Frontier Fellow Report: Aidan Koch

Aidan Koch & Shawn Creeden at Arches National Park

“After 3 months in the bustling, cultural magnet that is New York City, stepping off the train in the rural town of Green River, Utah was both a shock and relief. I felt a release of pressures, expectations, and judgements. The freedom of the West! I had brought along two good friends from New York as well while on the way to their own adventure destination, California. Hayley picked up our little group and took us to eat at Ray’s, one of few options in town.”

“After welcoming co-fellow Shawn Creeden, who arrived bright and early at the Amtrak platform, we quickly got to work at the Monday morning weekly meeting. This gave us the opportunity to hear more about what goes on at the Epicenter, who’s involved, people’s roles, and services offered. After an official town tour, Hayley helped set up our first ride out at Green River Stables. We got to saddle up and ride around the vast landscape. Having never been to this region of the states before, I have been totally mesmerized by the beauty of the cliffs, buttes, and formations.”

“The rest of the week sped by, filled with Night School, workshops, adventures, dinners, and discoveries. Shawn and I got to meet a variety of locals, and I got my first intern, a junior at the local high school interested in drawing and art. For the weekend we accompanied Jack Forinash to Bluff, Utah, near the four corners to watch and interact with his University of Utah class. They are working with Design Build Bluff creating housing for suitable candidates in the Navajo Nation.”

“Although its only been a week, this introduction took me quickly out of the New York mindset. Being surrounded by such an isolated community of active, inspired people, as well as a breathtaking environment has made me completely forget what things were like in my city life.”

—Aidan Koch, Frontier Fellow (Oct/Nov 2012)