Jagged, snow-capped, mountain peaks, crystal clear alpine lakes, centuries-old trees, raging streams, dry air, boulders. Yes, these are a few of my favorite things. But, just visiting this dramatic mountain scenery is not good enough for me, I need to live amongst it. And …. It has to have a spectacular element, to it.
My addiction has currently led me to
Lake, nestled amongst the eastern
Sierra, in California. I find myself here rather suddenly, though I
am not surprised. I am a crack-head for
this shit. While finding myself in southern
Oregon since returning from Europe,
last September, with ample odd jobs to feed myself and keep busy, I could not resist
getting into the snow, since it decided to grace the Sierra with its presence
this year (this was not the case the last two years). I had been loosely inquiring into finding a
spot in the Cascades for the winter, but opted for the dry, sunny California,
after being away from my home climate for nearly eight months. It does feel like home. And…it is spectacular. I live right on June lake, with awesome views
in all directions and work on the ski hill, where the spectacular-ness rises
with each foot of elevation gained on the chairlifts.
I am certainly getting my fix. The drastic rise of the eastern Sierra from
the high desert, is not only visually stunning, but lends itself to endless
opportunities for recreation. Within a half an hour’s drive is, at least, five
hot springs, that I know
about and endless desert trails and roads to explore. I wouldn’t even be able to scratch the
surface with the immediate alpine-side of things, but now, have no doubts, that
this is a place I will be spending much more time in the future. Especially in the summer. Everything I want in a place. Paradise….for
|View from chairlift that gets me to work.|
This addiction has steadily taken a hold on me over the past ten years. It began when I was working in the high school in
Leadville, Colorado and would stare out the window at the Sawatch Range that flanks the western side of Leadville. There, I had a realization that jobs, that
once seemed intolerable to me, are totally bearable when the location and
benefits overshadow the job, itself.
Is there a downside to this? Do I not feel right, when I am not amongst the spectacular? A little bit. But all contrast is necessary. Spectacular is relative. And it can certainly be taken for granted, if in it, full-time. I have lived plenty of places where my co-workers do not even seem to notice, that they are in a special place. On the other hand, my eyes and other senses have been pried open. I see beauty in things, that I used to gloss over. Now, the
Midwest seems enchanting to me, because
everywhere else I usually am, is so much drier.
I can appreciate it, for the lush, insanely green, swamp, that it
Butte. Fallen . Leaf Lake Crater Lake.
Norway. Switzerland. Yeah, I might have a problem. But, its my cross to bear. I’m not ready to seek help for this
compulsion. I’ll make the best of it and
continue to feed the addiction. It is
still serving me. And, I can not wait to
see where it leads me to next.