Back in the days when I was managing the local guide service, Tahoma Outdoor Pursuits, I used to hear people telling me how lucky I was to be able to work outside. “It must be nice,” they would say, “to make your money going on other people’s vacations.”
Now as anyone who’s ever been a guide will tell you, that is not an accurate description of the job. It’s a difficult way to make a buck, and even if it is true that you get to work in some beautiful places, it is still hard work.
As the manager, I found people’s comments funny for another reason as well. The guiding, the trips, the classes, the clinics, the presentations… none of it would happen at all without many hours spent every day on the phone or on the computer. While the other guides may have been more focused on the outdoor aspects of their jobs, I used to joke that for me, the business should actually be called, “Tahoma Indoor Pursuits.”
And now it is that time again. Not that I am planning San Juan trips for 12 or scheduling pool time for rescue and roll classes, but I am definitely back in the groove of desk work once more. It may be August out there still, but my calendar is already set to 2018 and this is the time for putting the pieces in place to make multiple things come together next year.
“What things?,” you ask. For starters, getting ready for Year 3 of fresh-water sampling for microplastics with middle school students from different locations in the Puyallup watershed. There is the 2nd Tacoma Shoreline Survey, to survey city beaches for debris and to document shoreline armoring and its effects. The coastal cleanup dates are already on the calendar for April and September (this year’s September date is coming up. Sign up here.) And there’s another trip to Cape Decision slated for next summer, one that I hope will have a strong beach cleaning and data collection focus. (More on that soon.) Those are the big ones, or at least the ones that have me in front of the screen this morning, blurry-eyed and thinking of coffee.
Coffee on a beach somewhere.