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Working in the Mountains

by Tara

Today Ingrid and Yves' cozy mountain home is filled with busy workers and buzzing activity. Though the heat makes it harder for us all to focus (except for Tyler of course) and though we frequently stop to wipe the sweat dripping down our foreheads, we somehow manage to be quite productive.

Ingrid and Yves are leaving on Sunday for a month of motorcycle-touring in Brittany. They spend the day hauling luggage up and down the stairs and laying out all of their gear to clean and organize. While they prepare for another adventure, deliberating over which clothes to take and how best to pack their camping gear I spend my day on Ingrid's computer valiantly attempting to dig us out of the journaling-hole we created for ourselves by putting off our daily writing.

Ingrid, Yves, and I take breaks from our work occasionally to enjoy a cold beer (or hot coffee depending on the time of day). Tyler does not. During one of our breaks we talk about possible route ideas, the endearing and often frustrating temperaments of the sacré francais, and the exciting culinary adventures awaiting us when we reach Mongolia. Ingrid and I fantasize about being invited into yurts for soured yak's milk and stews of goats' balls for a bit before we return to reality and the tasks at hand. Reluctant to leave Mongolia, we both trudge upstairs for more sweaty preparations and writing.

Tyler emerges around midday for food. After a quick lunch of leftovers we finally test our replacement sleeping mats; everything works fine! We're both relieved that there will be no more down spewing everywhere in the morning or fighting with lopsided air channels at night. Hopefully the new ones hold up better.

Downmat Testing Tara Testing New DownMats

Suddenly the day is nearly gone, it is 7:00 at night! Tyler continues his marathon programming session as I prepare the buttery crust and cinnamon-y apple slices for a traditional American apple pie. It is a delight to work in a real kitchen, stocked with almost any tool or ingredient I could possibly need. I relish the fact that Yves has a pastry brush as I make an egg-wash and take my time applying it to the decorated crust.

Apple Pie

Just as I place my creation in the oven (needing a tutorial from Yves to operate the complicated computerized device with instructions in German) Tyler descends from his portable office and we begin making dinner together. Tyler makes the tortillas from scratch and browns the meat as I chop vegetables.

Tyler Making Tortillas

We set all of our fillings on the table in beautiful bowls, and proceed to teach Ingrid and Yves (who have never had tacos) how to assemble their dinner. Everyone deems dinner and dessert a great success and we spend the rest of the evening chatting happily. Like last night, we watch an inspiring slideshow of photos from (this time from Sweden) before trundling off to bed.