Thursday, August 14, 2008

Change is in the Air

So this is me, right now, at work.

Tomorrow is my last day at BakerWoodward. I'm quitting which is scary and exciting all at the same time. Scary because it feels like I'm jumping off a foggy cliff - not really knowing how far below me the water is. I've been wanting to take some classes for a while now - some web design - some English - maybe even go for a Masters. I also want to try my hand at some letterpress work and freelance a bit while I take classes. This was not a decision I made light of - its one that's been carefully considered and pondered for over a year now. I figure I've got this one life and I finally have the opportunity to really jump in and do this for real instead of just dreaming. So I wrote my letter of resignation two weeks ago. It was VERY hard to tell my boss and my co-workers of my decision. (actually took me three tries to walk into my boss' office) It felt like I was letting them down. But they all understand and are happy for me. Over the past 5 years I've become comfortable and accustomed to everyone's quirks and working styles. I will very much miss the folks that made BakerWoodward feel like family. Thanks guys, for everything, for the imprint you made upon my life and the friendship you've given me.

I'm stepping up to the edge now and all I can see is fog. Its sink or swim time.

Amanda, my boss Craig, (my other bosses Jon & Lee - not pictured) me, Jim, Shane, Jared and Mary.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How Many Fords Does It Take To Cross a River?

says a booming omnipotent voice.*

No really, it does take 42 fords to cross a river, Jack's River that is.

Two weekends ago Angela, Kristi, Paul and I met up with Andy in Georgia's Cohutta Wilderness to backpack the entire 16+ miles of Jack's River Trail. For a newbie (this was my first backpacking trip) I don't think I did half bad, not to mention the fact that I LOVED IT!! It really felt like the someone hit the "pause" button on the outside world - it was just us and the river and the trail. Sitting at my desk come Monday I was so relaxed and calm it didn't even seem I was truely back at work till Wednesday.

We began our hike late Friday and set up camp as night fell and were greeted with a cool overcast forest morning on Saturday.

Our first ford of the day.

Andy chillin' on our first break.

Some of the flora along the trail.

We took another short break at Jack's River Falls with just enough time to cool off in the water and watch several folks jump off into the water before is started sprinkling.

The rain didn't last very long at all - just long enough to pull out our pack covers.

Paul fording with his trusty hiking stick that he found.

Kristi fording away.

From Jack's River Falls on - we didn't pass a single hiker. We made really good time and had found a great campsite early in the afternoon.

The site had a great view of the river and a little beach with rocks where we could perch to filter water.

It was wonderful laying there on the rocks, listening to the little rushes and gurgles of the Jack's.

The evening was spent relaxing and talking by the campfire. Sunday morning it was back to more fording...

Kristi, Paul and Angela in the midst of the last ford.

I kept a tally of our fords the entire way. There were 42 Jack's River fords, but we also crossed 2 more infeeders to the Jacks and then after the last ford, Andy, Angela and I found a waterhole to jump in and cool off before we hiked the last couple miles or so. Angela and I both decided we need to swim across to the other side - bringing the total up to 45.

Paul and I.


Andy, Kristi in TN, Angela in TN and GA and Paul and I in GA in after our Jack's River trip. I for one had an absolute blast!!

*42 - the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, that is according to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy anyway.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

A Lot to Post

I've got quite a lot to catch up on right now. Been gone the past two weekend and it seems like there's no slowing down for the next couple... Some great photos and stories are waiting in the wings right now. Two weekends ago Paul and I went with 3 others (Kristi, Angela and Andy) on a weekend backpacking trip (my first) along the Jack's River Trail in GA. We did it end to end - fording the river 42 times in just under 17 miles. Man-o-man was it pretty! Andy's got some pics of our trip posted here. Angela got some photos too before her camera drowned. And then this past weekend 6 of us (Vic, Eric, Michelle, Nathan, Tommy and I) went to West Virginia to cave in Scott Hollow - a 20+ miler with some knock-out pretties! Nathan got some great photos. Nathan, Vic and I spent 15-1/2 hours in there - surpassing my longest in-cave time by an hour and half (Rumbling Falls at 14 hours). Phew was my butt dragging on the long way up - but it was SO worth it! I've got some short video clips to post along with some photos so stay tuned....

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