I write from a window seat overlooking what is probably still Montana at this point (it’s a big state). I am en route from Missoula, MT to Chicago after the latest installment of adventure for this summer.
Last time I wrote, I was leaving California and on my way back to Illinois to help lead a backpacking trip for this coming year’s student leadership at Greenville University. “Walkabout” entrusts groups of 4-6 students to a pair of leaders each and sends them gallivanting about the Smokey Mountains on meticulously planned and outfitted routes. It was a pleasure and honor to help facilitate an experience I underwent as a student almost ten years ago. My group was made up of stellar, willing, earnest, bright-eyed students that were a joy to encourage, challenge, and learn alongside. My co-leader Johnny and I had a blast serving as well as enjoying the trip.
Last Wednesday night, I was dropped off at a Nashville gas station around midnight by the Greenville caravan on its way back home and picked up by my good friend Carls. A couple weeks prior, she had invited me to accompany her on a trip to Glacier National Park and since the timing lined up perfectly, I was available to accompany her. And the next day (which in actuality became) early Friday morning since our flights ended up delayed), off we went.
Glacier National Park is stunning and magical. Carly is an astute planner and orchestrated a fantastic trip – I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to simply come along for the ride and experience it with her. Many miles were hiked; wild creatures spotted; incredible views enjoyed; antique lodges and homey cabins appreciated; and good conversations shared. It was a special trip. If you ever have the chance to visit that slice of the country, do it.
Now I’m bound for my parents’ home, ready to touch down in a Chicago I last saw in June. I am excited for a little quiet and rest. I’m also excited to spend time with my youngest brother, Chris, who will move from the midwest to LA at the start of September. He’ll pack his things into his little silver Honda and drive out there to start a new life chapter.
I still don’t know what the fall and beyond holds for me – I’m still waiting on a verdict from a possible coaching position here in the States, and if that does not pan out I plan to return to the UK. I’ll keep you all posted. Because I still have some flexibility, I will accompany Chris on his drive and will thus end up back in CA (for the fourth time this summer) in the first week of September. We’ll see what happens after that.