Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Skiing for Dollars

This is my week for snow park duty. I complain about the snow park because it's stressful. We only get so much money for plows and deciding to plow now might mean no money when we really need it. When on duty the luckless soul must sit near a phone for a week, waiting for that 4 am call from Bryson saying that there is enough snow to plow. Then you second guess yourself: did it really need plowing? To say the least of the people who call to complain that it needs plowing. And the need to rush back to fill out the daily diary...

But there is one unexpected perk for being snow park duty officer. I get to ski! This comes after my inspection of the plowing and the dreaded toilet cleaning. (Funny, one of my first government jobs involved this task. Looks like I have come full circle).

Today it was challenging due to the deep, unstable snow. My skis were completely buried and there were times when I was past my knees. It wasn't really a glide, but a slog. It took an hour to go two miles. I could hear the snow settling with a whoomph!

But it was beautiful, the only sound a light wind ruffling the trees and some sugar snow falling. Much better than sitting at a desk. I miss those field days I used to take for granted. Working outside is one of the reasons I started in this outfit. Sitting behind dirty windows that don't open, it's easy to grow disillusioned with the whole business. Nepa! Lotus Notes! Stagnant meetings! What am I doing here anyway? In my mind I'm still a twenty-five year old wilderness ranger.

At least there is the snow park, the troublesome, vexing, why-can't-the-county-plow-this snow park. Thank goodness for the snow park. It keeps me sane.

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