Sunday, January 04, 2009

2008 Autumn in Review

When the snow came to the high country of Colorado, in September, I left on a series of explorations. I had traveled to CO to understand more about the ecology of small rivers and streams in the Southwest that I had been trying to restore with Wild Earth Guardians. After learning the ecological integrity assessments practised by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, I knew I needed more time to wander, and think. I found lots of the former and not enough of the latter. I visited a couple dozen riparian areas in New Mexico and Arizona, some were revisited restoration sites, others were new sites. Figure a couple days hiking around each place, and that about explains the last months. I attended talks on the history of vegetation change in the SW, and even gave a talk on the subject at a symposium put on by the Arizona State Museum.

I was traveling pretty much constantly, camping in my van wherever I found myself at the end of the day. Autumn in AZ is beautiful...fall colors and balmy temperatures mix to make a lot of lucid dreaming... and finding an awesome girl to travel with helped sweeten the deal. I think the highlight of the last few months was backpacking for a week in Aravaipa Canyon, a slot canyon that straddles the Sonoran desert / Pinon Juniper ecosystems, and I'm hoping the GIS I did there will materialize into a job next fall. After that Alexandra and I retired to the beach in Mexico for the month of December.

Still trying to get paid to do what I love, and living on a shoestring in my obedient old van with an obstinate laptop while I appreciate what a vow of poverty means.

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