We’re in the middle of a series of winter storms in the Sierra right now that have made their way down from the Gulf of Alaska. The Valley is blanketed in snow, the Tioga Road is closed (probably not for the winter yet though), and even in El Portal there’s snow on the peaks. It’s an amazingly beautiful world and I love my mountain home.
I feel like I’ve really settled into my new place in El Portal. The scenery is brilliant, the people are great, the location is nice. The Valley is even starting to grow on me again. It’s been a challenging adjustment to come so far down in elevation though. Some days I feel like every little thing is different and I get homesick for the high country. Different trees and flowers and birds live down here, different types of rock formations make up the mountains, different caliber of people live and visit here. I’m sure my homesickness will fade into a gentle longing as I continue to push myself to be truly in the present moment all the time. Which really isn’t too daunting of a task given how awesome my life is. It’s really a joy to wake up in the morning and literally say ‘I pretty much have the best life ever’ and, even as I’m rushing around to get to the bus stop on time to get to work, know that I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else or be anywhere else in the world. It’s a cheesyness that I’m perfectly happy to embrace.
I’m working in the Indian Culture Museum today, running the store here. Looks to be a quiet day as every road in the park has either a closure or chain restrictions due to snow and icy conditions. I’m looking forward to the quiet day. I’ve been reading Lonesome Dove and just might finish it this afternoon. I’ll probably alternate reading with drawing and journaling and watching the snow melt as the sun shines and talking to whomever is around. And for all this, I’m getting paid. :) Yay life!
Work may be quiet, but life outside of it sure isn’t…
- Angie, my Tuolumne roommate, got into town last night to visit for a little while. It’s great to have her here and to get the opportunity to catch up. Sitting around last night it felt like summer was back. :)
- I’ve been cooking and baking quite a bit since I have access to a full kitchen again. And right now my food world is all about pumpkin. Pumpkin curry, fresh pumpkin puree, pumpkin and egg burritos, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pizza crust, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin parfait. And hopefully this weekend I’ll add pumpkin spice syrup (for coffee) and pumpkin soup to that list.
- Been spending a lot of my free time (and work time too now actually) with Craig, so don’t be surprised to see that name come up a lot in my El Portal and Valley stories. We crashed at his place when we all came down from the high country and San Francisco adventures and I guess I never really left since my house is literally 50 yards from his apartment.
- We’ve been on some really awesome weekend trips to the Eastside and to the SF bay area. Lots of great adventures going to hot springs and driving down dirt roads and the colorful aspens and then exploring the city nightlife and chilling on the coast.
- I’ve been so busy working and getting settled that I haven’t had much time for hiking and climbing, but that should be changing soon. It’s hard to go to the Valley when I’m not working since I don’t live here, but on Tuesday (my Sunday) I’m planning to hike up to the top of Yosemite Falls and over to Eagle Peak. Hopefully the snow from the storms will be mostly melted by then and the going won’t be too wet.
- And once again, no matter where I live in Yosemite, I fall in with the NPS Interpretation/Education crew. I feel like they’re whom I identify with the most. Glad to be back with Kirsten and Katie and Kristin and Erik and Jeffrey and the whole Valley staff. They’re all great to work with. And hang out with too — looking forward to the girls’ sleepover/movie/pizza night we have planned in a couple of days.
- Mentally sifting through my backlog of stories, it’s easiest to separate them into Tuolumne and post-Tuolumne catagories. The Tuolumne stories are numerous and will take me a while to list out and even longer to elaborate on (I won’t attempt it right now). The post-Tuolumne ones are fewer since I haven’t really been down that long… Eastside hot springs (Shepherd’s tub and Buckeye) and camping (with my new sleeping bag!) and fall colors (aspens galore). El Portal hiking (old Foresta road) and swimming (in the Merced River and Moss Creek and Crane Creek) and Sal’s nights (taco truck and live music and the social scene) and wildlife (fox, bear, possum, and ringtails) and birding (most notably the hummingbirds and dippers) and Halloween (the pizza pre-party and the Trespassers at the Bug). San Francisco and the Marin Headlands on my birthday. Adventures in trying to obtain a California DL. And my newfound music obsession and ever-strengthening coffee addiction.
I love my life; I love where I live and what I do and who I share it with. More and more every day.