Eagles Never Land

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. – Leonardo da Vinci

tornado photo

Travel is the ultimate paradox. The ultimate human condition. Ceaseless movement which keeps you grounded. While within these adventures you never stop moving, the memories are those things which stay firmly planted…

Three weeks ago I traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks and rode high powered Jet Ski’s until midnight. There is something special about cruising 70 miles per hour over glassy water at sunset in the southern grain belt : ) – The next week, myself and 11 adventurous comrades camped and kayaked for 3 days on the Upper Iowa River near the Bald Eagle sanctuary of Decorah, Iowa. Majestic aerial raptors glide around the cliffs scanning, patrolling, hunting like Jurassic Park. We traveled 15 miles down stream over that weekend. We drank like sailors and ate like kings, smoker cooking 4 whole chickens, beef briskets and 2 rainbow trout along the way. Flasks full of cinnamon whiskey and pens filled with sticky wax make long days of paddling breeze by like humid summer wind through a corn field. 8 hours in the smoker makes meat taste like a carnivore candy : ) – My friend KW brought along his trout pole and caught fish all up and down the river like a turn of the century pioneer. One week after that (around 3 days ago) I jumped out of an airplane in Brooklyn Iowa. Free fall toward the earth at more than 100 miles per hour. Those who say the Midwest is boring have likely not seen it from a parachute at 9,000 feet. A chess board of corn fields divided the horizon where rook and bishop were farm house castles and wild horses, king and queen were the farmer and his wife. This moment of peace after the violent rush of un-tethered free fall culminated as a chemical explosion in my brain unlike any I had experienced. For the rest of that day and into the night my mind would wander in the possibility of “what if”. What will we do? What can be done? What if we…You see the act of travel and the art of adventure do not satisfy some requirement to move, to escape, rather they inspire the continual exploration of ones life through experience in the present moment. Movement. The Journey. The human urge to run, to fight, to love, growl and bite like an animal are not apart from nature but a part OF it. We are not brought into this world, we are made by it.

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Trade Show Vacation

Hay Bale

So the past few months have been pretty hectic and pretty awesome. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel for work and go to some trade shows around the country. I sell weather stations, satellites and other agricultural technology to farmers across the US. For the most part that means sales calls, conference calls, WebX meetings, regular meetings and a lot of emails finding the right solutions for my clients. However, a few times a year (when farming slows down) we attend what are called seasonal trade shows. This is where hundreds, sometimes thousands of companies descend upon some coliseum, stadium or other outdoor venue to present, share, and sell merchandise. This winter I went to a convention center in Fort Wayne, Indiana for my first trade show. The experience was tough but educational. Tough because you stand for 8-10 hours a day (without so much as leaving for lunch) and sell sell sell. Educational because you really get to know what real people are saying across the country about the state of agriculture. Next we packed up and went to the National Farm Machinery Show one of the largest trade shows in the world (look it up) This show was even crazier as it takes up space over a 1.2million square foot monstrosity of a venue in Louisville Kentucky.  After that I packed up and headed to Phoenix, AZ for the Commodity Classic. This travelling trade show is the classy upscale version of a farm show and focuses more on large farmers and agribusinesses. Its worth mentioning that between the National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic I sold almost as many weather stations and products as I had the entire year previously . This is amazing because it starts of your sales year and quarter with a huge boost. Phoenix was a little underwhelming but when I was about to leave my flight was cancelled so I had to stay in the desert for two more days. Having a free hotel room and company credit card in Phoenix with nothing to do reallllly isn’t too bad 🙂 I made my way downtown and checked out the ASU downtown campus. This along with plenty of 5 star meals and my trip was definitely not a waste.

In the wake of all that company travel I realized just how lucky I am to have a job that not only pays the bills but gives me the ability to travel around the country not only to see new cities and visit new places but also to sell more and meet more of my clients. Not many people can say they are able to have a job they love let alone one that actually excites you. I feel very fortunateand actually get a little giddy about just how lucky I am to be where I’m at in life. Life is short and enjoying it moment to moment is the greatest success anyone could ever ask for.

(I also went to the Ozarks and kayaked 15 miles down the Upper Iowa River within the past two weeks but I’m much to lazy to write about that now. I will get to it soon though!!!)