My how the time has passed: Colorado, NYC, Vermont, Joanna's Graduation, Saying "Goodbye" to Carly for the summer, and NCOBS. Life is certainly busy for the Kevster, but somehow I am managing to hold on. In fact, I am holding on not due to any one action of my own accord; I am holding on because you are here in my life and for this I am thankful. You see, I am missing my dear friends dearly- I have been living in the woods nearly the entire summer and it just hit me the other day how much I actually miss all of you~ !!!
Okay, I think a quick update is in store for everyone...
After returning home from Colorado I attended a conference in upstate New York (an AEE conference). After this I cruised down to the big city and spent four lovely days with Aspen Enjoli Fitzgerald-Dorsey and Ginny Yang: Two of the most beautiful women possessing some of the most hospitable hearts that I know... To be honest? The NYC was kind of intimidating- after three long months in the vast valley bottoms of Western Colorado the skyscrapers, flashing lights and "rat race" was more than apparent.
Whew- what a mouth full... After NYC I drove north to visit my good friend Jarod Waite outside of Burlington, Vermont. I was recertifying my Wilderness First Responder and St. Michael's College (where Jarod was a graduate student) was the only course on the entire east coast that matched ,y personal schedule. After this craziness of New England travel I headed south to visit Maggi Chamberlain (one of the world's coolest/amazing/inspiring women!!) in Newark, "Dela-where?" and then on to Manassas for a quick visit with the folks and then it was down to Radford for nine unforgettable days with Joanna Lilley (I LOVE THAT GIRL!!!) Joanna is like the amazing sister that I never had: She loves the outdoors, she is beautiful, intelligent, knows what she wants, is a doer and the list goes on and on- I am honored to have her as one of my bestest friends! So what did we do for nine days?
We drove to North Cacalaka and attended Merlefest and awesome bluegrass festival in Wilkesboro, then we travelled around the Pisgah area in search for NCOBS base camp and Carly Ferguson. It was so great to meet up with Carly for a while and it was so great for the three of us to have some true quality time! Then it was back to Radford for Joanna's graduation!!!!!!!!! I helped her move her things into a place for storage and then went to the ceremony.... sadly enough I then had to leave her for oneof the happiest/accomplished moments of my life thus far- I was driving to Morganton, NC to begin my job with the North Carolina Outward Bound School!
Gosh- so here I am. At Table Rock Base camp, updating my blog for the first time in months... It has been a crazy ride since May 8th, and I know my life will never be the same because of this place. I went through a two week immersion familiarizing me with Outward Bound during New Staff Training and I am now a new member of the NCOBS family. I have led two courses so far and they have been life changingly-positive for me. I am learning so much about myself, others, and the world around me. Our base camp has survived treacherous wildland fires that threatened to burn our base to the ground as a hot spot jumped a fire break only three miles down hill from where are are situated. I have sen Carly a few times since beginning with NCOBS and currently Zach Mauss is in our staff library to my left, reading some deep philisophical literature (Gary Larson). I am so glad that Zach is here- he was in Israel for an entire year and I have not seen him since his college graduation from WVU more than a year ago. Nothing has changed but nothing remains the same for he and I but one thing is for sure- true friends stay true friends even though they are miles and miles apart :)
I had an epiphany the other day. I realied how much I miss my loved ones and how I yearn to talk with, write to and visit everyone that I cherish so much! It has been a real challenge to become at all organized so that I may stay in more consistent touch. Believe me, please- once I get a system going that will set me up for success I will be writing, calling, and visiting much more often! The Chamberlain clans, My own folks, Carly, the Fergusons of course, the WVU crew, the Extraordinary League of Adventurers, Adventure WV peeps, friends from High School and the like- basically, I MISS YOU.
I am committed to my job and committed to making a difference here and elsewhere in the world. However, I am also committed to making a difference in my own world- with the peoiple and places that I love. I want to apologize for being out of touch- the woods tend to aid in that process (read: Walden, Henry David Thoreau). I am making an attempt to balance my life between the educative benefits of the wilderness as well as my educational profession thereof and the people in my personal life of whom are truly a priority of love, comfort, understanding and true significance as to who I am.
I love you all. I want and need to show you that. I will. :)
But I digress- NCOBS is great, I will be working mountain courses this fall in the Pisgah National Forest and will be running some winter courses down in the everglades during January, February and March! This will be a really need chance to see a different NCOBS course area and learn a lot along the way.
Carly is well but is looking for work where she can and hopes to find a satisfying job real soon. Please send your thoughts and prayers for her. Also please always send your thoughts and prayers for one of my best friends Sam Chamberlain and his entire family. He is in Iraq and puts his life on the line everyday for our safety... I miss him, his wife, and his entire family in Virginia. May our hearts be with him and his men as they try to hash out this middle-east conflict thing...
I hope you like the pictures below of Zach and I on a hike to the summit of Table Rock mountain taken earlier today... You all are welcome to visit me ANYTIME!!!