I returned home from living in China for 6 months on December 31, 2014. Just a few days later I received a call from my friend Nina Hance. She was calling me in tears to tell me that our friend Olivia had passed away in an avalanche in Silverton, Colorado. Hearing this news was extremely surreal. My immediate thought was the last memory I had of her. She was giving me a hug and telling me that she would see me when I got back from China. It has almost been 3 months and I still feel surreal when thinking that one of the first friends that I made here in Bozeman is no longer with us.
Olivia’s family had a celebration for her on March 9th, 2015. I drove down to Silverton to join the “Olivia style” celebration. Hundreds of people showed up and there were a handful of us from Bozeman, Montana.
Bozeman to Silverton is about 800 miles. I did not just go to Silverton but visited friends and family along the way. Olivia was always so enthusiastic on woman in the mountains and never needing “those silly boys” to come along. Therefore I felt that taking on a 2,300-mile journey solo was something she would be stoked for me on.
Not only did I focus on taking time for myself. I also made a point to visit old friends that I had not seen in awhile. After losing someone so young it’s a wake up call to hold the ones you love closely and cherish that time that you do have with them. While I had quality time with old friends, I also did not hesitate to make new friends. It was an amazing journey. I learned a lot about myself and had fun being a tourist in my own backyard, the Rocky Mountains that I call home.
This video is a few of my favorite photographs of this beautiful snow geek, Olivia, along with some footage of my journey. I lived like a dirt bag just like Olivia and had the time of my life doing so. We live in such a beautiful world with amazing people. It is important to get out there and do what you love each and everyday.
I love you Olivia!
Photos by: Me, Emma Light Photography, and others
Music by: Panama, Always