This year has been a whirlwind of movement, great sorrow, and great happiness.
It all started with a move from Michigan to Washington. News of an unborn child quickly followed, making us think “are were old enough to be responsible another human being?” In order to prepare and quench our need for a dog we somehow re-homed an amazing Australian Shepard named Stormy for approximately zero dollars.
The summer led to another season of work here in the Cascades, a dream trip to Bolivia, Russia, and rounded out with a successful trip to Mongolia. Returning home I walked into a storm of logistical and emotional toil. My father in law had come out to visit and to help with the arrival of his first grandchild. In the process he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. We kept a good attitude and were lucky for the amazing medical community in the Puget Sound area. Our son, Jack, arrived in September. Although we had planned for a birthing center, we ended up in the hospital with epidurals and an emergency cesarian. We had left the gender a mystery, so when we heard those first cries we waited eagerly for the news.
Jack and his grandfather were able to meet and entertain each other for a month before the legendary Bob Proudman passed. I feel fortunate that both Katie and I were able to see him the night before he passed and he met his grandson. We made our way back to West Virginia for a heavily attended ceremony. Jack is barely 3 months old hand has two cross country flights under his belt.
Bob, or “Bobe” as the folks on the Appalachian Trail called him, was a legend and mentor for numerous generations of trail crew workers. We got along better than most due to his early climbing career in the NE. Few bonds compare to those formed in the mountains under extreme circumstances, and we shared that understanding. More about his life can be read here:
This isn’t meant to be a sob story, rather a testament to my partner Katie, whom though it all has been a rock. Not sure if either one of us could have gone through all of this without each other. I guess this is what growing up entails.