I have found myself in Denver for the winter without any substantial work. It isn't as if I am not working, but I as I told my friends the other day, I really miss the responsibility and feeling that I was performing a valid and good function when I was in Iraq. I was proud of the work that I did and believe that I made a difference. Let me clarify what I mean when I state that I made a difference. I haven't for even one moment thought that I made a difference directly to the people of Iraq, but I did make a difference to the US Military our company supported. I made a difference to my co-workers and the company I worked for. I made a difference to the interests of the subcontracted foreign workers when I demanded that their living conditions be elevated, their food become more than substandard and the workers be treated better. While I was doing that, there were some companies, like First Kuwaiti, that shifted their personnel camps out of my reach because the requirements that I was imposing cost more than they were willing to give up. I argued against doing business with this company on many fronts, i.e. humanitarian, health, poor quality, bad value (too high compared to others) and billing practices were not consistent causing 1000's of excess hours monthly to justify their bills. The owner has US political ties and the rotating Project Managers that have just come from the military were still beholden to the pressure from politics to directly influence some of the ex-military officers (2nd wave of "leadership", not those under PC's tenure). I am not saying that there was anything untoward done by these people, just that they cowed to what the politics said - and didn't care what was right and the right thing to do.
Blah, blah, blah...this was supposed to be about planning for my trip. I suppose that in a lot of ways this was exactly how it went for the planning stage - I become distracted by something and forgot all about what I planned to do. Apparently, I am not going to get into what it took to plan this trip and will dive right into the departure. It really wasn't that interesting - just a lot of finding the right item (we
ight, size, dual purpose, etc...) and making certain all my paperwork was done.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot that we took a trip to Moab, UT to camp and (for me) shake down my new bike and gear. Here are a couple of pics...