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January 16, 2012: Pete’s Sabbatical

Well, Pete got his sabbatical. No one is more amazed about this than I am. I’d convinced myself that he would not get this. That’s why, in yesterday’s dispatch, I came up with a backup plan. I figured that the academic powers that be would scoff at his proposed idea – to write a book about chainsaw use and safety, including technical information and accident narratives.

I didn’t think that his proposal was all that convincing. I also thought that he ought to have done even more legwork, and for example, gotten a letter of support from an academic book publisher. However, I sadly underestimated the persuasive

abilities of my partner. He says that what did it were letters from the state epidemiologist and the local chief of surgery. (Pete also indicated that trauma-related information and statistics would be included.) Now, of course, I’m convinced that his brilliant proposal was what got him the nod.

So Pete will have off from May, 2013 to September 2014, at two-thirds pay. A door has suddenly been flung wide open. Tolting the Divide II is now going to happen. I told Pete that we should wait 24 hours before even talking about what we might do; this way, he could at least briefly enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with overcoming what really, were insurmountable odds. (He’d put in for a sabbatical twice before, and had his proposals rejected.)

But no, we immediately began talking about possible trip options. The question that is right now foremost on our minds is, should we leave in July or September? If we leave in September, we’d overwinter down south, maybe in New Mexico. Either way, we need to find someone to cabin sit and watch the animals that we leave behind. Pete can work on his project wherever we end up.

The goats and Tinni for sure. Jenna is adaptable, and would enjoy staying with anyone who dotes on her. Rainbow, if we get a reliable house-sitter, could stay here. Hrimmi – right now, we just don’t know. I would like to take her with us. This would be ideal training for our little trail horse. But this may require that we head south with a larger trailer. And a larger trailer would have to be pulled by a larger truck.

And there’s also the matter of Pete’s taking a pay cut. I am going to need to pick up the slack. So, later today, I’ll work on my substitute teaching application. Knowing that this trip is going to be a reality will enable me to have a more positive attitude about taking on this kind of work. And, I’m also going to be doing some community organizing work. I’m excited about this. It will involve trail management and use.

There’s also the matter of the book projects. I am making considerable headway on revising last year’s dispatches. But, last night, on the way to Photoshop class, it occurred to Pete and me that I should revise the trip dispatches. All rightly, the answer is, go to bed later and get up earlier.

I’m not going to allow myself to feel overwhelmed, because this will cut into time that needs to be spent preparing for our upcoming trip.

Next: 17. 1/17/13: Much of the Same and Getting Worse