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Faces of GOCO: Meet Adrian Varney

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 -- GOCO

What did you do before you came to GOCO?

Prior to joining GOCO, I was the Assistant to the Parks and Wildlife Commission where I spent five years learning about the impact the conservation world can have in helping a facilitate a better future for our next generation. I also learned a lot about wildlife. Prior to that, I lived in Summit County for three years where I fell in love with the outdoors. GOCO just seems to fall into my natural life path – I’m so thrilled to be a part of the team here.

What brought you to GOCO? Why did you want to work here?

In my capacity working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, I had the opportunity to meet and become familiar with many people on the GOCO staff. I already knew I liked who they were, so it was a safe bet when it came to an overall personality fit. Professionally, I respected the passion and commitment that staff has for their jobs. Everyone was always so happy when I ran into them on the job. I guess the better question is, why wouldn’t you want to work here? Working for an organization that promotes and enhances Colorado’s wildlife, parks, rivers, trails, and open space heritage is a dream come true.

What has been your favorite part of working here so far?

Getting to know everyone better has been great. But I think the greatest part is when you meet someone who knows what GOCO does, and you tell them that’s where you work. They light up and have a story or two about how GOCO has impacted their lives positively in some way. People are so excited for what GOCO helps makes happen. That’s rewarding on a level I never could have imagined.

What is your typical day like?

I’d say my typical day is pretty ‘typical.’ I make sure I have enough time in the mornings to take care of my little dog’s needs and get to work on time through the traffic. My days fly by here at GOCO as I wear many different hats and find myself involved in any random assortment of tasks based on that day’s needs. Throughout the week, I do make it a priority to get some sort of exercise in 4-5 times. I’ve recently taken up kickboxing and love it!

What are some of your favorite things to do outdoors? 

I love getting on my bike and pulling my little old dogs around in the trailer I have for them. They’re too old to run next to me anymore, but they sit in the back and bark at everything they see flying by. And while I like challenging myself, I also love getting into the high country on our motorcycle and finding slow, sleepy trails that aren’t too intense so that I can have my dogs with me and just enjoy the surroundings without working too hard. In the winter, my absolute favorite thing to do is to find some trees to sneak away into and just sit down. There are times when it’s so quiet you can hear the snow falling. Those moments are magic. I just like to enjoy what’s out there.

Where is your favorite place to get outdoors in Colorado? 

Any of our state parks is amazing, but State Forest State Park takes the cake, in my opinion.

What is your most memorable outdoors mishap? 

A handful of friends and I went camping in Moab. When we get there, the wind was blowing so hard, it blew over our tent. Not a single pole wasn’t bent. We had to bungee it to my Subaru, which we parked strategically to try to block the wind to make it through the next four days. Even when the wind died, the tent wouldn’t stand up. Complete loss although a hilarious twist to the days we spent out there. 

What is the coolest wildlife you have spotted while outdoors in Colorado?

I’m pretty sure I saw a porcupine while I was snowboarding at Keystone about two years ago. I’ve seen a lot of wildlife in my time in Colorado, but a porcupine was the last I’d ever think I’d see. 

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