06 November 2016

These Are the Days of Miracle and Wonder

On Halloween everyone went to the Knotty and a local band performed all of Paul Simon's Graceland. It's the kind of album I forget about until I hear it and sink back into its wonderfulness. Today a line from "Boy in the Bubble" scrolled on repeat through my brain while I was running.

The November sunshine and warmth tricked me and Tyler into attempting a trail ride but the freeze-thaw resulted in greasy thick mud. It was nice enough to run though, so I rallied Cy and Patrick for a run up Taylor with the option of continuing on to Moose Creek.

The morning was cold and the ground was hardened in the shape of hikers' boots braving yesterday's mud. We pushed up to the ridge, reaching snowline and stomping steps into the suncrust. At the summit the Tetons jutted up to our north, the Palisades spread to the south, the Gros Ventre loomed impressive across Jackson Hole, the Big Holes rippled brown over Teton Valley.
Stoked dogs and snow on the Taylor ridge
Pic courtesy of Patrick
We plunged down the west face of Taylor in deep sugary snow, skiing on the soles of our feet, eating shit and laughing. Sophie and Mya porpoised through the snow, mocking our lack of grace. For those couple of miles skis would have been the weapon of choice, but then we got back to tromping through sagebrush and ankle-deep snow, with wet feet, scraped shins, and an awkward gait from all the slippery sidehill.

I kept us moving toward the idea of a trail and we finally (sort of) found it, a worn-in ribbon through the trees, primitive and plagued by blowdowns. At the bottom of the drainage it got willow-thick and moosey, then we abruptly popped out on the horses' muddy highway, Moose Creek Trail, and ran back to the shuttle car.

I am now happy to store my shoes away. I have done some really incredible runs this season and was fortunate to find a running buddy who does not appear to have the word "No" in his vocabulary. I ran through and over mountains, more for experience than exercise. I chased sunlight down the slopes of the Village, looked at the Grand from every angle, posed for pictures on summits, flushed moose from meadows, bushwhacked through bullshit, glided on ridgelines, stood in alpine lakes, and absorbed the unbelievable beauty of this range.

Days of miracle and wonder, indeed.

04 November 2016

Impressions After the First Week

On my first day at the paper we were sending the weekly paper to print. Then in the afternoon we got assignments for the next week. My workload was mellow and pretty fluffy, since I was the newbie. Community events, Teton Valley history. I churned through them, turned my articles in, dawdled on the Internet. This Wednesday it started all over again. Groundhog week.

I really like it. The novelty of being a paid writer hasn’t worn off…or even sunk in. The hardest adjustment is working in an office…eight hour days seem like such an artificial construct when I can do all my work in four hours…fortunately the editor isn’t breathing down my neck for not “working” from 9 to 5. I can leave the office whenever I want to walk around in the sunshine, get coffee, buy groceries. So strange.

The writing part is so good. Headphones on. Scrawl out the first draft in my notebook. Type. Fiddle. Cut and paste. I am good at this. I am not a procrastinator.

The challenging part is reaching out to people. I sit for twenty minutes steeling myself to make a phone call. I have to write out my questions before I talk on the phone or my mind shuts off. I feel so self-conscious having conversations in front of other people. I know it will get easier with practice.

The advantage of this office job is that as a Serious Journalist I am not required to answer the phone. The editorial department is protected from phone calls by a buffer of competent women who deal with all the administrative stuff. They make me feel safe.

I am so neurotic sometimes.

Seeing my byline feels amazing though. Regardless of the content.