the Plunge

 2014 should hold a lot of plunges. Whether its paddling, working, or moving into a new home, life is always an adventure.  Trying to figure out the fine line between dirtbag and homemaker (or was it homewrecker) is difficult at times.  2013 ended in a whirlwind of red eye flights and storage units. I moved out my house and flew to Arizona for my best friends wedding.

There are few things that will make you reevaluate your life like participating in a wedding. Especially that of one of your closest friends. I’m so proud of my friend Adam (no relation) for making the big plunge.  Was he nervous? You bet. Was she? Definitely. But they went through it together and I’m more than happy to have been able to witness it.
20140108-061915.jpgAfter catching the garter at the wedding I fielded a lot of , “When’s your turn?” queries as well. While I’m not getting hitched in the near future this got me thinking about the big leaps of faith I took in 2013.

 I paddled, climbed, and moved my way through the year. From Arizona to Alaska and back again. Each trip brought me closer to the realization that the plunge, that leap of faith, requires you be comfortable enough with yourself to let go.

2013’s big one

When I started kayaking I swore, vehemently I might add, that I would never ever paddle off a big drop. A little over a year later I found myself seal launching into Lower Bridal Veil falls in the Columbia gorge.A few minutes later, well really seconds, and I found myself in the pool below sans paddle, it had snapped when I flushed through the crack drop after the falls. Exhilarating is definitely a word to describe it. Later that year I found myself with some of the crew in the Columbia Gorge getting ready to paddle over Metlako Falls.

If 2013 was any indication this year will be amazing both on the water and off. Here’s to a new year and taking new, and old, challenges in stride

biggest drop of 2012

 

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This Shit is Bananas

I can now say I’ve had the best pow day so far this season. It’s been snowing since tuesday night and Brighton has gotten 22″ so far in the last 48 hours. Originally, I had been planning on working at a coffee shop for the morning and going up to work the desk for the afternoon, but then Chelsea W. stopped by and I was in her car driving up to the mountain. It was the right thing to do.

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The snow was so deep! I don’t think I can sufficiently convey to you the feeling of how awesome riding was unless I had a way to take you up and you could experience it for yourself. It wasn’t too cold, it wasn’t wet and we had a threesome of ladies tearing up Great Western lift. In addition to having the best time ever, Chelsea learned what it meant to surf snow on a pow board, Grace got us all to hit the Johnny Tsunami log under the lift, and I got face shot after face shot just from carving down a main run. It’s days like today that let me know I made the right choice in moving here for the winter. It was the best!

Then, in a sudden though rather comical (But not too comical, because it’s a shitty situation) turn of events, a tidal wave of turd erupted in the basement bathroom of my house and flung feces and varied bits of sewage everywhere. I mean real turd nuggets here. I couldn’t fully comprehend the situation until I got home from work and walked down the stairs to the literal shithole where all of my (and Nirvana and Pop’s) things were. You need to see a photo to really understand what I mean here. It’s a fecal fiesta down there.

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The best we can gather is that the pipes for the whole house are blocked up somewhere down below. When someone tried to do laundry, all of the water from the washer pumped back up through the bathroom pipes instead of down and out into the city sewers. As it stands the land lady is trying to convince us we must have flushed small toys down the toilet bowl and that’s why it’s flooding. I assure you no one in this house owns a child.

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I spent the next two hours packing up my room and moving all of my things out of the war zone, then crashed on Corrine’s couch for the night. I didn’t want any of those poop particles settling on to my bedding, belongings or clothes. Pops definitely got the brunt of the turd attack though; apparently his room was the lowest point so the water flowed from the bathroom and into his room. The way Tyler and Rob describe it is that there was a literal wave of sewage water flowing through the basement from the shower drain and porcelain throne. Nothing is ever for certain, but I’m pretty sure this means we all have to move out. It isn’t just a matter of floors being cleaned up, the sewage soaked carpets need to be replaced and the plumbing system obviously needs to get fixed. The upside is at least we’re all good at moving since we do it so often, the downside is we all move so much it sucks to have to do it again. But living in a personal poop palace would be worse.

All together it’s one more ridiculous thing that happens sometimes. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be living now for the rest of the winter in SLC, but hey, shit happens. It’ll work out.

Feet Firmly Planted on Two Separate Paths

IMG_8316In 2013, I could see the fork approaching.  Some day soon, I will either become the mountaineering vagabond, or tech startup entrepreneur for social good.

The past year was somewhat limited in terms of mountain adventures. But I’m determined to continue to sit in the city planted before the computer, networking at elite rooftop parties and pitching investors while attending protests, organizing with hippies and meeting with politicians.  I’ll speak about activism and technology at high-price conferences in front of white men in business suits. And my website will get funding, and we’ll save the world, and make millions.

