What I had not expected was the sheer beauty of the drive. We drove through a lush green forest filled with cedar trees, which Seanie found astounding because he’d expected nothing but desert in southern Utah. Soon, though, the scenery began to change. We would our way thorugh a stunning red canyon with brightly colored sandstone walls rising up to a perfect blue sky. There were big buttes of white and salmon colored rock scattered in vast green meadows. Occasionally, we’d pass through a little hamlet with a gas station, a general store, and a cinderblock post office. But for the most part, we were driving through wild territory.
To get to Boulder, we passed along the edge of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Between the towns of Escalante and Boulder, a ridge cuts through two great stone valleys, with a narrow road that has drops into the canyons on both sides. It was terrifying to drive over that. I don’t know how I’ll work up the courage to do it by myself. But the view was so beautiful that I think my mouth was hanging open the entire time.
Right before we got into Boulder, there was a turnoff on the road with a couple of signs describing the history of the town.
Personally, I found it ominous that one sign was called “Coping with Isolation”.
Seanie drove up to the museum and we parked. I went inside, unsure of what to do. I asked for the park manager, the new boss, only to be told that he wasn’t in. So I said, “Hi, I’m the new intern, and…um…I wanted to pick up the keys to the housing?”
The woman behind the counter smiled and told me, “Oh, we don’t do that here.”
“…oh?” I was a little confused. She led me and Seanie over to the trailer where I’d be living. She explained that they hadn’t been keeping it locked, and the windows were open to help the place air. Since I was the only one living there, I could arrange things however I’d like.
We stepped inside and the first thing we noticed was that the trailer was NOT clean. The door opened onto the kitchen/living room. There were dead bugs on the floor, dust on the counters, and just…stuff scattered everywhere. I was a little surprised, because the last intern had only left a few weeks before. A bedroom attached to the main room was mostly empty, save for a chest of drawers in one corner and a full-sized bed resting on the floor.
We proceeded down a narrow hall to the rest of the trailer. There was a bathroom, which looked pretty clean, with a washer and dryer inside. They look old but serviceable. Thank goodness laundry would be simple – after so many days on the road, Seanie’s pretty much out of clean clothes.
There were two bedrooms at the end of the hall. One was completely filled with…stuff. I saw two TVs and several mattresses stacked against the wall. There were boxes and bags everywhere. It was going to be a challenge to sort the place out. The other bedroom was in better shape. It had a desk and a twin-sized bed, an old fashioned one with large springs. The closet had a lot of DNR (Department of Natural Resources) uniforms hanging in it. None of them looked close to my size, so I doubt I’ll be wearing them. The rooms both smelled musty. The woman from the museum had said that interns generally used the other bedroom, and I could see why. Neither of these felt like they’d been inhabited in years.
Well, time to settle in. Seanie had to work, but he helped me move boxes into the trailer before his shift started. In the main bedroom, I put away my clothes after scrubbing out the chest of drawers and clearing the closet. I went through the kitchen cabinets and started washing every dish, since I had no idea how long they’d been in the dust. In one of the drawers, there were a couple of dried up mouse poops – so I’ll have to keep an eye out for rodents. I spent most of the evening alternating between playing Animal Crossing and cleaning. It’s home, for now.