Sunday, October 16, 2016

High Life

Our mountain house

We made it, and now it was time to explore and make the most of our new home. Last year we had jobs out here but no house, so now that we had a place to live we figured finding work shouldn't be difficult, and it wasn't. Amy was quickly snapped up by a preschool and we made a bit of a brewery tour of the county to search for work for me. I was skeptical that I would just be able to walk up and get a brewing job and thats about how it panned out. Most local breweries are small in size and staffing, so they were hospitable to chat with and talk about beer, but unable to offer me anything. None the less, we had a great first week in the area, strategically visiting at happy hour having chats with the brewers and more often than not even getting shouted our beers. But for now no job.

The walk into town
With unseasonably mild weather across the first month of being out in the rockies we were provided the chance to really explore the area before we got snowed in. Perfect for exploring the trails that leave from right behind our house. These are an extensive network of town maintained trails for walking, running and biking, and like most things we do here, we usually have the dogs in tow too. On a nice ride I took one day with Tinkerbell chasing behind, I made it up the hill to the end of the trails, where I intersected a bunch of old mining sites, cottages, flumes, shaft towers and the sorts.

Walking behind our house
Wanting to be as social and meet as many new people as possible, we did everything that was suggested. We joined our flatmate's girlfriend's potluck dinner, a night of 7 different types of meatballs. We had a festive pumpkin carving at our house and a dodgeball tournament at the recreation center. That definitely put us in our place with our thin blood not quite giving us the oxygen that the demands of dodgeball at altitude requires. Actually, this was my fist proper participation into the American classic game, and it was fierce, competitive and lung pounding. With some defeats early on we strengthened to finish out in the semifinals. 

Breckenridge Main Street
The coincidental social outing with a last minute invitation to a bottling party at the Breckenridge Distillery, which is when the public is invited to help out bottling in return for some food and drinks for the evening and a bottle to take home, also ended with me taking home a job. Very coincidental, but things worked out perfectly for me.

My new job, like Amy's, was working four 10 hour days during the week. My shifts are from noon to 10pm working on the packaging line. Putting booze in bottles and putting bottles in boxes. Nothing glamorous, but learning the packaging machines and occasionally helping out with the distillers is invaluable. Amy works in the two year old room at her preschool, and enjoys being responsible for organizing lessons and helping run a classroom.

With the warm weather and plenty of spare time I also was keen to play around on may car. It was having a bit of a rough time overheating, leaking coolant and oil, so I thought I ought to try to remedy this, at least maybe learning something. So I jumped head first and started with pulling the engine apart and by utilising a piece of four by two and a couple of volunteers, we lifted the small but still very heavy engine out. We laid it down on the porch and then I just worried for days about what I had done and how I would fix it. I ordered a bunch of new parts, thermostat and oil seals, cleaned the engine and bay up a bit, switched some stuff over, then hoisted the power-plant back into the engine bay. With a bit of wiggling and jiggling and a few unnerving crack and creaks from the wood hoist, the engine was back in place and I just needed to put it all back together. That I did, over a few hours and with a few false starts, I got the engine turning over and running. Bummer was it still dripped coolant, so that means getting a new water pump, which has still yet to happen. So we just keep the fluids topped up for now, but other than that, the car runs good, I didn't break anything and I did learnt a lot.

The RX7 exploring Summit County

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