When you work at O’Hara the mornings are early!
By my standards anyways. But I soon forget about this when I’m walking along the snowy pathway towards the lodge, looking up at Cathedral mountain and a crisp morning sky full of blues, purples and pinks. “I am so lucky,” is a thought that I constantly start my days with up here in the snow covered Yoho National Park mountains. Everyday holds a similar routine revolving around loads of laundry, filling coffee mugs, water bottles and wine glasses, chopping vegetables, turning the ovens, vacuums and dishwasher on and off. But despite the consistent program there is rarely a dull moment among the staff at the lodge. Whether this is a result of our individual personalities, or the inevitable silliness that sinks in after spending weeks together with minimal “real world” exposure, we’re never really sure. Although friends that come and visit throughout the season seem pretty confident it’s the latter. Between getting out for a ski between shifts, breaking out in kitchen dance offs and getting overly worked up about the current books and articles we’re reading we find energy, humour and purpose in the simple hobbies our O’Hara community has to offer. As we approach the end of the winter season Lonnie, Kirsten, Liam, Jess and I have spent many an evening reflecting on the highlights of our 2 months at the lodge. Amidst memories of Kirsten’s attempt to keep the lake hockey rink fit for skating, ice climbing on the waterfall at the back of the lake and drinking cold Kokanees in the sun after skiing out of MacArthur we kept coming back to good conversations and evening hang outs.
Unplugged in the backcountry
Coming from a generation that relies so heavily on social media it is so refreshing and valuable to be in a place that requires you to let go of that for awhile. To be able to sit around with your friends and have a conversation without a cell phone distraction or a You tube video interruption is impactful. We’ve been able to be very present in not only each other’s but our own lives over the last 2 months and that is something that has been a blessing for all of us throughout our time here. With a few days till the last guests ski out the road I am already missing the electric mornings after a huge snow dump and the intimate silence when you’re alone at the top of a ski run. More than anything though, I am thankful to leave the lodge conscious of how valuable a little fresh air, exercise and undisturbed “me-time” can be.
This Journal was written by Aviva Mulloy who is one of the 5 staff who have called O’Hara home for the past two months. Our winter crew is made up of an eclectic and dynamic group of individuals who obviously love the solitude and camaraderie that O’Hara provides.
Travel the back country with confidence knowing you packed properly.