After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.
~Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958
Welcome back Constant Readers! Some of you might have thought me dead. I am not. Some of you might have thought me injured. I am not. Some of you might have thought me stupid and lazy. This, in fact, I am. There can be no excuse for my long absence, but what I can say is that the past two years have been one of enormous change and growth for me, and that the next two look to be even greater.
When I last left you (and I had to go back and read it to be sure - how sad is that?), I was happily living in Leesburg Virginia with my girlfriend Ashley and working retail. As of this writing, none of those things are true. I continued to live in Virginia until May of 2009. During that time I was promoted to the Ops Manager at Hudson Trail Outfitters, got a dog (Sierra), put on 80 pounds and fell into the "Debt of DC" due to the high cost of living. Thus, it was somewhat of a relief when Ash and I separated and I could get
the hell out of the area. I suppose DC works for some people, and now I know for sure that I am not one of them. I believe that the knowledge of what one does not
want is somewhat more important than what one does
I wasted no time in quitting my job, packing up my truck and trailer, and hitting the road. My friend Chris came out to DC, and after a crazy night of celebration/mourning with Chris and my DC friends, he and I began the long (and somewhat hungover) drive back to Kentucky. Over the next couple days, we had a batchelor party for Chris, and of course the wedding he had to Kelly shortly thereafter. I was the Best Man, and looked pretty nice in a tuxedo if I don't say so myself. All of the movies are wrong though. Not only was this not a sure way to meet a girl, there wasn't even a single single woman there. Chris, as far as setting up your recently single best friend at one of the most stereo-typically easy ways to meet women, you fail. However, huge congratulations to you, as you found a wonderful person
in Kelly. Which, if you want to be technical, could be argued to be kind of the point of a wedding anyway.
I began working at Life Adventure Center
once again (you'll recall from several posts ago that this is a place that I have done several contract stints in the past). My job became the GTG Facilitator. That stands for "Go-To-Guy". In essence, I help out all over the farm doing challenge course, environmental education, equine stuff, and general farm maintenance. I also got a sweet place to live for myself and Sierra. Being outside on a long term basis quickly began stripping the unsightly "DC Fat" off of my body --- and my mind.
I began to try to figure out a way that I could get paid to do what I love again - to teach wilderness livability as it were. After about half a year at Life Adventure Center, I was able to convince the powers that be that a new wilderness backpacking program at LAC was worth the risk. Thus the EPIC Program was born. I have since been working very hard to make the EPIC program successful, and have actually led several trips with
Boy Scouts and have several more (both with Scouts and otherwise) lined up in the near future. We have a good relationship with the local gear stores and wilderness areas. So far, it has been a challenging and rewarding process, as I have never tried to deal with the logistics and planning that go into an expedition.
What's that? It sure sounds like Soarpheat really has settled down and become run-of-the-mill Chris once more. Not to worry, Soarpheat has merely been prepping, and is soon going to be ready. The "case of the itchy feet" has been bothering me for sometime now. Kind of just a thought at the back of my mind, a taste at the back of my throat, a dream just barely remembered. I recently took a vacation to Florida, and for 9 days, I was BACK! It was surprisingly easy to fall back into the mindset that I had as Soarpheat, and even more surprisingly difficult to leave it. As often happens to me in such situations, I encountered a catalyst - a specific event that instigated a change in my life. I'm not going to go into details as to the catalyst itself, but
the result is that the little tingle of wanderlust I had been experiencing morphed into a burning need, similar to the need to breathe after being submerged underwater.
Now, unlike the past instances in which this "awakening" has prompted a rapid and selfish exit on my part, there are several variables in play now that must be factored into the equation. Basically, these can be summed up by saying that I am more adult - more mature. This means that I need to spend the time on EPIC to justify the time, money, and manpower that Life Adventure Center has already put into it. It means that I need to adequately develop my Contact Network prior to leaving so that finding places to stay and finding the next bit of work are easier. I need to make sure that I have a Safety Net of savings so that an unexpected expense doesn't ruin me. I need to continue to get myself back into guiding shape (down 70 lbs thus far, but I need to do just a bit better). And I need to spend the time to make sure that Sierra is ready to go with me into the
field full time. When all is said and done, I will be leaving for the transient life at the beginning of 2012, earlier if I can accomplish all of my goals ahead of schedule.
As such, Happy Trails to all, and let the amazing journey begin once more!
Tot: 0.068s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 11; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0123s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb