Sunday, March 27, 2016

Addicted To Spectacular

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 June 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. 

View from chairlift that gets me to work.
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 sure.

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 is. 

Glacier.  Crested Butte.  Fallen Leaf LakeCrater Lake.  NorwaySwitzerland.  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.  

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