Summer Dreams

Antler’s Cafe – coming off the trail

Tim, Alicia, Cait, Lina, Steve, and me

Last week I finally started updating my new porfolio site www.BigWilliam.com. Head over and check it out. Of course, it’s not designed yet or anything, but I just wanted to get some content up for the time being.

I’ve also finished working there trial here at Anasazi, for a little while (you and I don’t know when I’ll come back). Let me just say that I’ve LOVED working on the trail. I love being in nature especially, all the TrailWalker friends I get to meet here, and getting to know the YoungWalkers. I started a blog about TrailWalker life here http://trailwalkerjournal.blogspot.com but I haven’t been updating it enough. But I have some stories I may be adding to it one day.

I have been surviving the summer heat here by purchasing large quantities of ice cream. It really helps! Oh yeah, and sometime A&W Rootbeer too. Can’t go wrong with a Rootbeer float every now and then.

Since finishing walking the trail I have put my efforts into re-starting my freelance programming business (currently called “Vendo” but I might be changing that name). I’m working on my personal site www.herbalnoni.com (new design isn’t finished yet, but it’s there), and I’m starting a new one for a new client (which I’ll announce once it’s finished).

I’ve been focusing on my personal schedule as well. I’ve found that when you work for yourself, you have to keep a strict work schedule. There’s no “boss” or “office” to keep me accountable, so I have to write out my own schedule and stick to it. One thing that helps me is this creative work place called GangPlank which allows anybody to come and work and collaborate. Themed in pirate flags and lots of computers, it’s my favorite place to get work done. Frankly, I LOVE it.

I also love the new ward I’m in. Nice people.

Alas, all this love, but I am heading out. Why you ask? Because I’m freaking awesome that’s why! Oh, so you think I just float around and do whatever comes my way and keep no stability in my life… well… okay you win. Expect the unexpected. But really, I do have a direction, and I’m testing out a few ideas before I go for it all the way.

I’ve been doing some soul searching and I’ve found that I have a recurring passion in my life: to create fun situations and learning environments. That’s a fancy way for saying I want to become a teacher. So I tried it out: I set up my own free class for the public and taught an HTML class. I also signed up to be a Substitute Teacher for the Mesa Schools District (although I didn’t get to do it because of a long story about my hands being too calloused for the fingerprint card and it taking too long to process, etc. whatever). So I’m trying things out in other ways. I’ve tutored a few people about how to make websites. And don’t forget what we do as TrailWalkers: teach wilderness skills baby! So yeah, I’ve been trying this out for a while. I’m going to consider a few other options first, but then if those don’t stick and this one does, I’m going back to school for a Master’s Degree in Education. (Horray for more student loans!) Well, hopefully I don’t have to incur more student loans. I’m (fingers crossed) hoping that I can create a successful freelance business to pay my way through college. Pray for me on this one, please.

I’ll be looking for a job in Utah when I head up there.

Okay that’s all I have time for. If you’ve read all the way here then GREAT. Have a splendid freaking fantastic day.

–WBC–

Good To Be Back

Returning to Anasazi this Winter has been a great decision. I’ve loved being back on the trail and working with kids in the outdoors again. Everything from cooking on a campfire to sleeping under the stars and working with TrailWalkers. I love it.

Lately I’ve been really sick. For 2 straight weeks I’ve had a bad cough and been in bed. But today I feel much better (a friend told me a few days ago to stop eating bread and processed food, and only eat veggies and oranges). Since doing that I’ve been getting well quickly. Here’s a picture of when it all started…

I fell asleep like this because I was so sick

Being sick so long has given me a lot of time to sleep and think about life. The University of Utah has accepted me to start school this Summer in their Mechanical Engineering program 🙂 but I’ve had a lot of second thoughts about returning to school. I’m planning on giving this more thought, as my other option is to stay in Outdoor Education and work on some business ideas I can do with the experience I have.

I plan to visit California next week and go sailing with my buddy who’s living there right now on a sailboat. It should be tons of fun. I’ll take some pictures to show y’all when I return. In the mean time, please enjoy these pictures from the Anasazi Trail…

Swimming Hole

Making Fire

Wild Edibles

Cooking on the fire

My Year 2010

My year – 2010: Had a job, had a car, had a girlfriend. Lost the car, lost the job, lost the girlfriend. Started a website business, made some money. Lived in a tent by a river, lived in an apartment downtown, slept on a couch a lot. Hitch hiking … Moab to El Paso, Jackson to Rexburg, Jackson to Salt Lake, Jackson to anywhere I want. Calculus Class (still pushing for that Engineering Degree). Spiritual growth. Feeling older – Decade #3. Planting “roots” ??? not yet apparently. But my direction has never been more sure.

