Working in Taylor Park, Colorado in One Post … 07/01/16 – 09/21/16

 

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So folks, I have gotten way behind on the #blog… Life has been exciting and has distracted me from one of my soul purposes of this trip…

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So, what I did, to catch up, is consolidate all of the experiences at #TaylorPark into one big post…

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Being back at #TheColoradoDreamRanch was very reminiscent… I couldn’t believe the relationship I developed with this place last #summer… And it was almost like the #mountains and the #nature surrounding them were welcoming me back with open arms… The first walk Tracey and I would take down to the #Marina, this guy above, popped out to say hello… A sure sign #hunting season has not started yet…

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The smells are what took me back the most… Taylor Park definitely has its own smell to it and I didn’t realize I missed that smell until we took this walk… It’s almost a blend of earth, mushrooms, metallic water, dried out brush and blossoming trees… I also believe I probably smell things differently up here considering the thin altitude and the dry air… Things tend to taste better up here also… Like a simpler, yet more pure flavor… I definitely eat a lot more when I am up here…

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I almost stepped on these #eggs during our walk… Very well camouflaged and laid right next to cow dung, so predators can’t smell the eggs… Very well hidden… I didn’t want to mess with them too much and I was waiting for an #AngryBird to start attacking me… but she was probably out getting food considering it was a hot enough day to keep these little guys warm… I couldn’t tell you what eggs they are or who they are from… Probably a duck or a goose egg, who live down by the #TaylorParkResevoir…

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When we got to the NuggetCafe, it pretty much took off right away… We arrived right before the 4th of July and we were ready for chaos…

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Tracey picked up the job right away and fit right in with the guys… It takes a pretty strong woman to work with all of us crazy guys… #TheNuggetCafe is not your conventional #cafe… We work as a team and everyone is equal, just like the boss treats us… Doesn’t matter who you are, we all get the job done together…

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And boy was the Nugget Cafe in dire need of a woman’s touch… Not that it wasn’t clean or somewhat organized, it’s just Tracey takes the term organized and clean to a new level… At the end of the first day, it was like she had worked there for years… I don’t think she even made a single mistake… lol!

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So, we would have the evening shifts… We would start at 1:45 and get out around 10 to 11pm… They are very long shifts with quite a bit of clean up yet the fact you are free to be yourself and don’t have an asshole breathing down your neck every minute, makes it bearable… If we didn’t have a boss like Chris, I don’t think we would be working here…

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I saw quite a few familiar faces… There is Stony… who is a Vietnam Vet who has lost his leg yet he still hops up on a horse and herds cattle for a living… He’s a very hard man who doesn’t like any bullshit… It takes him awhile to warm up to you also…

Well, that’s if your guy, lol… Because this guy loved Tracey right when he met her… He would always joke about stealing her from me and how a real man doesn’t #WaitTables, a real man rides horses… lol! We would see him almost everyday as he passed through with his cattle or what not… He always gets a coffee and sometimes he would get a piece of pie, as he complained that another restaurant has better… We all know the type folks… But once you get by the hard exterior, there’s a great, funny man underneath with some really crazy stories…

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We saw a couple of bucks on our first walk on the way back also… You can see two of them above… I tried to sneak up and take some pictures but they are very skittish… Which is a good thing considering hunting season is only a month and weeks away…

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Taylor Park will always be the place that taught me how to get along with my #conservative counterparts… Most of the peeps who come up here are from the south and have very conservative views… I was shocked that I had two liberals working with me… Billy, the chef from last year, is a liberal and this new waiter Mike, from Tennessee, is a liberal also… I know! Tennessee! We had some pretty cool conversations about his growing up in that ultra conservative state as a #liberal…

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We had a pretty intense #HailStorm one day… It sounded like someone was dropping marbles on the roof of #TheMillenniumFalcon… One minute you are enjoying  pretty intense sunshine and the next, you have ice balls dropping on you… #MotherNature is one moody lady who can turn on you at the drop of a dime up here…

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There were times when we were working 6 to 7 day weeks with some doubles… And the shifts were exhausting… Tracey and I felt so lazy up here because we wouldn’t get out of bed until noon and then we would have to be at work at 1:45… With all of the long days, hard work and crazy altitude, getting into the swing of things isn’t easy up here…

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It takes you couple of weeks to adjust to the #HighAltitude to start with… But it feels like you never catch up on your energy up here… It would be fine if we weren’t working so much but as soon as our bodies adjust up here, we are so exhausted from work, we can’t do anything anyway…

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I really wanted to climb another mountain while I was up here but it just didn’t happen… Who knows, maybe I was content enough this time that I didn’t need to climb… I am very disappointed in myself even though I did have a lot on my plate the whole time we stayed up here…

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Also, I was having a totally different experience up here with Tracey… as we explored the #LittleTowns surrounding us… It was a different #trip this time… I had to keep telling myself that because you know how those #expectations get at you… I went up to the mountains expecting to #camp, climb and #explore nature…. when really we just worked, enjoyed each other and checked out the surrounding #civilizations….

