It’s a great experience to be a docent at the Gobi for a few days, a week or more and welcome visitors who want to know about the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base. There’s an apartment available and a parking spot for an RV with a hookup for water and electric. Your spouse or partner is welcome too.
You don’t need to have been a smokejumper or a firefighter to be a docent. We’ll show you the ropes and coach you for the tours. The important thing is to tell the stories of the base, which we have ready for you to read so you’ll get right within it in a couple of days. The tours last about 30 minutes or so, and there is no charge though we encourage donations to maintain the buildings.
It’s fun to be at the Gobi and you’ll meet some interesting folks because visitors come from all over the United States and all over the world. The visitors are all very interested in smokejumping and some ask so many questions that you’ve got to be on your toes. Some don’t know what a smokejumper is when they arrive and some will tell you stories about fires in their neighborhood and some will be firefighters themselves. In 2019, more than 8,000 visitors came to the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum.
There are three main buildings, the oldest smokejump loft in the US, the gallery with all the crew photos and the mess halls with photos. We’re in the process of restoring two twin beech aircraft that are parked out on the tarmac. There are ongoing projects you may be asked to participate in like painting and there’s always cleaning and basic maintenance. The apartment’s living conditions are classic base living, with a kitchen, bathroom and bed (bring your own sheets and towels). We have wifi so it’s easy to keep in touch with the outside world.
When you’re on base, you have a stunning view of the mountains that define the landscape, and the forests that have been the location of many fires over the decades. The Illinois Valley is home to several prize-winning wineries and close to the Caves National Monument, the Oregon coast, the Redwood forest and the High Siskiyou Wilderness area. There are of one day drives, and someone to cover for you if you want to take a day off.
Docents are needed when the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base is open to visitors, March 15 through November 15. For more information contact Gary Buck through the contact form on this website.