–WBC–

Around Camp

Hello from Jackson! Once again, just a quick update: I’ll be coming back to Salt Lake for General Conference. Hope to see everybody I can there!

Next, Jackson is awesome of course. I’ve been working on websites like a mad man, but I love it. I’m glad I took a long retirement from it, and I’m glad that I’m “back in action” with the world wide web. I’ve been rebuilding my portfolio while I work here. Soon, I plan to migrate this blog back to my own host (no longer using blogger), for those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning, you remember that I used to hard code everything on my own, before migrating all my content to blogger in 2004 (I like to consider myself a seasoned blogger, since I kept an online log of myself since 1999, before I ever heard of a “blog”). Though convenient, I think for the sake of personal pride and practice, I’m going back to doing it my way, without blogger tools. Well, one day at least, when I get the time to do the migration and creation of a new blog site. (actually, if you want to see the wordpress installation I set up , go here: www.wbcobb.net/blog).

I’ve been hosting some couch surfers on the river banks, which has been a lot of fun. 3 people from Germany, and 2 people from New York. I love the Couch Surfing Project, because I get to meet new people all the time.

Here’s a few pictures for your enjoyment:

–WBC–

What’s This?

I never could have predicted this. Homesick for the city? Actually wanting to be surrounded by noises of public transportation machines roaring down the street busied with people going places and their faces being lit up by lights from stores all around? Really? Are you kidding me?

I came down to SLC for Sven and Brenna’s wedding. It was awesome and I loved being there when they made their vows. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you care about people until you see them do big things in their life (like get married. BTW, I’m sorry to all of my friends out there whose weddings I missed; Sometimes for whatever reason things don’t go as planned). This is one of those times where I realize that I have some super awesome friends right here.

Frankly I like SLC. I’m not going to explain every reason why I like it, I just do. It’s awesome here and I’d love to stay. But my Summer job is elsewhere and I won’t be done there until October. I’d like to stay, but I have to work the job I have right now. That’s fine. I’ll be back.

Looking for Outdoor Jobs until then (in SLC of course!). I’m done with Recreational Therapy though. I want to try Outdoor Education instead. Know of any jobs? Send me a note. Thanks 🙂

I’ll be travelling back to Jackson tomorrow (today actually… it’s 12:30am).

–WBC–

Life at Snake River Park

I’ve been living at the KOA in a tent by the snake river. I’m using someone else’s tent, which is nice because it’s large.

Working via the internet proves difficult in the evenings because the wireless internet here is used a lot by the campers and always lags and resets. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I hitchike to town and use the library’s or Heidi’s internet connection.

Speaking of hitchhiking, that’s what I did yesterday to get to town (actually, Bud who owns KOA saw me on my way out and gave me a ride). I worked at Heidi’s until 1am. I woke up early and started hitchiking back to camp. Got a ride from my first female driver to pick me up – a lady from Chicago who just moved here. She was driving a Jeep with the top off – pretty cool – and took me as far as the Enclosure climbing gym. 10 more minutes on the roadside, and a police officer stopped and told me hitchiking was illegal in Wyoming. Let me go but told me to walk. So I did for about a mile, then called Mary and had her pick me up so I could make it back to the KOA in time to start my shift at 10am. Luckily, she wasn’t working. Oh, and I should add that I didn’t know hitchiking was outlawed in WY. It’s legal in UT, NM, and AZ. Whatever the reason, here’s what I found about the laws here…

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This is from digihitch.com

According to Wyoming state law, it is illegal to hitchhike on a highway. State and local police will enforce this. However, many hitchhikers have had successful trips across the state by either hitchhiking from on-ramps or by using a highway loophole which many cops allow…

It is legal to walk on a highway, if a person is walking facing traffic. In some cases (if the other side of the road is not safe to walk on) a pedestrian can walk with the flow of traffic.

As long as a hitchhiker is not actively requesting a ride (sign raised or thumb out), he or she can keep walking. And this is what cops are likely to tell you in Wyoming:
“Keep walking…”

So be sure to look like you are going somewhere with your own two feet while in Wyoming. Read a section of the law below, and click the link for more related pedestrian laws.

Code 31-5-606 Soliciting on streets and highways.

(a) No person shall be on a highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, business or contributions from the occupant of any vehicle. This subsection does not apply to persons attempting to obtain assistance for disabled vehicles.

