After a short 2 months at Naturalists-At-Large I am looking forward now to a grand adventure in China, Thailand, and Borneo this winter. The itinerary, beginning Nov. 8, is starting to fill up with endless forays into new and never visited climbing areas across Southeast Asia. But before I launch into preparations for the upcoming journey I felt it only to necessary to recount a few excellent adventures from the last bit of this play called work.
So to recap: The Southern California fall has been nothing short of fantastic. My regular tour of the region this season included some of the Golden State's most beautiful and less visited natural areas. I began in September at one-of-kind salty, tuffa'd Mono Lake and I moved around working and touring through the dry yet elegant Mojave desert. Along the way I was accompanied by a colorful cast of devoted and outrageous outdoor educators. Campfire music sessions were numerous, miles on the Interstate were even more numerous, and the time spent with friends in wild places was notable in the fact that despite the many times I have visited these places they are still just as I want and need them to be.
Programs at the end of the Colorado River were fun and the weekends following in dirty, quaint Yuma, Arizona were clearly scenes out of low-budget Hollywood flick backdropped by neon cheap hotels and sad palm trees. A canoe trip below the Hoover Dam meant Vegas was just a short drive away but we chose to spend our evening watching the presidential debate in the back of a local bar and wandering the streets of a desert town lost in the middle. In Pinnacles we befriended the rangers, took the superintendent's 10 year old daughter climbing and later, Andrew and I climbed the serpentine Machete Ridge with speed and grace (not always the case) until dark.
This season I reflected on how truly lucky I am do be working at a job that lets me visit some of these incredible places. As the world continues to spin into an increasingly unpredictable place I am excited and thankful to be continuing to live this life of constant exploration, honest fun, and rewarding pursuits. May the adventure continue....