Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wherein all my dreams come true... except housing!

Wow, what a week its been! I was walking around Aspen this afternoon in a bubble of bliss, just completely humbled and grateful and rawther blown away by everything coming to fruition. What a year of hard work! By SO many people! And it all led up to this.

Okay. On Friday, I drove to Salt Lake City, and my friend Kurt caught a ride with Mike and Laura and met me out there. We explored the Spiral Jetty, a beautiful earthwork by Robert Smithson (1970). It's one of my favorite pieces of art, and I was excited to share it with Kurt. It was funny to see his reaction, folks who don't spend a lot of time in the art world are sometimes baffled by works like this, and we had an interesting discussion about this piece, and art in general, in seeing beauty in things you wouldn't think are beautiful... it was an interesting afternoon, and I have lots of pics of the jetty and the surrounding ruins, which I think are amazing. There were a few dead pelicans, and the salt had begun to encrust them, speaking of unusually beautiful things...

After the Jetty, we walked out on the ruins, the water has receded really far, so the Jetty is completely exposed and black again, last time I was there, it was white and surrounded by ruby red water. Its been fun to see it in several permutations, and interesting to think about the preservation conversations, as the body of the Jetty is eroding away into the lake bed. I hope they don't try to add stuff to it and preserve it, Smithson was particularly interested in entropy, and I think it would destroy the piece to try to preserve it. Let the lake claim it again, eventually, there will be just little points of the basalt sticking up in a spiral, and then nothing, it will still be there, but under the sand.

After the Spiral jetty, we drove back towards the tiny town of Corrinne, Utah, where we went and visited the ATK test launch site! Just follow the signs for "Rocket Display", and you can see the incredibly scary propulsion vehicles that this massive defense conglomerate makes! They also make the boosters for the Shuttle for NASA.

For more information on just how scary ATK is, visit their website here! And, if you'd like to go feel the ground tremble, visit Corrinne, Utah on August 25, when they will be test firing the new Shuttle Booster!

We decided to drive out to Ogden and see what Outside Magazines Top 10 Town was like, and then made our way up to Snowbowl, a truly beautiful mountain tucked in the Wasatch. Driving up the canyon, we passed all kinds of little houses, they reminded me of Sierra Madre, CA, tiny little artsy hippie houses all along the river. The drive flattened out at this huge reservoir, where the houses became decidedly more McMansion, suburban sprawl all over the lush valley, and then we wended our way up to Snowbasin, which was recently redone for the Salt Lake winter Olympics.

The lodges were beautiful! The high speed quads were incredible! The main lift was about 10 feet off the deck of the children's ski school building. We checked out the maps, and Snowbasin has some amazing lift served mountain biking, which we are going to have to go and explore. In order to get that done, looks like I'm gonna have to learn how to RIDE MY BIKE for heaven's sake!! Rachel Bauer, can I trade you massage for "how not to be a total pussy on your mountain bike" lessons?

The next day, we wandered around Historic Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake in the rain, it was a beautiful day, and great to get out and have some exercise. I'd never seen the fountains and buildings, and I have to say, I am fascinated by the Mormon culture, the incredible industry of this group of people is truly astonishing.

That afternoon, we drove off through Park City (and neglected to stop and visit with the worlds most wonderful bootfitter, Mr. Brent Amsbury, who may never forgive me... and, ironically enough, my feet decided to punish me severely for that neglect the VERY next time I put ski boots on... see, that's what I get...)

We drove through Dinosaur National Monument, where Mike and Laura had camped the night before (here is one of the amazing photos of that area that Mike took), and we stopped in Vernal to check out a legendary bike shop.

Heading on towards Aspen, we cracked open a first edition first printing of Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle, and kept ourselves amused by Sir Edgar Rice Burrough's adventure stories imagined in 1928. We headed into an enormous thunder cell, and, a bit worried about Mike and Laura (who were snuggled on high ground in a good tent somewhere out there), and hydroplaned our way into town.

The next day, I went for a hike up Aspen Mountain with Kurt, and it struck me again just how much MORE this place is than I always think it is. Its steeper, further, longer, and higher than I remember every time I come. The hike up Aspen Mountain is a couple of miles, should be relatively easy, but once again, the altitude kicks my butt, and the in-shapetitude of my hiking partner sets my own recreational fitness level off in spectacular style!

The hike was beautiful, we managed to do it in between rain bouts, found a pile of hula hoops at the top, and while gazing out at the majesty of the maroon bells, hula'd our way to happiness. Little known talent of Mr. Fehrenbach: he has a mean way with the hula! Why isn't THAT on his resume?? I thought about my friend Leah, this beautiful, blissful girl I go to Health Works with, and re dedicated myself to trading her rock climbing lessons for hula lessons. She is "that girl": you know the one, the one that can dance at a festival with about three hula hoops going all at once? Yup.

That morning, I had had my first interview for a massage job at The Aspen Club and Spa, I was very nervous for some reason, but excited. I wasn't sure where I was going to work when I move at the end of August, and the pressure of getting a job, and getting the right job, and getting a job that pays enough... getting a job in town was important to me, because I don't want to have to ride the bus or drive a car.

This year is an opportunity to live my life on foot and reduce my carbon impact on the planet, and I really wanted to do everything I could to get in town and stay there. I have been fortunate enough to get hired on Aspen Mountain for the winter (WOOO HOOO!), and now... drum roll, please, I've managed to get hired at The Aspen Club AND at the St. Regis Remede spa as a massage therapist.

I am now officially gainfully employed with THREE awesome dream jobs in town in Aspen all walking distance from each other.

Full Stop.

After my interviews, I was lucky enough to hook up with Weems for breakfast (Which he unexpectedly had to buy because I was unexpectedly more broke than I thought... this must change. Too bad it costs money to take a class on managing money.)

Weems and I had a blissful morning in the sunshine talking family and skiing and life, and then we took his loverly dog Merlin for a walk about town. Talking through the decision to move to Aspen ahead of the kids with Weems was amazing, he has such gentle insight, and it felt good to hear that he thinks its a strong decision (showing leverage in the reality corner!). I felt calmer with the decision after that, and even better after getting back and talking through it more with Tom and the boys. Looks like we are all on the same page, and all looking forward to this as a positive change that we are taking at the right pace.

All that's left is to find an apartment I can afford that's as close to the Gondola as possible, finish school, take the national exam, and make the move!

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