31-1-101. Definitions.
(viii) “Highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained or if not publicly maintained, dedicated to public use when any part is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel;

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Though I plan to be here until October, my priorities are daily reviewed in my mind: build a portfolio so I can work for CouchSurfing.org as a web designer, and eventually earn income online so I can have the freedom to travel while earning enough income to live well. I am also applying for Forest Service jobs in the Fall, and maybe even something with the Coast Guard. It’s still open, but I’m going to apply.

So far, I’ve worked on 3 websites: my portfolio, thanksgivingforall.org, and secretspeakers.com (only edits on the last one). I have a few ideas for more, it just takes a lot of time to get back into the swing of things. I’ve discovered that paying attention to the right “teachers” online has helped me the most. I pay $9 a month for nettuts tutorials online from Jeffrey Way. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made for learning website stuff (I stopped getting Netflix so I could afford this).

So that’s me on top of Mt. Olympus (in Utah. no pics from Wyoming yet). I’m always searching for new friendships, and oh yeah, I’m not going to school this Fall. I have to get out of debt before getting into more. I’m happy to feel in my heart that I have the skills I need right now to be successful in life. That’s not saying I’m not learning, and won’t return to college; It means I’m accepting who I am right now and planning my future wisely.

–WBC–

Travels and Decisions

I am back in Salt Lake City after being gone for over a week. I drove to Rexburg with Tim and Bradyn two Sunday’s ago, and I got back by getting a ride to Logan (stayed with my brother Sterling for a few days) and then hitch-hiking to Farmington where I took a train to Salt Lake.

In Jackson, WY the weather was perfect, though cold on our first day. I went rafting, mountain biking, and still found time for finishing some website projects. Despite the hardship of staring at a computer for long amounts of time, I really enjoy being involved in website design, structure and maintenance. My clients are also happy with my work too 🙂

In Jackson I found a job at Dave Hansen Rafting. They need a person to help at the front desk. I accepted it, because, well, I just wanted to be up there this Summer. Now I have to be back in Jackson this weekend, ready to work. I’m taking it because I can work 2 days a week if I want. I’ll need the flexibility so I can still freelance. The big down-side of taking this job is it will last until October – so I’ll have to postpone a semester of school until January. But maybe this is a good thing because I need the extra time to get out of debt first.

I also really want to work for the Forest Service. I thought about this a lot while in Jackson and really felt good about pursuing a Forest Service job. I just need to volunteer my time with them first, before I can land a paying job with them.

There’s a lot of work ahead of me, and I’m trying not to overwhelm myself with too many options and commitments. Between my new Jackson job and website freelancing, I’m also supposed to 1. start day-trading with my 401-K $$, 2. finish my online Calculus class, and 3. volunteer for the Forest Service. Oh yeah, don’t forget about some basic recreation in between all of that too! Yeah, it’s too much I think. I’m still deciding which thing to let go of. update July 1, 2010 1. I’m not doing any of these three things! I have decided to stick to working at Dave Hansen and building websites. Those two things alone keep me plenty busy. I hope to work for the Forest Service in the Fall. –WBC–

Notes on the past week

Went all the way to El Paso, TX. Visited the sister.
Hitchhiked from Albuquerque to Moab. 4 rides, 5 interesting people, 1 night camping, 9 hours of travel (includes standing on the road).
Back in Salt Lake. Time to work and earn some money.
Visiting JoC was awesome and I love her job; so does she 😉
Currently freelancing work doing websites. Taking Calculus too.
USU in the Fall. Yes… more school for me. I’m gonna be an Engineer.
Environmental? Aerospace? Mechanical making outdoor equipment?
Next travel destination: California

–WBC–

Moab and New Mexico

I left Salt Lake City a week ago and went to Moab with Sven and Brenna’s Family. From there I found a ride to New Mexico (met a guy in Moab at a free lunch) and I’m staying with Jo for a few days. She is working near Cloudcroft, NM as a Wildlife Technician studying the Mexican Spotted Owl. It’s a cool job where she lives in the woods. Now she has 5 days off and we’re at her friend Kristy’s house in El Paso. Today we’re going to Carlsbad Caverns. I’m having a great time, and a much needed vacation.

Yesterday we went climbing, where Jo led some awesome hard routes and I could hardly follow. She’s a great climber and I’m proud of my sister for all the great things she does in life.

This weekend is the ward Moab trip, so I’m going to hitch hike back to Moab on Friday and join them, where I’ll catch a ride back to Salt Lake with the one and only Sara Barclay.

From there I’m staying in Salt Lake and working full time on some personal projects and necessary things. I’ll be traveling to California a week later with my brother, hopefully. I want to meet some CouchSurfers down there, plus, a visit to the beach can’t hurt either.

–WBC–