Category

Musings

Les Gets Lessons

By Musings, Road Trip Beta, Trip JournalOne Comment

As Spenser mentioned, we easily fell into a tranquilo rhythm in Spain. We certainly packed a lot in with filming and climbing, but there was never a rush. Maybe that’s why we missed our train to Bellegarde, France last Friday morning. We left our Cornudella apartment with plenty of time. We stopped for coffee with more than enough time. As Spenser went to go order a second round for him and Ethan, I felt a slight pull to leave. That old nagging feeling that we’ve got somewhere to be. Chug those coffees and let’s get out of here, I said with little urgency in my voice as I moseyed to the bathroom, not realizing that those couple minutes would make all the difference. Sitting in Barcelona traffic at 7:30am, the apprenhension began. Still sitting in Barcelona traffic at  8am, we realized we really f’d up. We arrived at the train station at 8:23am, the exact time they closed boarding for our 8:25am train. In preparation, we had said our goodbyes to Ethan in the car and we ran to the gate…both knowing it was likely futile. An hour and too many Euros later, we boarded a train to Paris. Both of us hate throwing money at a situation, but sometimes that’s all you can do. I was not willing to miss seeing my best friend since middle school get married, especially not because of our stupidity. After 13+ hours and a couple chocolate croissants, we arrived in Geneva exhausted. Neither of us slept much the…

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An Ode to our French Press

By Musings, Stuff We're Psyched OnOne Comment

The alarm goes off. My eyes open, but I see nothing. With a flip of my hand, my beanie is gone and I am immediately aware of three things: I have crust in my eyes; it is time to get up; and it is frigid. Ah, the trailer life. Today might be the day after a rest day, and the conditions are going to be perfect for boulder crushing. Today might be a filming day, and we’ll be humping cameras and gear around. Today might be one of those housekeeping days, which we’ll spend in a public library or café staring at screens. I don’t care what day it is. What in the world could ever get me to throw the covers aside and forsake the only parcel of three-dimensional space in the known vicinity that is above freezing? You might think that classic boulder problems are motivation enough. Not so. If you can remember back to high school chemistry, you may remember a concept called “activation energy.” Before a reaction can commence, there must be an initial energy input above a certain threshold. Put simply, a fire needs a spark. Every morning I wonder what on our solar system’s green Earth could coax me from the cozy down cocoon, where I cuddle a tiny heater I like to call Vikki. And every morning, I need only turn my head to the right to see the answer to this vital quandary. Shining bright like a diamond, it sits proudly upon…

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What The Hell Are We Doing?

By Musings, Trip JournalOne Comment

Our blog posts have been sparse, our photography even moreso, and our list of ticks has not grown. What gives? What happened to the “climb all the time can’t-stop-won’t-stop” never-ending road trip? That, dear reader, is the exact question we are trying to answer. Since we got rousted out of Canada back in the beginning of October, things have been hectic. That was right after I hurt my finger, and in the midst of trying to finish the edit for Alex Honnold’s Birthday Challenge. We spent time in Bellingham, Salt Lake City, filmed one last Birthday Challenge in Joe’s Valley, and found ourselves back in Salt Lake for Halloween. We did not party; we quite literally hid in the dark while children tried to get candy from us, while trying to work on a timelapse for the Honnold video. I don’t read many productivity blogs, but I would wager that 0% of them advise constantly interrupting your workflow with travel, changing your work surroundings daily, and keeping irregular hours. It’s Not That It’s Not Working, Exactly… You know when you’re projecting a route, and there’s a section in which you can do all the moves and even link most of them together, but you just don’t see it all coming together, ever? And then someone points out that you can use a drop-knee on most of the moves, and suddenly you realize you’ve been climbing inefficiently and, frankly, stupidly? This is what we have been feeling like. We work hard, we try…

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My Friends Are Awesome

By Musings, Stuff We're Psyched On3 Comments

I was once told that you are the average of your five best friends. It’s a cute saying and is probably quite accurate for most people, although it may speak more to humanity’s tendency to self-segregate. I’ve found that my friends tend to be on the more adventurous and quirky side, though to be honest I may have sought those friends so that I can be pulled up by the collective average. Over the course of our nearly three years on the road, we’ve encountered our fair share of adventurous spirits and inspiring figures. The ones that impress me the most, though, are the ones you and I have never read about. Sure, we expect the Wide Boyz to thrash themselves and then pull off a heroic ascent by the skin of their teeth, with much suffering along the way. But who wants to do all that without any sponsor dollars riding on it? Ryan Tetz does. He participated in an experimental bike race that had to be shortened mid-race so as not to kill all the riders (most of which dropped out anyway), and he was one of the only finishers. He’s currently in the middle of a 6-week hellstorm of hurt, 6 extreme endurance challenges in a row. He just finished pedaling his bike across Yosemite National Park, en route to Nevada from the Golden Gate Bridge. He started at 6:26 am in Marin, and reached the Nevada state line 27.5 hours later, braving, among other hardships, a nighttime descent of Tioga Pass with…

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Beware the Fake Ass Bloggers

