It just got real… I wasn’t sure when the right time would be to make this announcement. But when I loaded all of my trail maps and hiking guides into a box and scheduled a POD for delivery to my driveway late next month, it seemed like a good time to share that I’m moving. And it’s no small move either.
Over 26 years ago, I arrived in Florida a not-so-innocent 17-year-old who loved flying planes. My first stop was Flight Safety International in Vero Beach for flight training. From there I attended college at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, where I settled down and started a family. From that point on, I stayed in Florida because it was the right choice for my two amazing children. This year, my youngest turned 18, and it’s time for their mom to follow her dreams.
More and more, I find myself traveling out of Florida to pursue my hobbies. As far back as 2009, I started looking for my new home. But I knew I couldn’t go until the kids were older. On my list were Denver, Asheville and Lake Tahoe. So which will it be? Neither.
Late this year, a city that was totally off my radar, Salt Lake City, suddenly won me over after several trips to visit friends and to attend the Outdoor Retailer show. So, while Florida will always be dear to my heart, and I’ll return often, I’m packing up.
What “tipped the scales” so to speak? The location. Salt Lake is situated against the Wasatch Range with stellar summer hiking and epic skiing through the winter. Within 4-5 hours are several national parks, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Arches and Zion. Roughly eight hours drive and you can reach Yosemite, or my sister’s home, Lake Tahoe. These are all destinations I would have had to save for all year in order to visit from Florida. Salt Lake City is also home to many of the outdoor brands I love and have collaborated with on projects over the years. Add a strong economy, and it all made sense.
Some have accused me of being impulsive, having missed years of signals that I was ready for a change. I’d counter and say that I’ve showed great restraint, plotting, paying off bills, and reconfiguring my business. Granted, once I picked the place, I’ve moved fast.
This April, look for new and varied content appearing on the blog. My outdoor adventure options will expand dramatically, and I’ll share it all with you. Can you tell I’m excited?
I will miss Florida’s beautiful springs, rivers, miles of beaches, and swampy hikes. I’ll miss the gators and the big black bear who visits my back yard. I’ll also miss living within a day of the Appalachian Trail. To all of my campout friends…I promise to be camping along a certain river in Blairsville, Georgia, come Labor Day.
Wish me luck as I try to fit all these trail maps in boxes and if your travels take you near Salt Lake City, drop me a line. In the meantime, I’m back to packing.