ON THE BACK BURNER

August 22 maybe, not sure

You don't have to hike or be particularly an outdoor person to be in awe of the vast amount of land here and the fact that much of it has not been foot printed by a human. On the way here , in the bus, we saw caribou,grizzly bears,and Moose. Our hope on hikes is that we didn't see them again. All of the hikers carry bear spray. In my cabin, which is no longer the cozy one bed room that I had the first night,but now is a one room cabin shared with my two grandsons. I am a guest of my Grandson, who is an employee of the resort. I would get last crack at a room if no paying guest is booked. Not a problem, because I sleep better when surrounded by family. I still got the bed, there is still a sink with cold water and there is still a wood burning stove. Who needs more. Today is cooler, almost cold, cloud covered and the mountain is less visible.One Grandson is doing a vigorous hike , the host Grandson is working and I am hanging out, waiting to hook up with the working grandson. He cooked dinner last night for the guests and is doing it again tonight. He works 12 hour days making lunch and dinner for the guests.The staff, of which I am included right now, eats in a staff room next to the kitchen. Coffee is always on and fruit , bread and butter always on the table. You can smell the food cooking which makes you seem hungrier than you are. The staff food is set out on a shelf, labeled, so the vegetarians and vegans know what is in their food. i eat it all. The paying guest get a different more expensive protein with their meal. Last night, they had short ribs. We had a garbanzo stew , rice with chicken chunks, plain rice,roasted beets, roasted sweet potatoes, and a green salad and ciabatta. Everyone had in house made cream puffs overfilled with whip cream and blue berries that were picked on the trail. Plenty of food. They bake everything from scratch. Ciabatta bread, boule,biscuits, hoagie buns, chocolate croissants. Nothing is wasted. If there is too much cooked one meal, you can find it reincarnated in another dish and it tastes just as good. The staff here are selected as if they were a person who could fit into family dynamics. If you are going to spend 3 1/2 months together, you have to be careful of how everyone will mesh. There is no place to get away. There is no near by town. Occasionally they can get a ride to the park entrance , 90 miles away, and maybe get away to a wide stretch in the road that is a town. There is no place to spend their salary. Some here are spending the winter doing graduate work, which they pay for with their salary and tips. Others rent apartments in Seattle and wait to come here again, a few go back to their home towns. No one stays at camp. It is closed down until spring. The owners do fly overs during the winter to make sure that things al least look OK from the air. Many people  around here use planes like we use our cars.One couple bought a house boat in Seattle while the husband does his graduate work and she recovers from 12 hour days. She can always fill in with being a waitress.There are two families with small children. One is a baby about 7 months old. I just learned that they still make cloth diapers. Who knew. The kids seem well adjusted. Besides their parents, there are a lot of adults to hold them , play with them and just be around. There is one dog around. He belongs to one of the working couples. Life here is not that simple. You have a lot of logistics to think about. The weather is key. Your physical activity depends on your being healthy. Using a cold out house is not that great, even if your view from the moon cut out in the door is of a beautiful Denali mountain. And getting dressed under the covers because the wood stove is cold is a challenge. All doable and makes you appreciate hot water, flush toilets and any type of heater.

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29.08 | 13:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.

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31.07 | 07:02

Leona, do you have a date or a booked flight that you come back ?

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20.07 | 13:55

Everything sounds so wonderful Leona. Venice will seem boring . I would want to move to Portownsend where the kids are living. All sounds great . Is there?

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19.07 | 12:33

That lavender sounds very nice!

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