Hiking with Holly, Off Trail Adventures

Life Update and News to Share…

It’s a rainy day here in Phoenix. It feels like a good day to sit down and write again.  I kind of lost my mojo for a while, but I am hoping it’s coming back!

I guess a life update is due for those that don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook and then some exciting news to share!

We have been spending our winters (October-March) in the Phoenix area to be close by our son Braylon and his family.  Especially my granddaughter, Rylie. And also be closer to SoCal where our other son, Cordlan still lives. We stay at one of the hundreds of 55+ resorts that are in the area. I guess you would technically call us “snowbirds” now.  We have been spending our time with them, hiking the Superstition Mountains, and taking care of all of our yearly doctor’s appointments. Now that I just wrote that sentence, yes, we are definitely snowbirds. Ha!

Last summer (2022), we spent our time in Verdi, NV (our home base) and Mammoth Lakes, CA.  It was wonderful spending so much time in the mountains.  We were able to hike and off-road to our hearts content. Unfortunately, the economy has had a major impact on us and our ability to travel like we used to, so we have been spending more time being “stationary” in a few locations, than moving around as much. 

When we arrived here in October, we really had no idea what we were going to do, come time to leave in April. It has been a big source of stress for us. We spent a great deal of time praying about where and what God wanted for us…. with no answer. We were very close to putting the RV in storage and just renting a house for a while, but nothing really worked out in that direction either. Our family wants us here, but we still feel like there is more to do “out there”.  We decided to look into Work Camping.  Work Camping is when you work for someone/somewhere either for free hook-ups, laundry, amenities or sometimes pay as well.  We knew that we did not want to be Camp Hosts, so finding something unique to us was going to be a challenge, but not impossible.

After applying and going through an interview process, we were accepted for 2 different positions with the US Forest Service in Flagstaff, AZ for the summer season of 2023. We will be living in a special forest service work camper campground and receiving full hook-ups, propane, and laundry.  Our season will run from the beginning of May (or as soon as they can get the water turned on after this very snowy winter) through the beginning to middle of October.

Now, what will we be doing?

I, Holly, will be working as a Trail Ambassador and PSAR (Preventative Search and Rescue) Volunteer for the Humphrey’s Peak Trailhead.  Humphrey’s Peak is the tallest peak in Arizona at 12,633 ft.  It has thousands of people each summer trying to hike to the summit.  I will be working on weekends and holidays at the trailhead or hiking to the saddle to help people have the safest and most enjoyable hike they can. Making people aware of weather, trail updates, leave no trace ethics, answering questions, etc.  Obviously, trying to help prevent a search and rescue situation and representing the US Forest Service out on the trail.

Gannon will be working in their woodshop. He will be helping to fix and maintain trail signs, kiosks, and occasional repairs to forest service cabins.  He also will need to be available to help me at the trailhead, if the need arises. He has been spending most of his free time in our resort’s woodshop preparing and I’ve been the recipient of some pretty cool projects.

We have a lot to do to get ready for this new adventure.  We are really looking forward to spending our summer exploring and getting to know a new mountain area.  Only being 2.5 hours from Phoenix will also be a big blessing. Please let me know if you have any questions about what we will be doing.  I would be happy to share more detailed info with you.  I also plan on writing more as we start preparing and throughout our time there.

Happy Trails!

12 thoughts on “Life Update and News to Share…”

  1. So good to see you writing again!! And the USFS sounds like an ideal opportunity! How many hours a week are you required to work? I’m praying all the details work out super smooth!
    Keep exploring!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a perfect fit! I grew up in AZ and went to school at NAU in Flag…such an awesome place. Good luck on this new adventure!! Have fun prepping and exploring!

    Liked by 1 person

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