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Apologies for the misleading last blog post here on Trout Bummin. Indeed I was gone from working until November 2019, but it appears by the lack of activity on this little slice of the internet, the post should have been titled Gone Til Next Year.

During my time away from work between July and November of 2019 I wrote in my Bob Ross journal each day. Some days the entries were poetic, “meaningful” as Kaydee would call them. Other days were short and terse, typically when I had felt the day was shitty. Either way my intention had been to share these ramblings from the journal here of the various adventures and memories from that magical time off.

Alas, the fast-pace of life of a working parent with two active kids took over upon my return in November. Dropping a middle-schooler off every day, a seemingly endless stream of meetings and high priority issues at work, and a full after-school activity schedule kept myself and Becky carting kids all over town on a daily basis. Taking time to write and share stories here took the proverbial back seat, and weeks turned to months, to a new year.

And then the world changed.

While we have been insert catchy phrase for staying at home and not interacting with society as a whole here for only nine days now, it is obvious that when the world gets back to “normal”, it will never be the same normal we knew before.

Amidst this uncertainty though, I’ve been finding solace in the one thing that can not be possibly changed by any of this: memories.

So what better way to anchor myself to that certain thing, those wonderful memories, then to spend some time collecting them here and sharing a little bit of light in what otherwise feels like a very dark time.

As such, here is the first in what I hope will be an enjoyable series of posts to write that will help me revisit those wonderful experiences, and allow me to travel back to those special places during a time that prevents me from physically doing so.

Returning Home

If you have read a post here before, you know the drill, and this is the point where you open up another browser tab, and listen to a song while you read.

Looking back at those delightful three months off, a theme emerged that really makes my soul shine. So many of the adventures involved returning to a place that is very special to me, and sharing it with those that are most special to me. There is something so magical about those homecomings that is quite hard to capture in words.

The best way I’ve ever seen to summarize it was a poster I saw in Yosemite just over 20 years ago, and while I can’t exactly remember the words, it essentially said that when one connects with an amazing place in nature – like Yosemite – you take a piece of it with you forever, but leave a piece of yourself there as well.

During my time off, I was so very fortunate to revisit that piece of me in Yosemite, and other magical places from my past. And I also found new special places where I made some more spiritual deposits and withdrawals. Memories.

So for this first post, I’m going to share a snippet from the journal I kept during my first trip to Yosemite when I was a volunteer ranger at Lake Eleanor in the NW corner of the park. This particular journal entry was one that I penned on my last day there. Felt fitting. Here is what 22 year old me wrote, some of it is cringe-worthy, but love the foreshadowing <3

The Last Day in Yosemite – Nov 21, 1999

I woke up, and it hit me, this was my last day. I could see blue skies through the slats of my bedroom blinds, it put a smile on my face. I ate some frosted flakes, and radioed Yosemite Dispatch: “Good Morning – Mather 85 is in service!”

And I was off to Kibbie Lake. Usually I try to haul up to Kibbie, but even on the drive up my pace was unusually slow. I was trying to take in everything – store it in my memory. The hike was wonderful. Snow was dusted throughout the trail, and the crisp morning air bit at my face. The lake was beautiful as it was the first time I laid eyes on it. The creeks were full with run off and their songs echoed off the granite domes. I absorbed this bliss and felt so at home.

Storm clouds made me head back and Greg radioed for my assistance at Eleanor. One last drive down that awful road. Eleanor was there to greet me like the old friend she is. Greg and I put away all the boats in the garage and the bunk house. the homes were settling down for their winter’s rest. The grey clouds swirled over head.

I jumped back in the truck and winked at Eleanor as it faded in my rearview. Had three months already passed?

The last project was boarding up the kiosk. The season had ended, but I will be back to Yosemite. I believe this has become home.

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