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The new site is up and running, though not quite finished.

The new site is up and running, though not quite finished.

They tell you that having a child changes everything. While I’m  not sure that’s entirely true, I am sure that bringing George into the fold has resulted in a shift in our priorities and goals. With that, Mike and I have started a new project to celebrate and sometimes commiserate integrating a child into an outdoor-oriented lifestyle. Please check out raisinggus.com and let me know what you think. Are there topics you’d like to see explored? What’s been your experience with bringing your kids along for the adventure? I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

Photo by Catalina Jean Dow.

Photo by Catalina Jean Dow.

Time flies when you’re having fun, and summer seems to be moving at speeds well past the posted limit. Below is a quick update on where I’ve been and where I’m headed in the next few months.LowerGunny_628

In early June Mike and I traveled back to Oregon where we proceeded to fish, bike, run, work and get married in a several week long celebration of friends and family. It was an amazing time, and I am so thankful. On a professional note, I changed my name from Brown to Eaton, and my writing byline moving forward will be Aimee L. Eaton. I understand that changing my name after publishing under it for several years presents some challenges, but it feels right to me. Please, if you have questions about what I’ve written in the past, or what I’m responsible for in the future, don’t hesitate to contact me.

We came home to the western slope to find summer had kicked off in force. The trails are clear of snow and fishing has been amazing. Plenty of walk wading in addition to regular float trips (the raft came out to CO with us, and I’m attempting to learn to row. Talk about a junk show.).

In August I’m headed to Labrador to fish for landlocked Atlantic salmon and trophy brook trout with Gray Ghost Prodcutions. To say I’m freaking out would be an understatement. If everything goes as planned there will be a few stories and films from the trip.

CollaredThen in October, my book, Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country will be published by OSU Press. I’m finishing up the last details for the manuscript now, and the press is beginning marketing work.

In the meantime, I’m working on stories, working as an editor at the Crested Butte News, filling a few shifts at Dragonfly Anglers and in general rocking and rolling.

Here’s hoping things in your world are amazing.

Winter sports conditioning class started this week. Tuesday was core, box jumps and balance work. Last night 40 minutes of “Low intensity, high volume cardio!” followed by another 50 minutes of partnered band work and medicine ball exercises.

This morning snow blanketed the hills and every sore muscle was suddenly a promise of winter, a reminder of what is to come. In this new place it’s both strange and familiar all at once.

Here’s to  remembering the past, and dancing toward the future.

Summer is far from over, and already I’m dreaming of winter. I’m thinking about moving to a new ski town, a place where I can cut my teeth on pitches greater than 45 degrees. I’m riding bikes and running, not because it’s fun — it is — but to get my legs and lungs ready for big ups and big downs. I’m smelling the night breeze, looking for frost in the morning, and reading Powder magazine.

Writer Ryan Dunfee recently wrote a piece about leaving the snow and mountains of the west and moving back east for a woman. Right in the middle of the essay Dunfee mentions the “only piece of life advice that I’ve ever felt was important to follow…” After reading it, I thought he’s on to something. Maybe you’ll think so, too.

Here it is.

Write down where you want to be in five, 10, and 20 years. Start with what kind of place you want to be in, what you want your weekends to be like, what kind of flexibility you think you’d need in your life, and what kind of activities, both in work and outside, you can’t see yourself not doing.

In the first few days of August, you’ll wake up and it will feel different. You’ll search under the bed and find your slippers among the dust bunnies. You’ll still take your coffee out to the porch, but first you’ll pull on a puffy tugging the zipper up to your chin. Looking thru the steam rising off your cup you’ll think you see gold way up high on the hill, just a few early Aspens showing their color at 9,500 feet. It’s too early you’ll think, but later dripping sweat as you climb dusty single track, you get a close-up. Leaves that were green yesterday, today flutter yellow in the breeze coming off the ridge. Staring at them you know. It’s coming.

ImageIt’s spring! Here come new adventures, new friends, and new places. Let’s go play outside!

Iron Gate Dam. Image from treehugger.com

I went to the Klamath Basin in southern Oregon last week for a slew of meetings and to attend a public hearing on the proposed removal of four dams on the Klamath River in 2020. Several community members stood before a panel of officials and court reporters in support of dam removal. A few did not. Of these, one older man stood out more than the others.

At the mic he introduced himself first as a member of the Republican party then as a tax payer. He said that he, and the American tax payer, was unwilling to pay for the removal of the dams, and the restoration of the Klamath to a free-flowing, fish-supporting river. He said there was no evidence that removal would not cause greater problems in the basin, that the dams were necessary, and that any sort of change would be in violation of the wants of the people.

I was at the meeting to observe and listen. So even though I had plenty to say, I didn’t stand up and make a public, recorded comment to be included in the official documents presented to Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. At the time, I thought remaining quiet was the right thing, but I keep thinking about that older man, and all the men and women who spoke at the meeting either for or against dam removal.

I should have stood up. I should have said that even though I’m not from the Klamath, and even though I’ve spent only a few days wandering the basin, walking the rivers, I love the land. How the light spills across the water of Upper Klamath Lake and dances in the currents of the twin rivers. How the aspens and alders seem to explode with color even though few slow to watch. How the fog sits low in the valleys in the morning turning the cattle into ghostly shadows.

I should have said that though I work hard, I don’t make much money. But that I’m a young person with a lot of working years in front of me and what I do make I pay tax on. I should have said that the old man who spoke for “American taxpayers” didn’t speak for me. That my tax paying years were just getting started while his were likely winding down. And that even though I didn’t agree with many ways the political system is run, I was willing to pay the taxes I pay now, plus some, if it meant that the Klamath and rivers throughout the west were given half a chance to run free. That’s what I should have said.

To learn more about Klamath Basin water issues, or to read and comment on the EIS/EIR, visit: http://klamathrestoration.gov/

 

 

I have edits to get done on two very different pieces and I need to get started on a long-form project. The edits are relatively straight forward, and I hope to have them turned within a few hours, but the project has me daunted. My inherent tendencies toward procrastination aside, I think it’s stemming in part from not yet knowing what the story is. I have the idea, but not the narrative thread. I know I need to do more research, interviewing, listening, observing. The story is there, I just have to find it. I know that. Yet, I’m still feeling like I need to get something down now. Beginnings are the hardest. And middles. And ends. I’m afraid of my work. As if the page will jump out and bite me.

Anne Lamott said perfectionism is the death of creativity. I would bet worrying that you’re computer will attack if you say it wrong is tied up in there somewhere.

From the National Weather Service Special Weather Statement:

…COOLER WEATHER WITH PERIODS OF RAIN EXPECTED THIS WEEK… A LARGE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE WILL MOVE INTO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST EARLY THIS WEEK. THIS WILL PRODUCE A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE WEATHER PATTERN. THE FIRST COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH LATE MONDAY WITH ANOTHER STRONGER ONE TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY. THESE FRONTS WILL BRING PERIODS OF RAIN ALONG WITH HIGHER MOUNTAIN SNOW. TEMPERATURES WILL DROP BELOW SEASONAL AVERAGES WITH HIGHS IN THE 50S TO LOWER 60S BY WEDNESDAY. OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL BE IN THE 30S AND MID 40S.

Woke up to rain on the roof, and it took me a moment to figure out the tapping sound. Far from pouring, it was just enough to bring the dust down on the trails and make the air smell clean. Just enough to dampen the seats in the Subaru, reminding me that it’s time to start rolling up the windows at night, maybe take the keys out of the ignition.

Em was born in June and had a very Oregon summer. She’s never seen rain. I’m excited for snow.