Life at 9700 feet–where spring starts around July

JJ and I like to joke that we have our summer from January to April, because once we move to the Resort in May, it’s back to winter again. The snow didn’t stick around as late as it often does, but we’re having some really chilly weather, with no break in sight. While the rest of the country will be having barbeques and hanging out in the backyard, this Memorial weekend, we are looking at highs in the 40s, and a chance of snow or rain everyday. The saving grace for business will be that everyone who comes up from down below will be absolutely freezing, and we will sell gallons and gallons of hot chocolate and coffee!

Icecicles are just doggie popsicles!

The hiking trails are still covered in snow, but we’re able to get out in the open meadows that surround us, where the sun has had a chance to do her work. Soupy likes to head over to the creek and bat at the bubbling water as it tumbles over the rocks. My favorite spot right now is the ponds, a “secret” spot just a 20 minute walk from the resort. I love to sit right on the edge of the big rocks that slope into the water, and watch the trout happily cruising around, and then look up to see the gorgeous headwall of Rock Creek Canyon. It’s a lovely vantage point of the whole area, and delightfully quiet since no one knows about it. (Remember: if anyone asks you about the ponds, I told you nothing!)

This week was all about getting ready to open the Resort. The store is set up, the cabins are cleaned, and the kitchen and cafe are all laid out. In the days leading up to this Friday, we will be getting the food prep ready for the mad rush of opening weekend. Practically everything is homemade, and time consuming to prepare, but oh-so-worth-it for the deliciousness we create.

A huge difference this year is that the Resort will no longer be making pies. Sue, the owner and pie baker for 37 years, decided she wanted to finally retire. Amy, her daughter, and Steve, Amy’s fiance, are taking over kitchen operations, and would like to try a different direction for the cafe. We will still feature lots of homemade desserts, like cobblers, cookies and brownies, just no more pie. It should be interesting to see how this goes; many customers come up just for the pie. We hope they will try out the lunch menu, which is quite good, and be open-minded about non-crust-based desserts.

As a major benefit to the general store, one of the new employees came with extensive experience in merchandising. Kevin managed sporting goods stores for years, and understands how to create a selling floor that…well…sells! The store of the resort grew organically over the years, with more and more items added to meet changing demands, and a lot of the produce placement was a little haphazard. There’s definitely an art to an attractive layout that simultaneously guides shoppers to what they came for, while also leading them through impulse buys. Kevin completely rearranged the whole place, and it looks so inviting! It will be interesting to see if the store profits are up thanks to his efforts.

Behold some pictures of the gorgeous transformation:

The best part of this week was when we learned that we can have a library card to the county library system here, and for free! I don’t know why I never asked about it last year, but I’m so happy that I did for this season! All I had to do was hand over my “home” library card for the librarian to keep, and she gave me a card for the summer. (So, my Grandview Library peeps: since the first day I got it, I am without my library card!) The library closest to us is in a miniscule trailer in Lake Crowley, but they are part of the Mono County system, and we can have anything sent to our branch for pickup. JJ is already through the first Harry Potter book, and excited to work on the rest of the series. I appreciate the local section, filled with anything you want to know about the Eastern Sierra. I checked out a couple hiking guides and planned all the place I want to see when the snow finally melts.

Happy Memorial Weekend, and think of us as you enjoy the sun!

 

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