• Sarah Schlaefke

Hey. My name is Sarah, and I just moved here from Chicago...

This is how most of my conversations start nowadays. The awkward intro. Explanation of my life. Plans and hobbies. It's like giving an elevator pitch about myself. I must be getting pretty good at it; I'm finding that I'm consistently spending too much time at the grocery store, mainly because I've managed to befriend at least three people in the wake of my shopping agenda.

I've been in the lovely land of Utah for no more than a week. It's funny, because the more people I meet here, I wonder if anyone was actually born in this state. It isn't a wonder why so many "transplants" (as they call themselves and me) have made their way here to Salt Lake City. Most of the people I've come across so far were just like me one, two or 25 years ago.

For the time being, I reside in the heart of Big Cottonwood Canyon, which is right outside of the city's valley to the southeast. Driving into the canyon, I pass and careen through blankets of greenery, from tall and thin pines to bundles of wildflowers speckled with white, indigo and lilac purple petals. There's not a cloud in the sky. In the valley, the sun scorches the city to a crisp and dry 90 degrees. Deep in the canyon, the temperature cools off to a lovely bike-rideable 70 degrees, but only if you didn't move to the mountains days before hand. The altitude will getcha; it got me.

Silver Lake, just a few miles down the road from where I'm staying.

For the past few days, since my mother left me here all by myself, I've been killing my time checking out local places, gear shops, my new climbing gym and, of course, the bulk grocery stores. I remember moving to Madrid and having this same feeling - stepping outside to a new place I'd never been before and then having to make it home. In Madrid, it wasn't alone. I was there with 20 other kid from my college. Here, I'm by myself. BUT. There is so so so much to do, that I don't even have a down second to miss home.

So this is just to serve as my "hey, I'm still alive and still happy," first blog post. There will be more to come. Stick with me; my move Schlaefke West has only just begun.

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