Goodbye, DC (and Maryland & Virginia)

It’s with not a little sadness that I have to announce my departure from the DC area.

I grew up here, and after college and some misadventures, came back to discover a city I hardly knew, one that was interesting, diverse, and beautiful. Over the past two years, I’ve worked with passionate activists and written with some pretty brilliant people. Then there are the friends and coworkers with whom I’ve enjoyed Washington so much. It’s hard to leave.

But my return to DC was always temporary. My career requires still more education. So, in September, I will start classes at the Yale School of Architecture. It’s an unequaled opportunity that I just have to throw myself into. I’m going to go work a lot, sleep occasionally, and hopefully learn a little.

As a result, this blog will become a lower-level priority in my life. I probably will post less frequently. The content will focus more on design, as studios consume my mind.

That does not mean I will stop talking about DC. I will not let the Tenleytown NIMBYs off the hook. Greater Greater Washington will likely continue to tolerate my ramblings. To make it easier, I intend to start a series in the fall that will let me contribute with less pressure. In the same vein, I will continue to work on and post about my project for Fort Reno, even if it takes all of grad school to finish.

Right – but all of the academia that Yale entails put me in the mood to do something radically different with my remaining time. So, at the end of May, I will be moving to New Mexico to work at the Philmont Scout Ranch. Philmont is a high adventure camp on a working ranch between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. At 137,000 acres, it’s slightly larger than 3 Districts of Columbia. The ranch is also 6,090-12,441 feet closer to the sky and its pastures contain around 100 more bison than Washington’s.

The landscape is powerful. The experiences people have are profound. I think this promo reel captures enough of the natural majesty  – as well as the old-fashioned clothes I will be wearing:

Aerial Reel – “Philmont” – Ascent Imagery from Brent Murray, Ascent Imagery on Vimeo.

Philmont holds a cultic power over people who have been there, especially those who have worked out in the backcountry. The most prominent Philmont obsessive is Donald Rumsfeld, who worked there in 1949 and now owns a vacation house in nearby Taos. And there are plenty of others, the ranks of which I joined after a trek in 2002 and a position in 2005.

So, I’ll be away from my computer for a while, restoring historical cabins. One last breath before I move on to adulthood. I’ll see you all later.

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