What went on:
Holy heck, May was a busy month.
During the very first week John and I packed everything we owned into his van and left Tallahassee. Saying goodbye to the place that I had called home for three years and to all of the people I grew to love was incredibly hard. I recently wrote a blog post reflecting on my time in Florida’s capital, and in it I shared some of my favorite places to eat and things to do in Tallahassee – you can read it here!
From Tallahassee we started driving out west towards Wyoming, and along the way we stopped in Colorado so John could participate in an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor course. We camped in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and then stayed in Boulder for a week to visit with friends and explore the local climbing areas. I’ll write a blog post soon about our week-long stay in Colorado, so if you want to hear about our snowshoeing, climbing, and Great Sand Dunes adventures keep an eye out for it. While in Colorado we were lucky enough to catch a show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater – and it was one of my favorite bands, Vulfpeck – and that was definitely a bucket-list experience for me. If you have the chance to see a concert at Red Rocks I highly recommend it.
The best part about our stay in Colorado, however, was when I was reunited with my dog Koda. When I initially got the job at Brush Creek Ranch I was told that there wasn’t any more dog-friendly employee housing available, and then as soon as I watched Florida fade from view in the mirror of John’s van I got the call that a spot had opened up. I was ecstatic to be able to bring Koda to Wyoming, but I had to move heaven and Earth to figure out how to get him there. Luckily one of my Tallahassee friends was also headed west to work at the ranch, so he was able to bring Koda to me in Colorado.
When we eventually left Colorado (after falling head over heels in love with Boulder) John and I arrived at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming to start training. So far life at the ranch has been pretty great – we learned new skills such as how to perform a rescue on a high adventure challenge course and how to shoot a compound bow, we get to rock climb whenever we want after work, and we were able to explore Medicine Bow National Forest while it was covered in snow.
Towards the end of May John and I had our first block of time off, and we used it to climb Devil’s Tower National Monument. We went up the Durrance route and summited the tower the day before my 22nd birthday. Summiting Devil’s Tower has been a climbing goal of mine for several years now, so I was beyond excited to check that off at the very beginning of the season. I can’t wait to see what else I can accomplish while out in Wyoming!
With all that said and done, the biggest thing that happened to me in May wasn’t my adventures in Colorado or moving to my new job in Wyoming. It was me getting bangs. That’s right, bangs. To be completely honest, I feel like a different person with this new hairstyle.
What I’ve been digging:
While I was staying with friends in Boulder, Colorado I was gifted a rock climbing necklace that was made by my good friend Thao, and it is now my favorite accessory. I have gotten so many compliments on this necklace, and surprisingly most of them came from people who had no idea that it is a piece of climbing gear. If you’re interested in getting one of these necklaces for yourself, shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll connect you with Thao.
Being out in Colorado and Wyoming has given me a newfound appreciation for snowshoeing, and it is now one of my favorite after-work activities. I especially love getting outraged messages from my friends and family back in Florida who simply can’t believe that I get to frolic in the snow during May while they are sweltering under the hot sun. I’m interested in learning more about winter activities (specifically backcountry skiing) so if you have any tips please send them my way!
Here are my intentions for June 2019:
- Slow down in the mornings. My morning routine has changed drastically since I moved out to Wyoming, mainly because I have to wake up at 6:15 everyday. That being said, I can still find ways to slow down and appreciate the morning as opposed to mindlessly getting ready and rushing to work. This month I want to experiment with ways to be more present, whether it’s by savoring my morning coffee or driving in silence so I have space to think and admire my surroundings.
- Ride your bike more. I’m hoping the weather will be a little more bearable now that June is here (and by “bearable” I mean less snowy and rainy) because I really want to get outside on my bike more. I’m currently living in Saratoga, Wyoming, and the small town is surprisingly cyclist friendly so I’m very excited to explore it on Jolene.
- Sleep outside solo. Believe it or not, I have never camped by myself. It’s pretty shocking, I know. For every outdoor trip I’ve always been with a group of friends or with John and Koda, and I’m ready to change that. There are so many beautiful places nearby that have free and safe campsites, so now is definitely the time for me to embrace solo camping.
- Keep putting yourself in uncomfortable situations: it’s scary and hard, but it’s how you learn. I’m slowly starting to fall in love with being outside of my comfort zone. Over the past few months I’ve embraced new and potentially uncomfortable situations, and I have consistently been rewarded with either growth, enjoyment, or some combination of the two. In June, I want to continue that trend of seeking out circumstances that force me out of my comfort zone.
- Drink less coffee and more water. I mentioned earlier that I have to wake up at 6:15 every morning, and if you know me at all then you know how unbelievably hard that is for me to do. I’ve only been able to make it this far by drinking at least two hefty cups of coffee each day, but I think I’m ready to cut it back down to one.
What are your intentions for June? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email at email@example.com. All photos in this post were taken by me unless otherwise specified in the caption.