Sunday, June 21, 2009
Today I attended my first American Indian Pow Wow, held on the grounds of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. This was a gathering of the Plains Indians - Crow, Shoshone, Lakota, Aspaalooke, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Navajo - each in their own, beautiful native dress.
The Grand Entry of members of all tribes was so impressive. All senses were attacked - sight (the colors!), sound (the drums), smell (sizzling flatbread), taste (Indian tacos), touch (all the beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry I just had to try on). The weather finally cooperated and I took over a 100 pictures while thoroughly enjoying this wonderful event under a gloriously sunny day.
Saturday night I enjoyed dinner at the historic Irma Hotel. Bill Cody built 'the sweetest little hotel in the West' in 1902 and named it for his youngest daughter. The hand-carved red mahogany bar, which stretches the entire length of the dining room, is truly magnificent. My friend Ric and I enjoyed the large buffet and then we took a drive to the start of the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway that starts at the bottom of the Beartooth Mountain range. The sunset was glorious and once again I realized just how vast this country is - something that hits you in the face very time you turn, or drive around. I just ordered the bikini top for Willie (the Jeep) so we can go topless by next week and up into the mountains and see much more!
Several of you have asked what work/camping is like and I think it varies with what you do and where you work that to generalize would not be fair. My job here at YVI to work the Front Desk. I'm a reservationist, a sales person, a greeter and tour information specialist. I expected to work 20-hours a week for my full-hook-up RV site and I normally work between 25-35 a week. I do get paid $7.50 an hour for every hour over the 20 I work - so that covers most of my food and gas.
The owners of YVI are a husband/wife team from MN and have owned the resort for 5 years. They have issues and those issues spill over onto the work/campers, of which there are 2 couples plus myself. Then there are about 10 workers (mostly in their early 20's) who are given housing and food in exchange for working 40 hours a week. We had 2 girls from Russia but they only lasted 2 weeks - there is no mall in Cody and they just couldn't see cleaning bathrooms and then not being able to shop anywhere but WalMart. They quit! Yesterday two young workers from Taiwan arrived to replace them - we'll see! It is never dull here.
The weather, they tell me is being totally weird! It's not suppose to rain and it's been pouring at least part of every day for the past 19! And then there was the snow. It's cool and cloudy and when the sun does come out everyone gets so excited and run to The Park! This is the 'high dessert' and rain is rare but what it's done is fill the rivers and turn everything green.
So things are going well and I'm having fun getting to meet people from all over the US and the world. You can't believe the number of folks from Europe and Asia who come here for vacation and rent an RV. But now for the announcement....I applied and was offered a job for the winter season at the Emerald Coast RV Resort in Panama City Beach, Florida! I'll be doing their marketing, sales and PR, some activities planning and bringing Rallies to the resort. Located just 1 mile from the beautiful, wind-sand beach of Panama City, I am thrilled to be heading back to surf and sand. (Check it out - http://www.rvresort.com/) I was also offered a good position in San Antonio for the winter, but chose Florida. Will leave Cody the first of September and head to Sacramento to see #1 son Tobin's new house, then back through Phoenix and Tucson, St. Louis, Paduach and Maryville to visit friends and family before arriving in Florida on October 1st. How cool is this life?!
Until next time.....take care of each other.