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Old 05-21-2016, 01:51 PM
15 posts, read 18,446 times
Reputation: 26


Hey, it is my goal to get to Salida by May 29th by bus so that I can work with the Southwest Conservation Corps. I plan to stay at this hostel during my two months there, but I'm a bit worried about managing my expenses. I'm assuming that if I make $275 a week, I can afford to stay at the hostel by paying $175, which will leave me about $100, before taxes are taken in. I am hoping that a student discount will help me pay for it even better.

I'm thinking at best, I will at least be able to make enough money to stay at the hostel and get food. I am not really going for profit, just to go work in some place new. Thankfully the Simple Lodge & Hostel offers bike rental services, and is within walking distance of the SCC office in Salida. Still, I am kind of hoping that I will get to stay with one of my teammates or someone who happens to live in or close to Salida.

I plan on possibly camping out sometimes, instead of staying at the lodge, but I've never lugged around a backpack and a tent before, so I'm curious as to how that's going to go.

I was wondering, in terms of the town itself, the climate in Salida, and camping out and doing work there, what should I expect?
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:18 PM
128 posts, read 163,861 times
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Is your job with the SCC going to be full-time? Perhaps you could pick up a couple shifts at one of the restaurants downtown to help augment your income. This would go a long way in making your financial situation less stressful.

Also, have you already made your arrangements to stay at the Simple Lodge? They book very quickly in the summer and I would be surprised if they would be able to accommodate a person for two solid months.

In terms of alternate housing, camping would certainly be cheapest. There are tons of places to camp for free around Salida, with the Arkansas Hills and Methodist Mountain areas being the closest to town. Most areas require you to re-locate after two weeks, but there's no shortage of places around town to move to. You definitely wouldn't be the only seasonal employee in town camping for the summer. Your future coworkers at SCC may even be doing the same, so they might be able to offer more advice in that area. For showers, the Hot Springs pool is the best bet. I'm not sure what they charge, but I know it's the cheapest and most reliable way to get a shower in town if you don't have a living situation with running water.

If you're not crazy about the idea of camping, attempting to room with a fellow SCC employee is probably going to be your best bet.

To answer your other questions:

The climate is mild. Expect it to be in the 70's and 80's during the day through the summer, and anywhere from the high 30's to low 50's at night. Perfect for camping, but expect some occasional thunderstorms and gusty wind.

Salida is a terrific town full of some of the friendliest people around, but it's becoming increasingly expensive and out-of-reach for even middle-class residents. People do a lot to help each other out here, though. There's a very strong sense of community, and most people are willing to lend a hand to help someone out.

Feel free to PM me if you've got more questions. I have no experience with seasonal work or the SCC, but I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you might have.
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:08 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,401 posts, read 39,713,740 times
Reputation: 23426
As SCC, You should be able to get local room rental for free to very cheap. Check first with them, then with Servas Worldwide hospitality, then local churches / senior center / couchsurfing / woofing, warmshowers.org

Staying in the home of a senior citizen and helping with a few duties is a pretty good option.
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:43 PM
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Gee, are services like Servas Worldwide Hospitality and help from churches available in places like Memphis, TN? I really would prefer to continue on to Salida, CO and work there, but just in case something goes wrong and I won't be able to make it there, I've already got another position working with Knowledge Quest in Memphis lined up. For some reason, though, it's harder to find a place to stay in Memphis, so far.

I was hoping that I could do some kind of work for someone to stay in their home when I get to Salida, but I just don't really know who to ask other than through an online website. If I understand correctly, I will be on for a maximum of 10 days, then off for about a week. I know that's not an ideal schedule for a job that I may only have for two months, so that's why I'd prefer to just help someone with chores or yard work in exchange for board.

I would prefer not to camp out when not on a hitch, only because I feel like trying to carry a full-red backpack and a torn-up duffel bag around and keeping a laptop safe while camping outdoors is going to be a large burden, but I supposed I'll have to get used to carrying a lot while on the hitches anyways. It would still be nice to at least have a place to leave my clothes at.

I feel like I need something better than a rolling backpack and an old duffel bag to carry all this, but I'm trying to save my money until I get to Salida. I'll camp out and find a way to cook while camping out, if that's what it takes to save money. Maybe I'll learn how to camp properly on the first day.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:37 AM
3,797 posts, read 3,987,784 times
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Talk to SCC staff and other participants before arrival / NOW about housing options, especially for first weeks. Paying in advance for the hostel for first two weeks and your first paycheck coming at end of first, second or third week? (check) could put you in a money jam in week 2-3.

Ask the Hostel if they offer locked storage and if you can still use it between repeat visits. Consider a locker at one of the mini-storage places or maybe the public library would help. The laptop should be locked up when not on your person. Your other gear too, if possible. Ask the Hostel if you can get discount, special storage assistance in exchange for chores. Plead for the chance to do a good to great job and get repeat opportunities. Others likely to be asking for same thing so you have to be better than ok.

If you want to try to get space in exchange for chores, put an ad up on Craigslist immediately, talk to SCC staff (really explore hard, they should have had similar requests and hopefully offered help / solutions), call churches / senior centers, etc. It could happen but you'll have to hustle, make a cheery, no hassles sales pitch and probably to a lot of people to get lucky. Talk to young, friendly, guessed trustworthy staff at restaurants / stores. Maybe the staff at raft companies with short term staff facing similar challenges. Make your pitch in your best outfit, not at end of day, grubby from work. You might get someone willing to store stuff only vs. staying there but it could evolve into more if you are thankful, easy to talk to, non-threatening.

If you camp out, try to do with another SCC. See if they'll let you sleep at worksite or office / tool & equipment storage area. Try to avoid the most obvious places that could be used by drunks / druggies / rough or ill transients and / or patrolled by police. Consider talking to police ahead of time, they might treat you different if they know your situation. Might even help. Or not, could go either way.

Eating without cooking is simpler. But if you want to cook, get a small camp stove / cook kit or read on internet how to make a simple stove. Shop for and cook a meal at time. Dispose of trash away from camp and do any storage away from camp, hung high. Animals from chipmunks to bears will notice your food. Be very mindful of fire dangers. Be prepared with water / shovel. Every fire drowned, smothered with dirt and stomped completely, completely out everytime.

Stuff that is essential (money, ID, phone, laptop, important papers) should stay with you or locked up for sure safe 100% of time. It will be tough enough without something happening to this stuff. Stay super cautious and do everything possible to avoid the unwanted but quite possible theft. Unfortunately, some who offer help might end up being a threat or cause a threat from another by just being casual about revealing that you and your stuff are around or just having other folks around that notice it on their own.

When traveling I divide my money at least two places. Two wallets in different pockets, fanny pack under clothes, under inner sole of shoe (but can stress bills), in sock / taped to leg, taped inside hat or whatever.

Good luck but think stuff thru ahead of time as much as possible too.

Last edited by NW Crow; 05-22-2016 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:20 PM
3,797 posts, read 3,987,784 times
Reputation: 2566
A simple search at Servas website https://usservas.org/ didn't reveal any hosts in Salida or Memphis but maybe there are and that info may require a deeper search or membership. It appears to use this service you need a membership for a fee, an application, screening interview and letters of recommendation. It doesn't appear you can just show up and get a room.
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