in which, life has improved immeasurably, but I still have no idea what I’m doing

Wow, it’s been 2 months since the last time I wrote on this thing? My bad. I guess comments from people in Vermont along the lines of, “I didn’t realize you had a blog about how much you hate Vermont,” kind of scared me away from writing until I got back to Colorado, but nonetheless, I have been back for about 6 weeks now, so…

At the moment I am actually sitting in the Love Muffin in Moab, after a 3-day weekend at the Ice Climbing Festival in Ouray in SW Colorado. Learning how to ice climb was amazing. Brandon and I have been planning on going to the festival for, well, about as long as I’ve known him, and I was kind of apprehensive to go try to learn how to climb up frozen stuff with stabby axes and crampons (neither of which I’d ever used before) when I can’t really even climb solid rock with just hands and feet.

But it was SO fun. I took a class from a guy named Malcolm Daly who has been ice climbing since the 70’s, and about 10 years ago he fell on an alpine climb in Alaska and ended up losing his foot to frostbite, so now he climbs with this awesome crampon attachment on his prosthesis instead of wearing a prosthetic foot with a boot and everything. It’s basically a metal plate with spikes attached to it. What was also really cool is that he knew about Splore, and also has his own adaptive adventure company based out of Boulder called Paradox Sports, which I am hopefully going to get to volunteer with this season. He was an awesome guy to learn from, and then I climbed with Brandon and some of his friends for the next two days. Yesterday we tried a really hard mixed route, and I only got about 6 feet off the ground before I had to come back down due to unbelievably amounts of lactic acid that immediately flooded my forearms, but Brandon made it all the way up. Ridiculous.


Anyway, with two more days off, we decided to take the long way home and visit our past and (at least for me, and hopefully for him) future stomping grounds for a day. We had thoughts of going climbing, but turns out 3 days of throwing an axe into frozen waterfalls and then pulling yourself up on the aforementioned barbarous tool will really take its toll on your body. Plus it’s only about 35 here and even though that is almost tropical in comparison to the high of 2 DEGREES in Frisco today, it is just a little chilly for my taste to be flailing around on sandstone.

Anyway, as you may have gathered, I am living blissfully in Colorado again. I have a great place in Frisco with an amazing kitchen, a heated towel rack, and 3 wonderful roommates. Two of my roommates own the place and stay in the master bedroom, and only come up on the weekends (at which time they also bring their amazing 11-year old golden retriever, Bubba, AND their brand new super chubby golden puppy named Uno), and my other roommate is the director of the ski school (or something along those lines) at Keystone. Brandon lives about 5 blocks away in a condo complex (because for some reason in the mountains you call them condos instead of apartments) that has a hot tub (!) and a roommate who does not seem to mind that I pretty much live there part-time.

I am working at Copper Mountain as a liftie. Green means go, red means stop, and if the lift catches on fire, don’t let anybody on the lift but otherwise don’t do anything. I have now taught all of you almost everything you need to know to become a liftie. Needless to say it’s not the most glamorous job, but I get to snowboard for free and I get hit on a lot by weird but usually amicable-enough old men. It is super exhausting to stand outside in the cold all day every day, and to be honest I’m not really loving it, but at least I have stuff to do outside of work other than bond with an elderly labrador (whom I miss terribly) and complain about the rain.

Being in Moab right now is awesome. I miss it a lot here, and though it’s pretty much dead in the winter, it still made me really happy to drive down river road and see all the big red rock formations covered in snow. I will be returning in May to work for Splore again doing fundraising and community outreach type stuff, and I am super excited. Brandon is, as we speak (or as I type, I suppose), meeting with the guy who manages the river rangers on Cataract Canyon, hoping that he might end up with that job for the summer. Which would be awesome. And then, who knows. I am actually kind of having a hard time with not having any clue about what the future holds. Before I went to VT, I thought I had it all planned out (and I know, I know, you can never really plan on anything, but still), but that experience didn’t really pan out as I thought it was going to, so now I am pretty much back at square one. I still want to write, but I realized that I don’t need a Master’s in Journalism to do that – and in fact, that might not help at all. I love the adaptive rec world, but the idea of having to fundraise my salary for the rest of my life is exhausting. I am considering going to the Boulder College of Massage Therapy for their Associates in Occupational Health and doing sports medicine-type massage, but that is another 2 years of school for something totally unrelated to anything I have experience with. So, my dear reader or 2, what do you think I should do? (and please do not say, just enjoy the present! Because I am somehow physically and mentally and spiritually incapable of doing that, and that is a whole other blog post in itself…)

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