to return // personal

six years ago this winter i worked on a guest ranch about forty-five minutes north of steamboat springs, colorado. my job was in no way glamorous - i wore a pine-green fleece vest and served filet mignon and fresh fish to politicians and members of that top echelon of folks who are kind and polite, but who you (i?) will never stand shoulder to shoulder with. my so cal blood experienced a full-blown colorado winter for the first time. i spent my days learning to skate ski on the ranch's private trails, drinking my fair share of pendleton whiskey with a pretty amazing group of badass folks, and listening to the pregnant silence of the world when it is completely blanketed in the purest, whitest snow i had ever seen.

this past weekend i returned to that same place. not the ranch, exactly, but the south fork of the elk river that runs just across from the property. we drove along the road i used to run on six years before, covered from head to toe except for my cheeks, and i couldn't help but think of where i was then and where i am now. it's difficult to crawl out of your moment, your day, your perspective, to see beyond the lip of the bowl you're living in and stand tall to view the horizon and the beauty of the unknown that's ahead. it's difficult mostly because you just don't know what's around the next bend. that was a hard winter, one of transition and big choices. i made some wrong ones, without a doubt, but learned and grew from them like all of us do. i spent a year in oregon, and the last four, almost five, in moab, only to return to that same plot of land happier than i've been since who knows when. it's hard to believe the same person who worked in that lodge is the same person who drove by it a few days ago. to return to a place, noticeably changed, is both strange and utterly empowering.

i spent the day with incredible people who i am lucky to know. i learned how to fly fish and, excuse the pun, think i might be hooked. i spent the day outside, in the water and sunshine, completely consumed by the moment, learning something new with the best people.

what else is there?