Here is the start of my blogging career from my comfy couch in my home in Park City. Rachelle is currently refining the design of our newly acquired Sprinter Van, while I am taking a break to get some of my thoughts down and let you all know a little about myself. Born in sunny Santa Monica, CA back in 1986, it did not take my parents long to move my two sisters and I to Park City, Ut in 1988. Funny thing is I recently bought a home that is no further than a stones throw from our first dwelling in Park City almost 26 years ago, I am literally looking at it right now from my couch... where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday I took my dad's Jaguar for a little joy ride backwards down the driveway, with my head out the sun roof and my sister Rachel in the passenger seat. Don't be alarmed. How much damage could a 4 year old really do to a Jaguar? My short driving lesson put my sister and I in a ditch across the street. Given my parents reaction, it was clear I failed toddler driving school...but still so cute!
Graduating from Park City High School in 2005 I decided to attend CSU in Fort Collins, CO and studied Sports Medicine. All my life my interest had been in the medical field but soon the reality of a hospital or clinic setting scared me. Having my junior year crisis of not knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life (this is when the partying slows down ever so slightly and the word Career starts to soak into your sobering brain) sent me down the study abroad path. The nature and beauty of the fall off land of New Zealand transcended me from another semester at CSU to a 15 hour plane ride, as far as one can go without coming back. My education in New Zealand was short lived but the experience jump started my life of adventure and the unknown. Realizing studying in New Zealand was not only expensive but would interfere with my ability to explore the islands, I proceeded to the Dean's office to indicate my un-enrollment from Victoria University in Wellington. Freedom! Time for a road trip to Queenstown and somehow figure out a work visa because as I left the Dean's office my student visa was quickly expiring.
It all began on a beautiful simple 38 acre farm in a small mountain town in the NorthWest of South Carolina, where the animals outnumber the people and all food is harvested fresh from the gardens. Here is where I, Rachelle, started dreaming of travel, culture, and the freedom to choose. My parents stories of their adventures filled my head and my imagination ran free. Here is where I fell in love with the great outdoors. Scaling waterfalls, rock jumping, hiking, camping, repelling off bridges, and discovering the essence of hard work with my dad. Completing farm chores, frustrations and joys of home schooling, running the horses down the road to the river and throughout the national forests with my mom. Later to discover whitewater rafting and kayaking on the wild and scenic Chattooga River. There was never a dull moment without some sort of daily life defying moment among my family members. Yes, here is where my heart, my childhood, and many harsh and brilliant moments occurred which have led to the discover of who I am today.
After completing two bachelor degrees at the College of Charleston, unable to obtain an U.S. Passport, due to my home birth, hippie parents, and lack of documentation of my existence, I settled on exploring the great "Out West." After another summer of raft guiding, I packed up my car and hit the open road with my dog in the direction of which the sun always sets. Exploration of Colorado led me desiring to keep on going, upon arriving in Park City, UT I felt the sensation of home, at least for the winter. It was the old town western feeling of Main St, the dramatic rock faces of the Wasatch Mountain Range, and knowing no one.
After my first winter in Park City I had met some good friends who talked me into a month long road trip throughout the SouthWest of the states. We completed extensive hiking, up to 25 miles a day with most leading to 9,000+ feet vertical gains in several national parks, including Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite. These adventures were concluded with an open air Grateful Dead concert in San Francisco and next day one way ticket flight to Maui, HI.