Tag Archives: mountain

Poopin’ on the Poudre

24 Aug

It’s been a while since this took place, but I have to share a somewhat quirky story to share with you.

About a couple of weeks ago, I went to the bathroom just before bed, and when I flushed, much to my dismay…nothing happened.

I grabbed the plunger and did what one would expect to need to do.

And nothing happened.

Well, it took days (yes, days) to get the problem fixed. Just prior to this, I had folks over camping in the yard and my landlord thought one of the ladies might have flushed something inappropriate for flushing with a septic tank. I was mortified that it might have been my fault if the septic system was messed up.

But of course, I had no where to use the bathroom in these few days, which is where the real fun was.

I found myself going just up the road a little bit to a pull off where you can access the river that had an outhouse. Yup. I was using an outhouse to go to the bathroom because I couldn’t use my own. Not something everyone can say they’ve done.

It turns out that the sub-pump just stopped working, and I didn’t actually break anything. Relief.

What happened to you that you had to improvise with what you had at the ready? Ever had your only toilet go out of commission for days, and what did you do about it? 

Pickin’ Up Hitch Hikers

30 Jun

Today, with 3/4 of my 40 minute drive home from work, I happened upon a couple of folks on the side of the road. They were at the mouth of the canyon that I now live in, just sticking their arms out with their thumbs up, looking for a ride.

I looked over at my front seat…piled with everything from wine shooters, to pants, to my purse and a 12-pack of soda. The back seat was no better, being piled so high the stuff was level with the back of the seats.

I kept going. There were two of them, after all, and at best I could only clear the front seat. Something inside of me wouldn’t let me keep going, though, so I turned around and doubled back. When I pulled over, I told them what had happened, and explained that I only had one seat. I cleared it, and they both hopped on in.

It was only a few minutes until we reached our destination, but it turns out, these people that were piled on top of one another in the front seat of my car didn’t even know each other! Her name was Laura. His name was Jared. And Jared was quite attractive…if only I’d had enough swagger to get his phone number. They were kayakers, and while I have no idea why they needed a ride, they were both quite thankful.

I’ve come to really enjoy helping people out like this. I don’t know what that feeling is inside that I get…maybe personal responsibility…but I’m glad I get it.

Have you ever given strangers rides or help? How’d it go for you? If you don’t, what would be the exception? 

Some Thoughts About Change [from an Expert]

6 Apr

Did I reel you in with my expert comment? Well, I hate to break it to you, but I’m no expert. I do have some experience with change, though, as you can probably figure out from the events of the last 6 months.

Remember in high school, when you got that senior yearbook, and half of the people who signed it wrote “Don’t ever change!”? I read an article recently (unfortunately I can’t seem to find what it was, or I’d link it) about how you need to change, and hopefully, you aren’t the same person you were in high school, because face it…you were just a little immature.

I understand what the author was getting at. We need to be adults and we need to adapt to our ever-changing priorities, but here’s where I disagree:

I don’t think you need to change, I think you need to grow.

I often hold to one principle: I don’t change. People will argue with me, based on the same reasoning as the author of that article. I’m obviously not the same shy girl who stuttered when boys talked to her in middle school (true story), right?

Well, sort of. I say that I did change in that middle to high school transition, but once I got to high school, it all stuck. Now the only thing left for me to do is grow. Some interests have expanded, and others have diminished, but they are all still interests.

Want to know some things that changed? Well, for starters, I used to be homophobic-ish. There was no hatred, but more of a fear of the unknown. I also used to be very shy, and now I’m not shy, just introverted.

The reason I write this, though, is that these last 6 months have been life changing. Not me changing, life changing.

Six years ago, when I was but a freshman in college, a girl named Kelsey told me about something called Chaco’s. She told me I should get a pair, and in that moment, I never, ever thought I’d buy something so…unattractive. Fast-forward some years, and I met a fellow with a really fun tan-line, that I couldn’t help but comment on. Even then, I still scoffed at the idea of owning a pair. And then fast-forward a few more months, and here I sit with a hydration pack in the mail, and frustration at how much a pair of sandals can cost.

What’s the moral of the story? Well, that it may sound like I changed, but I really just grew. I’ve always had a thirst for adventure and exploring, and believe you me…I love sandals. They finally all just grew enough to merge with one another, and came to a head when I realized I hate shoes, but flip-flops suck to hike in. 

And I kind of really want a cool tan-line.

I can’t really help it, can I? I live in the mountains, after all.

What do you think – change or growth? With my definition of both in mind, have you changed? Have you grown? How?

That Time I Drove My Car Off the Side of a Cliff

6 Mar

Okay…it wasn’t a cliff.

But I did drive my car off the side of the road into the river onto the river bank.

It was a Wednesday night, and I had invited a coworker over to watch The Little Mermaid. It was snowing, and maybe we should have called it off, but we didn’t. Really, I’ve had much worse drives up the canyon even in the short time I’ve lived here.

We stop at a gas station at the mouth of the canyon, and I tell her to park at the top of my driveway, so she wouldn’t get stuck. I completely forgot about the large hill that serves as my halfway point.

We get to my halfway point, and her poor car barely makes it up the hill. I even parked and got out and pushed her the last little bit so she could park. We decided it would be best if she came in my car so that she didn’t get stuck.

