It’s fall in Estes Park… probably my favorite time of year. The tourists calm down, the leaves start to change, the big bull elk walk through town with their huge antlers. It’s also one of my least favorite times of the year, as it reminds me that winter is almost here. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the change of seasons and the things that make winter enjoyable, it’s purely that I love summer so much. I love the hiking, the hectic scheduling, the money (greedy of me, I know), the wonderful wonderful people, and the feeling that every day I wake up and I am in the exact right place doing the exact right thing.
Since I’ve graduated college, I’ve had to make a choice every fall. What will I do this winter? Do I have enough money? Where do I want to live? It’s stressful, and I think I would enjoy it a lot more if I had more ideas. The problem is I just simply don’t know what to do. Do I stay in one spot? Do I travel? DO I get a real job? Do I live off of my savings? The problem with this overwhelming freedom and flexibility in life, is that every choice can completely change everything. I’m never sure if the things I am doing are bringing me closer to where I want to be… but I don’t even know where I want to be!
I’ve gotten some wonderful advice from people who are older than me. They tell me, be happy with this freedom. You are so lucky to be 24 and have drive and vision and supportive friends and family. The world is huge and you have all the time in the world. And I agree, completely. So… I am trying to take their advice.
I have made plenty of money working my BUTT off this summer, sometimes giving up being outdoors, hiking, and seeing more of my friends. I received a pay check from 6 different employers… The Rock Inn, Kent Mountain Adventure Center, The Mountain Shop, Kirk’s flyfishing, Ed’s Cantina, and the School District for coaching the volleyball teams. I worked double, sometimes triple shifts. I’m not entirely sure why… I no longer needed the money. But I do really enjoy all of my jobs, and I also have a problem saying no when people ask something from me. It’s paid off, but I’m about to go blow it all again.
On October 26th, I am flying out to Sacramento, where Becca Caldwell is going to pick me up and take me to Yosemite. There, I will meet a handful of other people who are spending their vacation out there. After that, the plan is pretty up in the air. I will be in the valley until the 31st, and then I’m jumping in a van with Quinn, Wes, and Dustin, where we will drive the long way back to Denver. I’m not sure specifically where the stops will include, but there’s been talk of Zion, and then Vegas for Quinn’s 30th birthday. Who knows.
My other big plan is a trip to Argentina with Tommy and Becca Caldwell, Kelly Cordes, Jay Parry, and Kaci Yoh. We are flying down to El Chalten on December 1st, where I will spend 2.5 weeks in Patagonia, hopefully hiking and exploring Argentina as much as possible. Tommy has rented a house for the month, and the town is apparently a pretty interesting tourist town. I’m excited to see another country by staying in one spot for a few weeks, instead of trying to see a little of everything.
SO there’s all of that… and I guess my biggest dilema is what comes next? Life throws you some big uncertainties, and definitely makes you question a lot of things you thought you were sure of. I think I’m not sure of anything anymore, and maybe that’s the way it should be. It’s all one big adventure.