Portland #1: Community

“So how has this experience changed your personal relationships?”
My friend Luna was getting the update on my trip, except our conversation was markedly different from most of the other similar conversations I’ve had in the past few days being back in Portland.  Luna asks the most wonderful questions, and listens with an intensity that removes your ability to bullshit an answer.

The question provided me an opportunity to articulate a few important points that I’ve been thinking about often in the past 6 weeks, but that I hadn’t articulated succinctly- but the answer lies in a single word, community.  A few examples:

  • My relationship with my brother has grown stronger in the past 6 months than it has been in the past 6 years.
  • I’ve practiced building a new sense of community with an amazing group of climbers and travelers from Australia, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, and various US states.
  • I’ve learned to share what I have better, and accept what others offer me more willingly.
  • I’ve returned to Portland to find a community of friends eager to share my adventures, support my aspirations, and send me on the next leg of my trip.

Most recent mornings, I’ve woken up and taken stock of the day only to do a double take while wondering if it’s actually possible my life could be so good.

I’ve been in Portland since late Wednesday night, and I’m here to switch out my gear and fly to Alaska on Tuesday morning.  I decided to leave the valley when I did to ensure I had enough time to give a little more time to The Commons, see friends that I have missed dearly, and ensure I have ample time to consider exactly what to take for 2 months in the Alaska range.  To some, the preparations may seem daunting, but I’m grateful to say that the only overwhelming part of the past few days has been receiving the amount of good energy from so many wonderful people.  I can’t accept credit for having so many wonderful people in my life in one place- but I can consider it proof that “the universe is unfolding as it should.”  I’ll let the photos detail some of my recent activities.

Sunny local climbing at Broughton Bluff.

So exciting to see drywall in The Commons.

It was an exceptionally fun Sunday morning bike ride.

Real friends will let you sort your gear in their living room.

Being here feels solid and familiar.  Like home? Perhaps, but that seems too strong of a question for this stage of my explorations.  I’m thrilled to feel the energy, support, and strength that come from just checking in with so many of the people that I care about, and at the same time am unbelievably excited about the upcoming prospect of 9 weeks in one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever been. Booyah.  This is the most sincere thank-you to everyone who has made this place feel so grounding the past few days, Portland feels like the perfect launch pad for the next stage of adventure.

There is a certain romance to all cities dominated by their bridges.

1 thought on “Portland #1: Community

  1. dustin

    mmm, “desiderata” sits well in a belly full of warm tea. glad to know you’re off the mountain safe, buddy.


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