Working at a seasonal job is wonderful because you get all sorts of vacation time. Granted I don’t get paid for 6 weeks but it’s still a blessed time to recuperate and remember why I love the place I work. I wasn’t in as rough shape as some of my co-workers since I only started in October and our break started at the end of December.
Living outside of Yosemite is like a dream come true. I’m in the woods… like deep in the woods. Any sort of community outside of the lodge is an hour away. Nobody knows where I live except some employees but not even new people would know how to get to “Rush Creek.” I don’t hear cars at night. I can see the most brilliant stars. I step outside and can walk for miles and miles without seeing a single soul in any direction. I’m about 45 minutes away from some of the most gorgeous sights in the world, i.e. El Capitan, Half Dome, Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls.
It’s not your conventional apartment. I have to tote water from the lodge since the water here definitely kills gardens. I live in a cabin of a motel that has long since been abandoned. I can’t always drive up the hill to my house when it snows. But it’s warm, I have running water, I live in the woods and I love this place. Unfortunately, they will start tearing it down come September to turn this land into another lodge. I will no longer work here if I cannot live in this apartment. This is my haven!
This is why we can’t drink the water.
Working in the tourism industry is not a dream but it’s definitely well worth it to be able to stay here. And since the lodge is so far out in the middle of nowhere everyone that works there becomes a mis-match, weird, dysfunctional family. I love them and we all take care of each other, tease each other, hate each other sometimes, but always sit down and eat lunch and dinner together made by our fantastic cooks.
During meals sarcasm flows out of every well fed mouth. Sometimes uncontrolled and embarrassing, sometimes eloquent and hilarious. We tell stories about our day and our interactions with guests. We yell across tables to get other peoples attention if they are not near us. Most of the time we praise the delicious food in front of us because we are all obsessed with food. Then we go back to work or go home or go smoke a bowl in the woods.
There are some pretty great conversations that go on any given day at the lodge. Most of them I cannot repeat due to the sensitivity of the subject, the level of profane language or gestures, etc. But here is one I particularly enjoy:
Conversation between waiter and porter/housekeeper in low tones at the bar:
Waiter: Hey did you leave me the stuff?
Housekeeper: Yeah I left it where I always do, in a plastic bag under that tree (or something like that).
Waiter: Seriously? Shit… someone might have picked it up already.
Housekeeper: Shit… really? Well I can get more for you if you can’t find it.
Waiter: Well I will go look for it again.
Waiter leaves and I turn to housekeeper:
Me: What the hell was that!?
Housekeeper: Yeah, sometimes I leave him toilet paper to take back to his house.
Hahah… still cracks me up.
I realized today that I still have so much to learn about the lodge. Today a guest asked me if the restaurant was open at that moment and I had no idea. Then they asked me how much a small cabin costs and I told them to ask the front desk. Then they asked me if I actually worked there. I felt like an idiot. I fill my mind with other information! Like how in mid-February Horsetail Falls looks like it’s on fire during the sunset. No, I’m probably pretty terrible at my job and no one is telling me because they feel badly about it. People have a tendency to do that to me because I look so pathetic. I don’t try… my face does what it wants.
We have a pretty diverse group of people working here. I never would have guessed some my co-workers life stories. Not everyone can survive here. We’ve had people come for a week and freak out and leave. Or not stop in for their interview freak out and leave. It’s absolutely incredible where people come from and how they find themselves here of all places. Some people have no family to speak of while others would be homeless and living on the street without their job here.
But I love them all and I’m glad I’m here. Working at the Green. If you don’t like it you can go somewhere else.
View from my back window