We made it to my house just fine, I made popcorn, and we watched our movie. It is always so nice to have people over. She lives as far from work as I do, but in the opposite direction, so even though it was early, we called it a night. We get in my car, and are glad that while it’s still snowing, is isn’t as heavy.

That was when my car slipped off the side of the road and onto the dirt “shoulder”. The roads were very slick, so when I tried to guide my car back onto the pavement, it slipped back down. The only thing I was concerned about at this point, was what was under the snow on that dirt that I wasn’t able to see. I tried to bring my car back up onto the pavement again with more force.

I lost control.

My car veered hard to the left, and across the lane. I hit the breaks, but they didn’t respond. I was about to nose-dive straight into the river, but I was as cool as a cucumber.

I saw my coworker fumbling out of the corner of my eye – she wasn’t wearing her seat belt and was looking for the best way to brace herself. If we were going to plunge into the river, we either needed to jump out of the car, or open the door before we reached it so we didn’t get trapped in the car (the river is low, but the water is cold, and you never know exactly how deep it will be). With my eye on opening my door, I get ready to tell my friend we need to jump, but as I refocus, I realize there is a tree in front of us.

I’ve never been so happy to hit a tree in my life. It was going to stop us from plunging into the river.

And then all of a sudden, my car came to a sudden halt. I hit the tree, we were done.

We looked at each other and couldn’t do anything but laugh. We pondered what to do – no cell service, it’s snowing, and my car won’t reverse – and ended up deciding to walk. Just as we were making this decision, a car comes up around the corner. I jumped back into my car and hit the brights, put on the flashers, and my coworker waved her phone light in the air. I started honking.

They kept going.

So walking it was. We were halfway between my house and where her car was, and decided to go to her car. Not very long after we set out, a truck approached, and we flagged him down. He told us his name, and agreed to take us to her car – he did just get back from church, after all. When we got there, I asked him to remind me of his name.

Adam. You know…like the first man on Earth.

Got it. Not forgetting that one.

We came back down the mountain side, and I went to my good friends house (the one I was living with and dated for a time), and he was kind enough to drive me back up the canyon. We stopped and looked at my car, and he discovered that it was precariously perched on a large boulder, and that I hadn’t hit the tree at all. One of my back tires wasn’t even touching the ground.

Sweetest guy ever. Didn’t even leave my house until about 12:30 in the morning, and still had a 40 minute drive home.

I was okay. My coworker was okay. And my car got fixed for a little over $250. I was very, very lucky. I won’t, however, get back that hour and a half I lost trying to convey to the insurance woman that I live on a mountain, there isn’t cell phone service, and that there are neither cross roads nor an exact address of where my car is stuck.

And it was a winch I needed, not a tow. 

Ever had a close call like that in which you thank your lucky stars you didn’t die? What fears do you joke about with your friends? 

Living in the Mountains

31 Jan

I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t really experienced real “mountain living”, at least not yet.

The closest I’ve experienced is driving 25 mph up curvy canyon roads, just to get home and possibly be snowed in today. And that whole not sure if driving back into town is worth the money it costs in gas. Granted, if someone asked me right now, or even any night, to come hang out with them I would most likely head that way immediately.

I haven’t actually been snowed in yet, or had anything major happen, but my most recent move has brought about a few minor issues. First, there is the land line. Each time I pick up the phone I have to consciously think about if what I want to say to someone is worth calling them for. I can’t just send off a text. The phone that came with the apartment is a corded phone, to boot, but I might have to fix that sooner rather than later. And no one calls me. Ever. Really, its quite sad.

And then there is the water. It’s well water, and while I haven’t had it run out on me yet, each time I take a shower I worry that the water pressure won’t be enough to properly rinse my hair, so I end up towling my hair before I even finish the rest of my shower. I constantly think about what water-consuming tasks I need to do, and how much water I need for each, so that I don’t simultaneously run water for a load of dishes, put a load of laundry in, and then hop in the shower only to run out of water.

Speaking of dishes, that whole kitchen appliance thing is really kicking my butt. I have no dishwasher, and somehow my single existence seems to create just as many dishes as a family of 4. I’ve been keeping up, but damn! Then, just this morning, I found a whole new issue that I knew about, but when I realized what I was doing it was already too late.

Not only do I not have a dishwasher, but I don’t have a microwave or a toaster either (in my defense, my parents are storing them and I should have them next week). All morning I was looking forward to a nice bowl of Cream of Wheat, so when I got to the kitchen and realized I had to make it on the stove, I was exasperated. I’ve never had to do that before, and of course, I boiled over the milk, which I now have to go clean up. With every bowl of Cream of Wheat, I always make two pieces of toast. Toast. No toaster. That was another hard blow.

But I made my toast. On the stove. Kinda like grilled cheese.

So what would normally have taken a microwave-safe bowl, a plate to put toast on, a knife to put butter on the toast, and a spoon to eat my Cream of Wheat with took a pot, a skillet, two cooking spoons, a spatula, a bowl, a plate, a spoon, and a knife. And the cleaning supplies to clean up my boiled-over milk.

Yes, this entire post was about me whining about having to make Cream of Wheat on the stove.

What generally taken-for-granted items do you regularly go without? What’s the proper way to toast bread without a toaster? What was the last time you can remember not having something you rely on greatly, and how did you deal with it?