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The Countdown Begins

Posted by on March 30, 2015

IMG_3092Welcome back! Nearly five months have passed since I wrote my last blog, but it’s true what they say, time flies when you’re having fun. By early December both Don and I were hard at work at our new jobs at Northstar and between various ski resort “high seasons,” the blossoming of new and wonderful friendships, and the development of our ski skills, we have kept ourselves incredibly busy. Above all, Don and I have devoted every spare moment to planning our upcoming adventures. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been as excited for the next stage of life as I am right now. In just 7 days Don and I embark on a whole series of wonderful adventures. First, we pack everything up and drive to Los Angeles in order to catch a flight to the tiny island of Mauritius for my best friend’s wedding. Then, after two weeks spent in paradise we begin a 4 to 5 month thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. We start in Campos, California (right along the border with Mexico) and hike 2,668 miles to Manning Park, Canada. My mother will help support us for the first 1,000 miles and we will send ourselves resupplies after that. When we complete our hike, we will move back to Tahoe, hopefully find our own perfect little home, and then get married at the end of October. We plan on returning to Northstar for another season, and are looking forward to having a bit more free-time for friends, camping trips, and hopefully lots of wonderful skiing…this time as a married couple!

This season has been so much more wonderful than we could have expected. Northstar has been a great place to work, and both Don and I felt fully challenged and appreciated in our roles. Don worked as a IMG_3509supervisor in the rental shop and I worked as a ski instructor for 7-12 year old groups. We are both excited to return and continue improving in our jobs and also on the hill. We knew we loved skiing, but we didn’t realize the passion that we actually have for it until this winter. I ended up with over 90 days on the mountain and nearly 600,000 vertical feet of fun and fast ski turns, and I have the goggle tan to prove it. When not at work, I had the chance to participate in many ski clinics, and by the end of January, I was able to pass my Level 1 Ski Instructor certification. I feel like a very lucky girl. We also made a bunch of great friends! I can’t believe it took me this long to discover how wonderful the community is at a ski resort. If you are young, love the outdoors, and like spending time with kids, this is one of the most rewarding jobs out there.

While we thoroughly enjoyed our winter in Tahoe, it sometimes felt like an elaborate balancing act. In addition to working at Northstar, I also spent many evenings tutoring for an online tutoring company, and also acted as Resort Coordinator for SOS Outreach, a great non-profit that I had worked for IMG_3494previously in Colorado. It always felt strange that the planning for our wedding should take about 10 times more time and energy than for our thru-hike, since one event lasts one day and the other lasts 5 months, but I’ve learned that a wedding is truly a production. We’ve had to complete more tasks than usual ahead of time since we will be in the woods for the 5 months preceding our wedding. This means that we have our vendors booked, attire purchased, wedding party prepped, and save the dates and invitations all ready to go, and we’re still 7 months out! On the other hand, the only prep that has gone into our thru-hike is the purchasing of a short list of equipment, and a whole lot of anticipation. We ended up staying with my mom’s wonderful friend Deb for the whole season, which made it possible for us to save enough money for this summer, and also meant that we spent our winter in the cutest, most perfect cabin in all of Tahoe. Another important feature of the winter was the drought that continued through this season. The lack of snow (water) is frustrating and scary, but we are holding out hope that next winter will produce a lot more snow.

We hadn’t originally planned on making it to Mauritius this Spring, but after a bit of finagling, we came to the conclusion that we HAD to be there. My best friend and her husband have been married for 5 years, but they never had the chance to have a big wedding with everyone present. Shyam, the groom, is from Mauritius (a small island east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean) and this wedding will be a spectacular celebration of their lifelong commitment to one another. There are about 15 other friends also traveling from the U.S., and I can’t even begin to explain the excitement I have that we get to share in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The only planning that has gone into this part of our summer is the purchase of a new swimsuit and a few giddy conversations with our friends.

I plan to continue this blog throughout the summer in order to document these coming adventures and keep in touch with friends and family while we’re “on the road”. I’m not sure exactly what this will look like when I’m on the PCT since we are only carrying one cell phone, but I imagine I will be able to either write a short blog every day or two, or one long blog every few weeks. I do hope to write a few more blogs soon (this week Don and I are on a raw food detox which deserves at least a short post) now that I have the site back up and running, so I look forward to sharing our stories with you all and I hope that it inspires and entertains!

6 Responses to The Countdown Begins

  1. Kelli

    It is wonderful to get caught up with you and get more insight to your plans. I hope to hear from you soon. Love and Miss you, K~

  2. Helenty Hagen

    Lovely post. Enjoyed catching up with your life. It will be wonderful to see you soon.
    Thanks to you and Don for making the trek to Mauritius. It’s going to be a fun time with all of you IHS graduates coming together again. Laura, Shyam and I are honored!
    Love,
    Lenty

  3. Tracie meloy

    nice to be reading your blog again. Congrats on the coming wedding. Number one daughter Felicity getting married in September in so cal just before you. Enjoy your trip. Look forward to reading details of the adventure.

  4. Nancy Suchecki

    So Great to read this!! Wishing you guys the Best!! Just finished WILD so I will even be able to relate to where you are on the PCT!! Awesome– best of all things wonderful!!

  5. Samantha

    Rochelle, I’m so impressed. I can’t wait to hear more about your journey. Your upcoming 5 month trek fills me with questions and jealously!! Let me know if you come along an area that would be a good weekend or week trek. Good luck

  6. meredith

    So excited to see you in paradise in a few weeks!!!

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