Today is the last day RR is open. Let me start by saying we had a good time this summer. Overall.
This week has been anti-climatic and deathly quiet compared with all the drama and challenges we faced this summer. Add to the fact that we let our SIXTH cook go last week (partly because we knew it would be slow during the last week and J could fill in again as the cook and partly because we agreed with RR's owners she had some big issues).
Meet cook #4 and cook #7 this season. He has no professional experience in the kitchen, but he did an awesome job!
I really didn't know what to expect this summer when we set out to manage a remote B&B perched on the edge of a canyon in eastern OR. And it was a good thing I had no expectations because it was a wild summer. A few times we wanted to run from the building screaming. The reasons aren't worth rehashing. Too many conflicting emotions attached to them, and at this point, we've moved past the problems and just want to remember our experience fondly. I will say that our ability to take accountability and emotionally process our environment without flying off the handle was surely tested.
That junk aside, we had a really fulfilling summer and learned a TON. Overall, we hosted 882 guests in our tipis and luxurious inside accommodations. Our quasi-restaurant fed dinner to 818 guests (this is a mix of our overnighters and public reservations). I loved, loved, loved all our guests. J & I were just recounting which guests were our favorites and the list is very long. We met so many awesome people and this intimate setting made us all friends. The hospitality business tends to burn people out on … well, people. But that didn't happen to us this summer. And yes, we are ready for a break and to regain some privacy and us time, but it wasn't a burnout job.
We also loved living in Wallowa County. For a backpacker, we hit the jackpot. Trailheads around every corner, high peaks, alpine lakes, wildflower meadows … I said it before and I'll say it again--we couldn't ask for a better backyard. And we utilized every bit of free time to hit as many hot spots as we could. It gave us a good taste of the area and I wouldn't be surprised if we came back down the road sometime.
I did learn more about ranching, logging and hunting than I ever wanted to know, but it just comes with the territory. At the hiker hostel on the East Coast, we talked about the Appalachian Trail. At the bed & breakfast in Wallowa County, we talked about cows and horses. We tried to play the part. In fact, J & I went to our first rodeo during Chief Joseph Days. We were hesitant at first, but it was the best spontaneous decision we made in a long time. Rodeos are extremely entertaining. And what's more dangerous than rodeos? Pinatas. I promise. Now I can truthfully use the saying, "this ain't my first rodeo." And next time, I will be sure to make J wear his tight jeans, cowboy boots and 10-gallon hat.
I don't think we'll ever be good enough for the rodeo.
For now, we say goodbye to the cowboys and Indians. J & I are still searching for our answers and our permanent home (if ever) and know that worthwhile endeavors aren't usually easy, but are character-building and clarifying. That was this summer in a nutshell.
This winter should be very exciting for us. And I can promise you, it doesn't involve cleaning a single toilet. Stay tuned …
Labels: Lodge/Hostel Life, Reflections, Unemployment