I never wonder what in the world I’m going to do on my days off. If I have no plans made, all I have to do is go to the EDR for breakfast (or if I wake late, lunch…), where I will inevitably find someone who also has the day off and invites me to come along with them into town or on a hike. Hasn’t failed yet!

This Friday a group of us went into Jackson and enjoyed some games of bowling at a 4 lane bowling alley. It was a good thing our dorm mom, Bob, knew how to score, because we had to do it the old fashioned way! 🙂 The machinery looked pretty retro – but I think we had fewer stuck balls than with the modern alleys. We definitely had more fun! There was also a jukebox in the corner, so we enjoyed some great tunes as we played.

And the next day, Saturday we went on a hike around Two Oceans Lake and Emma Matilda Lake – about 10 miles, the way we went. Elevation gain was involved and I got a bit out of breath – but was only slightly sore the next morning. I have yet to be a good, solid sore the next day – which I guess means I need to do some more challenging hikes!  A lot of people have been taking trips into the canyons, but snow makes the hikes difficult and dangerous. I am looking forward to doing some overnight hikes once the snow melts a bit more.

Sunday turned out to be pretty exciting as we had a powerout at the restaurant The first one happened almost exactly 2 weeks away – I was working in the restaurant that day, too. When that powerout happened, I got pretty excited, because I had been feeling pretty tired and was ready to plug through 5 hours of work. And then work became different, new, and exciting! There was the noise of the generator in the back, and the new “powerout” menus (yes we have specialized menus for powerouts, they happen that frequently), and the dishwashers had to wash everything by hand. I wanted to be in everyone’s shoes and experience how everything was different.

Annnnddd after about 15 minutes the excitement wore off and it became tedious and inconveniencing (story of our lives, eh?).

That was the first powerout, two weeks ago. This time when it happened all of the lights turned off and everything suddenly became quiet – except for a huge “ahhh, no!” that came from the kitchen. 🙂

On Father’s Day, no less.

But thanks to the powerout I got off work more than an hour early (we closed when the sun went down), and was able to hang out with some people from my hometown that had swung by to say hello. They had just been in Colorado at a robot competition. I played one of them at chess and… *da da da daaaa*.. won! Yeah I was pretty happy about that, especially since he was a smart person and could say a bunch of stuff about computers & robots that I could not understand. 🙂

That was in preparation for today, when the Olympics of Signal Mountain officially began! These Olympics are held every year between different teams (Housekeeping, Marina, Managers, Kitchen, Gift Shop, etc.). Different competitions include table tennis, a relay race, a canoe race, trivia, volleyball, a talent show… I signed up for the chess tournament because 1) no one else had or seemed to want to, 2) all the other spots were filled and I couldn’t really DO anything else, and 3) it would be a cool thing to be able to say I had been in a chess tournament. I practiced by playing some computers online, and could beat the Beginner, but had yet to checkmate the Novice. But the win Sunday night gave me hope that yes, I could play a real person.

So I started out by playing the marina manager, Andy. He was a bit distracted because, well, he had really just signed up because no one else on the team had. I got his queen and ended up winning.

Round Two I played a housekeeper, and we stayed pretty even for a while. Then he captured both of my rooks and I knew it was over… but I managed to play pretty good defense and it took about 15 minutes to reach checkmate.

Third Game my opponent and I played for 3rd place. I was not as concentrated on the game and he took my queen, then did a check, which I examined and found it was actually a checkmate. We shook hands and thus ended my career as a chess player.

So yes, that was what happened during the last 4 days.

Side Note: I have been reading Frank Peretti’s newest book, which was published only a couple months ago. I have been reading Frank Peretti’s books ever since I was young(er), and he has published nothing new the last 7 years… until now! I borrowed “Illusion” from the Jackson Library and it has sucked me in, quite a pleasant feeling really as it feels like it has been a while since I’ve read a really good book. I am reminded of the movie “The Prestige” as I read it, since the story centers around magicians and, ya got it, their illusions.

So yes, that’s my life on this spot of the world.

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