Pre-Work Update (with Denver Trip)

I start working full-time on Monday!  What a crazy idea… I’m excited, nervous, anxious, hopeful, scared – just about everything.  I am confident that my job with Centene Corporation is going to be a great next step in this life journey.  I’ve had a few weeks since accepting the job offer from Centene to get back in touch with people and begin the process of re-establishing myself in St. Louis.  It seems like it will be a long process, but I am looking forward to rekindling friendships and building new ones.  Things sure have changed here in the past five years.

I had planned on making a trip to Denver (if I wasn’t going to be working there) before beginning work and it worked out for me to spend about a week in Denver recently.  It was great spending time with friends and seeing the University of Denver again before I begin my professional life.  I was also able to spend time with people who I had hoped to see before leaving Denver but timing with finals and graduation prevented it.  I’m glad that happened.

I had a “mental checklist” for my time in Denver.  Everything I had hoped would happen happened and then some.  It was a great time!  I spent time with my “adopted” Denver family, the Cohen’s.  I went camping off of Guanella Pass with some friends where we also went hiking and met some really great people (including some from England and Ireland).  Camping there was really fun though.  I was at Chabad for Mendel’s 10th birthday.  I went out downtown with friends around LoDo.  Several of us went up to Loveland to visit another friend.  We went swimming and bought a slip ‘n’ slide at Wal-Mart.  We felt grown up (haha), but it was a lot of fun!  I hung out with a friend around Capital Hill.  I went camping with my cousins at Chatfield Reservoir. I spent a day and a half around DU seeing more friends and people I used to work with.

I was able to spend time with some great people during my time in Denver.  I hope that we are all able to stay in touch and continue to be a part of each others’ lives as we all begin this next stage of life.

This weekend will be quite busy as I spend time with old friends and begin the process of making new ones.  After an amazing week in Denver, I am hopeful that this next step in St. Louis will continue my trend of fortunate and blessed experiences.  I am excited for what the future holds.  Thank you to everyone who has, continues to, and will be a part of my life!

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Camping in Colorado

Saturday night I went camping with some of my favorite people, Javier Ogaz, Ronnie Salter, and Steve Shannon.  We had originally planned a bigger shindig with more people, but life seems to get in the way of such plans some times.  Nevertheless, we had a fantastic time.  One of the reasons I originally looked at schools in Colorado was so that I could enjoy the outdoors and all that Colorado has to offer.  Unfortunately, I have been way too busy to do this as much as I would like.

In an effort to repeat a similar camping trip at the end of the school year in May 2008, we tried to go to a campsite (that may not have been a real site) off of Guanella Pass above Georgetown, off of I-70.  However, there is construction along the pass and the road seems to barely be in existence at various points.  Close to where the camping area would have been, the road was closed.  We turned around and looked for other options.  We found one near Clear Lake, at about 9,882 feet above sea level.  We walked down a hill from a parking lot and found a small clearing with a previously used fire pit.

We set up our too small tent (it was made for 3 people and we had 4, mostly tall, people), made a fire, cooked hot dogs, and enjoyed ourselves.  We looked around a bit and saw the creek and the lake.  In the morning there were a lot of people fishing.  There was an amazing view of the stars through the trees.  It was a great way to end Senior Year in the mountains.

Camping Near Clear Lake, Colorado - (from left) Ronnie Salter, Javier Ogaz, Steve Shannon, Joel Portman

Clear Lake - off of Guanella Pass, Colorado