A well-deserved vacation

Where: at our summer job at Rock Creek Lakes Resort

Now that we have a couple years under our belts at our regular summer job, we can see a distinct pattern to the season. The year starts out slowly, as we only work partial days, and the resort is open shorter hours. Next, after Memorial Day, things start to pick up, and the workload gets heavier. For a while, we’re like Milo of Croton who picked up the bull calf day after day; things get progressively more hectic, but we get used to the program and get accustomed to everything. But then, all of a sudden, it’s July, and we realize one day that we’re just so dang tired that work is all we can handle. That big crash happened to us last week, after a couple very busy weeks in a row, and we knew it was time for a break!

While some of our co-workers head out to camp most weekends, we generally keep our RV at the resort and just take day trips around the area. Because we were so ready for some time away from our job, we decided to pull up our jacks and get away for some relaxation. The nice thing about the Eastern Sierra is that we have a million camping options within a fairly close range, so we can get somewhere completely different without driving all that far. Last week, we drove south to Bishop, and then west into the high mountains outside of town, to a lesser used campground named Four Jeffrey.

The campground has two distinct kinds of campsites: those in the open sagebrush, and a handful that back up to the rushing South Fork of Bishop Creek, tucked into dense stands of aspen. We were lucky, and snagged a primo spot that had a huge, private backyard. The creek provided loud white noise, and we could sit outside without hearing or seeing our neighbors. Luka joined us that evening after she got off work, and found a spot in the same loop.

Luka’s van, Esther:

The Bishop Creek area is full of hiking adventures that lead to high Sierra lakes, and plenty of little resorts nearby to refuel after a long day. We started at mosquito-infested North Lake and passed through the lakeside campground, which was filled with wildflowers. The trail was steep, and although we were first in thick trees, we soon popped out into an open alpine trail, with views to the White Mountains across the Owens Valley. We weren’t quite sure how far we were going, but when we got to Lower Lamarck Lake, we knew we were there. It was a perfect day with unbelievably clear blue skies, warm sun and cool breezes, and the big flat rocks on the lake were an inviting place to sit and enjoy the scenery.

That little blue speck is the lake where we started:

JJ inspects the tadpoles frolicking in an ephemeral pond:

Lower Lamarck Lake and Luka on a rock:

After our hike, we were ready for some junk food, so we visited Cardinal Village Resort, just down the canyon in the little community of Aspendell. Our burgers and fries were just the thing we needed! And a little known fact: Cardinal Village played a part in us getting a job at Rock Creek. See, my former boss, Anne, knew of Cardinal because it’s where her daughter got married. When Anne was in town for that shindig, she also visited Rock Creek to try the pie, and she told us we had to stop by as well when we were first in this area. Four slices of pie and one long conversation later, and we had a job offer! So, thanks, Cardinal, for the roundabout hookup!

That evening, we (and by we I mean Luka) built a fire for roasting hotdogs, cooking shishito peppers in a cast iron skillet, and attempting Jiffy Pop corn. The dogs and peppers were a big success, but the popcorn sprung a butter leak and then just wouldn’t pop. This was the first fire we’ve had in a long time, and it was fun to sit and watch the colors change on the mountains around us as the stars came out.

On Friday morning, our first day of the workweek, we got up early and headed back to the Resort to make our 11am shift. It was a bit of a harried start to our week, but the benefits outweighed the stress of driving back on our Monday. It’s not something we want to do every week, but it would be nice to have a few more getaway weekends before the end of the season. We love our jobs, but it’s also great to get away now and then when where you work is also where you live.

Til next week!