The couple began to daydream about living on the road. Being a teacher had lost its luster for Pat and, after 25 years on the job, she took early retirement. Reflecting back on a teaching career, Pat told us, “I was burned-out. We had too many kids in the classroom and everything was about testing – it was test, test, test. So for three years before I retired I started looking for something else. And we started talking about work-camping.” (That last term is often collapsed into “workamping.”)
By the time Pat was done with teaching, Dennis had put in 32 years at the hospital and he, too, was ready for something new. In 2007, they signed on for their first workamping adventure, lakeside in West Yellowstone, Montana. That was the start of five years on the road, and it included winters at Silveridge — Rhonda Ciacco had spotted their resumes online and hired them.
They loved their new life, but parental duty eventually called them back to Indiana. One of Dennis’s daughters from a previous marriage was going to nursing school while raising a baby. So Pat and Dennis lived in Indiana for five years, helping out. However, with the daughter through school and doing well, and the baby no longer a baby, “We looked at each other and said, ‘Why are we still here?’”
That’s when Rhonda called again. They hitched up their 42-foot fifth-wheel, got the two dogs, Chance and Cleo, and headed to Arizona, this time to The Resort. You’ll see Pat in the Office and Dennis working with Maintenance. Then, once the season is over at The Resort, they’ll be back on the road, heading to Colorado, to work at a KOA.
* “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes