from the southwest to the northeast

Here I am in the Green Mountain State, and it is raining.  This is the first time in my life that I have ever woken up to rain more than one morning in a row.  Makes me miss the eternally sunny skies of my Rocky Mountains, and is definitely a big shift from Moab, where it probably rained less the whole summer than it has here in the past 3 days!

Anyway, I can imagine that the last thing any of you want to hear about is the rain!  Everything is going great out here.  My dad and I drove the 2040 miles from Boulder last week – we left on Thursday morning and arrived in Johnson on Saturday afternoon.  It was a loooong drive, and I was so happy that he drove out with me.  Apart from making it so much easier than it would have been if I had driven that whole way by myself (yikes), it was great to spend some time with him.  I’ve been running around like crazy since essentially January, so it was nice to spend a few days and catch up and let him know about everything I learned this summer and about my hopes for this internship.

Which brings me to: my internship!  So far, I am loving every minute of it.  Turns out, I LOVE copyediting (which anyone who knows me probably could have called), and with the fall issue of Alpinist going to the presses on Tuesday, I have had lots of copyediting to do!  It’s kind of like treasure hunting for grammar errors.  And as you all know, grammar errors are my favorite kind of treasure.  The HOL Publications offices are set up above a currently empty retail space, in an area that would otherwise probably be an apartment.  As such, my office (aka, a rectangular folding table) is located right next to the refrigerator in the kitchen!  I can’t decide whether that is an upgrade or downgrade from the Splore office in the garage, but I do have my own desk of sorts, so that’s nice.  Also, since I’m in the kitchen, I get lots of visitors!  There is one other intern, Madison, who is a student at UVM.  While I am primarily working on stuff for Alpinist, she (it seems) is mostly working on stuff for Backcountry.  Alpinist, Backcountry, and Telemark are all run by the same company, and everyone sort of helps out with everything for the most part.  This first week has been a little crazy, since Alpinist has a deadline coming up, but I think that usually the resources are a little more evenly spread out amongst the publications.

A funny thing about Alpinist: it’s a hardcore climbing and mountaineering publication.  I clearly knew this coming in, but I didn’t really realize, I guess, what that exactly entailed.  So I have been pushed headfirst into the icy waters of the climbing culture, trying to gasp for air between vocabulary that I’ve never heard and scenarios that I have no reference point for.  So, that learning curve has been a challenge.  Luckily I have some people in my life for whom climbing is not a foreign language, and they politely repress their giggles when I call from my table in the kitchen with my hand cupped over my phone and ask things like, “What is the difference between trad and sport climbing?”

Apart from copyediting, fact checking, and even writing a story for the website (which is still in the works, but I will post the link here when and if it goes up), not much has happened.  I have only met the people I work with, and Johnson is not exactly a buzzing metropolis of activity.  There is a community college here, but it’s sort of isolated on the top of a nearby hill, and Burlington is almost an hour away.  Hopefully this weekend I will get around and explore a little bit more, and maybe meet some new people.  Coming to the northeast from the southwest has definitely been a weird transition.  Beyond just missing what I left behind in Moab, the feel of the northeast is very different.  The sweeping vistas of red clay and sandstone have been replaced by two-lane roads bordered by forests clogged with dense trees and moss; there are more antique stores here than restaurants (about 5x more, actually); I am suddenly confronted with the obesity epidemic I’ve been hearing about but have been able to blissfully ignore in Boulder and Moab; oh, and did I mention the rain…

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