Damn, it feels good to be back. On the road, that is.
I haven’t written in a while, mostly because I’ve been doing my best to keep busy since we arrived back to the Bay Area. If I am doing other stuff, I don’t think about climbing. If I don’t think about climbing, I don’t get sad. Good plan. Right?
Meh, it was an okay plan, but it’s the best one I could think of under a looming depression. Well, that sounded depressing. Let’s go with hovering depression. More hovering than looming. Anyway…
I show no perceptible signs of injury (albeit a slightly swollen left middle finger). I am also not hindered or unable to do anything else except for climb. The single thing I’ve obsessed over and devoted the majority of my time to this past year. I guess I should mention that I also can’t give people the middle finger with my left hand, but that bothers me slightly less. 😉
Not climbing naturally creates an emptiness that I’ve been desperately trying to fill.
I’ve picked up as many work shifts as possible. I caught up with friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in years. I went back to San Diego to visit my parents for an entire week, something I haven’t done since I landed my job in 2009. I even bought a bike and went on my first trail ride. Not surprisingly, I simultaneously had my inaugural bike crash.
All of this really did not work. I still felt weird. Out of place.
I know the exact moment when I felt better. Just sit tight for a few paragraphs…
Spenser and I left Berkeley on Saturday, June 22nd and decided to take the slow and windy coastal route up the California coast to Shelter Cove. We met Patrick Ford there, a friend of Spenser’s since high school who wasr backpacking down the Lost Coast.
After meeting up with Rachel Belschner (remember her from our Colorado adventures?) at Lost Rocks, we decided to keep heading north- the weather had turned sour making camping a not-so-pleasant experience and climbing completely out of the question. After another day and night of rain, we had made it up to Pacific City, Oregon. Feeling a bit downtrodden and cold, we stopped at Pelican Pub & Brewery for a quick pick-me-up.
Before hitting the road again, we decided there was an opportunity in Pacific City (besides the Tsunami White Russians we could not pass up): cars are allowed on the beach. So off went Spenser, the truck, and the trailer. What followed is best shown through photos.
What I don’t have pictures of is the final half hour where Dan had to tow the truck and trailer out of the sand separately.
After it was all over, Rachel, Spenser, and I sat in the Pelican Brewery parking lot, looked at each other and started cracking up. Don’t get me wrong, there was lots of laughing during the entire experience, but it was tension-filled laughing. This was complete-relief-laughing. The kind that only happens after you dig yourself out of some deep shit.
The sand was soft. The truck was 2WD. The rest is a memory the three of us (and probably Dan, the tow truck man) will remember forever. I guess, priceless? Even though it did cost a pretty penny to get towed.
And that was it. The moment of pure happiness. The moment I felt better.
I’ve been thinking about why it was that moment. The moment of manufactured euphoria.Why do we create problems that we then have to solve? So many more questions loom in my head, but I think what I take away from the experience is that there was forced but true human interaction. There was no BS. There was 100% trust and a single mission that all parties involved were completely dedicated to. I think that’s rare in a society where everyone is taught a fend-for-yourself attitude and I seem to crave this type of contact.
I know what you’re going to say- Dan the tow truck man was doing this for money. Well, sure but it’s beside the point. Spenser and I didn’t want to pay for a new trailer, so you could say we were doing it for the money also. My point is that this was completely out of my mind while we were all working together to dig the truck and trailer out of the sand.
My needs and philosophical musings aside, I’m happy to be back on the road (Spenser is too :)). We’ve been in Portland since last Tuesday staying at the lovely Alana Kambury’s house (who we met the same day we met Rachel in Colorado) and I even climbed Mt. Adams over the weekend for Alana’s birthday celebration (blog post about that up next). At this exact moment, we’re on the I-5 heading for Seattle and then continuing up to Squamish on Tuesday evening. I’m also going to start climbing again soon, which, of course, is raising my spirits. The sloper traverses are calling my name…
How have others out there dealt with not being able to climb (or whatever else you might be obsessed with!) for an extended period of time? Any tips from the climbers out there on how to slowly get back into it after a pulley injury?