Well, a decision needed to be made. As much as the Big Sur Coast is spectacular, and I thought I had landed the ideal Summer workamping position, I have had to resign and look for another seasonal job.
When I came into this job, I was fully aware that one of the required duties was maintaining the two vault toilets at the SandDollar beach parking area. I fulfilled that requirement for two months, not under the best circumstances. Many Workamper positions across the country require bathroom cleaning as part of the job description. I was told when considering the job that cleaning vault toilets is no big thing.
What I was not told is that the area I was to be managing has no running water, due to the drought in California, no electricity, and zero communication to anyone outside the park.
I resigned, at the encouragement of my family, due to 3 main concerns for my safety:
- The vault toilet maintenance situation is beyond deplorable. The cleaning equipment provided, considering the lack of water and electricity, is very inadequate. Suffice it to say that when your park guests paint or spray the toilet and walls with excrement ……. enough said. And it happened several times.
- Exposure to a multitude of unknown germs is impossible to avoid. The only safety equipment provided: vinyl gloves. Period. The coast is crowded with foreign visitors and many homeless individuals. Who knows what they carry?
- The lack of any cell service in the area is a greater concern when the company does not provide radios or any kind of communication. I am a single, older woman, and being alone for nine hours in an area with many guests who potentially can be hurt on the trails and the very rocky beach areas, is a cause for concern. Emergencies can only be handled by my running back to camp (@1/4 mile) and using the landline in the office to summon help.
Yes, I have met some amazing people on the Big Sur Coast, and the location is beyond beautiful. One visitor described it as a “sanctuary.” That it was. I am both sad and relieved to be leaving. My next big challenge is to pull my Kwincy back up Highway 1 to the Bay Area. We just have to wait and see what the next chapter in this adventure holds!
Moments of grace: yes, I am very grateful for the opportunity to have served at SandDollar Beach for two months. Our Lord’s creation is magnificently evident, and I was totally submerged in His grace while I was there.