It’s been about 3 weeks since we arrived at our Winter gig here in Ehrenberg, Arizona and we’ve pretty much settled in.
Ehrenberg is one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” little towns — Courtney and I went exploring last week and it took us 15 minutes (if that) to go from one end of town to the other and back. RV/mobile home parks take up most of the real estate here.
Even the local sheriff’s “office” is a trailer!
We’re spitting distance from a Flying J (the sign is visible from the resort and it’s a 3 minute drive through a roundabout and over the freeway), so fuel is cheap (we get a Good Sam discount when we use a Flying J pump).
For groceries, it’s a 10 minutes drive in to Blythe, CA and when we first arrived in Ehrenberg, I was going to the Albertson’s that is immediately off the Blythe exit.
I’ve since been schooled by the locals and returning workampers as to where to do the real shopping (“when in Rome” as the saying goes). Included in that schooling was the “only place you need to go to buy carne asada“. When we found the place, it looked kinda ‘sketchy’ from the outside: weathered exterior, faded parking lot paint on black top far beyond need of patch repairs, forgotten. Once inside though… it’s so clean you wouldn’t be afraid to apply the 5 second rule if you dropped a slab of marinated beef on the floor.
All said, for being a small town in the middle of Nowhere, Arizona, the feeling in Ehrenberg is vastly different (for me, at least) from the isolated feeling we got during our time in Las Cruces, NM.
As far as the workamping itself goes, it’s a cakewalk.
The resort hasn’t really had an official camp host (at least not for a long while), so my position and duties has evolved over the weeks.
There’s over 170 sites, including sites that have RVs to rent, some occupied by workampers like us, there’s a tent camping area, a few kamping kabins (the resort was a KOA at one time, so I imagine that it was probably easier to just keep calling them “kabins” in KOA style) and vacation homes.
Then there is the OTHER side of the resort…
Everyone calls it “Sportland” (nobody I talked to really knows why, it’s just always been that way). Sportland is where the long-term residents live — some in RVs, some in mobile park homes, all under the umbrella of the resort.
Like the other workamper/camp host positions I’ve had, one of the things I do is the daily “check out round”: at checkout time, I commandeer one of the too few golf carts on hand and ride around making note of occupied/unoccupied spaces so the office staff can see who, if anyone, needs to get their butts in gear and vacate a site before check IN time.
At night, I close up the main building (save for the doors that allow access to the restrooms and showers), the club house and activities room. While I don’t currently have much involvement with Sportland, I do lock up their laundry room as part of my closing duties.
Notice I said I currently don’t have much involvement with Sportland. Part of the evolving role of camp host position is that I will eventually have more contact with that side of the park. When the resort gets their owned lots under control and up to par, it will be my responsibility to make sure Sportland residents do the same (“Hey Bob, I notice your grass is getting a little out of control…would you mind taking care of that? If you can’t we know a guy…“).
One of the immediate projects given to me was “the cable box situation”.
Short version: the resort is paying for more cable boxes than they have sites (Sportland doesn’t count..those residents pay for their own cable). Some sites have more than 1 box on file as being issued.
They need a better system to keep track of it all and to help with that, I’ve been going around to sites and inside rental RVs & homes, taking inventory of which ones have boxes & what the serial numbers are, comparing that to what the. resort has on file for aforementioned boxes, sites and homes.
Stacks of paper (official “check out” forms and the not so official “this scrap of paper will do”), Post-Its and no dates on said paper and Post-Its contribute to the chaos, let me tell you!
It’s a challenge, but oddly fun.
All in all, I’m enjoying the gig. I get to work with a lot of cool people (including a couple of Orygun natives. Ooh common ground!), we’re relatively close to our old friends in Phoenix metro (yay for real socialization) and it’ll be WARM for the Winter!
Also, did I mention I get to drive in to town and get the truckloads of mail that arrive daily?