Adjusting to Life at 7,000 Feet

by Chrystal Johnson on September 14, 2010

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Our backyard

Our Backyard

We’ve been living up in the mountains for two months now—I wasn’t prepared for how different some things are when you live at an altitude of 7,000 feet. I’ve lived at or near sea level my entire life up until now, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It’s difficult to breathe. Really difficult. We noticed it our first day up here. You get winded fast because there is less oxygen at this elevation. We’ve been told it takes about 3 months for your lungs to adjust. At 2 months in, we still aren’t adjusted. I’m really hoping in a month we will be.

Cooking and baking take forever. Some things take twice as long to cook—especially stuff on the grill. I really wasn’t prepared for this one. Water boils at a lower temperature, so when I’m steaming vegetables, all of the water boils out of the pan sooner and I have to add more. You have to make adjustments when baking—bread rises faster, you have to adjust the temperature and the baking time for most things… I constantly find myself googling to find out what type of adjustments I’ll have to make. Luckily there is a lot of information available online.

It is dry. Dryer than anywhere I have lived before. Lotion has become my best friend. My sinuses have never been more messed up or uncomfortable. Hopefully the sinuses adjust the same way your lungs do. They’re a little better than they were last month, but they still have a ways to go to get back to normal.

Although there are so many adjustments to make, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed living somewhere as much as I enjoy living here. The air is crisp and clean. The scenery is amazingly beautiful. And there is a wonderful, small town feel that I have never experienced. I can’t imagine a better place to raise our children.

Life is good.

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