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Season Nearing End, Time Between, and the Next Season Too

There is six weeks left of my season at the Grand Canyon's North Rim.  Let's just say it's been an interesting season.  One of the upper managers has me considering a return next year...I doubt it, but I'll still consider it.  Part of me thinks that life would run much smoother here if they could build more consistency.  But I'm all about something new.  There are more than 30 summer places that I would like to check out and I find another one or two every year...I'll be 50 in repeat summers means I'll miss somewhere else.

I've made several trips off the "hill".  Been to Upper Antelope Canyon, Pipe Springs, The Best Friends animal sanctuary in Kanab, a float trip on the Colorado, Bryce Canyon, Page a couple of times, St. George a couple more times.  Might be able to make one or two morw before the end.

I'll be heading to Alta, Utah for the winter.  I have seen the listings for the Alta Peruvian for years on CoolWorks.  Word of mouth from some skiers I know mentioned the Goldminer's Daughter whenever they make it to Alta. When I was doing my basic research of both of them and the area in general, the Rustler Lodge kept popping up.  Each had their reasons why they might make a more enjoyable season and better fit for me, so I decided to apply at all three.  The Rustler Lodge replied quickly, but it did take a little while to actually schedule an interview.  Sometimes a problem when you are in a limited cell range.  The interview felt good, and it wasn't long before they offered me a position and I agreed.

I'll have 4-6 weeks off between jobs.  That's the most I've had since starting this seasonal life style in 2006.  The two week difference is because I'm on a list of people that can make it early if Mother Nature is nice and snows come in on time or early.

I have made some plans for exploring for the four weeks, then I'll have to wing it from there.  I'll be in Las Vegas for a week.  I'm staying somewhat off-strip this visit, at a Days Inn.  It's close enough to the action that I can get there easily, but this trip I want to explore more of the city itself than play. With the longer period of time, I've decided to bus it most of the way.  I will probably get a train trip or two in the winging portion at the end though.

A few years ago I thought of maybe stopping at various capitols on my trips and then kind of got away from that with the shorter times between gigs.  This time my second and third stops will be at state capitols that I haven't visited before.  I'll be in Oklahoma City for a couple of nights, and then head south to Austin for three nights.  It will also be my first time in Oklahoma...that will leave 4 states that I have not visited...New Hampshire, Maine, Florida and South Dakota.

After Austin, I'll be taking the bus up to Chicago.  I actually have my hotel in Elk Grove, I have been thinking about exploring one of my favorite cities' suburbs...but it's close to the Blue Line too.

Then it's family and friends in Wisconsin.  First Green Bay.  I'm trying to make this a more frequent stop.  My mother lives in DePere and well, mom is 85...  I'll be there for 5 nights.  Mom has a very small apartment, and that long with my sisters would drive me a bit nuts.  So I do what relatives should do more often...get a hotel to sleep in.  Mine is close to Lambeau Field, and since my first taste of football knowledge was names like Nitschke, Lombardi and's not really possible to be anything other than a cheesehead Packer backer.

I'll then head down to real home...Oshkosh, yep b'gosh.  One of my sisters live there yet too...and I'll be there for her birthday.  Some old friends to catch up with too.  Probably take a day of the four days, and head to Neenah..which is born 'n' rasied territory.  Haven't really spent any time there for 30 years though.

Then I'll have to get back with ideas maybe for the last two weeks..or maybe it will be on to Utah.

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Comment by Sandew on September 16, 2011 at 1:57pm

I don't know what time you plan to come to Austin, but hope it's close to winter's usually very warm here until about that time!!  We are currently starting to cool down here now at 98 degrees...this has been the hotest and dryest year I've seen since living here over 32 years!  Chicago is great this time of the year for weather.  Las Vegas is like Austin as far as weather....better closer to winter or early spring.


Comment by aggie71 on September 6, 2011 at 9:10am
You are quite the explorer Keith .... your 50 years sound young to me, but heck, you got 12 years on me. I guess I'm a late bloomer :-)   Anyhow I'm having fun with the time I have .... maybe we'll cross paths in our travels.  Take care.
Comment by Brendan on September 6, 2011 at 2:06am
That sounds like a potentially very fun/interesting road trip.  I don't know if you've ever spent that much time on a bus before, but if you have arthritis in your knees, I strongly suggest bringing something for can become rather vexatious.  Don't forget to have some Chicago style deep dish pizza (I can make suggestions if ya like).  I'm a Chicago native, and still think Chicago deep dish is better than any other form of pizza I've had in my travels.

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