We will begin by telling you about how we got started in the full time rv life. We are both retired, me from the USMC and my wife was a waitress for over 30 years. We met in 1999, I was a widower and she had just gotten out of a bad marriage. She was a secretary at a car dealership and I was making extra money by driving cars cross country for the dealership. We met there and after a lot of me chasing her we finally got together and late in 2000 we got married. We lived in a small house in Kentucky and bought a former resort that had been closed for many years. It was in bad shape and we completely rebuilt it as our home. It was a 2 story log cabin with a big in-ground pool, 2 large ponds and also had a triplex and a duplex on the property. We remodeled them and rented them out for extra income.
We took several trips on cruise ships and both of us discovered we really liked traveling, but, on the cruise ships you would get to a port and only had time to see the city you were in. We did take a few long tours of the different places but it just wasn’t the same as having a car and going where you wanted to go. We bought our first camper and started camping, mostly here in Kentucky but we did take a few trips to Florida. Our first camper was a bumper pull, 26ft, Coachman with no slideouts. We pulled it with a Chevy gas engine 3/4 ton 4 door pickup.
In 2002 we decided to take a long trip to see family in the northwest, in Montana. We arranged to meet them in Glacier National part for a 4 day visit. This was their choice since they were from Montana and knew the area. We headed out for Montana, never driven that far before, much less pulling a travel trailer. We made our way out of Kentucky, into Illinois, then Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming and finally Montana. This was the longest vacation we had ever taken and did not realize just how far it was until we drove it. We arrived at Glacier and went to the Apgar campground right on Lake McDonald. We picked a site and was just amazed at how big the park was and how beautiful it was. Our family showed up a little later and we sat and talked around a campfire. They live in Montana and told us of all of the things to do in Glacier. We made plans for sightseeing trips and a hiking trip for the next few days. We were not fulltimers at this time, only campers on a vacation. We walked around the campground looking and talking with people and met what we thought was a park ranger. It turns out they were campground host in Glacier. They told us what they did and how much fun it was. They did not get paid much, only a $50.00 a month stipend. They wore uniforms and looked like rangers, carried radios and bear spray. Their uniforms were paid for by the park. Their rv site in the campground was the only site in the park with full hookups, water, electric and sewer. No other sites in the whole park have any of the services and the campground host received them for free while they were there.
After talking to them we met a young lady who worked there also, she was in training to be a full ranger and helped run the campground. We ask her how did people get the jobs of campground hosting in the park. She said it was very hard to get one and that there was usually a long waiting list for the jobs. We talked to her for quite a while as she was a very interesting and lovely young lady. She said she would call someone and see if there might be any jobs available for the next year and let us know. The next day she gave us a name and number to call and when we did we were told to go to the park headquarters and fill out some paperwork for a background check. We did and we were told we would be a campground host for the 2003 season in Apgar campground. We were thrilled and really did not know what we had gotten ourselves into.
Will continue with more soon.