I’m writing to you all from Fort Collins, Colorado today. The weather here is warm and while the mountains seems to continue receiving consistent snowfall, the flats are drying up nicely. I’m going to attempt a re-cap here before discussing my plans for the next few weeks.
Since returning to the Front Range from Salida, where we experienced an epic weekend of powder at Monarch mountain, I have been running all over the place. I have spent some time with my girlfriend Megan in Fort Collins, attending a few of her classes. Most memorable of those was a natural resource class in which we had an interesting lecture focussed on water law in the Western United States, a lecture that immediately made me think of the lack of water I am going to be experiencing in Southern California while on the PCT.
I have also recently re-united with a former co-worker from the Forest Service who was just accepted into a Smoke Jumping program in Alaska for the upcoming fire season. Fantastic work Kael! We caught up over some sour beers and exchanged stories from the past two years. Kael is in the process of training for his upcoming work season and I joined him for a 7.5 mile run near Horse Tooth Reservoir, just West of Fort Collins. We encountered lots of snow and had a great time. Has it really been months since the last time I did some trail running? I felt great and got a boost of confidence regarding my fitness level at the moment.
Megan, her friend Annie and I took a weekend trip over to Tabernash, Colorado and stayed with some College friends of mine. We got two great days of skiing in at Winter Park, with great snow and a fantastic guide (thanks Andy).
After returning from Grand County I got in touch my friend Chris who was on a NOLS semester course with me in 2005. We got together in Clear Creek Canyon to celebrate Chris’s birthday with some ice climbing and then drove back to Summit County for a brewery crawl that evening. The following day I enjoyed Chris and his friends’ company for a day of skiing at Keystone.
From Summit County I headed back to the East side of the divide to stay with my friend and climbing/skiing partner Jason and his family. They are the best hosts. We ate some amazing food and Megan drove down to join me for a day of skiing at Loveland. We had 5 inches of fresh snow from that evening at it continued snowing all day while we enjoyed some of the less-traveled terrain in the vicinity of lift 8. Megan headed back up to school and I stayed around for one more day of skiing at Loveland. The snow my second day was very wind-affected and I skied a short day before heading back to Fort Collins to have a wonderful Valentine’s day dinner with Megan.
Megan and I also managed to get back to Clear Creek for an afternoon of ice climbing. We also recently just got in an afternoon of dragging at North Table Mountain in Golden, Colorado.
I also managed to find a used Thule cargo topper for my car. Finally I have a bit more room inside to manage all my belongings.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks.
So here I am in the present. Hanging in Fort Collins, starting to put together our (Megan and my) plants to drive to California in March. As of now our route looks like we will be headed to Indian Creek for some climbing, then to the Grand Mesa (also in South-Eastern Utah) to hike to some Anasazi ruins. We will then drive to the Grand Canyon for some camping and hiking before heading to Red Rocks in Nevada for some loooong desert multi-pitch climbing. After Nevada we will be driving down to Joshua Tree for a bit more desert climbing before arriving in Los Angeles where our road trip will end (insert sad face here).
After that long recap, I find myself listening to some notes I have recorded in the past few weeks on my new voice recorder. The idea was to get a tool that would help me remember writing ideas which seem to escape my mind just as easily as they materialize. The most intriguing thought that Id love to explore with you right now is the idea of coincidence. What exactly is coincidence? Can we use coincidence as a way to explain events that seem linked together? Is coincidence merely a tool that we use to help rationalize certain decisions that we make in life?The actual question that I recorded for myself three weeks ago was: Are coincidences us changing our consciousness to help convince ourselves that we are taking the right path or making the right decision in life?
Google defines coincidence as, ‘a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection’. In my life right now coincidence takes the form of events that seem to be telling me that right now is the time I am supposed to be hiking the PCT. Clearly all the decisions we make in life lead us to certain outcomes. Making the conscious decision to hike the PCT this year has led me to take certain steps to make this dream a reality. Coincidence comes into the picture in the form of events that seem to conspire or convince me that my decision to hike the PCT is a correct decision for me at this time in my life. A good example is meeting ‘Hot Wing’ this year in the town of Nederland. He is an avid long-distance hiker and offered me lots of great advice about my ambitions. Another great coincidence is the fact that my father lives in Los Angeles, a great jumping-off point for the PCT. Something that logistically makes getting on the trail easier for me (easier then the CDT or AT at least). These are simply two examples and there have been other coincidences that I only vaguely remember at this point.
Without diving into my own personal examples any further perhaps any of you reading this can share some of your own examples?