On the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge atop Mt. Shasta, staring into the gaping bergschrund whose cavernous mouth had gobbled up the morning light and transformed it into a deep Caribbean blue.
In the Sawtooth Mountains, outside of Ketchum, ID, in a yurt, beside a wood-burning stove, filing through my notes on snow science and avalanche rescue, preparing for our ski tour that begins at dawn.
Walking out of class, having just spent two days dissecting Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, upset that class is over because we still haven’t said enough about the piece.
Lost with my peers in a mangrove forest in an estuary near Kino Bay, Mexico. Four hours of scraping through barnacles, climbing atop the mangroves, looking for a way out, laughing throughout the ordeal.
A house packed wall to wall with friends. A dinner table with sauteed spinach and kale, a leg of lamb, southwestern chili, homemade bread, grilled vegetables, and fried zucchini. A jam session comprised of a banjo, two guitars, a mandolin, two fiddles, an acoustic base, a washboard base, and a flute.
Too many late nights spent sitting beside the typewriter, coffee and gardettos on the desk, fingers punching hacking away at the keyboard or typewriter, putting my words down on paper, trying to find my story.
Boot-packing up a 1,000 ft. couloir, splitboard strapped to my backpack, anticipating the first run of the season. Then, after rolling down most of the decent, smiling and loving every minute of it anyway.
Glitter, spandex, face paint, and costumes at a dance party themed after Andy Warhol’s Factory. The rooms are covered in foil or Campbell’s Soup Posters or glow lights. There are too many neon colored wigs to count.
Its a collage; a smattering; a strange mish-mash of moments alone, moments in class, and moments with the friends that have become my family. It’s about doing things I’ve never done before; doing things I will always love doing; about being challenged mentally and physically and emotionally. And more than anything, it’s about finding the people around you that are going through the same thing; who will become sewn into your bones because of all the struggle, laughter, and unexpected adventures.
~Daniel Roca, 04/2012