It's been a while since I've last spoken in this blog cyber world... my life has been filled with great times with family and friends. Lots of cooking, lots of running on bike trails, and lots of planning. I visited the psychic Raven last week and she told me travel was in my near future. Well, yesterday I got accepted as the Camp Chef for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Camp: http://www.uaf.edu/geology/FieldCamp/fieldcamp_index.html. June 18th I fly out of here and head north for 6 weeks. For the first couple weeks I will be cooking in Denali in a traveling kitchen truck. My goal will be to cook for UAF students on their first field experience and their professors. They are focused on remote sensing field studies, which is exactly what my BS Geography degree was geared towards. GIS, GPS, surveying, mapping, etc. My room will be either the truck bed or a tent. Showers will be a luxury.
After spending two weeks in Denali I get a 4 day break to restock and then they fly me via bush plane to a remote setting where I will be cooking in a tent kitchen. Right now I have to plan a 5 week menu, keeping in mind that for the last three weeks of the program I will not have fridgeration and bears may be out and about in the wilderness setting. 24 hours of daylight. The students will sometimes be hiking for 10 miles and will return starving and tired because this is probably their first time out in the country. Once again I pack up my boots, knives, and set sail into the wild.
What to do until then? Well, Brittany and I have been giving it deep thought and research, and to be honest we'd like to go to Florida. Ohio is Ohio, and there ain't much going on. I've always wanted to work and live near a beach and she's had the same dream, so why not give it a try? We've come across a few rooms for rent near Destin and if all goes to plan, we may be packing up next week and I'll help her move into a temporary safe, clean enviroment with a couple professional, responsible girl roomates who are in search for someone to move into their empty room. Once she gets settled in her plan is to get a job at a nearby restaurant while I'm away. I should be back August 1 and when I do get back I will have the financial assets to get an apartment/townhouse for us on the beach... near the fine dining district of Destin where we both can enduldge in Florida's culinary scene.
And the story doesn't end there. October 1 I'm set to deploy back to Antarctica to be a production cook at McMurdo Station. All I have to do is get one more medical test tomorrow and then my PQ packet will be done. If you dream it, it will come.
In summary... over the course of a year, as a 'bipolar' cook...
Antarctica (prep cook) > New Zealand (R&R) > Australian (bush camp chef) > Ohio (private chef) > Florida (R&R) > Alaska (bush camp chef) > Florida (beach chef) > Antarctica (production cook)
This is just the beginning.