It’s official — Having finished our three weeks of Raft Guide School, done all of our required ride-alongs, passed both “check out” runs, flipped and re-flipped our rafts, and passed our background checks, both Sal and I are raft guides/river guards at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

It’s the first time in, well, I think EVER, that I’ve had two employers at the same time. And I am SO excited!

Since both Sal and I have recently started new “day jobs” we definitely need to be careful about overcommitting… And with our goal of moving to New York City in 6-7 weeks, the time frame is clearly limited. Fortunately, there’s a nifty process called “vulturing” that we can take advantage of.

During the busy season, there’s frequently a need for more raft guides than the number they were able to schedule for a given day. To help combat that shortage, there’s a “vulture list” each day where off-duty raft guides can volunteer to pick up extra hours at work. For the rest of the summer, Sal and I will both be “permanent vultures” (meaning we won’t be put on the work schedule in advance, but we’ll show up and try to work when our schedules will allow.)

This works out great for Sal, because he can “vulture” quite a bit — his new job doesn’t necessarily always work him a full 8 hour day, and it sometimes starts very early in the morning (which means his afternoons/evenings are free.) In fact, he’s already picked up several shifts and gotten a ton more experience guiding than I have. Which, naturally, I’m insanely jealous of.

I’m a bit more limited, as I can only “vulture” at the end of the day (after my day job) and on weekends… But still, it’ll be nice to get some time guiding on the weekends, particularly if I have friends who come out to play.

It makes me a little sad, frankly, that the summer is going by so quickly. I’m looking forward to living in New York City (assuming I can find a tenant!) but I will definitely miss this new opportunity when it’s gone.

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