Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A New Life - Part 2

When I was in Sitka during Thanksgiving last year I applied for three job openings that I happened to come across.
I had not planned on applying for work there, but while in Sitka I happened upon the positions.  
I was not happy with my job in Juneau and Sitka was a very very nice coastal town.  
I could easily picture myself living there.
Not long after I arrived back in Juneau I phone interviewed for one of the jobs.
I knew who had applied for it, and the job was mine to lose.
I blew the interview - mistakenly doing it from my office - consuming work in front of me, emails coming in, work that needed to be done.  I was so focused on my current job that I could not separate myself from it long enough to even focus on the job I was interviewing for.
It was mine to lose and I blew it.
Not long after that I received a letter re: the other two positions I had applied for, letting me know that they were holding off on filling the positions.
Shortly after that I applied for a position in Nikiski Alaska - not a whole long way from Anchorage, and soon received a letter from them as well indicating that they were holding off on hiring for the job.
A week before my Mountain Boy and Jamie and I were to get on a ferry to head back down to the Lower 48 I received notice that they wanted to interview me for one of the positions in Sitka.
We stuck to our ferry plans.
Just after the ferry pulled out of Ketchikan on the way down I received a call re: the second job in Sitka.
And two days after arriving in Cody Wyoming I received a call from Nikiski.
It is so easy to second guess yourself.
So very easy................. 

LC's truck was packed on the way down - front seat passenger side, back seat of the cab, the bed piled high with sideboards and tarps holding everything together.
My bed was packed as well but we kept the front free so that Jamie and I could travel together.  I put one sleeping back immediately in front of her and one between us, hoping that they would keep her safer if I got into an accident.
My baby-girl spent the entire trip either sitting upright looking out of the window, or sleeping with her head propped up on one or the other of the sleeping bags.
For a dog who used to get car sick she has become a great traveling companion..........

Not long before reaching Bozeman Montana LC pulled off the highway unexpectedly.
I pulled over to the shoulder as well and walked back to see what was going on.
As I got closer I could hear the noise coming from the truck.
It was loud and it sounded bad.
LC knows a lot about vehicles, but after raising the hood and spending time investigating he looked at me and told me he had no idea what it was.
That sounded bad too.
We had a finite amount of money to work with.......all the concerns about the overloaded vehicles came back and we limped into Bozeman worried as hell that it might be something very expensive.
After an initial inspection of the vehicle we were told it could be either something cheap or something expensive related to the flywheel.
Some anxious pacing while we waited to hear the prognosis.
Twenty minutes later we found out that someone had put a new starter into the truck at some point and left a broken piece of the old one under the lower cover of the flywheel housing.
Somehow (maybe when LC hit a bump?) it ended up bouncing against the flywheel.  $70 later (and a great deal of relief later) we were back on the road..........

As we got closer to Cody I looked at the scenery around me and truthfully my heart sank.
Everything was brown.
There were no trees.
The terrain was fairly flat at first and looked like a moon landscape, and then as the elevation increased eventually reminded me of the Afghan-Pakistani border region.
After living in a beautiful rain forest for the past fourteen months the possibility of settling in a war-torn-like desert region was..........unsettling.  
We turned into town, parked and climbed out of the trucks and I took a doubtful look around............

After settling into a very nice furnished cottage that we had rented for the month my western-lifestyle-loving Mountain Boy and I walked around town.
And Cody is a very beautiful town.
It is very clean, very quiet (although it is anything but quiet during the summer when the city depends on tourist dollars as people pass through on their way to Yellowstone), very western inspired.
The locals appeared to be relaxed and friendly and open.
I liked it.  I liked it a lot........

After wandering in town for a couple of hours we eventually found the Wild Bill Cody statue located across the road from the city hospital and a large western-inspired museum.
As I walked I took in the town, the people, the sun, the warmth........but the terrain was disconcerting.
I again looked out over brown hills with sage brush and tiny trees, knowing that LC liked this and not sure at all that I liked it.
Let it sink in let it sink in let in sink in.  
It is very different from what you are used to and what you expected.
Give it a chance, keep an open mind and let it sink in.
And so went the silent internal conversations as I continued to eye the moonscape doubtfully.
I did not want to make a snap decision.
Yellowstone wasn't far and I knew what was at Yellowstone.

A very beautiful dog (big happy Wyoming dog??) resting comfortably on the roof of his owners truck outside a Mom and Pop restaurant in town that we have now visited quite a few times.
He can be seen sitting in the sun on the truck roof every single morning............

The furnished cottage we are staying at is very very nice.
Western inspired.
The day after we arrived we took a drive, wanting to explore some of the area.
We drove to Powell about 25 miles or so away, continued through a few smaller towns, hit Greybull and then circled around back to Cody.
The scenery was........desolate.
Not a tree as far as the eye could see.
Nothing but brown and I did not like it at all.
In Greybull we happened upon a plane graveyard.
Although most of the gates were closed I managed to take a few pictures.
This place was hugely interesting and I would love to see it again when it is open for the public to walk and explore............

The next day we decided to drive towards Yellowstone Park.
Neither one of us knew for certain if this town was a place that we could call home.
It had a lot of potential - conservative and hard working and quietly friendly and unpretentious people, a beautiful and clean town, the potential to find work, nice homes.
It had a lot of potential.
I was eager to drive out towards Yellowstone and see what it looked like..............

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