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Living in a bus down by the river/ where to move? Good guide jobs?

Hey guys,
So my wife and I are embarking on a great adventure. We are currently in the process of purchasing a school bus that has been converted into a house. We are then planning on moving in said school bus out west from Boone NC. We don't have an end destination yet. But hey, we aren't planning on leaving till the end of March or April. So here's what I need you guys help with, we are looking for the best place to live.
I'm a raft guide, I have been for the last 3 years. I currently manage a rafting outpost and a rental department at a ski shop during the winter. I'm the manager as well as the TL at the raft company. I mainly run a class ii-iii section, because I manage it as well as we don't have many openings on our iii-iv river (the nolichucky). I am also a Wilson creek guide. A class iii-iv or iv-v. Depends on water level. We run ducky trips down this steep drop pool creeks, and I am one of the few qualified guides. Extensive training on safeties and river rescue. I am currently certified in SWR as well as I have my WFR.
But enough about my resume. What we are looking for is a smallish town that has a great river community. I'm an open canoer and would love to have some good iii-iv creek runs within a short distance and hopefully some play spots near town. And of course good rafting companies haha since I need a job. Also somewhere with good skiing nearby. Being I love skiing and working in ski shops.
We also want a place that feels homey but also has some good life to it. We've looked a lot at Salida CO as well as Hood River OR. But would love to get some other ideas.
If anyone knows of any solid guide jobs please let me know. I'm coming from a company where the owner and I do not share the same values. I am very guest service oriented and want to create lasting guests. Not just get them down the river once no matter what. So I would love to find a company that has solid values and is looking for a guide to become part of the family.
Thanks so much for all your help guys!!
Will add some bus pics and keep you guys up to date on the bus!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also! If anybody has any good leads on places to set up the bus. Wether that's an outfitter that let's guides use rv spots for the summer, good rv camps, or a piece of property you or a friend own and would rent out or sell.
Thanks!
 

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I can't say better things about Durango. Nice mellow class 3ish town run that gets real fun and fast during spring runoff ( we run commercially from 6,000 down to 200cfs). If your into some heavier water the Upper animas and the Piedra are fantastic and world class. Being so close to UT and NM is great, a trip to Moab takes 3.5 hours with the Westwater putin not to much farther.
Durango itself is an amazing town with a plethora of outdoor pursuits to partake in. And being in the free state of Colorado is fucking awesome. Telluride, silverton, and wolf creek are a short 1-3 hour (depending on snow on the passes) drive if Durango Mountain Resort doesn't do it for ya.
With more restaurants per capita then San Francisco and 7 microbreweries the downtown scene is vibrant to say the least, while 2 miles outside the city you can have the country solitude you seek out West. I can't say enough great things about Durango, but it does lack in a daily class 3/4+ run for apres work all American white water boat riding. That being said...don't tell anybody how cool Durango is, and I would seriously consider moving somewhere else like Boulder for sanity reasons.


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Boulder is great if you want to sit in traffic for both boating and skiing.
 

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The Salida/Buena Vista area would be great for what you are looking for. You could probably get away with camping on some public land in the area for free if you move the bus once in awhile. You are looking at a rafting season of a few months so better have a plan B after that.
 

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Yeah FrankC, that was my worry. I really want to be able to guide for more than a few months. Ive heard CO rafting season is extremely short. Id love to be somewhere with a good length rafting season as well as skiing season. Having experience managing both seasonal jobs, thats what Id love to keep doing. Just in a different part of this beautiful country we live in.
 

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I worked the Noli in the early 80's and still work couple of grand trips each year. CO has a much shorter season and less opportunities for consistent guide work than your current spot. However, CO has some great spots and outdoor folks. Find a spot you like and keep your options open beyond full time guide work. Good luck!
 

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coloma, ca

California. Should be a few years before the next megadrought. Sick rivers. So many. Great climate.
 

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Yeah FrankC, that was my worry. I really want to be able to guide for more than a few months. Ive heard CO rafting season is extremely short. Id love to be somewhere with a good length rafting season as well as skiing season. Having experience managing both seasonal jobs, thats what Id love to keep doing. Just in a different part of this beautiful country we live in.
On the positive side, the ski season is November to April so that could keep you busy for 5 or 6 months.
 

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The Salida/Buena Vista area would be great for what you are looking for. You could probably get away with camping on some public land in the area for free if you move the bus once in awhile. You are looking at a rafting season of a few months so better have a plan B after that.
This is good advice. Lots of jobs if you show up with an organized river log, a good resume, and the right attitude. There is no work in the fall, but the Gauley calls to many who return in November in time for ski season. The first couple years doing this are tough, but once you have summer, fall, and winter jobs to return to you can actually make a living this way.

You'd fit right in at Ranch del Rio. Rancho Del Rio - Not Your Usual Resort
Not what I would recommend. It's class 2 and class 5 up there, not much in between.
 

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...I really want to be able to guide for more than a few months. Ive heard CO rafting season is extremely short. Id love to be somewhere with a good length rafting season as well as skiing season. Having experience managing both seasonal jobs, thats what Id love to keep doing...
You might consider the Leavenworth, WA area. Good, long season on the Wenatchee River, worked by many companies. Also a ski area nearby that provides winter employment.
 

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not that this will be much help as far a your final destination. but i thought you might like to know at least for the trip that most(all?) walmart's will let you use their parking lots to hold up for a few nights in a camper/school bus/etc. so if nothing else if there is a walmart nearby you at least have a place you can park it and sleep, resupply... i just recently found this out and thought you might appreciate knowing about it.

RV Parking at Walmart | Walmart Atlas
 

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I don't know why you'd ever want to leave NC (says the girl that just moved from Chattanooga), but first, go run the Noli--it's easy, and you'll regret you didn't. It has a huge watershed and long season to run. You can eddy hop down the Class IV. October is my favorite time, it's a bit low but gorgeous with the colors.

Durango is awesome! But the season is short (it was longer this year), seasonal work might be hard. We met some guys from Alabama who work at 4Corners--might be worth checking out. Salida and BV were nice, but again, they had a longer than average season.
 

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I'm in Oregon from Chattanooga. Chattanooga is a great area. Everyone is trying to do what you want to do out west. Most end up waiting tables. Most guides are loyal to their employees. Check out central oregon. Or Idaho too. Good luck



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Might want to check the law

The Salida/Buena Vista area would be great for what you are looking for. You could probably get away with camping on some public land in the area for free if you move the bus once in awhile. You are looking at a rafting season of a few months so better have a plan B after that.

I've heard that it is not legal to use public land for residential purposes. Even if you move your rig every 14 days, if you are living out of it while going to work, I think you might get a ticket.
 

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I live in salmon, I dont know what smallish is to you. I grew up in a town of 200 people so salmon seems about the right size for me. Salmon is about 3000 people but busy year round. The rafting season starts early and runs a long time. most the guiding jobs are week long expedition type rather than day trip stuff. but there are day trip jobs here. Lost trail ski hill is 40 miles away.. Trafic doesnt exist. We have a fun day stretch down river. and not too far to the lochsa for some fun there in the spring..
 

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Charlemont, MA. Good skiing and close to vermont. Rafting training is late march, with first costumers on the first weekend of April. In April and May you may guide 2-4 days a week. 4 to 5 days a week in June. And 5 to 7 days a week late June/July/august. Season ends mid October. Rivers include millers, Deerfield and West, class I-III, with som class IV-.
Can park ur bus at a campground for $50 week, or find a cheaper deal on private property.
 
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