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Best Summer Job Ever!

April 29th, 2010

Hall of White Giants

After a lackluster winter at Amazon’s Fernley facility, Jenn and I decided we’d be better off looking for a job we enjoyed than one that promised big bucks and may or may not deliver. As one of our interests is caving, we decided to try and get jobs at a cave for the summer, even if it meant working the gift shop and cleaning restrooms. It turns out that we lucked into one of the most amazing jobs we could hope for.

Our first choice of positions came through and we got workcamping positions at Caverns of Sonora. For those of you that have never heard of it, Caverns of Sonora is one of the most decorated caves on the planet. While there hasn’t been a study that I’m aware of, I believe it could very well be the most decorated cave in the world based on formations per square inch. We are lucky enough to be spending a fair portion of every day guiding tours in this cave.

The tour is a very up close and personal experience. We are literally inches away from formations throughout much of the tour. On top of that, we are working for some of the best people you could hope to be around. The cave is owned by a family that has owned the land surrounding it for five generations and the general manager has been a true caver for forty-six years. I can’t imagine a better work experience.

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Words cannot begin to describe this beautiful cave. But to give you a general idea, we spent a week training with two to three tours a day that are close to two hours long and on our first day off, we took two tours through the cave just to enjoy it and take photos. I snapped five hundred and forty some odd pictures in three and a half hours. Almost eighty have been uploaded to the gallery. The pictures do not do the experience justice, but they are far better than words could ever be. I only wish I had half the photographic skill of the professionals who have done the off-trail photos.

The pictures for this post are chosen more or less at random as I would be very hard pressed to pick favorites from the photos we’ve taken so far. At twenty bucks a person, the tour pushes the limits of our budget, but it really makes me stop and think what beautiful things we may have missed over the past two years by being thrifty. I hope none of them were nearly as beautiful as this, but I will definitely think twice the next time we pass a ‘tourist trap’ by because we don’t want to throw our money away. Some of those traps are probably every bit as worthwhile as this one. Please take a look at the gallery. I’ve yet to see someone come out of a tour disappointed; in fact, the most frequent comment is ‘this is the prettiest cave I’ve ever seen.’

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6 Responses to “Best Summer Job Ever!”

  1. MJK says:

    Hi Jenn and Johnny.

    I just started reading your blog and noticed in one of your posts that you mentioned that you would go smaller with the camper/truck. My husband and I have just started thinking about TC’ing (?) so all of this is new to us. Knowing all you know now, how would you outfit yourself if you had to do it over again.

    Thanks! And we love your blog.

    • jenn says:

      As we already have a camper, I don’t think that we have put a lot of thought into downgrading just yet. We have never run across a camper that we liked better than our AF. It’s got the best layout we have seen. I think that next time around, we are going to roll our our own.

      Our biggest issues are height, weight, and our turning radius. Length is some what of an issue, but I don’t think it would be if the other three things were solved. I would also remove the slide. It’s not necessary.

      When we got this camper, we thought it was the smallest we could live in and not kill each other. Now we know we could go smaller.

  2. Marcie says:

    Jim and I are so delighted you are enjoying CoS. We knew that once you saw that cave, nothing else would matter for the rest of the summer. Heck the floor could even drop out from under you, and you’d think it was worth it right?

    Seriously, it’s nice to know someone takes our advice and goes where we tell them to.

    Please say hi to everyone especially Bill and Louise and Gerry for us. Email when you get the chance and let us know how things are going.

    Jim says check out American RV in San Angelo for repairs – good work-reasonable rates.
    Marcie and Jim

    • jenn says:

      I am sorry it took so long to reply, but as you might know, at CoS there is little time for anything except working.

      I just wanted to let you know that we are still alive and appreciated all of your advice. I will try to drop you a longer line soon.

      We hope you are having a great summer.

  3. Eduardo says:

    Are you guys ok?

    Please let me know. I get worried when you stop posting,

    • Hitek Homeless says:

      Hey Eduardo,

      We’re doing great, we’ve just been working a lot lately. Still hoping to get in some real caving before the summer is over. We did manage to get on a wild tour a couple of weeks ago… it just whet our appetites for the real thing though. Hopefully, wee’ll be able to sneak in on a wild tour Monday for my birthday, but we’re still hoping to see some of the really cool caves in the area. We had a trip planned for last week, but Jenn got a bug that kicked her butt pretty well for about a week. Now that she’s back in good health, it’s just a matter of the stars lining up correctly again.

      How are things with you over in FL? Drop us a line some time and catch us up on all the last couple of years!

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