beginnings

After a rather long hiatus from the salmon world, or at least habitat restoration, conservation, stewardship, or advocacy work – I seem to be edging back that way… Maybe affected by the recent federal government announcement to launch a judicial review into disappearing salmon on the Fraser, or maybe it’s just time, or, percolation.

This is the sixth year since completing a 10,000 km bicycle trip through the range of Pacific Salmon between 2001 and 2003. The trip – the Wild Salmon Cycle – was quite the odyssey. During the trip I kept weblog updates as well as a journal that I generally wrote in daily.

Yeah, it is somewhat cliché: walk, run, ride, etc. for some cause – then write a book. For the first few years after the trip I didn’t have much interest in writing about it although the idea was always there. It’s not that I didn’t think about the trip, or the several thick journals of writing that have traveled with me in tupperware boxes these last few years, or people I connected with during and after the trip, or salmon issues in general.

Life just moved on.

Over the years, I spoke at a few schools and occasionally chatted with people that asked me what I was doing since the trip. And then recently, my older sister asked me to speak at a college class in Victoria where she teaches. The course was on leadership in sport and fitness; she asked me to speak about the bike trip, but also my many years of coaching and youth work – and how some of those things tied together.

A few weeks of preparation for the presentation got my mind going again – with a significant interest in salmon related issues again, as well as publishing the story of the bike ride in some form or another. I now have the journals largely transcribed, and halfway through an accompanying book that gives the background for setting out on the trip. I plan to self publish the two books in the coming months and returning to the road in the spring to reconnect with folks and groups I met during the Wild Salmon Cycle as well as market and sell the books – albeit this time probably not by bike. I have two kids now, with a third arriving in the next two weeks.

Over the last six months or so, I have been focusing on school; finishing a degree that I started the year after finishing the ride – largely by distance education. I recently found out I need one more business course to finish the degree; I plan to finish it between January and April. In recent months, as I wrapped up my degree, I started to send out the occasional résumé and make contacts in relation to my consulting business. The response… notta, natta, zilch.

Funnily enough running my own consulting business over the last few years, finishing online courses, and a growing family, has me recognizing more than ever that my years of doing salmon-related work were by the far the most stimulating, satisfying, interesting, and soul-gratifying. And my true desire over the last several years has been to find a way to make a living and provide for my family as a writer, speaker, and potentially a teacher of sorts. So maybe the universe is trying to tell me something…

And thus, I have started this blog to continue the conversation that I started several years ago, and to communicate about the upcoming launches of the books – and whatever happens after that…

The ‘salmon guy’ label comes from a grade 5/6 class in Smithers and in many respects it stuck.

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