Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hello Boulder

well, I am in Boulder finally, but not moved into the room in Eddie's house yet.
staying in the lodge tonight.
i must say the view from my room is spectacular.

Boulder Mountain

I'll fill you in on the drama of driving over the mountain later...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vail Pass damage

So, I really wish I had pictures of my accident while driving through the Vail Pass on I70 on my way to Denver, but I do not.
here is a brief synopsis:
Left Moab on Thursday morning to drive to my sister's place in Denver, the first stop on my way to Minneapolis to pick up my cat Noona, whom my wonderful friends Patty and Elizabeth have been watching for the last 6 months since I could not have her in park housing.
The weather was pretty damn good until I got to Vail Pass, a notoriously bad winter spot (elev. around 12,400 feet)
It was slushy and snowy up there, and traffic kept throwing icey slush on my windshield.
As I approached exit 176, a pick up truck got in front of me and coated my windshield, leaving me pretty much blinded except for seeing his tail lights.
he took the exit without signaling and it seemed that i as heading for the exit sign and guardrail, so i chose to aim for the exit.
My speed was a bit too high and i fishtailed, eventually hitting the front bumper on the right snowbank (losing the left driving light (foglight) and loosening the right.
it cracked the bumper on the driver side, cracked the windshield washer tank too.
I then did a 360 and the rear of the car went up onto the right snowbank with the rear wheels ending up about 3 inches off the ground and the car balanced on it's midsection.
I called AAA and they said an estimated time of 120 minutes to come get me off of there.
In the meantime, 4 people stopped to make sure I was ok and then the police and emergency crew came to check me out.
They were all amazing.
A Sergeant named Annette checked all of my info and wrote up the accident report and said she would call in a tow that would get there right away.
She was really excellent to deal with.
within 10 minues the tow was there and he winched me off and hey sent me on my way.
the only real damage was that the muffler came undone from a hanger and the driver side rear tire broke it's seal (though not completely flat).
I limped to the nearest service station, which was one exit back, and had a driver follow me the whole way to make sure i was ok.
The guy at teh shop fixed the tire and rehung the muffler for only 25 bucks!
I could hardly believe that within an hour and a half (maybe less) i had had the accident and recovered and was back on my way for only 25 dollars!

The exhaust probably got a bit more damage, cus it is definitely louder than before, and i think there may be a small leak in the filling tube to the gas tank cus if i top it off the first couple of gallons go really quickly.
My gas mileage is possibly down a bit too, but not anything drastic.

I made it to Minneapolis with no further problems and have been having a great time hanging out with Patty, Elizabeth, Brett and P & E's parents.
we went to a party last night and today drove over a short ways into Wisconsin to an antique store so patty could check out a spinning wheel which she ended up purchasing.

I've got the car all ready to head back west and am looking forward to finally being in my new home in Boulder.

When I first got here, Noona cursed me out in her catty way, hissing and saying all kinds of cat talk to me.
after about an hour she came out and made peace and now will not let me out of her sight.
P & E say that they have not seen her this happy!
Helps me know that she will be okay with leaving in the morning.
I am sure it will be fun to get her in the carrier though....
2 stops along the way...
Denver for a night and then Moab to get my belongings.
Vail pass is looking to be in good condition from the Colorado road conditions site and i hope it stays that way!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

last day

so, it is my last day working at Arches National Park.
It has been an amazing time and a truly wonderful crew to work with.

in half an hour I will be done with my last shift behind the information desk, then it is time to make my big hike up to Satori Rock, where I will place my broken walking stick as an offering of thanks to the spirits of this land.
Satori Rock, as I call it, Sits like a buddha above the north end of the Petrified Dunes, a lone spire of Dewey Bridge Member red sandstone.

looking NE towards Satori Rock

I know i will be back here to visit, but it's time for the next adventure.

I hit the road thursday to go get Noona in Minneapolis.
an extra special thanks to Patty and Elizabeth for taking care of her for me.
then it is back in this direction and on to Boulder, UT.
I should arrive there around the 18th or 19th.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Boulder, UT, here i come!

Welcome to Boulder (UT)

so...went to check out the Boulder Mountain Lodge on Wednesday...
super sweet spot. looks like i will be working thee for summer.
May try to work at the Hell's Backbone Grill a few nights a week as well.
when not working hard, I will be playing hard, as there are seemingly infinite hiking possibilities in the area.

Looks like i will be renting from one of the maintenance guys named Eddie for a couple of hundred a month.
that means low expenses and an easy time saving up bread for my end of summer move to Portland with Blair.

There is a small general store/gas station in town that has a decent amount of organic food goodies and is attached to a bakery that makes fire oven pizza.
but to go to a grocery store I will have to drive 28 miles to Escalante to the SW via HWY 12- a drive i will not mind at all as it is one of the most beautiful drives I have ever made.

only 10 more days at Arches...last day is March 11th
so surreal!