After wandering around Apgar Village for a bit I decided to set up camp in the campground. After driving around trying to find a good campsite I picked one that suited me best and got set up. After returning from getting some firewood I saw that the campsite next to me was occupied.
I struck up a conversation with the two gentlemen who were setting up their tents. They were on a ten week trip by bike from Tennessee to Alaska and back. I invited them to share dinner with me as I had an abundance of food. Happily they accepted and we had a good dinner and great conversation.
Among the things we discussed were the reasons for our trips. Although I wanted to see Glacier before the glaciers are gone, a big motivator was to figure out what direction I'm taking for the future. I am supremely unhappy with work and I can't see staying there for the next 20 years.
Larry, in the red cap, is a retired wildlife biologist and Douglas on the right is a retired consultant. They both gave me the same advice that boiled down to "Do what makes you happy."
Douglas told me that he'd started his first business at the age of 46 and his only regret was that he didn't start sooner. What he said that struck me most was that he never passed up an opportunity to tell someone to take a chance on themselves. That really hit home.
Larry told me about a musician he'd seen a few years who had performed a song entitled "Time for Money." It was part of his show about he and some friends homesteaded in Alaska. How he'd gotten tired of wearing a suit and trading time for money. He said that it sounded like that was where I was at in my career. (By a lucky happenstance, many of which happened on this trip, the musician was performing at the lodge where I spent the next night and happened to be performing that show. I saw it and it was as good as Larry said it was.)
We ended up attending the evening geology program together, talked a bit more and they turned in for the night while I sat up watching the fire, thinking about what we'd talked about.
For the remainder of the trip, I kept thinking back to our conversations. And those conversations have encouraged me to make the changes in my life that I think will bring more peace to what I do.
Larry and Douglas, where ever you are, "Thank you." Of all the people I met on the trip, you two stand out.