SE2:EP4 West Yellowstone, workamping and a leak!

Russ and Kerry are full-time RVers and take you along with them each week as they give you a glimpse into RV life and their travels!

SE2:EP4 The Roads We Roam

THE ROADS WE TRAVELED

Because we arrived in town a few days before Kerry’s work-camp job, we didn’t have far to travel. We left our site at Grizzly RV Park and only drove a half a mile up the street to our location. 

WHERE WE STAYED

There are a few campgrounds in West Yellowstone, but there are also a lot of RV spots tucked in wherever people could fit them. The one provided by our work-camp opportunity is like this – our spot is tucked in to the parking lot of an apartment complex. There are trees that afford us a good amount of privacy and we are within walking/biking distance of just about everything in town. We have been told that in just a few weeks, there will be bumper to bumper traffic in this area, so our location is exceptionally convenient. 

The best part about our spot is the lot and utilities are all included – in addition to Kerry’s pay for hours worked. Quite a few work-camping opportunities offer a similar set up – not bad!

FIELD TRIP OF THE WEEK

We continue to explore the local area. One of the great benefits of RVing is that you get to take your time and really enjoy and learn about an area. This week, we started to explore more of the town of West Yellowstone. 

An increase in travelers had been coming through to visit Yellowstone National Park since it was established in 1872. In the early 1900’s the Union Pacific Railroad laid tracks right up to the western edge of the park, leading to the development of the town. We stopped at Eagle’s Store, located on 3 N Canyon St which is the first business in the area serving as a general store for early visitors and locals. It started off as a 12 x 12 ft building, which was razed and was rebuilt and added onto over the years. From what we can tell, it is still owned and operated by the Eagles family!

PETS NOT WELCOME

One thing we noted were the abundance of signs outside of businesses in the area with “No Pets Allowed” on their doors. There are also not many places to sit and eat outside if you happen to have your dog with you either. 

HELP WANTED

Come each May, these signs are everywhere in West Yellowstone. The town has a population of about 1200, but in the summer hundreds of seasonal workers come in from all over to help with the millions of visitors that come through the area. During our walk around town, we saw no less than ten “Help Wanted” signs!

NO MAIL ON SATURDAYS

We had an item shipped to the local post office and were notified it had arrived. We rode our bikes down on Saturday morning and were surprised to find the post office in West Yellowstone is only open Monday through Friday!  We did find a shipping center (located at 30 Madison Ave) that can receive FedEx and UPS shipments for us for a $2 per package fee. Since Amazon ships a lot of items via Fedex and the post office won’t accept those under General Delivery, this is a good option to know about. 

NO WALMART 

The closest Walmart is 90 miles away in Bozeman, MT. There are, however, two small grocery stores in town. We have found that Market Place, located at 22 Madison Ave has a larger variety of items and the prices, while more expensive than what you would find at a Walmart, are still reasonable. 

WORKAMPING

Kerry started her first ever workamper job at Outpost Sweet Treats, located at 115 Yellowstone Ave – if you are coming through the area this summer, stop by and say hello! People have asked how she found this position – she found it through https://workamper.com

CLASS A MAINTENANCE

We have had a lot of rain over the last few days and last night, Russ noticed a leak in the ceiling of the motorhome. The good news? It is in the bathroom and the dripping water falls right into the bathtub. The bad news? Russ has to climb up on the roof in 30 degree weather to repair the caulking!

RECIPE OF THE WEEK – NO OVEN NEEDED

The name of this recipe has been under discussion for 20+ years in the Balbirona household. Russ calls it “Balbirona Slop” and Kerry just refers to it as “Goulash”. Whatever you want to call it, it is good. It’s perfect for potlucks and large crowds  and it is one of those foods that tastes even better the next day as leftovers! Click here for the recipe: https://theroadsweroam.com/?p=1744

Thanks for joining us this week! 

Safe travels, 

Russ & Kerry

2 thoughts on “SE2:EP4 West Yellowstone, workamping and a leak!”

  1. Great questions – we’ll do our best to answer them! West Yellowstone is a good choice if you want to workamp near Yellowstone as it puts you closer to amenities such as for groceries, eating out, and cell/internet coverage is better. Work can always be found in town, especially at the grocery store next to Wild West Pizza.

    VIsiting the park on your day off is relatively easy – especially the way you mentioned. Leave early – ideally before 8:30am. Coming back around lunch or just after shouldn’t be an issue as most people get a late start into the park so you would be heading the opposite way of the busy traffic. The only hiccup on this would be if you run into what they call a “buffalo jam” – sometimes the bison decide to take a nap in the middle of the road and you have to wait until they move. This could be a few minutes to an hour or more.

    We have had friends who have worked in the park. Their biggest complaints were that you had to travel quite a distance just to get any supplies or do anything outside of the park; internet and cell coverage was frustrating; it tends to be colder and snows more in the park than in West Yellowstone. Employees in the park have access to a dining hall, but employees tend to get tired of the options rather quick. One of our friends had a dog with them and they said they could have him with them on leash in the campground. Tip: if you are in West Yellowstone, on the far side of town there is an old airfield that everyone takes their dogs to so they can get their zoomies out of their system. It’s not fenced, but it’s a very large area and a good option to give your dog a chance to run and play.

    Hope this helps!

  2. Hi there. I have considered taking an early retirement in several years and visiting Yellowstone National Park is on the list of locations I want to see while workamping.

    I know that jobs are available inside the park and those with an RV can live in one of their employee villages, though a cost for your site is taken out of your pay. Also, those jobs are tough to get as many people return year after year.

    That has put West Yellowstone on my radar as an easier place to land a workamping job, and then visit the park on my days off. Since you have been there and done that, I have a few questions about how practical that is.

    I know that West Yellowstone is a tourist town, and it can have terrible traffic jams during peak tourist season. Same with the park.

    My thought was that on a day I would visit the park, I would leave very early in the morning so I could easily get to whatever area I wanted to visit. How feasible does that sound? How bad would traffic be on my return home around mid to late afternoon?

    If you met any workampers that lived and worked in the park and learned anything from them about their experience that you could share, that would be great. I know that Yellowstone is not very pet friendly and I have a dog, so that is a concern.

    Thanks,
    Christopher

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