Years later, Paul checks back in.
We now reside in Boulder, Colorado. After years of contract work, I started a job hunt last summer for a permanent position with a solid salary and excellent benefits. Almost immediately, a recruiter contacted me about an opportunity at a company called Automox. After a thorough interview process, I signed my acceptance letter and moved to Boulder in August. Tina joined me a few weeks later.
New location means new places to play outdoors! At our current rental, there is a lovely view of the Flatirons from our bedroom window. We have already hiked up and around them a half dozen times, despite Colorado being in the full grip of winter. Since we are now in the mountainous West, we have decided to make this year's challenge elevation focused. 500K of elevation gain in 2020! For those doing the math, that is an average of nearly 10K a week. Ooof. Plenty of motivation for us to explore all of the hiking and biking the area has to offer, including signing up for the Double Trip Bypass Ride in July.
I still daydream about doing another thru-hike or Picnic though. 🤔🤔🤔
The summer was long and full of coding and running. Built a new CMS on top of Laravel and spent the rest of my time doing an ungodly amount of running to train for two ultramarathons.
In September, I took a remote contract job with a company in Boulder, Colorado to help bolster my finances after an entire summer off from working and to save up money for adventures next year. The contract is supposed to go until February 2018 and then I am not entirely sure what will happen. More employment or a long term adventure seems the likely options.
After eight months at Vacasa, I decided that it was time for me to move on and explore other opportunities. The people were excellent and I will miss them dearly, but the structure of the Engineering department and the management of the company as a whole did not leave me with any room to grow nor contribute as much as I desired. Prior to leaving, I completed a new microservice for Rates/Yield Management that will be the foundation of Vacasa's nightly rental rates for years to come. This was Vacasa's first microservice and hopefully a solid example for all the ones to come.
Now the hunt for the next exciting adventure or employment opportunity begins. Already this year I have completely my fifth Wilderness First Responder course and spent 8 days up on Mt. Rainier doing Alpine Ascent's Denail Prep course, which greatly expanded my technical mountaineering and winter camping skills. It was a hoot and a half.
There is money in the bank and time to contemplate, so I will be deliberate with my next step. My dream is to somehow meld my love of outdoors and technology into long term, steady employment that still allows me amble time to for my own independent and challenging outdoor projects.
Quickly approaching my six-month anniversary at Vacasa in Portland, Oregon. Thankfully, we got the business to agree that a massive shift needed to happen with the codebase and we are slowly building up new microservices to replace existing parts of the monolith codebase. It is a herculean task when you remember we have a large organization still requiring new features and upgrades to existing functionality.
After a brief adjustment period to having a full-time job and less freedom to simply run off whenever I please, I was able to schedule quite a number of mini-adventures around the PNW. Completed a self-supported trail run around Mt. Hood via the 40 mile Timberline Trail and also have had multiple ski trips (thanks to newly purchased boots and backcountry skis!). This Spring I am once again becoming certified as a Wilderness First Responder and have scheduled a week of mountaineering training on Rainier to help expand my technical skills.
As I find time, I will continue expanding The Guide with the best trips I have completed. Finding the right details and maps continue to be challenging, but I can only hope my efforts are useful to others.
At the beginning of this month, I started a job as a Senior Software Engineer at Vacasa in Portland, Oregon. Will be focusing a great deal of my time on improving and expanding their relatively young API, while also improving their existing codebase and database as much as I can. They have experienced incredible growth in the past two years and the system is in desperate need of upgrades and modern coding processes to handle any further growth in both clients and functionality.
As I get settled into a new job, new house, and new relationship, I am putting outdoor travels a bit on hold for this month, so The Guide will take a brief hiatus. As temperatures lower and the life molds itself into normal, I will once again start doing adventures and training trips that will make their way onto The Guide. Also looking forward to getting some Gear Guides on there as well as perhaps a few How-To articles.
At the beginning of this month, I abandoned a life of having a stable place to live and started living out of my car so that I could spend more time in the outdoors, ostensibly to add new articles to The Guide, which is my new online resource for helping people find the best outdoor trips in the Pacific Northwest and provide them with all the necessary information to complete the trip successfully.
During my outdoor travels, I am also attempting to continue doing a bit of client/contract work to help pay the food, insurance, and gas bills. Finding this process a bit difficult, especially when a site develops a problem when I am in a remote location and the cell internet is not particularly fast. The learning process in this realm of remote digital work is ongoing.