Let's talk about summer. We've logged a lot of miles this past winter and we are ready to slow way down for the summer months so we considered a number of possibilities. We could have gone back to Montana and Glacier which we were planning on doing, but then we starting talking about doing something in a volunteer capacity. These volunteer positions include everything from docents to camp hosts, and in return for volunteer hours you receive free camping, usually in a nice place. Hmmm. Where would we find something like that?
Volunteer.gov is a clearinghouse of volunteer positions for the National Park Service, BLM, Corps of Engineers and other state and local agencies. There are thousands of opportunities that range in length from a few weeks to months. Pick a state and you can look at everything that's offered. We had become a bit burned out on the desert - pun intended, so were looking for a place that was completely different from where we had been living. Here is what we found: Cape Perpetua Visitor Center Host - Yachats, OR. Jim and I both had volunteer experience in a similar vein - me with leading bird hikes and working in the Red Rock State Park visitor center and Jim as a mountain bike patroller for the Coconino National Forest. Plus we had actually been to Yachats on vacation (say yah-hots), so we applied. We had to supply the Forest Service with references, a personal statement about why we wanted the position and details of any relevant past experience. Several weeks later we received an email from them that we had been accepted. We were quite surprised...would they really want US? We are really excited to be spending May through September on the Oregon coast, with an RV pad at the Visitor Center and all utilities paid. In return, we "work" from 10 am to 6 pm, 3 or 4 days per week, recommending hikes, promoting the area and being ambassadors for one of the most beautiful stretches of the Oregon coast. No toilet cleaning necessary :-) we couldn't be happier. Imagine the sound of the ocean and dinner while the sun sets into the Pacific. The hiking, biking and photography will be top notch.
Now the invitation part. If you are reading this we would love to have you come for a visit. The central Oregon coast is beautiful, wild and a great place to spend a summer vacation. There is camping nearby at Cape Perpetua Campground, or for a larger overview of camping in the area, try any of the places listed on Campendium, a website owned by friends Brian and Leigh. There are also some wonderful hotels in Yachats itself, and we can highly recommend the Overleaf Lodge as we have stayed there. Summer highs run about 65 degrees and lows 55.
We will be heading that way via Lone Pine, CA, Reno, NV, and Ashland. OR. I will leave you with another link to info on the Cape and a few photos done by the Siuslaw National Forest.