Welcome to the new and improved cyber home of Trail Mixed Media! What do you think? With a growing need to integrate my media portfolio and blog, I’ve made the switch to this vastly different format that aims to prioritize my portfolio, with the blog as a more secondary feature. This is partially because I have less time to blog now with the demands of grad school, and partially because I have recently begun producing multimedia, film, and photography more professionally. So, the blog will include my more fun, personal life photos and musings, and the photo galleries will remain updated with portfolio quality work. We’ll see how this goes. So let’s take a journey back through the last couple months. A few weeks ago, I rounded the quarter-century mark and celebrated my 26th birthday with a hike to Upper Trestle Falls with some friends. It was much needed outdoor time after spending the majority of the cold, rainy winter cooped up indoors in the midst of classes and research planning, meetings and work.As overwhelming as grad school can be, every day I still manage to find that part of me that is so excited and glad and thankful to be here, to be given this opportunity by the people who believed in me and gave me a chance to prove myself. And Oregon is such a perfect place to be fulfilling this dream. I just wish I had more time to explore it all! Traveling back further in time, at the beginning of Winter Term in January — before life got too hectic — some friends and I went on a snowshoeing trek up in the Cascades. I hadn’t done it in a couple years, since I lived in Nome, but that feeling of bliss rushed right back into me as soon as I strapped on my snowshoes. We followed the winding Forest Service trails and part of the PCT for about 4 miles through marshmallowy wonderlands of snow-covered conifers. It was one of the most magical and surreal things I have ever seen. When we finally made it to the highest point of the trail overlooking Lake O’Dell, we didn’t have much time to spend there, as we were already losing light in the short January day. Nonetheless, I had an absolute blast schlepping through the snow. Also back in January, I started a weekly climbing routine on the indoor rock wall at school. Although I’m not a fan of indoor climbing, I’ve been keeping it up every week for the last 2 months in the hopes to improve my strength and skill in anticipation for summer opportunities. Some days I feel like I’m just not improving at all, or even losing some of the ground I’ve gained, but other days I can see that my consistency is paying off. If nothing else, the weekly climbing has been a good physical outlet for when I feel like the only thing I’ve exercised all week is my brain (and my legs from biking to school every day, which have also gotten visibly stronger!). All this is to say, I’ve been busy. Very busy, studying, working, reading, writing, thinking, climbing, bicycle commuting, and adventuring (sometimes). Life is good. I wish I could tell you about it more because I love it so much. Next, I want to tell you all about my latest photography and filmmaking work, which is probably what I’m most excited about but this post is already scattered enough. It’ll have to wait. Spring break is coming up soon, so I will make time to write more then.