers must be energetic, self-motivated, customer service oriented and possess good communications skills to present a positive public image of the BLM. Must feel comfortable working independently in back country areas, and be able to read and interpret maps. Initial and additional training provided as needed.
This is a seasonal position that begins on September 15 and ends on April 15 of each year. BLM will waive permit fees and provide reimbursement of incidental expenses of $7 per day. Cell phone coverage is available within the area, depending on service provider.”
Check out this webpage from DesertUSA to learn more about Coon Hollow Campground and also the BLM webpage for Mule Mountain/Coon Hollow.
Note this very important clause in the qualifications:
“Must feel comfortable working independently in back country areas.”
You can say that again. Coon Hollow is way out there. This isn’t a job for someone unfamiliar with the desert or for a newbie to camping.
Anyway . . . I may have some desert rat readers who would like to try this camp host job. I also think it’s interesting to see the list of duties for a camp host, as well as the pay — a free campsite (value: $180) plus $7 a day.
Share what you know.
If you have experience as a camp host or if you are thinking about taking on a camp host position, I encourage you to open up comments and participate in a discussion.
What’s it like to be a camp host?
What do you like about camp hosting? What are the negatives? Do you have advice for someone looking for a hosting position?
I don’t think I mentioned this about the LTVA.
Either it slipped my mind or my mind slipped on it. Whatever the case, the chat with the camp host brought to my attention something that may be attractive for those of you who travel north-south routes, to and from Yuma, for instance.
You can stay at Midland for two nights for free!
That’s perfect when you need a stop-over. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like one-night stop-overs. Some people drive, stay overnight, drive, stay overnight, and so forth and then reach their destination all worn out. It seems to me that having at least one day off the road after each leg of a journey is a more enjoyable pace. That’s one of the joys of retirement!
Those two free nights at Midland are a good deal!
The camp host says, “People camping over the river near Quartzsite start to go crazy after a while, so they come over here for a few days and then go back.” We laugh.
Any comments, camp hosts and camp host wannabes?
NOTE: For those of you who are unfamiliar with opening up comments, simply click on the word “comments” in the tag line below or click on the title of this post, “What’s it like to be a camp host?”
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