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Or… it will fail. And I will be a ski instructor in Chile and wait tables at a surf resort in Bali.

And now it’s 2014.  The fork in the road arrived, and I did not choose. Instead, I straddle two worlds.

I spent the past two weeks waiting tables at a ski resort on Mt. Hood, skiing after work, then heading back to the small efficiency above the taco shop in this tiny little mountain town, where I work on my startup for a few hours, then head down the street for a nightcap at the local pub surrounded by beautiful mountain people.  Tomorrow, I head back down to Portland where I finish moving out of my previous home into my new Portland digs: a humongous house in a glamorous neighborhood on the edge of Laurelhurst park. I’m ‘house-sitting’ for the couple that have become my ideal website mentors (outspoken anarchists, successful media-tech entrepreneurs, and employees #1 & #2 at the company that became Twitter) while they spend a year working in Buenos Aires & Uruguay.  I’m interviewing with a “socially conscious company accelerator” in Seattle, and visiting with an advisor up from L.A., chatting with a radio station about syndication of my website’s “Activist Event Update” radio minute, and having a Google hangout with my team, dispersed across multiple states.   Then I head back up to my magical little mountain town, where I will skin and ski for a few hours on Friday, continue my online coding classes, then stalk the super cute telemark guy I met on New Years Eve.  Saturday and Sunday I’ll wait tables for two 9-hour shifts, with a few ski runs before and after, spend Monday in a (hopefully) snow-drenched coffee shop on the computer, then head back to the city for some meetings, activism and river-front runs.

Firmly planted in two alternative universes.  Yum.

Where this road will lead in 2014!?

Community Leadership Summit

Lindsay   : )

Y2K Version .14

I just got back from my last trip of 2013 and my first trip of 2014. I didn’t actually realize that until a few moments ago. I also realized that I got to ride on the very last day of 2013 and the very first of 2014 (though the riding Jan 1st was a little more subdued due to the night before). I thought I’d have been more tired afterwards, but so far I’m doing pretty good. Sandra and I work up around 4am Thursday to get me to my shuttle and it is still completely black outside. I don’t think I fell asleep until after midnight.

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Ariel’s amazing Keurig Coffee maker. I don’t know how to pronounce it, but I want one of these things.

This whole Colorado New Year’s trip was super impromtu; one minute I was debating about driving to Steamboat Tuesday after work, the next I was buying a ticket out to Denver for Monday (don’t worry, I bought it almost two days ahead on Saturday). I’m going to blame this mostly on my friends Ariel, Sandra and Terri who talked me into it (it wasn’t that hard).

Monday night I crashed at Ariel’s and Tuesday Terri joined us to ride at Keystone. We lapped some park, found a 50ft pow run through some trees (that may or may not have technically been closed) and then went to the backside of the mountain to weave through some trees and take a couple awkward photos. The trees there are tight.

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We found some foreign guy to take our photo at the top of the lift and he asked for payment in Fireball. I said we’d get him back later.
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Hot Tub. New Year’s Eve. Enough said.

We made some champagne cocktails post-hot tub session while we got ready to head out and then took the free bus into town (New Year’s Eve is no time for anyone to be driving) and met up with Sandra and a few others at coffee shop’s private party. Then we moved on to a renovated (but still haunted) old hotel, (I sucked at pool), took 60+ photos (I didn’t include them all here) and finally finished up at a brewery where we celebrated the new year at midnight and I convinced two guys that they wanted to share nachos with me because the brewery had stopped selling food. Pretty soon we were all ready to get to bed and call it a night, so we trucked back over to Ariel’s where we made a huge pot of popcorn, (unknowingly) tossed it all over her floor, and promptly passed out.

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Our New Year’s toast! Cheers to 2013 and 2014!

New Year’s Day was a slow, lazy food-filled adventure. Ariel had to work, so Sandra and her friend Mikayla picked me up and we went out for a late breakfast (lunch?). When we finally finished that meal we went to Sandra’s and hiked out behind her house to a log jib the was set up back there and hit it a couple times. I tried to get a photo, but at that point it was dark and nothing came out. The snow was so deep though! Mikayla’s dog Nutmeg was dolphin-swimming her way running in the snow back and forth between three of us, and I got in a mini pow run back down to Sandra’s house; super fun.

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That popcorn may have been from the night before, but we ate it all the next morning. Also, Terri doesn’t want anyone to know what she looks like in the morning.

