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The Way We Went

I am living proof that the Lord looks out for fools and babies. Right now, Thomas and I were supposed to be driving our way up the North East coast to film leg four of Everyone But Two. This is the latest I had plan on traveling to film to date, but that was the way the cookie crumbled for me this year. If you recall, earlier I had stated that due to my unforeseen surgery and subsequent extended recovery time over the summer, and my trip to Zanzibar, any filming would have to occur later in the Fall. Between the money lost from receiving short-term disability while in recovery, and the costly, yet well worth every dime, expensive trip to Zanzibar, I had found myself in a bit of a financial bind in addition to a time crunch. Hence, I decided that the trip to Maine and all the states in between would the most logical solution; it would not be time intensive, or costly. I had spoken with Thomas about scheduling the trip, and we penciled in the middle of last week as our departure time, and would film for the next 7 -9 days.

Image courtesy of the National Weather Service

Unfortunately, things had to get postponed because I am not the only one clamoring for Thomas’ amazing skills, and there are big time companies paying him to do big time things with a deadline. But in the grand scheme of things, it looks like this has worked out for the best. Depending on where you are as you are reading this, you might already be aware that the North East, the exact region we planned on traveling, is expecting to get hammered by a powerful coastal storm. The National Weather Service is noted as stating that this, “is an unusual and truly strong, potentially dangerous storm system for late October.” They are calling it a, "bombogenesis," which is a rapid deepening of pressures across the area, which rapidly increases winds near the center of the storm. And once that happens, it can produce damaging winds and flooding rainfall – not quite ideal weather conditions for filming. For that reason, I think that

someone was looking out for us.

Image courtesy of the SHIFT JH

So now what? Luckily for me, I happened to stumble across an event that is happening next week that caught my attention called the 2017 SHIFT Festival. SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) is a program of The Center for Jackson Hole. The 2017 SHIFT Festival’s theme explores “The Business Case for Public Lands:” How investments in outdoor recreation and the conservation of public lands create vibrant, resilient economies in communities around America. I know this is outdoorsy nerd stuff, but it’s right up my alley, especially after seeing sessions such as Happy Hour: You Gotta See It to Be It: How Social Media is Changing The Face of Who’s Outside, A Unified Vision for the Future of Conservation, and Closing the Nature Gap. The trajectory of this documentary is leading me this way. When I was waiting to see leg four of the trip would be postponed or not, I was trying to determine if there was a way I could do both, travel for filming and attend the festival, since the times and expenses would overlap. When I continued to read the event description, my intuition was telling me that this is something that I should attend; these are my people and there is a lot I could learn. But for whatever reason, I still wasn’t sure I could justify the cost. It became a matter of cost analysis, and determining what I could possibly gain by going. After a few conversations with myself, and others, I determined the only thing I had to lose was money. And wasn’t that the reason I was making this sacrifice of living at my parents? The purpose of my staying with them was to alleviate the stress of money while I am self-funding this documentary until I get additional, substantial funding. I am going to take a financial leap of faith, and I signed up once I had the final word from Thomas that he was informed of his deadline, and we would need to postpone.

My wheels were churning after I booked. What else could I get from this? How could I get a real bang for my buck, and time? I went to the books for answers, my grandfather’s travel logbooks. On one of the very first pages of the first book, after the cover page, “Our Travels: By Ben and Frances Graham,” there was a list of the places that my grandfather considered, “Places Worth Seeing Again.” Smack dab in the middle of the list on that first page was Jackson Hole, Wyoming with a special note, “Worth the trip.” How fascinating. This is where the SHIFT Festival is, and it is a place he listed. This only confirmed that I should go. Also listed was Yellowstone National Park, and below that, the Tetons (Grand Teton National Park).

From reading the logs, and watching their home video, I knew that they traveled to these locations. I didn’t necessarily recall their mention on this particular list. While I am at Jackson Hole this week, I am going to explore these places, and do my best to document them in my own way. The only thing that matters is that I would have accomplished my goal in traveling to at least one place in each state that they have traveled. So, no matter what happens and how this all pans out, I would have at least accomplished that, and hopefully who knows what else…

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