Meant to Be

One of Rob’s goals has been to get on with the National Park Service full-time. It is a small and competitive field, though, and can be very difficult to get into. He has worked the last two summers as a seasonal employee, with the hope of landing a permanent position. The great thing about the National Parks is that they are all over the country, so the possibilities are endless.

Rob has been applying for jobs this summer and has received a few referrals, but nothing beyond that. Until just recently…

He had applied for a position in North Dakota, and after his interview, was offered a permanent full-time job. This means a lot of things for us: benefits, no gap in the work year, retirement. We are extremely excited that Rob was able to get on with the NPS in such a short amount of time, considering how long it can take.

This does change our end-of-year plans a little bit. I found out today that I will still be able to work the beet harvest, only I have changed locations and will be working in Montana instead of North Dakota. The harvest takes place the first two to three weeks of October, depending on the weather. Also, we will not be heading down to Kansas for the peak season at Amazon. They have been a really good job for us for the last coupe of years, but a third season is not in the cards.

There is a probation period, so we will have to stay in the same park for a minimum of one-two years. From there, Rob will have the option of either staying in the same location, or transferring to another park. But you never know, it may end up being the place we call home

PS – I have a thing for dates, so here are some little side notes, just for fun: Rob received a call on his birthday to schedule an interview. On my birthday, he had his phone interview. Less than a week later he was offered the job and they asked him to start on October 5, which will be the 15th anniversary of our first date.

And since we are talking about dates, August 25, our official launch date, also happens to be the birthday of the National Park Service…

Perhaps some things are just meant to be…

Getting Ready to Roll

When we were trying to decide where we wanted to spend the summer and possible job opportunities, working for the National Park Service was always high on Rob’s list. There are always more applicants than positions available, and some people apply for years before getting on while others never do. When Rob began his application process toward the end of last year, he figured it was just the beginning of a very long process.

He applied for every position he came across that he felt he was qualified for, as well as some that were long shots. The great thing about the Park Service is that they are everywhere, and the great thing about being wanderers is that we can be anywhere. So, deciding we wanted to spend some time on the East Coast, he applied for jobs all along it.

The rejection letters began coming in and Rob decided that he would gain valuable experience (and have a blast!) as a raft guide, so he applied for and accepted a position here in Tennessee. We arrived in March and intended to spend the summer here, not expecting anything from the Park Service this year.

We were sitting up in a look-out tower in the Smoky Mountains when Rob received a call asking him if he was still interested in a Park Service position up in Pennsylvania. Was he ever! Over a month passed before he heard anything else, but in May, he was able to begin the pre-employment background check, which was a process in itself.

This last Monday he received his official job offer, and he is to begin is new job next week. Our time here in East Tennessee has been wonderful. We have done and seen so many wonderful things and hiked some amazing trails, but it is time once again to venture somewhere new. We are all excited about going to Pennsylvania since we have not been there as a family before. It is a state full of history and new learning experiences for all of us.

We have spent the last couple of days preparing to take Waldo back on the road. We tend to spread out a little bit when we are stationary, so we usually have some stowing to do. Everything is pretty much ready to go and tomorrow we will hit the road, hopefully by early afternoon, or as soon as Rob is able to take care of some last-minute things at work here.

While Rob’s position in Pennsylvania will only last a few months, it is a great opportunity for him to get his foot in the door. Hopefully it is just the beginning of years of new opportunities around the country. This is exactly what he has been hoping for.

Pennsylvania here we come!!

Almost ready to roll...

Almost ready to roll…