That night we made a fantastic meal of sauted pasta, fresh mozzarella, (shrimp for everyone else but me) and pear and cranberry salad. Not long after we were all ready for bed. As I lay on the couch trying to pass out, I started thinking the thoughts you get when another year goes by. Did I make a good purchase on my new car? Should I be living in Colorado instead of Utah? Can I make every trip happen this winter I’m trying to plan out? I slept for four hours and then jumped on a shuttle and the same thoughts were still stuck in my head. I thought I might have been able to sleep on my way to the airport, but instead I pulled out my laptop and started writing. I wrote down everything from the last year; all my doubts, everything that had been awesome, things I regretted and things that were still hard for me to cope with. It was still black out when I finished and I had about two full pages in front of me. I close my computer, set it away in my backpack, and stared out the window at the lightening dawn. Writing is theraputic for me. When I got back to Salt Lake and my roomate picked me up in my new Mazda I felt like everything fit together. I’ve got an amazing group of friends (everywhere) and I love what I get to do every day and each week. So far, I’ve got high hopes for 2014 (even if it does mean I’m going to be 25 this year…). I think it’s going to be another great one!

Happy New Year!

Greetings from the Great North

My name is Sarah Mastroyanis, I’m thrilled to be a part of the Gofer Collective project. Striving for a functional lifestyle alternate the norm that society expects of us has become a huge part of my life goals, and I thoroughly enjoy connecting with others who feel the same. I was born and raised in Alaska, which is also where I currently reside.  I spend as much time traveling and exploring this beautiful world we live in insofar as my bank account allows.

As Darwin put it best “To be a traveler is to see goodness everywhere.”

I am an optimist, a dreamer, and continually in search of new adventures.  I love long drives, deep powder, photography, scuba diving, painting, hot yoga, cozy cabins, big mountains, a good breakfast burrito, rusty vans and making new friends. The last year and a half was one of the most exciting years of my life, as I graduated from college, traveled to 8 countries, 9 states, two road trips, became Scuba certified, went heli-skiing, ice climbing and even got a cameo appearance in a Warren Miller film. Most importantly, I met some amazing people along the way who inspire me every day to continue living the dream. I’m not too good at making plans too far in advance because I’m an opportunist. Its important to leave room for life and the surprises it may present to you.  Looking forward to all of the unknowns in the New Year! Cheers to 2014!

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Ahead with Full Sails

So, I’m going to start this intro post by getting the whole nickname situation taken care of. Most of my good friends call me bebe [bay-bay]. That name is the product of my attempt to create nicknames for some of my housemates. Instead of using syllables, I thought that we could smoosh together the sounds made by the first two letters of first and last names. Mine was the only name that stuck. Although it’s not a particularly hard to predict outcome, I found it really surprising.

One of the things that I find most interesting about life is how odd and sometimes surprising the circumstances that we find ourselves in are. For instance, writing this blog post. I’m the black sheep of this blog. Out of the people that have posted so far (Jenna, Adam, Marinna) I’m the one most likely to be chained to a desk. At the moment I have job that involves staring at a computer screen for about 25 hours a week. Make no mistake; I’m not planning on becoming a member of the weekend warrior tribe, at least not for the long term. As a recent college graduate I’m dealing with the second set of growing pains for the standard white, middle-class US man. My long-term goals are to use my degrees in engineering and Spanish to travel and perform work that I feel is valuable while getting a chance to play outside. I believe that there are ways that I can make this happen. My current desk job is an internship at an international non-profit organization. It ends in a few months and I’m already excited for what might happen next. This summer I might be working for the same company with hopes of travelling for them later on, guiding rock climbing trips, or living in a village in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. It’s not so bad to have plenty of good options.

My two general approaches to life are to go with the flow and try to figure out how things work. I find that I have the most fun when I don’t try to force things to happen. The bus will come when it wants to and if I can’t climb because it rains then I get to play cards or read a book instead. What I mean by “figure out how things work” is that I grew up in a family that put a premium on the scientific method and science education. When I was 10 my grandpa dissected a cow skull in front my elementary school class. I would regularly mix chemicals together (under supervision) and went to weekend science camps. So, since I was pretty small I’ve looked at most things and tried to figure out how they work. I want to see all of the weird plants and animals, taste delicious foods that I can’t pronounce the names of, and play musical instruments that I didn’t know existed.

Now that you have a little context I guess I should talk about all of the things that I like to do:

-Climbing rocks (big ones, small ones, clipping bolts, placing trad gear, as long as there’s no ice or snow)
-Riding road bikes (to work, to lunch, to camp with lots of gear)
-Sailing boats (at this point just small ones, but dream of larger vessels)
-Travelling

-Bebe

PS It’s New Years Eve so here’s a link to the latest semi-rad blog post about resolutions. I think that it’s really rad!