Pulling Up, and Up, and Up To Our New Home

2 May 2013 in Friendship, Memories, Traveling

20130406-DSC_0916_low-resThis morning we departed on the final leg of our journey, first stopping at the super market for a couple weeks worth of groceries since we’d be leaving such conveniences far behind.

The drive up and out of the valley was an arresting voyage through picturesque foothills covered in rich, spring green grass and dotted with elderly oaks with crooked trunks and twisted branches. There was very little as far as man made structures. The occasional road probably led to a house or farm, but we saw very few. It was almost too inviting. The sun shining, the cloud speckled sky and the enchanting shade of the old oak trees. I yearned to pull over and set up camp right there. A house could be built in subsequent seasons and a garden started. We could travel to Yosemite when wanted and otherwise live a quiet, pleasant life right here.

But duty demanded we continue on. Leaving the foothills behind and beginning a torturous, but gorgeous schlep up the steep road that would take us into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The truck strained as we scaled countless switchbacks with hairpin turns sending us this way and then that. The cats bellowed, the engine whined and the tires groaned. It was a short section of road, but the trailer in tow, the sharp turns and the steep grade required a very slow pace.

Eventually we summited the worst of it and the wonderful views were behind us. A thick, mature forest barricaded our sides and directed our path as our anticipation rose ever higher and higher along with our elevation. Each turn could be the final bend of road that revealed the entrance station where Lindsay would soon go to work. Right, left, up and down. Left and up, right and down. Then up again once more and there it was the Big Oak Flat Entrance Station. Our hearts sung in harmony with inaudible joy, our ears too flush with the blood rushing to the five mile wide smiles upon our faces to hear.

We pulled up and met our future coworkers, one of which was just about to take her lunch and would lead us to our trailer pad. We sat, parked off to the side, waiting. Taking in all of our surroundings and remarking on how strange it will be when this unfamiliar place becomes home. Everything now was strange and new. It was exciting, yet a little scary. Not in a fear-based nature, but in the anxiety tickling your nerves sort of way. There were new people to meet and new places to get acquainted with.

As we pondered these things our escort pulled up with a friendly smile and led us down the road and to our new neighborhood. It was not what we had expected. Not bad, but not in line with the visions we had conjured up in our head along the way. There was no cement pad as we had envisioned, but rather a very uneven patch of dirt. After pulling in straight—as the orientation of the site had intended—we quickly realized our hookups would not reach parked like this. So we reanalyzed the situation and decided to park perpendicular to the suggested manner. Our trailer is so small it actually worked. We were close to level—nothing a block of wood under one tire couldn’t fix—and we could hook everything up properly and without too much strain. That said it did look a little off and so we held off until the housing director/maintenance man arrived to check us in.

After killing a little time putting away groceries and getting things as set up as we could, keeping in mind we might have to move the maintenance man arrived and apologized for not having the site properly leveled. To be fair we had given our supervisor a very vague estimated time of arrival and had arrived early with regards to that vague estimation. He promptly addressed the problem with a giant piece of construction equipment and then very kindly walked us through check in, then a thoroughly helpful explanation of the immediate area – bathrooms, showers, laundry and the surrounding area – grocery stores, hardware stores and restaurants.

20130502-DSC_1644_low-resParked in our new, level spot we spent the rest of the day attending to the arduous task of unpacking. On the way down we had congratulated ourselves several times on our improved efficiency. We had brought even less than we had last time. The truck—which before was packed floor to ceiling now only contained bike tires that would reside outside upon bikes once we arrived and a box full of home brew and homemade wine that would eventually reside in our bellies. But as we began to unpack and reorganize it soon became apparent that we had not cut back on the amount of stuff we hauled along. We had simply become more efficient at packing.

An explosion of sorts scattered belongings throughout the trailer and out across the ground surrounding the trailer. We were both soon overwhelmed with where to put it all. In the past we packed things beneath the trailer or in a storage shed that was provided. Now, sitting in bear country and without any additional storage our meager assortment of possessions seemed excessive. With time and a little patience—which for me is hard to come by—we found homes for it all. It wasn’t pretty, but the days that followed allowed time for reorganizing and fresh perspectives and everything is now in fine order.

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