(Gr)Attitude – Update

This week there have been a lot of things to be grateful for. In no specific order:

  • My truck is now repaired and street legal again.
  • The hike done while waiting on truck repairs ended up being moderate (by Colorado standards) and quite pleasant. It was a treat to take an old friend on since she’s usually too busy with family and work to plan these out herself.
  • The drive back to Denver(over 600 miles) went smoothly.
  • Getting back in the gym, while fighting some things a bit as the injured finger recovers, has been pretty seamless.
  • Plan B, the company did offer me a job. So even though I am still going with Plan A — A for Antarctica — it’s nice to know my skills would be useful to some people.

I also realized that since I am not going to have daily internet access down south, a daily update schedule is not really feasible. Nonetheless, I plan to keep making periodic indications of things I am grateful for.

(Gr)Attitude Day 39

As I am still waiting for the shop to finish working on my truck, I elected to get up fairly early and hike through my ancestral mountains. I saw a news story about a trail where, sadly, a young man had fallen several hundred feet and later in the day passed on due to his injuries.

Now, if I had never left this city, my response would most likely have been to assess how sad it is. However, after two years in Colorado, I started researching the trail to determine how hard it would be in street shoes. The trail reports all said that the trail is strenuous, but those are all local reports – in this part of Texas, there just doesn’t seem the hiking and outdoors culture that there is in Denver. The trail reports were optimistic, the difficulty appeared not too high, and the forecast was auspicious, so a friend and I set out.

With ye olde hiking boots back in Denver, I wondered what the biggest challenge would be. I kept looking for the place where the reports indicated the trail would get noticeably steeper and more difficult, but ultimately the biggest challenge ended up being a toss up between identifying what the recurring deposits of dark red goo and seeds were (chewed up prickly pear tuna bits), or finding trail when the spray painted trail markers were spaced long distances apart.

There were but a few moments of Class IV trail, not much more Class III. The Keyhole Route this ain’t. So happily my companion and I drove back to the start and said our goodbyes as she left to run errands.

(Gr)Attitude Day 38

Today was visiting with my last remaining grandparent. This was important and the main impetus for this trip – given the distance and length of the deployment, there’s a pretty high risk of never seeing her again. Unfortunately she realizes this is the case, but I’m just not one to let family ties override opportunities for adventure, or more importantly, opportunities for work (so far Antarctica is my only job offer in hand out of the various positions I’ve interviewed for).

Hopefully I’ll get to visit her for a bit before leaving town, once my truck is out of the shop. Then I ended the day with some time with a precious friend after she got off work.

(Gr)Attitude Day 37

Today I visited with some of my family. It’s important to get these things in before I disappear for a long time. Then, after the afternoon family time, I accomplished something unexpected – I did a trail with one of the two local hashes, some of whose members and habits I was acquainted with, and one I did not expect to get to run with. We enjoyed a nice shaded trail, and it was a pleasure to be on an A-to-B trail for once again.

(Gr)Attitude Day 36

Safely in El Paso. I chatted a bit with parents and then headed out to buy a part for the truck. The day ended with some bar hopping with old school friends, including one that would be interesting to spend more time with if she lived in the same city as me. News was exchanged, everyone caught up a bit, and I drank one of my preferred beers that St Arnold has kept brewing after the Moveable Yeast series ended. These are good things.

(Gr)Attitude Day 35

Happily, there is a Rudy’s in ABQ. And therefore there was a bit of Texas to discuss for the lunch component of the Plan B meeting. During which meeting I met more interesting people, including one who had seen data from the satellite instrument whose data I used in grad school.

Then the day finished with a decent workout at the local climbing gym. You really come to appreciate the presence of multiple auto-belay devices when the only people you know in the city are feeling under the weather. I also appreciated getting to see a bit more of the city (on previous trips I’d really only seen the area near UNM) and being exposed to some of the cultural differences from Denver. Between watching people and the questions I asked over brisket, it’s pretty clear that the area has a lot less outdoors culture, something I’ve become surprisingly accustomed to the last couple of years.