Eastern Sierra Exercise

We have a few items that we carry with us to work out on the road, like some small free weights, jump rope, and stretch bands, but while we’re at the Resort, we like to use what we lovingly call the “prison yard”. Exercising here is a bit like inadvertently taking part in an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos, as the whole set-up is entirely homemade. Steve, one of the managers, cobbled together a collection of implements that could either be seen as exercise stations, or some kind of torture device. Tricep dips are done on a metal square atop a couple discarded metal 50 gallon tubs, climbing grip practice can be had hanging from a rickety wooden contraption nailed to some trees, and there are some very old racks to use for squats and benchpress. In the least jakey setup, pullups can be done on the metal “T” that holds up the laundry line. The whole thing doubles as entertainment because nothing is quite like its gym counterpart, and you very well might fall over when you try to use any of it.

I haven’t asked, but I guess this next one is a giant board for the express purpose of hanging from the white thingeys:

A climbing board to work on hand grip:

JJ demonstrates the laundry line pullup:

The most reliable (and profitable!) form of exercise is just going about our work day. A normal day might entail cleaning a couple cabins, then returning to the Resort to shut down and clean the kitchen, followed by stocking, cleaning and shutting down the store. The regular routine of sweeping, scrubbing, mopping, and running back and forth to the warehouse for supplies ensures that you get plenty of steps, and sometimes, you get the scientific quantity of one butt-ton. One day this week, I began my morning with an hour and a half hike, and then had an entire day of cleaning. Grand total of steps? *38,407*  I’m not sure how many miles that would translate to for me, but I didn’t feel like I was lacking in the exercise category on that day!

In the early evening (provided there’s enough wind to drive away the hordes of mosquitoes), the most delightful diversion is a stroll around Rock Creek Lake. Part of the walk is through a busy campground, on concrete, but most of the perimeter follows the edge of the water on a trail, and past lovely rock formations and wildflowers. With the changing seasons, the path is a little bit different each time. From one angle, you see the back headwall of the canyon; from another, you see the gentle hills that roll down to the valley below us. It’s familiar enough to be simply a loop to walk a quick 2 miles for exercise, and gorgeous enough to hold hands with your partner and enjoy the beauty as you dawdle together.

The pine pollen is outrageous right now; when the wind blows, it creates giant yellow clouds of the stuff:

KK, the owner’s daughter, is back to work for the summer, along with her novio from Spain, Oriol. These two are accomplished runners, the kind that like to tackle routes that count as all-day events for other people. This week, after a full day of work but before dinner, Oriol decided to run up Mount Morgan—13 miles round trip, and a 4,000 foot gain, up to 13,700. And he did it, arriving just a few minutes late for dinner!


Our friend, Mary, is especially fun to have here because she inspires us to get our yoga on. Even though I always feel better after I stretch out my muscles, I’m often quite reticent to get my mat out in the first place. Mary is the kind of yogi to practice anytime and anywhere. While she waits for dinner to be ready, she’ll be doing a quick round in the pantry, or she’ll make good use of her time waiting for her turn in the shower. She inspires us to keep up our practice, and to keep it lighthearted and fun, rather than see it as another chore to complete.

Til next week!


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