Returned to Alaska this week!...Not exactly but had a lot of people up here in Estes thinking they were in the Pacific Northwest. Fog cover at 500 ft, constant drizzle, high of 50 degrees. I finally was comfortable! I knew how to dress. But for the campers enjoyment, it did return today to the upper 70s and sunny.
Its been almost two months now that I've been living & working at Cheley Camp. Some good days & some bad but being around so many diffrent individuals & learning new things in a beautiful setting is priceless. I'm cooking in the Boys Camp called Ski Hi. Here is a picture of the lodge that I spend everyday in.
Frakin' gorgeous isn't it?! Looks like John Wayne could come walking out the front door at any moment & play a game of ping pong on the porch. You might laugh but you put a bunch of boys in the mountains for a month, they become serious Forest Gumps at table tennis.
Anyway, I work there from 6am in the morning until 2pm. Then I wander back to my cabin to take an hour nap followed by a walk somewhere & sketching OR working on my design for the Pret-a-Porter competetion until 4pm. At which time I go back to the kitchen to make dinner & finish around 8pm. After work I grab my flash-light & take a hike up the hill past the barns to my studio & work on my mural. Then its back through the barns in the dark to my cabin & my bunk.
In these two months its been an equal exchange of giving & receiving. I have received the knowledge of how to handmake 250 yeast rolls, bar cookies, vegetarian meatloaf- you name it- in an hour flat. PLUS how to scour a mean pot. In return I have been giving design advice & artist abilities. You'd think that in a camp that has 249 liberal art majors, that they would find another designer/artist other than the one 'science' field professional. I laughed when I got called into a meeting to design the float for the Rooftop Rodeo:) Cheley did not want to stand to losing to the Boy Scouts again....and they didn't, we won! (Sorry no photos)
As I said, I'm doing a mural for the lodge. Its going to be 4ft by 6ft of one of the advertisements from the 1920s. Photos to follow. I do feel like I'm a bit of a disappointment to them though. They had done their back research of my work on street painting & were impressed with what I could do in 8 hours...so they are probably wondering what is taking me so long. Its paint people! But they have put me up in a nice studio with nice materials & respectfully don't ask me after a 12 hour shift how the painting is coming.
I do enjoy the daily change though. The job is to train children about the wilderness but also to entertain them. This is Nate's Cheley Spooktacular decorations that he did just for a meeting!
I told him that I wanted to move into the lodge permenantly if he kept the decorations up. He was amused & concerned at the sametime. But we moved on to Halloween snack discussion. These are the mice & eyeballs that we were playing around with. The mouse is a chocolate dipped cherry, with almonds & a hersey kiss & sprinkles....and here I am eating it. I think latex gloves look attractive on me & am going to wear them when I leave too.
Cooks are like artists; each one an individual that thinks that their methods are the best. I get along the best with a couple from Lawerence, Kansas- Brian & Linda. They have been teaching me everything that they know.Some other cooks...not such nice things to write about. I lived with one for awhile that was the bane of my existance. Complained every moment of the day about EVERYTHING. An example would be the evenings at the cabin. She would not go out in the evening because of the massive amounts of bears at camp, but then she didn't have anything to do. So she would get bored and start rearranging things or sweeping...which made her complain that she was always cleaning up after us. Eventually she moved out because of that & the fact that I'm an insomniac. Karma is karma though & a bear came into her cabin last night. Dont worry, she's unharmed.
I'm going to go hike up to put my laundry in the dryer but stay tuned when I tell you all about the bears.
Miss you more than my bear a day diet, V