Friday, June 23, 2006

My 2 week 3,000 mile sabbatical

The impending first day of work and every day thereafter stands before me as a very cold and merciless monument. One which has forced me to stare into its harsh face of reality. I have endeavoured over the years and made personal sacrifices to stand where I am right now, at the brink of a career, and it is time to embark upon this new adventure. Time to throw myself at the institution of the full-time job and while demanding excellence refuse to allow the job to dictate those stereotypes implied. The status quo must be challenged the monument must be torn down... my way. To prepare I had to clear my head of the noises and nonsense that would deter me from accomplishing this. I had to take a 2 week 3,000 mile sabbatical that took me from Hempstead TX to Farmington NM, Durango CO, Telluride CO, Fort Collins CO, Cheyenne WY, and back again.

In Farmington and Durango there was fly fishing on the San Juan, where there is still a cool river breeze that blows as the sun sets behind the hills, kayaking on the lower animas, with the challenges of rapids and the wet escape, camping in the slopes of purgatory, where kayaking down the blue runs presents the challenges of rocks and trees, mountain biking, where there is the ever present and actualized fear and pain of falling off the side of the mountain, and playing guitar for hours on the roof with a Budweiser on hand and deer walking by. I would like to thank Bart for teaching me everything he knows of kayaking and being an intoxicated canvass for our crude permanent marker art, Dave for being our mountain bike expert, Ben for listening to me play guitar on the roof, Nance for being the token aggie, and all four of them for letting me crash on their couch, ohh and the Loose Masseuse simply because, and all the drunken interns who where throwing up and jumping off the house into bushes.

In Telluride there was the highly acclaimed and world renowned Telluride Bluegrass Festival where I was a volunteer. I learned to wash my clothes in the river, bathe only once during a week, be half naked and half dirty, dance like a hippie, party in the mountains, everything about organic food (ie hydrogenated vegetable oil) and avalanche theory, to be looked at in a suspicious way, to watch and be part of nature, play guitar in front of people I don't know, where to find the worlds best burrito, partying in the Sheridan Opera House with Yonder Mountain String Band is best described as being part of a circus of people, and to become friends with people I would not normally be friends with. I would like to thank everyone who made this the best learning experience in addition to the great music. This includes my granola supervisors Fonda and Kathlyn, my Chicago pals Mike and Salina who could dance, party, and share, Pete and Julie from Fort Collins for playing guitar with me, sharing thoughts, and being old but young at heart, Becky and Rachelle the pride and joy of the Leadville education system who could both party, share, and enjoy life, 'Lisa and Lindsey the carneys from Olympia for making me a bracelet and making their school pay part of their groups cost if they made a documentary film, Yonni for just being inspirational, and the bands for being sweet ass.

In Fort Collins and Cheyenne I found friends and rodeo. Memories include the radio station 103.5 that played 60's and 70's during the day and sweet blues at night, seeing Pam again and her roommates Lex, Beth, Emily, and another visitor Tarryn. Going out on the town and drinking Skinny Dip, watching some guy with dreads throw up through the table, and happy hour from 10-12 pm. Hiking to a waterfall that can best be described as watertrickle, drinking beer at the New Belgium brewery and sending postcards, eating at Avogadro's Number and drinking margaritas all night down the street. Visiting the Grand Daddy of 'em All at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo museum, watching highlights of the rodeo over the years (includes Lane Frost footage of his last ride when he got gored), the special on Chris Ledoux and his cans of Copenhagen, seeing buffalo roam on the plains, and getting smashed on Tequila, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Rum after a little flip cup. My favorite memory was all the funny, stupid, controversial, serious, and personal conversations I had before I went to bed.

Now that I have cleared my head of the noises and nonsense it is time to get one last dose of it... the Comal river trip. Let it ride... shoot the shoots naked!