But what about New Mexico, Captain Blue?
Ah, yes. Excellent question my young fledgling. What about New Mexico…There is a great story to this. But because it really is not that great of a story and I just wanted to start this post out with some cool movie-like-dialogue, plus I’m not quite sure where to go with the script from here, let’s just get to the point.
I’m moving there!
Moving to New Mexico, you silly buns.
‘Tis that time again. Summer guiding season is almost upon us. The great migration of unsettled, transient, adventure seeking, dirt-baging, seasonal workers is close to commencing.
My own unsettled feet will soon land me close to the town of Taos. Upon the Rio Grande and Rio Chama, you may soon address me as ‘Captain Falcon.’ Or maybe ‘Captain Blue?’ They both sound kind of alright. But probably not ‘Captain Blue Falcon.’ Too much of a mouth full. (Also, I think it is almost time I write the short story of how that name came to be. You, my intelligently curious reader, deserve at least that much.)
Yes, that’s right. River guide in almost-training here; rafting, kayaking, SUPing. A few hours on the rapids to three day river floats. It’s gonna be some good ol’ fashion desert fun. And hard work. But lots of fun. Plus I think I will be getting to practice my big bus driving skills again. It is a silly thing to be a little girl driving a big ol’ bus. I like it.
The seasonal life is pretty dang cool. I do not have a lot of money (though I could be better about that), and even so the guiding profession is not one to do based on the income amount anyways. You really aren’t paid all that much. But aside from gear, beer and food, you really do not need to spend that much either.
This particular company I am going to work for lets their guides camp on their property all season for no charge. So by truck camping for the season, I will not have to pay a penny of rent. Just need to pitch in on chores. Good deal.
Commuting to work? Not really a thing here. Gas money only needed for grocery store runs and adventures away from base camp.
Working outside all day most days means less media time, which means more time actively engaging with people and life. (Don’t worry, I will still be writing though so you can keep reading about my adventures.) And for me less media time also means less time online shopping. It is an easy black hole to get sucked into when you love cute stretchy yoga clothes.
Plus I will be getting all that warm sunshine on my skin while learning about rivers, making friendships with other rad people who love being outside and camping, and helping to facilitate experiences for people that I hope will inspire them to love/help protect our wild places.
Big bonus: A special someone is coming with me! It is looking like he’s going to work for the same company, doing odds and ends support staff kind of work. We will sleep in a bed made in the back of my truck. Most of our gear will be stashed in his car. I have high hopes for a grand time with ample opportunities for learning/growth, and I am super excited.
If the idea of living out of a truck for a summer sounds irresponsible, totally uncomfortable and way outside your safety zone, then I hear you and you are not alone in your feelings. But on that same thought train, I am totally not alone in thinking that it is pretty alright, completely acceptable and very common for people like me. In fact, it can be an incredibly awesome experience. With less house means less to clean and more time to just be. It is much like sleeping in your own big kid fort every night. Waking up means strolling immediately out into the sunshine and fresh air. Plus, it is not forever (because I really do love living rooms and heaters.)
Of course, doing things like this there can be a lot to be nervous about. How will my little Ranger do on the journey all the way from California to New Mexico? What if something goes seriously wrong on a trip I am guiding? What if I get hurt and can’t guide or drive my stick shift truck? OK, actually those are the three scariest things that come up in my head. In all three situations I have a lot of control about decisions I can make towards the best possible outcome if something were to go awry. I am also feeling very grateful and blessed that I will have the support of a loving partner there with me.
One of the ways I am practicing to settle my nerves and strengthen my resolve is to stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right. So I plan for the worst and hope for the best. When my mind takes a sour turn with dark what ifs, I do my best to remember and counteract with “Yes, but what if this other wonderful thing happens?!”
I do not want to miss all the beautiful surprises life unfolds because I stayed scared and hidden away.
So here’s to venturing into the unknown in hopes of finding, being found by, and sharing the experience of, life’s wonderful beauty.