Greetings from Montana,
Welcome to Week 40 of 2020, Week 28 of COVID-19, and Muse #10. Bear with me as I have a lot to share this week.
As I sit down to write this Saturday Muse on my back porch with my fourth cup of coffee (my Muse-scribbling warmup), I feel that change is in the air. Clearly this morning is cooler than recent mornings, and I noticed for the first time the leaves are changing on the big cottonwoods down by the river. I took a few minutes to look at the calendar and Google a bit about the Fall season. Remind me again what we did pre-Google?
I found it a bit interesting, if not telling, that it was approximately 28 weeks ago that we started to understand the full impact COVID-19 would have on all of us for the foreseeable future. We here at Austin Adventures closed our office down on March 19th and went remote. It was also the first day of Spring! We have spent the last 28 weeks riding the Corona-coaster. It’s definitely been a wild ride as I’m sure it’s been for all of you reading this as well.
I read a great article about Fall representing a time for transformations – both personal and environmental. A season drenched in tradition, Fall is the perfect time to reflect and embrace change. We leave the Summer heat behind and the blooming flowers are replaced by crisp leaves. In 2020, the autumnal equinox—also called the September equinox or fall equinox—arrives on Tuesday, September 22.
I am not sure about you, but I know with no hesitation that I am ready for a change. I love the Fall, always have. Warm days, cooler mornings and nights, beautiful fall colors, fewer crowds out on the trails, soups and fresh baked goods to come home to…the list goes on.
Here at Austin Adventures HQ, we are changing gears and looking forward to 2021 (aren’t we all). We are shifting from operations mode to planning and scheduling mode. Our team is carefully digesting how this season went (our analysis: it was crazy) and looking for ways to improve on the next. We will always have a strong focus on domestic tours, but we are not giving up on our international presence; in fact, we are more confident than ever it will indeed return and we are starting to see just that…a trickle of international requests and bookings. In fact, we’re so assured that international travel will bounce back, that we’ve brought on yet another super star…
Curtis Fox has joined us as our new VP of International Operations. Not only does this give us an industry leader at the helm internationally, but it allows Kasey to really focus her energy on our domestic programs (her passion): a true win-win. Speaking of international travels, you can find some good resources here as to what countries are open or are planning to open.
A couple more things before I let you go. First, I wanted to share something with you: a “Fall gift” if you will. I had the team take a few of my son, Andy’s amazing Autumn photos and create several digital wallpapers. Those that know Andy’s work know he has a way of capturing the seasons like no other.
And one last thing since it’s been weighing heavily on my mind. Our collective hearts go out to our friends and families out West. We all know someone (maybe it’s you personally) affected by the horrific wildfires. The devastation to human life, infrastructures and the environment is catastrophic and will take decades to recover. Recover we will, just like a serotinous pine cone, new life will spring from the ashes. If you want to help, I found this great resource of how, where and why you might want to contribute to relief efforts across the West.
And now, I’ll “leave” you with my favorite Irish blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
This was a long one and thanks for sticking with me to the end. Stay strong my friends, stay strong. As always PLEASE never hesitate to reach out, share your thoughts, ask your questions, (ha, tell me to go away)…whatever ya need! We are here and we are listening.