Published: November 27th 2008November 27th 2008
True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed.
Well, faithful readers, I'm back. As always, I sincerely apologize for the long delay, but I assure you that this entry will be worth the wait. You see, as my constant companions through my trials, tribulations, and totally awesome experiences (alliteration notwithstanding), I feel as though I have come to know you nearly as well as I hope that you know me. As such, my next announcement may come as somewhat of a shock to many of you. If you're not sitting down, maybe you should be... I have signed a 12-month lease in suburban Leesburg Virginia with a full on apartment complex, and I an hourly job and am taking showers nearly every day. I'll give you a moment to process that.
However, as seems to be my trend, I have gotten ahead of myself. Allow me to begin with a recap of my last course. I worked with a fall semester in Baja for their first two months, which consisted of a hiking course in the Sierra San Pedro Martirs and a sea kayaking course on the Sea of Cortez from Bahia de Las Angelas to
We began our course at the La Bufadora campground to do issuing and all of that normal stuff. I should mention that I have a very strong connection to the Martirs. I’m not quite sure what it is about that particular mountain range, but I absolutely love it. I come away from courses there feeling ridiculously clean (which is odd because “heinous” is a way better word to describe my level of hygiene after a month of hiking) and strangely rejuvenated (which is also odd because I usually find myself pretty physically and mentally exhausted). So anyway, I was understandably excited about the prospect of going back. The combination of the mountain range and the things that make a NOLS course a NOLS course (students, co-instructors, curriculum, etc) was more than enough to fulfill my expectations. With the exceptions of accidently setting a full fuel bottle on fire, nearly getting trampled in our sleep by a herd of horses, and evac-ing our Course Leader, it was a pretty run-of-the-mill course. ☺
I also think that I might have to concede that these guys (my students) were probably the best group of cooks overall that I've ever
had. I'm definitely not the best cook in the school, not even close in fact. But, I can usually prepare better stuff than my students, especially in week 2. However, this group beat me (mostly legitimately) in an Iron Chef cook-off. I was impressed, to say the least. Everybody made it out of Diablo Canyon at the end in good form, and we were all psyched to get some food in Ensenada.
I was also pretty excited about the sea kayaking course coming up. It was going to be a route that I had never done before, but one that I heard was incredibly pretty. Once again, my expectations were more than met by the terrain. For those of you readers who haven't gotten a chance to experience some of these wild places in Baja, get down there asap. I'll even go with you if you'll pay. LOL
Logistically, this course was somewhat interesting. We got slammed by a monster start-of-the-season Norte pretty early on that left us stranded on an uncomfortable beach with straight northern exposure. If you aren't familiar enough with Sea of Cortez weather to cringe at that, I'm happy to explain it later. We
also had a couple evacs and invacs, including one instance where I had to go out with 2 students to go to a Mexican medical clinic. I'm happy to say that they were both fine, and we were able to ascertain that information using only my limited spanish. It took a little while for sure, but I was able to communicate. Yay!
Other events of note... Umm.... I caught my first ever fish from a kayak, so that was very exciting. Both of my co-instructors were huge fishermen, so not only did we get to eat fish nearly every day, but I also got more excited about fishing then I have been in the past. It's definitely something that I want to get more involved with in the future. We did end up making it to the end of the course, despite our logistical challenges, but we did have to do some pretty intense days there towards the end. That's alright though. We're burley.
So now I'm in Leesburg, near Washington D.C. You might be wondering how that happened. I'm not a hundred percent sure myself, but I'll give explanation a go. As I said in my last
entry, I drove out west with my dad and all of my stuff to leave my truck and trailer in Las Vegas so that Ash could pick it up while I was in the field and drive to Portland or San Francisco or Denver or somewhere else, and then I could fly there after my contract. Well, while I was in town (doing the aforementioned clinic run) I was able to get a hold of Ash, who told me that she had a great job in D.C. and wanted to go there. Always ready for the next adventure, this sounded pretty exciting. A tad surprising, but still pretty awesome. So she ended up flying to Vegas, picking up my stuff, and over the course of something like 3 days drove back by herself to Louisville. She got me a plane ticket to there, and after about 10 hours of visiting with my family we drove together to her parents' house in Rockville Maryland. After about a week of looking for a place to live, we settled on our place in Leesburg. Leesburg is a pretty sweet place. We are within walking distance of a really cool bike path and also
downtown Leesburg. Now, I'm used to Kentucky, where if a structure is old, it is about 80 years old and decrepit. That is not the case at all here. Everything is cobblestone and 400 years old and absolutely gorgeous. When it finally snows here (cause it hasn't yet), I will spend every free moment walking the streets. Rent is expensive here, but that's about the only downside. Especially when I'm coming from not paying anything. LOL, it's a big change. But our place is pretty nice. There's lots of trees and state parks and such near by, which is good (crucial) for me. Our complex (which still seems weird to me) has a business center, pool, workout facilities, raquetball courts, and all sorts of stuff. If you're interested in seeing what my place looks like, check out the complex's website
. We're living in the Larson.
Anywho, I finally found a job (actually two). One is working retail at Dick's Sporting Goods, and the other is a floor job at Hudson Trail Outfitters. I'm making rent right now, so that's good. I'm also very aware that it is the middle of the off-season for outdoor education so my odds
of finding a guiding job is pretty slim right now. That being said, I've been trying to put myself into the outdoor ed networks in the area, and I feel pretty confident that come Spring I'll have a lot of possibilities. I'll keep ya'll posted as things develop.
Also, I decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year. Ash and I (and neighbors Billy and Jess) ate my feast last night, and boy was it good. Ash made homemade apple pies, gravy, stuffing, and green beans. I made potato cassarole, bourbon yams, ambrosia salad, cranberry sauce, and turkey. It was nice. Pictures are included to prove it.
Thank you all for continuing to be interested enough in my life to keep reading. It means a lot to me, and definitely encourages me to keep writing. Hope you enjoyed it, and once again, this is Soarpheat, signing off.
There are more photos below