|The Barker family at Crested Butte|
|Under the St. Johns Bridge, just steps from|
our home in Portland
After 9 years in Portland, the coolest little big city on the West Coast, we've pulled up stakes and moved to the mountains. It's crazy. NoPoGirl and I both had stable, fantastic jobs and a huge family of friends. We raced bicycles sometimes several times a week, worked as ski patrollers on Mount Hood and raised our children experiencing the best that Portland had to offer.
But we've always dreamed of moving to the mountains. There were times we thought we wouldn't realize our dream until we retired because of my career. But, late this summer, I applied for a position as the Director of Marketing & Media Relations for Western State Colorado University. It was a dream job: an opportunity to combine the skills I had spent a lifetime developing to help tell the untold story of one of Colorado's greatest educational institutions.
I flew to Colorado to interview for the job when Tygh, our son, was only 2 weeks old. Six weeks later, our life was packed in boxes and the Barkers were leaving Portland for Gunnison, Colorado. It's been tough, though. It was heartbreaking to leave our friends and the life that we had built. This move has been one of the scariest things we've ever done as a family. NoPoGirl doesn't have a job. Of course, as a teacher certified in Spanish, ESL, Language Arts, etc, etc, etc, she's incredibly qualified and should find work. But, for now, we've cut our household income in half to chase a dream.
As I write this, we're surrounded by boxes in our rented town home steps from campus. Gunnison, a town of just 6,000, is at 7,700 feet deep in the heart of the Rockies. We are surrounded by 14,000 foot mountains and live 30 minutes from Crested Butte Ski Area.
It is a dream come true; an opportunity to raise our children in the mountains. We don't know a soul in this town. But the possibilities of adventure, friendship and family are thrilling.