Jen & Q

Jen saw Brian driving through Ruidoso on Wednesday and noticed his Washington license plates. A few hours later she saw him again at the Subway.

Jen’s been looking at the Aluminarium blog for about two years, knew we were in the area and between the license plates and Brian’s bald head she felt it was safe to approach him and ask “Are you Brian?”

They quickly covered a lot of subjects. Jen is full-time in an Airstream and had already written two reviews on Campendium.

Last night, Jen and her dog Q came over for happy hour. The two used to work together as bomb techs and when Jen retired, she was able to keep Q.

I insisted Jen stay for dinner. After, we had a short walk with the dogs, and as she was leaving she did the craziest thing.

When she and Brian had been talking earlier in the week, he mentioned our current raffle on Campendium and that we were looking to do a bigger raffle like a gift card to incentivize reviews and to thank people for participating on the site.

As Jen was leaving she hands me a $50 bill and says that it’s a “tip” for doing the Aluminarium blog. We get into a struggle where I’m pushing it back at her and she’s pushing it at me.

Meanwhile, she hands Brian a thick white envelope filled with $500 worth of twenty dollar bills and says it’s for raffles on Campendium.

Brian declines and the two of us try to push the money at her as she backs out of the trailer.

My hand was in the doorway still trying to give the $50 back to her as she shut the screen door on me. I had to retreat because my hand was getting smashed! Jen then ran to her truck and drove away.

q-dogJen probably wanted to be an anonymous donor, but we can’t let this go unrecognized.

We already see the flaws in our current raffle – there are a lot of hoops to jump through to enter it. Clean a campsite, write a review, then navigate over to the raffle page to enter.

So with this, we’re thinking all people would have to do is write a review and then they’d automatically be entered. But how often should we have the drawing and for how much?

$25 a week for 20 weeks? $50 a week for 10 weeks? $100 a month for 5 months? We’re thinking the winner could pick from a list of places to get a card, Amazon, REI, etc.

What do you think? With Jen and Q’s incredibly generous donation we’d really like to set it up for success.

Crazy right? Thank you Jen!!

Dinner Last Night:
I didn’t really have anything planned for dinner, but had the ingredients to throw together kale pesto pasta and a spinach salad. Instead of the parmesan I used 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. It was tasty!

2015 Cost of Camping:
56 night paid camping
37 nights free camping
93 days this year
Total spent: $766
Daily average cost: $8.24

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9 Comments

  • Reply Pam Wright April 4, 2015 at 8:41 am

    What a fantastic evening! The world is full of amazing people and Jen is one of them. So nice to her to supposrt all your hard work in getting the website up and running:)

    It must have been so interesting talking to her about the work she and Q did together. What a career! Glad she got to keep Q:)

    I like the idea of a choosing a gift card…smaller amount for shorter time periods!?

  • Reply Betsy Browning April 4, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for a great story…we hope one day soon, hope to be official airstreamers…working on the plan….

  • Reply Adam April 4, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Yet one more power full day in your lives! What a wonderful person and generous gesture. It’s always heartwarming when good folks find each other. Cheers to Jen and Q !

  • Reply Albert April 5, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Yes!jen is an amazing and very special person. I had the privilege to photograph her and Q at AlumaFiesta a couple years back!

    I hope I can bump into that dynamic duo again.

  • Reply Heather Foeh April 5, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Love this story! Go Jen!

  • Reply Koos de Heer April 8, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I agree Jen is special. Would love to meet her. Would she herself maybe have ideas about the way to apply the money to future raffles? If she would not have run away, she might have been able to answer the questions you are asking.

    Just my 2 cents: I think I would do a drawing per month, unless you expect to get enough entries per week to choose from.

    • Reply Leigh April 8, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      That’s a good point about number of entries per week. Right now we’re averaging 200-230 reviews per month, and hope that with a raffle we’d see a bump in the reviews.

  • Reply Brenda April 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Wow, what an interesting lady. I like $50 a week for 10 weeks assuming you get enough entries, it’s a nice amount of money, provides opportunities for more people to win and keeps people engaged for a nice amount of time. Waiting a month to see if you’ve won might not be as motivating.

    • Reply Leigh April 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Brenda, that’s what we’re leaning towards. There have been 56 reviews so far this week and it’s only Thursday!

      For those of you holding out until the Jen & Q raffle, we’ll probably kick it off May 3rd.

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