As I sit in a quiet corner of the library at Holden, sipping peppermint tea and handwriting this blog post (I plan on passing it on to Professor Jensen, who has access to the very limited wifi), I cannot help but pause for a moment to watch the snow falling. Outside my window, the thick, fluffy flakes add to the 29 inches that have already fallen since we arrived last Monday, January 8th.
Since boarding the ferry and traveling 2 hours across Lake Chelan, my classmates and I have been without cell service or wifi access. We ascended the mountain via school bus on a clear, sunny day and arrived in the village around 1. Greeting us was a big group of people, including one of my housemates back at Luther, Max Eness, who is not taking this J-term course, but is doing research with Luther grad Travis Houle ’15.
After 4 days of strenuous travel, our arrival at Holden was like coming home. While I'm a fan of PB&J sandwiches, it was great to eat a home-cooked meal. The food at Holden is simple. For example, homemade soup and salad, but wholesome and filling. Plus there is always fresh bread, fruit, and granola to munch on between meals. Needless to say, none of us are going hungry here.
It’s hard not to feel like a little kid with so much snow all around to play in. Snowball fights, sledding, and fort building are great ways to spend the time normally wasted watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook. Eliza, Abby, and I have gone cross country skiing nearly every day and snowshoeing has become another staple outdoor activity. Today, I went snowshoeing with a group that included Luke, Jon, Nandi, Ann, Mara, and Abby. We took a hilly 1 mile trail out to 10 mile creek and although 2 total miles isn’t much, the first mile consisted of “breaking ground” on the trail so it required a big extra effort to plow a path through the snow.
Although there are many fun outdoor activities to do in this winter wonderland, it’s also nice to relax inside after a long ski or snowshoe outing. I’ve learned to play several new board and card games, including Settlers of Catan and Dutch Blitz. There are so many cool activities to get into, such as fly tying and knitting and there are always events going on. This Saturday we are having a village variety show, and I’m excited to see what type of comedy show Madie, Mara, and Kyle will have in store for us!
It’s hard to believe we’ve already been at Holden for 10 days. The pace of life is much slower and more intentional here, but unfortunately time is still flying by. I know it’ll be hard to transition back to “civilization,” but that just gives me more reason to soak in every moment of this wondrous place. Always living in the present is an art I have yet to master--what better place than Holden to practice it!