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Tracey is a great addition to my life because she forces me to do what I wouldn’t do if I was alone… It took me awhile to scrap my set expectations and go along with Tracey… Though I would like to #hike and camp more, I am so glad I got the time to see what I would have never gone to see if I was alone…

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So, I still got to keep my job from last year, cutting the pies…. I didn’t take many picture inside #TheNuggetCafe… I figured if anyone new to this blog wants to learn more about this cafe, they can just go back to last years posts and see everything… So please do so if you’re curious… It’s quite the magnificent place…

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The customers were a handful at times, as we were extremely busy on and after the #4thOfJuly… Chris still did the #Omelette/waffle ‘all you can eat buffet’ every morning… I would do a breakfast here and there; but Tracey and I mostly worked as a team at night…

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And let me tell you, what a team we made… I don’t think Chris could have been happier because Tracey and I are very competitive… So the #BurgerOfTheDay specials and the #DinnerSpecials were flying out of the kitchen…. Sometimes we would sell them out in the first hour… And the kitchen would love to pass the time talking smack and feeding into the battle of the sexes…

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You see folks, #TheTravelingMac isn’t bragging or anything but I am the master at selling… Anyone who works with me sees this… What I do is take the items on the menu that I feel represents the #vacation place I am working at and I sell the crap out of them… I have learned over the years in this business that you can practically get away with anything if you sell, sell, sell… Because that’s what this business is all about… So if your boss or #corporation (especially) sees a lot of sales on your reports, they will leave you alone… Trust me! I know this for a fact now because everywhere I work, I always seem to fly under the radar with management… Probably because of a lot of other factors but the main one is the ability to sell…

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And when I say sell folks, I mean sell… If you sell a burger, ask if they want bacon or avocado added… Always tell a delicious story about the specials… Sell the environment along with the food… At the Nugget Cafe I pushed the country cooking and the #ElkBurgers… That’s what people want to eat in the mountains… and of course I would sell the ribs on rib night and Prime Rib on it’s night… People come to these little tucked away #havens to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life… They want some #HomeCookedCountryFood up here, after a whole day of fun out in the #mountains… Then when your customers are done eating and ready to bust, you sell them some homemade pies….

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And the pie master met his challenge up here this time… Tracey could sell pie like the best of them and she even went the extra mile by pushing a scoop of ice cream with the cold pies along with the hot pies… It never dawned on me to even attempt this… I never thought people would want vanilla ice-cream with lemon meringue pie… Tracey new she would have to pull out all of the stops to take this guy down…

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And definitely Tracey and I’s most favorite memories were playing poker on Tuesday nights… We worked so much and spent most of our free time alone together, we never really got to hang with the guys… It’s hard when you are a couple amongst a bunch of single guys but poker soon changed that situation…

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I have a lot of friends who don’t like women at their poker table and the guys were a little weary up here also… It’s not a sexist thing folks, it’s just that most guys feel that certain male members will be distracted and favor the female, trying to be polite and courteous… Which is what poker players are trying to avoid…

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Well, that definitely didn’t show itself as a problem this time… The guys didn’t spare any of their true feelings in the language they chose to express them and Tracey is the kind of girl who can take such male crudeness… So she fit right in and she was quite the poker player also… I believe she actually broke even for the season or lost just a little… The Traveling Mac on the other hand came out $450 ahead! I know! I was a monster at the table…

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The first few weeks I lost $200 but soon recovered it all and made a pretty big profit by the end of the summer….

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I used some of that profit and put new floors in my bathroom… Actually a friend from #DeathValley gave me the bathroom tile for free… I just decided to do it one day when Tracey was out doing errands… I can’t wait to get rid of all of the carpet in this #RV… I just have to take the time to do it…

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We soon got into the swing of things and got used to each other in #TheFalcon… It’s not easy living together in a tiny 25 foot space… There’s a huge learning curve and a few fights before effective regulations are set in place… Like the simple task of showering becomes a big coordinated effort in a small RV…

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My bathroom is right smack in the middle of the RV… The toilet is in it’s own room yet the shower is right in the middle, outside of that room… So when you are getting ready, you tend to get in each others way… And when you are working a lot and are tired, this starts the arguments…

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But soon you learn how to deal and set rules so everyone is on the same page… Whenever one person was getting out of the shower and getting dressed, the other would either stay in the living room or bedroom… And the one not showering would always help if the one showering needed anything… It turned out to be a good system, which curtailed a lot of possible altercations…

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The days were mostly warm and the nights were cold… Tracey and I would drive down to work because sometimes it would be so cold or raining… And of course we would always be running late.. lol…

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I would go visit my sparrows whenever the stress got too bad… A little puff and everything would be ok… I even did some cooking for the Nugget Cafe while up here… I made an English home cooked favorite called “Cottage Pie” for a special one day… Now I had never cooked for such a large quantity and it didn’t come out as good as I expected… The meat gravy was too runny…

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But the special broke even, which is better than losing any money, I guess… I practically cut my finger off throughout the process… I guess I will stick to waiting tables… lol! I enjoy cooking too much to do it as a job and I just don’t think I am cut out for it…

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And through all of the stressful, busy times everyone would joke… especially during the hour, to two hour clean up at the end of the night… We would crank music, bitch about the rude customers, argue politics and throw some creative ideas out there also….

