1. The Erosion of Doubt

    For the past week I have labored over all of the final preparations for my PCT hike.  I finished preparing 104 dehydrated dinners which were added to two dozen different resupply boxes.  I was meticulous.  I counted calories per day, miles per day, and calories per ounce.  They say the devil is in the details, and it’s true.  The details became overwhelming, and the stress began to accumulate on my shoulders. Slowly stress began to make my body ache, and naturally, doubt joined the party. How could I hike from Mexico to Canada if I’m achy before I even start.  The odds seem stacked against me from the beginning.

    Luckily, Love over comes Doubt every time.  This weekend my parents organized a send off party.  They invited friends and family, and they even ordered an entire sheet cake with the PCT  blaze on it.  My family and closest friends converged for the first time ever, and it was beautiful.  Each person brought love and words of encouragement which slowly eroded my stress and feelings of anxiety. At one point I was standing in the kitchen, surrounded by my closest friends, and I became overwhelmed by their presence. They had never been in the same room together and the moment became etched into my mind.  The moment whispered truth and foreshadowed a reality beyond time and space.  I wished I could freeze time and live within that moment for eternity. 

    I was hesitant about having a party at first.  What if I failed and never finished the trail? I’d have to inform all of my friends and family about my failure, but at the party I realized it didn’t matter. Everyone at the party was proud of me for who I am, regardless of my achievements.  I can start hiking from Mexico and know that my identity is not tied to my achievements, and this truth frees me to hike with less weight on my shoulders.  

    At the party, I also realized my friends and family have more confidence in me than I have in myself.  When I express my doubts about finishing the PCT my friends and family always correct me with confidence.  The fear of failure all too often rears it’s ugly face, but my send off party helped reveal truth and nourish my soul.  I am still a little nervous about the trip, but I’m officially more excited than anxious.  I am ready to confront my fear of failure head on, and I’m ready to hike!


     

  2. For the last few years I have dreamed of having my own spot on the web.  A place where I can share my adventures and eventually a design portfolio. A week from today I will be starting the most overwhelming adventure of my life.  I am going to attempt to hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail.  With an adventure of this magnitude I decided it was time to get an official website where my creativity can fun WILD, no pun intended.

    I will push posts form my website to Tumblr, but I highly recommend checking out the actual site.  It’s clean, simple and visually pleasing.  

     
  3. In the beginning of 2013 I set out to document a year’s worth of adventures using my GoPro. It was the first year that I took my camera pretty much everywhere. I captured epic moments while hiking the 486-mile Colorado Trail and climbing in the San Juan Mountains, but I also captured the subtle moments of birthdays, weekend adventures, and the Colorado Seasons. I’m already excited about the adventures to come in 2014.

     
     
  4. On June 16, 2013 I started hiking from Waterton Canyon near Denver which is the northern terminus of the Colorado Trail. After 31 days and 486 miles I arrived at the southern terminus of the trail at Junction Creek Trailhead a few miles outside of Durango. This short film shares the lessons I learned while hiking across Colorado.

     
     
  5. Yellow Aspen, jack o’lanterns, turkey, and corn mazes all help tell the story of Autumn in Colorado. Short and sweet this short video captures the essence and the highlights of my 2013 Fall.

     
     

  6. To Flirt with Failure

    I am constantly making plans, contingency plans, and contingency plans for my contingency plans, yet no matter how much energy I use to control life—life unfolds outside of my grasp.  Life has the tendency to blindside me when I become too wrapped up in my feeble plans, and the jolt reminds me how little I truly control.

    In September I was blindsided, literally blindsided.  On my drive home from school a man ran a traffic light and collided into the driver side of my compact car, knocking me unconscious.  In a brightly lit room I gained consciousness, and the doctors told me I was in an accident, and I had a small amount of bleeding in my brain.  The speech pathologist recommended that I not read, watch TV, or use a computer; so I spent my time simply thinking.  For more than two weeks, I remained trapped at home thinking about school and my future.

    I had to see this unpredicted event as a forced pause in life.  For as long as I can remember, I have strategically moved forward with one of my many ambitions, but my ambitions shattered in the same moment my driver side window disintegrated into a blanket of shards.  For the first time since childhood, all of my pursuits and dreams faded into the periphery of my mind.  At first, I scrambled to retrieve my scattered ambitions, and with shear determination I attempted to fit all of the pieces back into the same neatly organized configuration.  I just wanted life to return to normal, but I soon realized that something had changed.

    I had received a new perspective and fresh start.  For reasons I can’t fully articulate, I have decided to change my current trajectory and pursue a few ambitions that I had previously labeled as too risky.  In my endless pursuit to control life, I used to neglect any idea that flirted with failure.  The next season in my life is all about cultivating the ambitions that I once neglected.  This season may end swiftly with a bruised ego, but it could also lead to a healthier life.  I am embarking on an uncharted course that could lead me back into the familiar fold of architecture and graduate school, but first I must see life beyond my safe and calculated plans.

     
  7. blindsided 

     

  8. The Legacy of Barbecue

    Last week, I went out for lunch with an old coworker and friend; we meet at a small barbecue joint that is known to have some of the best barbecue in the Denver area. The experience was enlightening. The food was excellent, but it was the man behind the food that really makes the restaurant a unique experience.

    From the moment that I meet the man who runs the restaurant I could tell he was passionate about the art of barbecue, yet it was his hospitality to his customers that caught my attention.  He welcomed us and had me sample a dozen different sauces since I was a first-time customer.  Throughout the meal the Barbecue Man stopped by to ensure we were enjoying everything, and at the end of the meal this soft-spoken barbecue master gave me a heart felt thank you and shook my hand.

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about my legacy.  At the end of my life what do I want to leave behind? I’ve been painfully trying to narrow down a career and I’ve been torn between architecture and environmental conservation.  On one hand, I may leave behind buildings (hopefully beautiful buildings) and on the other hand I may leave behind sustainable trails in beautiful places.  After the barbecue experience, however, I realized I was focusing primarily on the tangible outcomes of a legacy, and I recovered a truth that I had neglected.

    The Barbecue Man may leave behind some tasty recipes and a successful restaurant, but his deeper legacy is forged in the relationships and conversations that emerge due to the mastery of his art.  The art is not the conclusion, it’s the human connection that defines a legacy.  

     
  9. Summer time is adventure time! I always enjoy how summer breeds countless adventures in the mountains of Colorado. This summer some of the adventures captured in this video include thru hiking the Colorado Trail, sailing a Hobie Cat on Eleven Mile Reservoir, Tenkara fishing near Durango, running the Pikes Peak Ascent, and climbing in the beautiful Chicago Basin. I would dare say I have had an amazing summer experiencing all that Colorado has to offer.

    Music thanks to Scott Miller (White Morning) check him out at soundcloud.com/whitemorning

     
     

  10. "The exit from the humanized world, wether voluntary or involuntary, enables the recovery of vital forces led astray or left dormant by society"
    — Francois Beguin quote from Christopher Girot’s Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture.