I stand far underground, waiting, contemplating the teeming sidewalks and city streets somewhere overhead. I recall my once-upon-a-time assumption that the ground beneath my feet was solid — an idea permanently banished during my first escalator ride down to the Cleveland Park Metro station platform.
Life has suddenly become so very different. So very beyond different.
When you’re talking about going from the remote wilderness of the Sierra Nevada to the heard of the nation’s capitol, “different” falls flat as a descriptor.
I’m a week into life as a DC resident. In that time, I’ve gotten a personalized nocturnal tour of the National Mall, met the president of Germany, watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, gone to a Star Trek-themed burlesque show, and eaten grasshoppers.
But, let me back up… I’m a rather lackadaisical blogger. Up to this point, the purpose of my writing has been to share what it’s like in the world of a National Park resident — living, working, volunteering, playing in the remote mountains of Yosemite.
For just shy of five years, it’s all been hiking and climbing and backpacking and swimming. It’s been reveling in isolation, coping with lack of reception, dealing with an increasing desire for change of pace and scenery, and struggling with an overly stressful (though rewarding) job. The past six months has also included the rather painful addition of a long distance relationship.
And so, I called it. I packed up, quit my job, and drove east. Three and a half days later, I found myself on the opposite side of the continent. I’m unemployed, uninsured (sorry, Obama), and psyched.
I’ve traded hiking trails and climbing routes for escalators and elevators. A high-profile job for a simple volunteer gig. A bachelorette pad for a co-habitation complete with cat. A world of knowns for a world of unknowns.
Now it’s all public transportation and urban birding and happy hours and climbing gyms and weekend warrior adventuring.
And so the wheel of time turns. And so another chapter begins to unfold. And so a new world of adventure opens.