Tuesday, September 20, 2005

You have to sober up and go home sometime...‏

Hello everyone!

Well, this will be my last email from the Rocky Mountains... Lucky me, I get to go home a little bit earlier than planned. So, tomorrow is my last day at work, and it can't come soon enough, frankly!!! 8-5 and then I'm done. I'll be leaving Wednesday after lunch and arriving in Des Moines on Friday afternoon. I am SO glad to be heading out of here and back to REAL civilization!!!

This past week has had some memorable moments that I'd like to share briefly. :-) To start with, we've had some staff going-away stuff going on. Yesterday we went on a staff ride up to Inspiration Point, at the top of one of the mountains here in the Arapaho National Forest. I had decided before I went down to the barn that I was going to try to get up on the horse this last time without the assistance of the loading platform. Well, I certainly rethought that idea when I got there and saw that the horse's stirrup was about 3 feet off the ground. Forget about that shit!! It was the same one I rode last time, but I didn't remember it being that high up! The wrangler, Chris, promised that he had helped someone twice my size up onto a horse (all I could think was "Poor horse!"), but I still opted for the loading platform.

The ride was a lot of straight-uphill, straight-downhill riding, which is exhausting on both horse and rider. As it was on my first trail ride, I couldn't help but feel sorry for my poor horse, JD. He was wheezing, moaning, and shitting all the way up the mountain, so I kept petting him and telling him that he was a good boy and that soon it would all be over.

Expectedly, once we got to the top, we all had to dismount and walk around to look at the stunning views. But of course, there is no loading platform up at Inspiration Point. So, my first instinct was just to stay my ass on the horse and send my camera with someone else. But the wrangler, Chris, would have none of it ("I used to be a Marine---TRUST ME!!") and basically pried me from the horse with a crowbar and the assistance of one of the other guys on the ride. It was not my most glorious moment, let me tell you. It felt rather like being one of those fat ladies who have to be removed from their house via crane.

Still, I was glad to get off the horse for awhile. Unfortunately, I almost got blown off the top of the mountain by the crazy powerful wind gusts. In my pictures, you can see that everyone has to brace themselves, lest they be carried away. The views were almost worth it. :-) Getting back on the horse was another adventure that I won't even go into here, except to say that I now know how a cheerleader feels when they're sitting up in the air on the hand of one of the guy cheerleaders. By the time the ride was over, my entire body was aching and my head was pounding with a sinus headache. It was nice to ride with everyone one last time, but man it took a lot out of me.

Later that night, we had a farewell bonfire out by the King House. All the staff came except Evil Chef Scott and his poor fiance. It was a great time for sure. I'm going to miss this motley crew of alcoholics, crazies, and genuinely nice people.

Today was a bit crazy. Balbir is testing out this yoga guy friend of his for doing yoga here next summer, so he wanted us all to go to a session with him. Well, I couldn't do yoga this morning because I had to man the phones, but this afternoon he was doing a meditation session that I wanted to attend. So, I went. Dick wasn't in the office when I left, but all was quiet, and Balbir insisted that I go. Well, as soon as we got out, an hour later, I go to the dining room only to find out that Dick is ENRAGED, and has been looking for me for the whole hour because a call came in that he couldn't handle. The bad thing about this was that in the process, he went down to Pioneer to hunt me down (presumably lolling about drunk, smoking weed and skipping work) and instead found Corky's dog, Gizmo. He told her he wanted the fucking dog out of here and she was very upset.

Well, the look on his face when I came in the EDR was priceless. He looked like he was going to have a stroke at any moment, but was trying to control himself. Peggy calmed him down and explained where we all were. Well, things eventually settled, and he never actually yelled at me. Still, he was a total dumbass about it because he could have just taken a message. Plus, he knew that the meditation thing was going on and he just forgot about it. Eventually, he remembered that he likes me, and so by the time he left, he was whistling to himself happily. Oh, and Mike (Corky's boss) was called in by Dick so that they could discuss Dick wanting to fire her, but Mike put his foot down, so a crisis was averted on that front. *whew*

Speaking of Corky, I got some very bad news last week. It turns out that her being sick all the time hasn't been from Scott's food. In fact, she has stomach cancer. But, she's not going in for treatment for another month or so, and even then she is saying that she just has to have a surgery and then she'll go back to her construction job. I think she's either delusional or purposely trying not to admit the reality of the situation. I'm so sad... I'm sure I'll never see her again, so saying goodbye is going to be really hard. She keeps talking about coming back next year and keeping in touch...I can hardly take it...

Anyway, it's past time for me to leave, so I shall say goodbye. Just think, by this weekend, I will be reachable by cell phone and able to eat real food and go shopping. YAY!!!

Talk to you all soon!!

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