August 15, 2011


I keep on getting asked about my NOLS course. And as I suspected I would, I have trouble summarizing everything up neatly, so I end up responding "It was good."

Sometimes I'm too concise even for my tastes.

So I'll share some random thoughts here that I might not share in person, either for brevities sake, or because I honestly forget to mention things, and share some photos.

It was snowy. More than I expected, though I'm not sure what I expected. I keep on forgetting to mention this. Here's some video that shows the snow (and wind, but that was mostly just that location.)

{Surprise Lake, I believe)

I expected to see a lot of animals. I didn't. The largest things I saw was a Moose & calf. I also saw several marmots, picas, chipmunks, a bird of prey or two, one mouse and one snake.

{This is not a moose. But it's pretty.}

The weather was amazing, with only sprinkles and a wind storm until the climbing section. Which if you know mountain weather, 17 days with out an afternoon rain is pretty amazing.

{The first real campsite}

I keep on forgetting to clarify: I went to Wyoming. NOLS is based out of Lander, in central Wyoming, but my course was actually in Montana, in the Beartooths.

{Some video from the best part of our four and a half hour drive}

While I was ready for a shower and a real bed, getting both of those things meant heading back to a job that I was less than pumped about. The course being over was bittersweet in that regard.

{Along the way on the world longest "1 mile or so" hike, on a "path."}

I had some things confirmed for me. Even on the days when it was the hardest, I would rather do it over and over than continue to sit at my desk all day.

{On our way down from Glacier Lake}

After six odd months of regretting not going to Scotland, the course also confirmed that it was a good decision. I would have been incredibly unprepared. Would I have caught up? Maybe. But I feel much better and prepared skill-wise now. (Do I still wish I was starting grad school this fall? - yes, very much so.)

{Rock climbing}

I met some fabulous people, whom I miss quite a bit. I miss our inside jokes, and cooking for the group every day. I miss knowing I am just as smelly as the person next to me. 

{Hike number three}

Now if only I could find some boulder fields in Iowa to practice not being clumsy on...

1 comment:

Kaitlyn Cooper said...

Love these pictures. Inspires me to want to take the course. I am wishing for an outdoor adventure. Good luck with grad school stuff. You will be amazing :)