My Covid bubble friend and I arrived late to the snowpark, at high noon. It was way too late to even attempt the entire ten mile Hass Owl loop. We knew this, but we kept skiing anyway. We were in the same boat--in the throes of a staycation. We both were winter travelers who couldn't travel. Skiing a long loop wasn't the Arizona Trail, but it was something.
I get about three weeks of vacation time a year. I realize this is pretty special, but temper this with no bonuses, no raises unless I get a new job (which means moving), and being at the whim of whatever administration is in power, plus I've labored almost 34 years year-round for this outfit and you can see that I fiercely hang on to those three weeks as a benefit.
If you don't use those three weeks, you lose them, and you may imagine what a great three week trip might look like. Whoa there, partner! With at least 20 projects working for 20 different people, there is no way I can ever take that much time off at once. So what I have typically done is break it up into 100 mile chunks on a trail.
NOT THIS YEAR THOUGH! I saved my vacation time until now, hoping against hope for an Arizona Trail or Grand Canyon adventure. Though others are flying and staying in hotels, I couldn't bring myself to do it (I'm sure being on trail is fairly safe, and driving less dangerous--or is it? It would take days to get to Arizona). So the dreaded staycation loomed over the holidays.
It has quickly become apparent that I am no good at a staycation. For the past nine years I have worked remotely out of my house, and while this is a great thing, it means I have spent many, many hours staring at the same walls. I'm good at self-entertainment--I wrote three essays and revised my novel--but I wanted to go somewhere. Anywhere but this house!
Ruby enjoys her booties about as much as I enjoy staying home!
Cross country skiing ten miles really isn't that heroic, even if you are breaking trail most of the way. But it's still something. We stopped and gazed over the landscape. We could see Idaho, even if it wasn't prudent to go there at the moment.
This staycation has made me realize that I'm not great at an unstructured life. I've never not worked--with the exception of three months in 1988--and while I look forward to a time when work doesn't dominate my days, I need to get better at hanging around the home valley. Some people can putter around all day and feel content. I am not one of them. But maybe I can get there?
Dragging butt, my friend and I coasted down the last hill to our cars. It was nearly dark and we still had an icy road to navigate. It was a far cry from a 20 mile day on the AZT, but we had achieved our goal of getting away from our houses. Staycations rule! Well..sort of.