Over the past several weeks, I have been gathering the energy and focus to write something here. Hiccups of inspiration pass through my head from time to time, but I never get a chance to write these tidbits down.
Rather than trying to create a post for every interesting trip or adventure I’ve had in the past 8 months, I’m going to consolidate the highlights down to a single picture and blurb for each one. Well, it might actually be two pictures in some cases.
March: Hawaii and Jon’s wedding. Being official wedding photographer earns me free airfare and lodging on the Big Island. I knew someday my skills would come in handy. The trip was way too short.
April: EHART. High angle rescue training courtesy of the National Park Service. Western North Carolina has such incredible terrain. It was a challenging week of long days starting from scratch (here’s to tie a figure 8) finishing off with a full team-based rescue evolution.
May: Graduation. It came with a big sigh of relief , but opened a new can of worms: where to next? My life for the last four years has been geared towards this, but my plans to become a doctor are slowly deflating.
June: New job. Pharmacy Coordinator at the Charlottesville Free Clinic.
July: Backpacking in Dolly Sods with SSW and crew. First extended trip to this area, and first time here in the summer. It looked exactly how I envisioned it. Rolling plains, thick evergreen forests, huge vistas. Plans are in the works for a return visit for some fun in the snow.
September: ORMS kicks back into service – lead steward for two weekends. It’s hot, but fortunately uneventful (for now). Paramedic class is finished. Trip to upstate NY for a wedding.
October: Halloween on the UVA Lawn. Oh yeah, and lots of ORMS including a helicopter rescue.
November: Even more ORMS, including Sunday Funday to finish off the season – climbing from Lower Sunset Rocks to the summit, completely off trail. I lost track of how many pitches it took. Completion in the dark with awesome pizza in Sperryville to end the day.
December: Trip to Maine to check out the Physician Assistant program at University of New England. There may be hope for the whole “what I want to be when I grow up” dilemma. Since few people can make a living as a mountaineer, I guess I’ll have to leave all that nonsense as a obsessive hobby, and find a way to fund it. I’m realizing that I can’t make work my life, and I can’t make my hobbies work – so it’s a balance of the two. Portland, Maine is awfully compelling for not only being home to the UNE PA program, but a classy an interesting urban area surrounded by incredible adventures in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Canada.
*Courtesy of John Muir