If you're wondering why I've been a bit MIA lately, it's because I'm here for the week:
Yep, it's just me, the cattle, and the tumbleweeds. This is my little work away from work, home away from home. Every six weeks I drive over the rockies and work for a week here. Until a couple months ago, I was the only speech path in the whole town!! This place is small, but not that small. I'm in high demand.
Anyway, working in a place like this really puts some perspective on things. Below are just a few tidbits that I never would have experienced if I hadn't come here:
- On one of my first visits here, I go into the office for an 8 am appointment. This dad walks in with his child and they're both in camo fatigues and orange hunting hats. The kid turns to me and says "We huntin'." The dad continues, "Yeah, we just got back from hunting. I bagged a moose today. First one of the season. Had to send'im home with my friend - otherwise he'd be in the back of my truck out front there." WHAT!? You just hunted a MOOSE and then came to my appointment!? Yeah. True story.
- A colleague of mine up here came to the city once for a conference. I remember her walking around town (this is Vancouver, mind you) saying "This place is HUGE! Look how tall that building is! How do you know your way around here without getting lost?" Also, whenever I get visiting colleagues down in the city, all they want to do is shop!
- Another early visit, I had a new client whose address wasn't found on google maps. I knew that the mum of this client used to work at the same place I do, so I asked around to see if anyone knew where she lives. Finally, I got directions that went something like "Take X road far out, past the reservation. There'll be a canyon appearing on your right. After about 25-35 minutes, there'll be an unmarked dirt road on your right. Take that road, then turn off on the second drive, past the barn. That's the house." So, I followed those directions out there and pulled up in the drive just about at sundown. Behind me I heard this crazy noise that I'd never heard before. I turned, and there was a giant cow leaning over the fence on the edge of the drive mooing her head off. Then, the sound of hooves echoed up the dirt road and the dad and his kid came into view, on horseback. Dad had on the biggest cowboy hat I'd ever seen and had his 2 year old clutched under his arm as he galloped up.
- This town is tiny. I think the population is less than 8000 and a lot of those people live outside of town. Yet, I still got lost for the first couple months I was coming up here. It's because people here CANNOT give directions! I come from a city. I use blocks. I know street names. There are people who've lived here their whole lives who don't even know the name of the main street! (It's Voght, fyi) So, I would get a lot of this: "You know the post office? It's like kiddie corner across from that." Or "Turn right just past the subway, but before you get to the building that used to be the old dental office." or, "Remember where the old general store was? It's right behind there." Or my favourite, "Right under the flagpole." Where the heck is the flagpole!?
Someday, when I retire, maybe I'll start an alpaca farm up here and just knit and write and knit and write all day long. :)
Here are some more photos for your viewing pleasure:
This is the highway I drive over to get here. I never had to have snow tires before this!
And here's some more shots of town and outskirts:
So, you'd think that in a place with such peaceful beauty, my muse would be working double-time. Oh well, after 12 hour days of intense work, my muse is nowhere to be found! Time to turn on the TV...
PS: None of these photos are mine! Sorry. :( My photos are all on my home computer, so these are "borrowed" from the net.