Another Work Day for a Retired Septuagenerian

posted Mar 21, 2014, 9:30 PM by Richard Sevenich
I awoke as usual, around 5:15 AM and contemplated arising. By 5:37 AM, Eli upstaged me, trundling off toward the bathroom. Keeping my bowels in check, I awaited her departure from the bathroom then sprinted in at 5:50 AM. Subsequently, I checked the weather and ski report to determine how the morning workday might materialize. Work looked unavoidable, 1" new snow and neither rain nor arctic temperatures in store.

Donning my layers of ragged but clean merino and worn techy ski pants, I next brewed my coffee and prepared my granola/yogurt/fruit mix. While squandering the intellectual effort to peruse the Bonner County Daily Bee (dubbed by some "The Bumble"), I finished my breakfast and coffee. Trudging back upstairs, I went through my stretching exercises, awakening my spine and core muscles (such as they are). I rechecked the weather and updated ski report, finding no further excuse from work.

At 7:31 AM, I fired up the Forester, Eli climbed in, and we headed toward the job site bus stop (lower terminal). With no freight trains intervening, we arrived at the bus stop early, but remained in the warm car until other bus riders began queuing. If one waits too long to queue, one stands rather than sits on the bus. We always secure seats.

The Bluebird bus arrived, Tom as driver, and we headed up the mountain toward work (promptly at 8:00 AM), arriving at the upper terminal 21 minutes later despite a slippery road. Camraderie aboard the bus was subdued, but mixed those of different job descriptions - the skaters, classic nordics, back country devotees, and alpine sliders/racers. With no wind, the cool temperatures merely seemed refreshing on our short walk to the job site locker room. There we organized our tools (skate skis, boots, etc.), decided whether to visit the restroom one more time, and eventually headed across the clocktower plaza. Unlike the alpine folk, who must await uphill transport, we could start out on the track straightaway. The Gate Troll warned us that Quicksilver Crossing would be dangerous, because of the frenzied participants in the "24 hours of Schweitzer" event. This is a typical community fundraising event for a very worthy cause, providing money in lieu of what could be available from tax revenues, were conducting multiple foreign wars and interventions not of higher priority.

Today the track was slow, squeaking underfoot to reveal the unwanted friction. We toiled uphill for perhaps an hour. I was making first tracks until I reached the far end of Wolf Ridge where a young athletic lass swiftly passed me by - we decided later it must have been her wax. Either way, she waxed while we waned. As we made our way back down, perhaps another dozen workers were on their way up, mostly familiar faces of our fellow workers.

Back at the plaza, our workday done, we stored our tools in the locker, grabbed a manly chocolate at Mojo, and caught the 11:00 AM bus at the upper terminal. Catching a morning bus back down is perceived quite differently among workers from the various job descriptions. For a skate skier, the 11:00AM bus is considered a "bus of modest accomplishment" whereas for an alpine skier it would be a "bus of shame".

Once home, we had lunch and then gathered energy for the next brutal workday. Some weeks, we even work on Sundays.