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Chris and I would love to vent our frustrations through a #TvPilot idea we both conjured up together… it’s ingeniously called “The Waiter…” Chris loved this idea, I myself love it but know the time you have to commit to make it a reality… We would fantasize about me coming up for a winter and filming this show in the Nugget Cafe… We planned to come up here with a film crew before the snow started, hole ourselves up in the empty cabins and the cafe for the whole winter and shoot some #episodes…

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Chris would provide the food, housing and location and I would provide the crew and equipment… Chris was ecstatic about this idea… I’m really considering writing it and trying to get some funding to make it happen… But it takes so much planning and so many things have to fall into place to make it happen…

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It became more of a project to discuss just to distract ourselves from the hard work we had to tackle everyday… So this comedy would be a very crass, negative way of looking at a #cafe in the middle of nowhere… It would be a show for people who have to deal with the customer service industry and all the crap that comes with it… And let me tell you, working up at the Nugget Cafe has given Chris and I an unlimited amount of stories… Stories I wouldn’t even believe if I didn’t experience them first hand myself…

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So, basically the main character is based on me… A guy from the city who is trying to get away from it all and ends up stuck up in the mountains, serving people who are practically the complete opposite of him… He brings his rash, city attitude and is basically burnt out on life… He hates the restaurant industry yet it’s all he knows, to make money at least…

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The opening would be #TheWaiter looking out in the backyard of the Nugget Cafe as customers sit and eat around him… You see a big smile on his face as he watches a cow graze… Then the cow just drops a big one right on the clean lawn in front of the waiter and the many customers watching… You hear a moan from the crowd and then you see the waiter’s smile fade, as he turns and says “Damn it!” Then the title comes up “The Waiter” with a voiceover saying very unenthusiastically “The Waiter…”

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Basically the show is about this waiter who deals with these ridiculous shifts where everything goes wrong… Throughout the show, you will see the ridiculous ways customers act and how ‘The Waiter” deals with it… Like a simple example is how customers keep on asking for new things right after you just brought them something… But the waiter doesn’t just take the situation as it is… He exaggerates and flips out all of the time… So after the third time of going to the same table, the waiter would freak out and make a scene, creating comedy through his inability to do his job because of customers’ crazy requests…

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I wanted to make it so you never see the manager, Chris, on camera… every time something is asked for, it just appears… everyone talks about the manager but no one ever sees him… I also wanted to do a Murphy Brown type approach where the waiter never has the same co-worker working with him… At the beginning of each episode, The Waiter is training a new person who either quits or gets fired at the end of each episode…

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I like this idea because it’s almost like therapy for me, writing about the outlandish assholes I have to deal with all of the time… And also it brings attention to how horrible people act when they are being served at a restaurant… All of the different nightmares we face… Like, people shitting on the floor in the bathroom, which was a reality at The Nugget Cafe… I want to make a few episodes about this mysterious, vandalizer where the waiter is trying to catch him but seems to miss him every time… Only left to clean up a pile of steaming shit on the floor…

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Chris and I would laugh as we took our real life situations at the cafe and implemented them into an exaggerated comedy… It was like a creative way of venting without the terrible negativity that usually comes with it… You wouldn’t believe what people try to get away with up in the mountains and how clueless people are when it comes to going out to eat…

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But while the comedy is bringing attention to such crazy incidents, I want it to also capture the freedom that comes with what the main character is doing and the life lessons he learns… It’s hard to explain the comedy of it without actually writing it… But be well assured, I have enough material to run this show for 10 seasons! I just need to start writing it  along with all of the other projects I have sitting on the back burner…

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The#TaylorRVPark was pretty damn awesome… We didn’t pay for a damn thing and the accommodations were great, very convenient… I spent many nights outside just gazing at the #stars, as I smoked my evening nightcap…

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It’s an interesting experience going back…. Naturally before you get here, your mind tries to figure out what it’s going to be like this time and reverts back to old memories, expecting the same… But it is never the same folks… Never…

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I reached Taylor Park a totally different person this time with a totally different situation… I now had The Millennium Falcon back and brought a new passenger with me… I imagined camping trips, hikes and mountain climbs… but what I got was a much deeper relationship with the staff, exploration of the towns surrounding us and a lesson in relationships while traveling the country…

Not what I expected but definitely an experience I wouldn’t change a minute of… I never thought I would be learning so much at this point of time in my life… When you just let go and let this world guide you to new places and new experiences, you will find there is a lot to explore within yourself along with the exploration of the world around you…

It’s a short life folks and if you don’t watch out, it will pass right by you… It’s easy to create comfort around you with a sense of false security but if you’re not living life to its fullest, what is that comfort really doing for you? This is our world which we grew out of… Go check it out! Why not, it’s free!

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