20 October 2012

The Shift

i climbed up to the bench on the tahoe rim trail yesterday and while it was lovely and warm, the wind was blowing fiercely and cirrus clouds were creeping eastward over the crystal range.

everyone is talking snow.

the forecasts claim six to twelve inches above 7000 feet on monday or tuesday, and then lake level is getting a wallop a bit later in the week. this is very late in fall for the first snow, but i still can't decide if i'm nervous or really excited. the buzz is contagious; almost all the staffers have scored their ski bum jobs and leased their ski bum houses, and now everyone is just waiting breathlessly for the weather to turn for good. 

i feel like i have my shit figured out, in the best way possible. i've rented a big house with a bunch of friends at brevard rates, i've sent in my absentee ballot, i'm going to downieville on thursday (!!), and (i think) i scored not one but two jobs at heavenly. i'll be working the front desk at HR until january and then go follow my true passion of makin' coffee at seattle's best.

if i had known moving cross country and setting up a new life was going to be so fun and easy, i would've done it a long time ago.

17 October 2012

Bad Tidings

Bathed in the glow of aspens and Indian summer sunlight, camp has undergone a very strange and sad week. In such a small, isolated, tight-knit community, any incident reverberates through the staff and leaves us all at a loss.

Two staff members were fired as a result of a flirtation that soured irreparably and caught the attention of certain managers that wanted to set an example, no matter the fairness of the decision. One staffer was shunted back to Georgia, the other stranded in the limbo of South Lake in October. The latter was a riding friend and I can't help but resent his perfunctory termination. 

In the tense, quiet aftermath of the firings, our wonderful dining room manager received word that her young, healthy husband had died in his sleep. 

She was devastated. Catatonic. 

Laura and I escaped the funereal pall of camp and rode our bikes down to Taylor Creek to watch the salmon spawning, and saw two bears munching blissfully on the plentiful fish carcasses. Then we went to Kiva and sat in the sand and eventually started talking about love and grief and the terrifying fragility of life. 

It was necessary. 

07 October 2012


the other day in a fit of brashness i hopped on the deutschbike and rode around lake tahoe. it was an 85 mile ride from camp and i fully expected to quit somewhere around tahoe city and turn back. i haven't ridden that far since 2009 and this was the longest ride i'd ever done alone by at least 40 miles. and yet somehow i was never bored and only got really hurty at the end. it probably didn't hurt that it was pretty flat and intensely beautiful, and that the weather was perfect and there were luxurious shoulders and bike lanes everywhere.

Emerald Bay, probably the most picturesque
and the closest to camp too

i stopped at the same beach we hung out at after nationals in '09 and felt a flutter of nostalgia. i would give anything for nats to be here again this year so i watch the old alma mater score its inevitable victory.

and then yesterday i jumped out of a plane. what a rush. i'd do it again in a heartbeat. would recommend it to anyone.