Monday, September 1, 2014


Just moved into an adorable house with all the essentials- good friends, a porch, a garden and a spacious kitchen. I said goodbye to my home in sugarhouse, thankful for its introduction to Salt Lake City. I cannot say that I will miss the drainage issues, unsocial roommates and hostel-like feel of a place that was more a storage unit than a home. 

I am overjoyed to be with Emily, Alicia, and Chynna in a house that welcomes soup nights, evening fires and an open wood floor that is perfect for dancing. 

The library!
Santa Claus at the local thrift store. 
Taking the trax to visit my long time life friend Allison north of Salt Lake. Super fun hanging with her and her cousin at her house warming party!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's the Little Things

I am reminded this week that the best moments, the most meaningful intentions are those that we own for ourselves. I have been exposed to a plethora of different "ways of being" this summer from adventurous people that inspire me with their endless energy to push themselves and see new experiences and their quirky, off the wall personalities. From the start of my position, I found myself looking to all these amazing people to name my dream for me as they discussed their plans for adventure and where to go next. While the excited chatter circling my mental landscape was admirable to witness, it left me unsettled. Where did I fit? Where did I want to go?

After three months of pooping in the woods, being called every horrible name you could think of, sharing laughter over delicious soup, exhausting days and climbing rocks, I have found the gumption to claim it for myself. What does that look like you ask? 

Well, it looks like vibrance. It looks like spliting off to create my own adventure. It might even look like riding a greyhound bus to Durango. It could be re-commiting to a gluten and sugar free diet, both on and off trail. Perhaps it is spending a night writing many overdue letters and words of encouragement. It just might even be a dance party in my room. 

Whatever shape it takes, it boils down to the feeling that comes from small successes happening over and over in different areas. Small successes are what we have to put into practice each day in any which way. I rejoice in them. I reclaim myself. I restore a sense of being centered in myself, in god. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Transience is the name of the game. On trail. Off trail. On trail. Off trail. New faces, interactions and experiences every which way. It is a tug of war between living in the present and playing catch up with time. 

My last off shift, my friend Alicia was guest cook at my house for soup night. The soup, her family recipe called "Zoopa Soupa", was a hit. Not a trace of it left by the end of the night. These special gatherings are a testament to the notion that you CAN eat soup in the summer. 

I also went canyoneering for the first time in Escalante National Park. 

After another interesting week on trail, I made my way back to Virginia. My family welcomed me at the beach with a crabfest and dance party. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

All Over

Third bi-monthly soup party! We had taco  soup that turned out to be a hit. These are the nights that make me feel most at home. Meet Chynna and Addison below. And Aaron and Alicia. 

 Causey reservoir for cliff jumping and slack-lining over water. Craziness. 

Meet Emily with a mouthful of cherries!

...and rainbow gathering. Aka hippie central. Nothing like the travelers that make trail life a full time gig. 
Amidst all the adventure, Utah seems to be piecing itself together for me a bit at a time. It just lies to me to slow down to take it all in as it comes gradually as well as overwhelmingly fast. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On Trail

Coming out of my third week on trail, I can conclude that time is a weird warp in this wilderness gig. It is quite similar to my bike trip, but now the timeless existence of living moment to moment, of confusing the days and memories that are all going faster than one could handle is mashed into an attempt to make it s regulated lifestyle. With that I remember with joy one of the Six Truths of Life as coined by Liz Coates, Allison Wickham and Lisbeth Rasmussen, which is: There is No such thing as time, there is only the Eternal Moment of Now. Duh. 

Over the course of my first three trail weeks, I have been successfully made fun of for being a walking mess with the worst pack system Utah has ever seen with a backpack too small, a daypack too big and a food bag dragging my arm to the ground. Today I shout a big hallelujah for the two new packs I bought today with the help of my Guide Buddy Chynna that should remedy my pack annoyance. Most importantly, one of them is hot pink. 

Other notable moments so far-
-a student accused me of stalking him. My response: Well, yes. I am your guide who is paid to literally make sure you never leave my sight. 
-a student half succeeded with licking my arm for the fun of it. This same student also managed to spray her toothpaste spit all over me in effort to demonstrate her improved skills. 
-I used lines from the snail movie Turbo to motivate a student to mountain bike after FIVE hours of refusing to cooperate
-I carved a tiny mini wooden spoon-WHAT
-A 2-3 hour planned activity turned into a 20 hour day that included strenuous exertion and going ten hours before eating a meal. Talk about stamina building 

Otherwise, my focus has been to take the opportunities as they come and find some calm in the chaos that has ensued upon my life. 

Last but not least of this year long post, about two weeks ago my bicycle was stolen on a Sunday night before I went on trail the next morning. My Immediate reaction: Shock. Heart break. Loss. Confusion. Independence gone. Freedom of riding taken away. 

After sitting with it a bit, I appreciate my bike for all that it taught me, the freedom it provided for me and the sheer amount of sweat, emotion and empowerment that I poured into my bike. I have skills I would not otherwise have. I say farewell and thank you to my surly disk trucker with hot pink handlebar tape knowing that the partnership and experiences will always stay with me. Thank you to my family who acknowledged and know how much my bike and the loss of it mean to me. 

A photo taken whole touring Park City with my adopted SLC mom named Liz and her daughter. Met them at a yard sale one fine Saturday morning. 

Xavier Rudd concert. The man has the lungs of a superhuman. Powerful presence. 

A bowl being carved in the works by one of my amazing co-guides on trail at skills camp. 
New packs. (Note the importance of hot pink)
P.s. dyed my hair with kool aid. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Salt Lake City

I finally find myself in Salt Lake City. Tomorrow will be my first day on trail. Many things have aligned in an extraordinary way to get me to this moment. First off, I arrived to the greyhound to find an open bike shop INSIDE the station with one stand on the floor for public use. I was able to put together my bike immediately upon arriving. No time at all passed before I was able to explore at will around and equip my new room with all my needs. 

Things are slowly but surely falling into place and now my focus is to keep out trust in the knowledge that it will all work out as it needs to. So many firsts for me right now! Wish me luck on trail :)