Leaving Reno-Tahoe

There is a reason why I have not been blogging lately. I have a felt a certain vacuousness, like my brain is a barren and desolate place devoid of any real desire to communicate or express emotion. This feeling was initiated by the harsh realization that I was going to have to leave the Reno-Tahoe area.

I have been operating in some state of denial. Refusing to accept that I would have to say goodbye (for now) to the Sierras, to Tahoe, to Reno, to the West, and to all the friends I have had the pleasure of encountering within these realms. After almost 10 wonderful years of western exploration and experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world, I am heading East to support my wife in a career move that we could not refuse.

Julia was offered a job by the New York Times to head up their online initiatives out of their regional office in Tampa, Florida. It is what she has worked towards all these years, and I am supporting her just as she would do the same for me.

I heard a funny comment yesterday, “Tampa is a place for newlyweds and nearly deads.” Whether or not that is true, I can tell you the highest point in Florida is 250 feet. No mountains, no snow, no big beautiful whitewater rivers. What it does have, which a kayaking friend so eloquently put is, “atmospheric conditions at flood stage.” In other words, high humidity.

I will have to draw balance from the beaches and the water and the practice of discovering new places not yet seen or experienced. Fortunately, I grew up surfing, so I will be making frequent trips to the Atlantic side to try and feed my insatiable outdoor enthusiasm.

The other great positive is that I will be staying on with Twelve Horses. It is a web technology company composed of many smart and connected cohorts who telecommute from all over the globe. I will certainly miss the day-to-day interaction with all of my colleagues in the Reno office, but I suspect that I will be back for business from time to time. Our CEO, David LaPlante even suggested I leave my powder skis at his house.   

Still, it will be hard to fill the void. Even now I am overwhelmed with emotion as I contemplate my impending departure. My house is empty, my car is packed, and 2,800 miles away my wife awaits my arrival.

A picture from my final night in Reno taken in the backyard of what is no longer my house. Aside from the sunset, what else do you immediately notice? Trees. Reno is not a desolate desert devoid of life. It is a place with a subtle charm and beauty and a lot of promise. It has been a great base camp for me, and I will certainly miss it. Goodbye!


16 thoughts on “Leaving Reno-Tahoe”

  1. …I thought it was great responsibility.

    wait no, that’s superpowers.

    Good luck in Tampa, Robert- I hear they’re getting a trader joe’s pretty soon.

  2. *sniff* Sad to see you go. Let me know if you’re ever back in town and need a place to stay or some people to backcountry ski with. I was hoping you’d show me the sweet spots this winter, but now you’re leaving!!!!

  3. And to think I never took Robert up on a trip to go rafting…you will be back, you planted the idea of a social media conference in my head and it will come to fruition some day and when it does, you will be there fo sho.

  4. Robert, first off I want to say great blog. I came across it when an old paddling buddy of mine, Collin, sent me a link from the Giant Gap video. I happened to check your blog today, because I long for anything that reminds me of the beautiful Sierras. I read that you were leaving the Tahoe area and could immediately empathize with you. I left with dreams of a better career and the affordability of owning a home. I landed in Wilmington, NC and have achieved what I came here to do, but never stop missing my home in the Sierras. Good luck with your move. I’ll miss seeing any new Tahoe pics or especially kayaking vids posted on your blog.

  5. I can think of worse places to live than Tampa. And I’d say you’re well on your way to one of the two happiest days of your life…the day you buy your first sailboat. (The second happiest day, of course, will be the day you sell it.)

  6. Wow, this blog is really going to take on an entirely new character. Congratulations to your wife, and attaboy to you for supporting her the way you should. And surfing rules, so I have no fear that you will be wanton for a soul-enrichening daily extracurricular experience.


  7. Bobby-
    Best of luck in your new basecamp, whether it be perminent or not, I know you will make the most of your surroundings. Mandatory trip out next summer for another *splash party*! The west is definitly missing a great pair of characters known as the Paynes…….please keep us updated. Miss ya man-

  8. So how is it? Have you two settled in? We’re so sad that you’re not out here on the left coast anymore, but I’m so pumped for Julia about this job. I hope it’s going to be as awesome as it possibly could. Sim and I were talking about you two on our recent trip up to Tahoe and knowing you’d be “homesick.” But you’re both resourceful people, and I’m sure you’ll find some ridiculous adventure sport down there–kitesurfing or scuba diving with sharks or gator wrestling–to potentially kill yourself while going “WHOOHOOOO!.” We have tremendous faith in the power of the crazy.

  9. Wow, you left Reno? I had no idea. I have a feeling you’ll kick ass wherever you go, but it’d be nice if it were here. Sigh…

    Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *