It took me some time to receive my paycheck from fishing in Alaska, and I wasn’t willing to get another job seeing how I just spent three months working on a boat. I decided to look for other alternatives and found a hostel jobs website. On a whim I picked Obed Hostel and sent a message inquiring about a work/trade. I wasn’t paid but I got to live there for free for only 8 hours a week of work. Obed Hostel is well suited for Climbers and paddlers conveniently located near Obed National Park, home of great climbing and paddling down the Obed River. There are also limited other places to stay nearby. The Obed Hostel is equipped with solar panels, so you can charge your devices, and rainwater collected off of the roof. A wonderful wood-burning stove, which I used a lot for my cooking and there is also a propane stove for the convenience of more modern living. I got quite good at cooking bread in a Dutch-oven by placing it inside the wood-burning stove. Power is limited and should be conserved as well as water, but there is enough of both to be comfortable. For guests it is only $15 a night which is quite cheap for US hostels, even compared to paid campsites it is cheap. The owner Erik is a great person, knowledgeable, and a talented yogi and climber. I had a blast living/working there, and am so thankful to call Erik my friend as well as all the other people I met through him. I stayed there for about two months, taking care of the hostel, tending the livestock, and experiencing/learning what living off the grid is like. My first time arriving was after dark and to be honest I found it a little creepy, driving down a long gravel driveway into the woods to a house that wasn’t lit up. I felt like I was in a horror movie. If you do arrive at night don’t let your thoughts run wild. Once you wake up in the morning you will see just how beautiful of a place Obed Hostel is and feel dumb for all your worries the night before. On the weekends we would go climbing with his friends from Knoxville, now my friends too. The climbing is great at Obed, and I was there for peak season. Living there, so close to great crags helped me to become a better climber. The Hostel is a beautiful three story wooden house that was hand built. There are a few lambs in the yard around the house as well as three dogs, ‘Dude’ a German Shepard mix was my favorite. At the time I was there he also had two full grown sow pigs and 3 piglets. One day we had to catch one of the piglets and move her to a separate pen from her two brothers, don’t want any inbreeding going on. This was a lot of fun, and a lot harder than I thought it would be, they are smarter and faster than you would think. My duty was mostly to work on the pig fencing, since they are smart animals and are good at escaping. It was easy to spend 8 hours a week doing work, especially since there is a lot of boring downtime for a person just working there. I would often spend more than eight hours working, though sometimes I probably spent less. It’s not like I would punch a time card. There were also plenty of days that would just pass and I am not sure where they went, I think I just wasted my days staring off into space. I would look at the clock and it would be four or five in the afternoon, or the sun would start setting. Never did figure out where my time went. I also spent a good amount of time chopping firewood, this didn’t count towards my eight hours. It was more like my share of the utilities and because I wanted to stay warm. I would also wander around his property exploring, a few times I would hunt for deer. I never did get one, I saw one once but didn’t have a clean shot. Injuring a deer and having it run off and die somewhere else isn’t something I want to do, so I let it go. If you are a climber, paddler, enjoy hiking or nature in general I highly recommend a visit to the Obed Hostel. It is also a great place to learn about living off the grid and see what a homestead is like. If you do follow my recommendation to visit tell Erik that I say Hi. Check out The Obed Hostel Facebook Page for information or http://obedhostel.biz/!
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