Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Settled In(side) for Winter

After six months of living in/out of my van and a whirlwind dash across the west, I am hunkered down in cozy quarters for the winter.  I am in Winter Park, Colorado, living and, as of tomorrow, working at a ski lodge.  How did I get here?  It happened so fast.

A week ago I was in Ashland, Oregon looking for a place to live.  I was excited to live there, enjoying the mild weather and running on the exposed trails..  But, throughout the past month I had small urges to go to a higher, drier winter and I was feeling a pull to Colorado.  These urges were suppressed by my non-excitement about traversing mountains in my van in the winter.  I was monitoring my regular websites of seasonal and mountain town jobs, but wasn't about to just drive out here and find a job and a place to live (my usual method).

Then last Tuesday I found a post that sparked my interest.  I applied Tuesday.  Had a phone interview Wednesday.  Was hired Thursday.  And left Ashland for Colorado Friday.

Kali, who is headed to the midwest for the holidays, and I, caravanned to Denver.  We drove for three whole days straight, managing to avoid any inclement weather.   I spent two nights and one day in Denver at my aunt's, before heading up into the high country and arriving at my new home, yesterday.

I have arrived in the really high country.  I didn't realize until I got here that Winter Park is at 9000'.  It knocked me out yesterday.  I love it.  The stairs nearly make my heart pound out of my chest.  Today while snowboarding I kept pulling my mask down, thinking it was restricting my breathing, but no, there just isn't that much oxygen.

It seems perfect.  I'm at a small private ski lodge four miles from the base of Winter Park Resort.  I'll be serving and housekeeping.  My schedule allows for a long playtime in the middle of each day.  There is shuttle to the resort and anywhere else I would need to go.  Mama is resting.  I have a new-for-me pair of telemark skis, I am going to figure out how to ride.  I can't wait to bust out the snowshoes and cross-country skis, exploring the national forest that the lodge borders.  I have a new a crew of people to work and hang with who are all here to ski and snowboard.  And its dumping.

After living outside for so long, I wasn't that excited to move inside.  Indoors, now seems kind of dirty and claustrophobic to me.  But, living inside allows me to play in the snow.  I think I will be alright.