The summer of 2011 brought me to find comfort in Salt Lake City, sharing important time with good friends before embarking on great adventures in the Four Corners. I began my work as an outdoor adventure guide for Wilderness Ventures at their headquarters in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Leading three 16-day trips with 8-10 teenagers, traveling in a 15-passenger van towing a 12-foot trailer my two co-leaders and I drove nearly 7,000 miles in eight weeks. We repeated the Colorado/Utah Mountain Bike trip twice, with two totally different groups of all boys between 13 and 16 years of age. Our days were filled: biking in Buena Vista along the Collegiate Peaks, whitewater rafting the Arkansas River, riding uphill, downhill and around the valley admiring the magnificence of Telluride, rock climbing the Ophir Wall just south of Telluride, Colorado, biking the slick rock in Moab, Utah, hiking in Arches National Park, whitewater rafting the Colorado River, more desert riding along the cliff sides of the Colorado River and through the canyons in Fruita, Colorado, and enjoying some downhill in the groves of aspens at Keystone Ski Resort near Breckenridge, CO. Before I knew it July was over and all the boys were on their airplanes home. I was sad to leave the bikes behind, but thrilled to travel into new territory as we ventured to New Mexico for the third Southwest Service trip. Our participants experienced what life was like working on a community farm, in a local food bank and with dear friends on the Navajo Reservation near Window Rock, AZ. We discovered the art community on the streets of Santa Fe, at the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, learned about life on a pueblo and white water rafted the Rio Grande in Taos. After a few days wrapping up the summer in Jackson Hole, I was ready for three weeks of much needed rest in Salt Lake City before flying home to a saturated east coast. Landing one week after the hurricane hit the Mid-Atlantic States, I wasn’t quite sure if I was in Oregon or New Jersey. One month of quality time with family and friends, sharing the union of two couples very much in love, and good time with my five month old nephew brings me to prepare for yet another trek across this beautiful continent. This time will include the addition of a dog and a lot more climbing.
More photos from the summer can be seen at flickr.com/dbartdesign
One of the talented participant from the second trip composed this video from the footage he and his friends shot with his GoPro Camera. Thanks to Connor Schiff and Arthur Cassidy for documenting an awesome trip! You may have to be friends with me on Facebook in order to watch the video.