Today Nathan began his journey back to the South Pole for the season.
My friend Brian, who just recently returned from a trip to the west coast, will once again be spending his winter in the woods, sleeping in a canvas wall tent near Duluth. Ryan has reawakened plans to start his own internet software business. Mr. O’Shay has announced his intent to attend this year’s Yukon Days, much to the delight of campers and counselors everywhere. Other people have scattered to the four winds and I hear little of their goings-on, but I am certain that we are all putting forth our own little plans.
My future has finally crystallized to the point where discussing it makes sense. A few months ago the wanderlust awoke, and I knew that once again I needed a change of scenery. I have entertained numerous possibilities and ideas, and have finally settled on a course of action.
This November I will have lived in Bend for a full year, and in January I will have worked at my current job for a full year. It’s amazing how quickly time has gone, how bones have been broken and healed, how mountains and coasts and rivers have been conquered, how many friendships have been made and strengthened.
In December I will fly back to Minnesota to spend the holidays with my family, who I missed last year while I was working at the mountain. I will also be able to attend Yukon Days, where I will be able to catch up with my friends from camp. In February I will take off to Los Barilles, Baja for a twelve day kiteboarding trip. I will live right on the coast, drink margaritas with friends from Hood River, and kiteboard in lovely turquoise waters.
Come mid-winter (which for Minnesotans means anywhere from January to June) I will pack up my tools and move back to Hood River, to ramp up for another hot season of wind, women and work. I plan to spend the spring and summer working for my windsurfing shop, working as a web programmer/developer/slacker. As a side note, if anyone is looking for some great summer work out west, and loves working hard in the wind and sun, I can recommend a place.
Again, the path goes dark at the end of the summer. That is becoming our traditional way of running things. We do a lot of careful planning to set these gears in motion, but true finesse asks that we willfully surrender control after a certain point. A year ago today I knew hardly anything of Bend, and nothing of a sweet ski nook out that way. Two years ago today I knew little of the Columbia Gorge, beyond the fact that I knew that I needed to live way out there at some point in my life. Three years ago today, windsurfing and snowboarding were both sports where I owned all the gear, but possessed none of the knowledge to be successful at either.
It’s fun to watch as all this stuff coalesces out of nothing. I wish a safe and happy journey to all of you embarking on journeys in pursuit of your personal dreams. It is possible and it can be done, but keep in mind that the scenery changes as you fight for it. You may not get what you bargained for, but if you tilt your head just right you can always make do with what you get.