JASON

I often think back to that summer day in 2008.  I was on a walk around the neighborhood with my mom, talking about life, the future, and where I see myself in 5 years.  I was in my third year working for an insurance company, sitting in a cubicle approximately 8 hours a day, staring…

ANNE

Denali stole my heart: wide open vistas, alpine tundra slopes, Dall Sheep grazing on rugged mountain peaks.  Wilderness.  Wolves.  Grizzly bears.  The challenge of it all.  The freedom.  The evolution of the short summer season, from an eager and intense spring to the snowflakes and stillness of fall.  The hard work & the camaraderie.  One…

BETTE

Have you ever dreamed about running away? Or, maybe you have fantasized about moving to a majestic, unspoiled part of the world that you have longingly gazed at in magazines – a place where you don’t know a soul and long to live an uncomplicated, sparse lifestyle; all the while earning your room and board…

ERICA

I was an administrative assistant for a health insurance company with full health benefits, a 401k plan, vacation/sick days and a salary that allowed me to live comfortably.  It was a good life, but I wanted to experience life outside of Corporate World.  I wanted to experience The West – just like in all those…

TYLER

My love affair with the American West began in 2009 with a cross country road trip after college. That summer, I traveled through 27 states and covered over 10,000 miles in six weeks with a friend in a car far too small for my 6’3″ frame. We visited seven national parks that summer. I was…

AMBER

It was March 18th, 2014. I was sitting at my desk, pretending to be working on a spreadsheet, counting down the hours until 5:00. I was longingly staring at pictures of the mountains on my computer and applying for jobs on CoolWorks.com when I received a phone call from an unknown number. Relieved to have…

BILL

I was the first person to get a job from Cool Works.  It definitely changed my life. I got the first inkling for what became Cool Works 20 years ago this month.  In January of 1995 I was halfway through the first year of an Environmental Management MBA program at the University of Washington (UDub)….

MANDI

Since arriving in Montana, I have been bombarded with an invigorating sense of truly being alive. My life here differs drastically from the norm, giving it the impression of being unrealistic, a dream land. In fact, my friends and I jokingly call our home here Neverland, an imaginary time warp that confuses the days and…

LUKE

I was 20 yrs old and hittin’ the road. Excited would be an understatement, though I won’t discount the nerves. The American journeyman, adventurer, and wanderer has usually followed some kind of internal compass which more often than not has pointed west. Growing up in Western Oregon, I had little option but to head east….