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Understanding the reasons behind a Helgeson can sometimes include stories with a flare for the dramatic.  Andrew Tibert would call the Helgeson, "full of pathos."  This, my friends, is a friendly blog post so you the reader can catch up to what the fuck has happened to the Helge in the past 19 or so years pathos and all: 

We, the Helgeson's plural, now we live on 2 acres smack dab in the middle of blood red Arizona Americana. Yeah like why the fuck would anyone go that?  Why would two liberal progressives move to rural MAGA country in Arizona?  Well we helped turn the state blue, so there's that.  But let me take you back a few years to provide some additional context. 

Now that I reflect on it I suppose there are some general clues in the following collection of observed Helgeson behaviors:

Following my original Spokane homestead way back in 2001, known as "The Ranch", I moved to Sandpoint, Idaho for a year. I played as a ski instructor, part time demolition crew member and janitor before concluding that more student loans and a graduate degree degree would be right up my alley. 

Even back in 2001, 21 years of age and smack dab in the beginning of my own adolescence I moved to the Seattle area declaring that Seattle was going to be my forever home.  I wasn't going to move again.  Never!  I hated moving.  Seattle was a romantic idea, Seattle and skiing, hiking, a city with tech boom pizazz, and a girl I was obsessed with who was supposed to move there too.  She didn't move there.  But I did.  And then I kept moving.  I moved some 14 times in about as many years. 14 moves in the Seattle Metro area. Digest that for a minute. Here's most of my Seattle history in bullet points: 

  • There was the Christian Boys Ranch in the University District.   11 of us in that house with a fridge that would only stay powered on if the toaster remained plugged in to complete the circuit.
  • Next there was the Christian Boys Ranch II in Lake Forest Park. 
  • Then I lived in a home with a husband who abused his wife in a burb known as Normandy Park. I left that DV sitch promptly following the husband taking us all out on a car drive where he sped us around fast and dangerous and threatened to drive off the road several times.  His name was Paul Fredette and he'd been wronged, and betrayed. Fucker. The dude was borderline and bi-polar and praying the sin away just hadn't worked out for him.   Didn't work out for me either.  So he kept praying and abusing and I moved out.
  • Escaping the violence in Normandy Park I tried living in a defunct basement recording studio in the Ravenna District. Supposedly the Wailers recorded a second version of the song "Louie Louie" in the very basement I lived in. The rumor was believable. Much of the sound insulation and the glassed-in equalizer room was still present. 
  • But living in a moist wet basement sucked so I moved to a First Hill apartment that (luckily) got sold for condos after 9 months. Well shit.
  • After Pill Hill I moved to Capitol Hill into a place called The Bellwether.  Across the street the line for Malt Liquor formed up promptly every day at 5am.  Didn't need a clock to tell time, just had to look out the window.  While living at the Bell I voted for my first Democrat, Barack Obama.  I caucused for him and then marched on downtown Seattle when he won, shouting, "Yes we can!"  I even touched his hand once.  Here's a picture of my middle finger and my cell phone just above Obama's wrist watch.  

  • The Bellwether was great but I moved in with my then girlfriend who lived in Queen Anne.  A year of that and I moved out, couch served a bit and then moved to....
  • a nice Green Lake apartment with pool.  Never swam in that pool.  Seattle is cold, the pool was not heated.  
  • I left Green Lake to live with my then fiance (near Tangletown) before moving to Capitol Hill again, this time near the 15th Street District. Together we then also lived on 
  • Beacon Hill, 
  • then Des Moines, 
  • and finally Bremerton. 
  • Oh and I forgot to mention a couple couch surfing episodes at my bestie's, Chris Strawn's place in between homes and breakups. :)  Add the Central District and Mt Baker to the list.  My brother Dustin wrote a song about those breakups and related shenanigans if you want to take a look/listen in this video I made. I used my brother as background music, but the talent's legit.  
In the end the takeaway was that living in the Seattle Metro area was mostly unsustainable. By the time I left for good an individual's gross income needed to be well north of one hundred thousand dollars to participate in the privilege of being "Middle Class". As it was, a household income well north of that would barely buy a family home in the burbs, thus guaranteeing a miserably long commute. It's fair to say I tried to make Seattle work and became a expert in getting around most the districts and suburbs of Seattle. My wife and I tried to hack it in Bremerton as a last ditch effort to live a sustainable lifestyle. I'd say it would have worked if not for my raging depression and anxiety which, even with a host of pharmaceutical interventions could not stand up to the 6 months of misty-wet dark the Pacific Northwest had to offer. 

Seattle gave me my best friend Chris and with him one of the many behaviors that have helped save my life.  That behavior was ultra running. and so now we finally get to the exhausting explanation of this blog post's laborious title.  I know, I know, you don't really care to know.  You probably don't want to try and understand.  12 people will read this if history is any indication, so who cares! I'm going to write it anyway!

One of the inspirations for moving from my first forever home, Seattle, was ultra running.  Specifically one such ultra race, the Stage Coach 100.  Also known as Flagstaff to Grand Canyon 100 Mile Ultra, the race brought my young family to...Flagstaff.  We visited, fell in love with the country my aunt and uncle showed us (there's water here! really!).  And as my wife and I had already been discussing for some two years how to escape the dark and grind out a sustainable if not happy life, we up and plotted to move.  

Then the Pandemic hit.  We moved anyway.  Crossed the country several times flying to Arizona to visit and buy a house.  Then crossed it four more times this time driving.  Because Pandemic.  Because we bought a three thousand dollar trailer, a ten-thousand dollar 4runner, and drove all our shit to Arizona while we gambled on our home offer actually closing...all during a fucking pandemic.  

So here we are.  Pacific Rim to Mogollon Rim to Pacific Rim to Mogollon Rim.  Then right before I started my first job here (from which I've already been fired) I went out for another rim job.  The Rim to Rim to Rim, colloquially known as R3.  So there you go.  PR2MR2PRx2+R2R2R.  


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