Today is my day off from work, so I wanted to take some time to write about this week’s word prompt.

I will assume that we have all been to a carnival at least once in our lives. Maybe you call it a state fair or amusement park. They usually all have the same stuff…fun food, exciting rides, games to win prizes, and maybe different booths set up for local 4-H clubs.

What was your favorite fair food? I loved fried dough…smothered in melted butter with powdered sugar and cinnamon sprinkled over it. In 2013, I was back home and went to the fair with some family members and had fried oreos for the first time. They are now added to my list of fair favorites.

When I was a kid, I thought it would be fun to work at a fair or traveling carnival. Steve Martin had starred in a movie called “The Jerk” when I was in high school. So maybe that’s when the idea first came to me about working in a carnival. You see new places every week or month, and talk to new people everywhere you go. Course when I grew up and learned more about the carnival lifestyle, I realized that I wanted something just a bit more stable. There are dozens of carnival companies across the country. Actually since I started traveling around the country on my own, I have thought of working at Six Flags Amusement Park before..(I think they are all closed right now).

Anyways working in a National Park can be like working at a carnival sometimes. Usually in a national park you only have to commit to stay in one location for 2-3 months, you meet people from all over the world, and hopefully you have fun trying out new jobs that you might not have been able to do in your hometown. There are some parks that are open year-round so you can stay as long as you want.

Difference is that the living situation (housing) is usually better at National parks. Not all are great but if you only stay 2-3 months than it’s tolerable. I get the impression that alot of carnival workers live in worse housing situations. A job at a Park like Six Flags wouldn’t come with housing, which is one reason that I never applied. I have had friends that had worked at Cedar Point in Ohio before.

Workers in both carnivals and in national parks, come from all walks of life. Many have drinking problems and/or a criminal record that prevents them from working in their hometown. Some workers are pretty cool and just looking for a Summer adventure. As for me, I came to the Grand Canyon in 2007, because I just needed a job and a cheap place to live. I have gone to other seasonal jobs that also had housing but every couple of years I return here to work. I guess you could say that I am home here, even if most of my family lives in New England.