Tipped off to check www.workcamper.com, they found all sorts of jobs on this special Website for adventurous individuals who want to combine part-time and full-time work with RV camping. At first, they didn't own an RV but used the Website to find temporary work that included housing, with one job as campground managers in Minnesota lasting six months and paying good money. That gave them funds to buy an RV and start traveling, again using Workcamper to check in for two-to-three week jobs, including one at the NASCAR racetrack in Daytona, Fla. With Jerry a tall, muscular man and Kimberly an experienced office manager, they won the praise of the Daytona track operators, who keep inviting them back. Daytona has also alerted other NASCAR operations throughout the country, each with fixed race dates and job opportunities, keeping the Petersons on the road much of the year. They've now visited/worked in 30 states with Pete's Christmas tree lot in Pleasanton the farthest west they've come.
Selling Christmas trees is a tough job at start, picking the best trees off the truck and mounting them individually for easy customer viewing. Pete's Trees are fresh-cut from Oregon, and they're shipped to the lot the Petersons manage or Pete's other lots in Concord, Walnut Creek, Saratoga and one on Hopyard next to the Masonic Lodge. Once they've got the holes in place and their flocking and netting machines in operation, Jerry manages the crew of high school teenagers who work the lot while Kimberly handles the cash register. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week through Dec. 24, both can take short breaks in their nearby RV. Pete's also has a roving team that goes from lot to lot to give managers a day off each week.
The Petersons will clean up Pete's lot before leaving Dec. 28 for a three-day visit to San Francisco, which Kimberly has never seen. Then it's off for a brief family visit in Las Vegas, a mail pickup in Phoenix and another 2,000 miles or so to Daytona where the NASCAR track wants them in place by Jan. 19. Will they be back? "We hope so," Kimberly says. "The weather's great. The city's great. We've enjoyed meeting some of the best people we've gotten to know."
For more information, check out the Peterson's Website, appropriately named: www.hittheroadjackenterprises.com.