(Casper, Wyo.) - Oil City reached out to members of Casper Man Cave on Facebook to find out how people are holding up with the recent layoffs and how many are working to survive in what many are calling, "one of the worst busts they have witnessed". Our new friend and Casper native, Keith Smith, came to us with a great tale of change and his journey to finding a new career path that suited him. *Smith after a run from Garden Creek up to Lookout Point for training.* Following two tours as an Army Gunner in Iraq in 2006-2007 and 2009-2010, Smith returned to the Oil City and worked for Cathedral Energy Services. He would later go to work for Packers Plus in Casper, building fracking systems and equipment for the oil field. Smith spent three years with Packers Plus until this February. "The government cut 15% of oil field companies nationwide, and I was one of three that was layed off. This was the first time since I was sixteen that I found myself without a job," said Smith. Smith has two boys to provide for and it was a tough situation to swallow. "It was definitely a bummer and it sucked, but for the first time in my life I was kind of relieved. I was not too depressed about it, it gave me the opportunity to step back and reflect on my life. It allowed me to hang out and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life," commented Smith. At thirty-years old, Smith knew that he had always wanted to travel and this was that opportunity to do something different and get out and see the world. "The oil field is feast or famine, your either making money or your not. I was making pretty good money until they cut my hours last year and I knew the bust was coming." Right after Smith's layoff, he found an adventure that he could not pass up and applied for the Mountain Training School
After some some training sessions and a phone interview, Smith was accepted
into the school and his new adventure began.
"This has been something that I have been interested in for a long time,
they take you from the ground up and teach you to become a rock climbing,
back country ski guide and a mountaineer," Smith told Oil City.
He also reported that he has never been on a set of skis in his life! But
he welcomes the new challenge.
"Getting layed off has kind of become a blessing in disguise. I'm really
excited about the mountaineering opportunity and I figured I would give it
a shot. This is going to be much more fulfilling than a 9-5 job in an
office or a twelve hours shift."
Smith told us that his training for the course has been Type 2 Fun, "The
kind of fun that sucks while your doing it, but you will remember it and it
will pay off in the long run."
He will begin his courses in April traveling to Alaska for the first
session of Mountaineering for three months then travel to Spain for some
Getting on his first pair of skis will take place in Patagonia, he reported
for a few months.
"It's the adventure that I have always been looking for. Seeing and being
in places not many get to see, and then returning to share those adventures
with my boys," said Smith.
Following the four-five year program, Smith is hopeful to become a
certified guide and mountaineer and return to Wyoming to guide others and
share his experience.
"There are two options for people, you can stick around and wait for the
boom to come back, or you can take the opportunity to find something that
you truly want to do for a living."
Smith continued, "Once I got layed off, I learned that life is not all
about money, it's about living and taking in different experiences. Then
you can step back and share those experiences and build a family. Right
now, it's for the better that I'm out of the oilfield."
"You have to make the best of what you have. You can sit and wait or seize
the opportunity to do something different, " concluded Smith.
To learn more about Smith's adventure and to follow his journey, visit his
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Altitudesummits
#oilcity #wyostrong #news