July 13, 2003


This summer continues to be absolutely incredible, and there’s still a lot of room for more neat stuff to happen. Today after work, Adam, Kelsey and I were going to go to the gym to do some rock climbing, but for some reason the gym cancelled Adam’s membership at the end of June and they wouldn’t let us in. Well, they let us in and let us sit on their burgundy leather couch but they wouldn’t let us climb. We wanted to climb, not sit on a bloody leather couch.

So we went to the elementary school and ran around with swords for a few hours instead.

We’re going to do it again on Tuesday.

Anyways. My windsurfing has been getting better through fits and starts of good, bad and horrible sessions. I’ve just gotta stay on the water, keep at it, and take a break when it stops being fun. Other endeavors offer opportunities for growth, too. I’m quickly mobilizing a rag-tag army of Big Winds misfits to summit Mount Adams within a month, and it sounds like I’ll be able to start climbing and snowboarding down Mount Hood by September.

So, that’s the plan. I’ll hang around here at least until September, but then what? For me, all roads have led to Hood River, but now I’m feeling that none lead out. Not that that’s bad; I could be really happy here in a semi-permanent arrangement. I just need some of my people back. The difference between this experience and studying abroad is that here I have nothing to go back to; no regular life to resume back home. I’m not even sure if I am able to go back; whether Minnesota is still in my cards or not.

So now what? My future has so many possibilities it is baffling. I can’t leave this area until I’ve climbed some fucking mountains, but after that what will the winter hold? I could work at a Mount Hood ski resort. I could work at a ski resort elsewhere in the country. Hell, I could work at a ski resort outside the country. I could toss some roots down in the soil and look for a job in Hood River, doing web design, journalism, freelance work, grunt work, etc. If I end up freelancing I will need an office of some sort, or at least a house that offers separate space for an office (with a TV that always plays the movie “Office Space”). I simply refuse to run a business from my bedroom. The garage is fine.

But if I stay here for the winter I have an inking it could get really lonely, especially when all the summer people cast off into the wind. I mean, a lot can happen between now and then. I could find a hidden cache of Woochers or Nerds, or some of my friends from back home might finally realize what’s good for ’em and move out here. You hear that? MOVE OUT HERE. If you don’t do it for you, do it for your soul muscles.

So. I could stay. Or. I could leave. If I want to follow windsurfing to its logical conclusion I should get a job in Maui for the winter season. Such a thing is possible. There are windsurfing shops and jobs and places to live in the ocean, too. Or. I could toss all my non-essentials in mini-storage for the winter, update my license tabs for the Green Dragon and hit Roadside America for the winter. California. The Southwest. Florida. I could go wherever the wind takes me. Maybe I could end up in Alaska… though I’d like to save that trip for next summer, grab some friends, and travel up there for a month.

So. I could wander. Or. I could go home to Duluth (for yet another year of the Most Abyssmal Winters in America Ever). Maybe I want to take some web design classes at Lake Superior College. Maybe I could get a gig at the Duluth News Tribune or the Ripsaw or some other local rag. Maybe I could run a web design business from my house. That I buy. Or rent. It all begs another question I haven’t been able to answer: Do I want to wander or take root?

Or. I could start firing off resumes to the rock & roll companies I want to work for. Outdoor companies. Music companies. Magazines. But the more I think about how groovy it would be to work for those guys, how groovy it would be to sit right in the thick of their passions, the more I realize how groovy it is being here in Hood River. Being here now. I can snowboard in the morning, windsurf in the afternoon and climb in the evening. I can try out mountain biking, kayaking and mountaineering in some of the nicest places in the country. I can work, learn and grow in earth, water and ice.

For now, let’s keep it grounded. I’ll climb the second highest peak in Washington. I’ll climb the highest peak in Oregon.

And from there, I’ll see where I want to go.

well, i gots an open room and garage in my house, if ever the mood strikes you. unfortunately though, I am nearly 30 minutes from some 14000 foot mountains.
if you do end up wandering south, you should stop by my place for a few days in the winter. maybe even when ryan goes out to dillon. ah, old times…..

yeah, the unstuck feeling drags a bit now and again. i’ve no home but the maroon buick right now. leaving duluth with no plans to return has been quite an unsettling experience. on the otherhand, it’s damn interesting to have no idea what i’m doing in the spring when i get back from the south pole…
settling scares me. i feel as if i’ve been giving that a shot for the last six years and it wore me down. as of now, the wanderlust calls (though it does not yet feel as comfortable as home) and i’m going to let it grow from an aparition into something more physically solid. one thing is for certain: all of it is filled with the small moments that seem like nothing now but end up defining self a year later. here’s to those moments and trying to wreck oneself through lesiure activities and hobby pursuits.

Whee! I have a garage and a car I can sleep in!
I’m gonna keep trying to wreck myself for the time being, no doubt about that. I expressed my desire to take up kiting to the people at work, and they said I should upgrade my health insurance, start pre-filing my paperwork at the Hood River emergency room, get a helmet and call my mom.
I don’t know if they said all that because kiting is dangerous, or because the windsurfers would beat my ass if I took up kiting.

dunno about which is more dangerous (errant and angry wind surfers or kiting) but if you want another interesting twist to kiting i’ve heard of one. it involves tele-ski’s, the boundary waters, and small drifts of snow that launch one into 30-40′ high arcs as one turns. sounds safe and sane to me!