By MusingsNo Comments

We are, to use the parlance of our times, psyched. We live on the road, we’ve met great people, and, like the shirts with the smiling stick figures, life is good. But that doesn’t mean we can’t complain. And since we really don’t do it very often, it seems fair to, every once in a while, call out certain behaviors that will ultimately result in us losing our psyche. Today, I’m going to call out Fake Ass Bloggers. This is a tear-down in the name of public service. The formula is simple. Privileged twenty-somethings get a taste of camping, or visit the Grand Canyon on a family trip. They like it and start a blog. Suddenly, a couple of strangers comment on their posts. Oh shit. Now there’s a following. Before you can blink twice, another social media hero is getting people PSYCHED to get outdoors! This would be great, if that’s where it stopped. But our outdoor hero is ambitious. Our outdoor hero wants some free stuff. Our outdoor hero wants more exposure. What’s wrong with that? you might ask. Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you. The outdoor industry is obviously keen to get as many people hiking and biking and climbing and eating 7-dollar-a-bag space food as possible. “Outdoor” is like the magic modifier that makes everything cost double.  You see, normal humans will venture off the pavement with whatever they normally wear and eat, modify it as they see fit, and still have enough money to stop at Whole Foods…

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Fun is Life and Death

By Birthday Challenges, Musings, The InteriorOne Comment

“I am deadly serious about us having fun” – Michael Franti, In The Middle I think one of the secrets to happiness and success is to take the non-serious things in life seriously, and the serious things less so. Or, since we are the ones who decide what is serious and what isn’t, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that one must allocate their gravitas wisely for the sake of happiness, and survival. Proper Seriosity Birthdays generally fall into the non-serious category. How many times have we “celebrated” someone’s unique, fleeting existence on this planet by sitting in a crowded restaurant, lucky to be within earshot of the birthday boy or girl? How many birthdays do we let pass with little more than a few cheap “you’re old now” jokes? Answering for myself: many. As a child, comforted, cared for, and complacent, my birthday was an occasion for gifts. As an adolescent, I craved little except simple, good times. My birthday falls during the summer, and more than anything I remember wanting my birthday to be more like any other summer day than any other summer day, which at the time meant 2 on 2 basketball, deli sandwiches, and MarioKart 64 (or sports on network TV). Birthday Challenges are the opposite. We take a silly day and make it silly hard, and we try like hell to complete some silly goals. We even train for them. Why? Well, that’s a very involved question, but a short answer might be, “to…

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It’s My Birthday & I’ll Abstain from Doing a Birthday Challenge if I Want To

By Musings, Trip JournalNo Comments

Today is my birthday. And… I’m not doing a birthday challenge. After a summer of challenges, I’m burnt out. For me, the most difficult aspect of Spenser’s challenge was an inability to plan ahead. With the unpredictable weather Squamish is infamous for, plans always hinge upon a smile from up above. I couldn’t stand waking up most mornings not knowing what the day had in store for us. Our plans inevitably fell apart, our back-up plans often had to be reworked. I’m tired of planning. It’s not that I feel burnt out with the birthday challenge idea. I’m still really psyched for you to do a birthday challenge. I also had a great time and learned a lot from mine last year. It’s just not what I want to do this year. Other than not having to plan, I have no clue what I want to do and, since we have to go to Vancouver to take a friend to the airport in the morning, it’s surprise Vikki Vancouver Birthday! (Brought to me by Spenser.) You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven’t written in a while. Now that Spenser’s challenge has been over for a weeks, I’ve had time to digest what the hell happened this summer. It’s been an incredible whirlwind, with some of the highest highs I’ve ever felt. Usually the highs are complemented by concurrent lows, but for the past few months the scale was tipped. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been fighting and crying. Disappointments, headaches, and times…

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Random Acts of Kindness

By Musings, Trip JournalNo Comments

Today I’m supposed to pick up one of my very best girlfriends from the Vancouver airport late at night. A couple hours ago, Spenser noticed that both headlamps on the truck were not working. When he told me, I chuckled a little. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. EH? Thankfully, the Ford dealership is a stone’s throw away from the coffee shop we are posted up at on this rainy Friday. It’s Friday at 2pm. They’re clearly busy. The service parking lot is completely full so I pull in and park next to the side of the building. I walk in and immediately beg the first person I see for help. Without hesitation, he walks outside with me to see what’s going on. Gawd, I love Canadians. He re-checked the fuses that Spenser had already taken a look at. Nothing blown. Next, the bulbs. It was strange that both had gone out at the same time, but that could be coincidental. Or, more likely, we didn’t notice when only one was working. Bingo! Phew, it’s the bulbs. After figuring out the problem, Greg, the ridiculously kind Ontario native, showed me how to change the bulbs on my own to save us some cash. Then he told me where I could buy a new pair of bulbs for much cheaper than what the Ford dealership would charge us. Gawd, I love Canadians. I’ll be honest. At this point, with the rain and my usual avoidance of dealing with truck issues (Bert is one intimidating beast!), I…

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The Week That Was

By Food, Musings, Trip JournalOne Comment

We’re officially in Las Vegas, Nevada. More importantly, this means we made it one week and 900 miles without succumbing to our food demons! We hit a few bumps in the road en route to the West side, and a week ago we would have relied on food to make us feel better about these mishaps. With our 30-day food challenge, we were forced to take solace in salad. Guess what? We survived. Shocking, right? I often tout that the most important thing that we have learned through our travels over the past 2 years is to be open-minded. I feel a bit silly now as I realize I was never open-minded about food. I believed that I needed starchy carbs like rice, gluten-free bread, or pasta to feel full. Well, here’s another shocker: I was wrong. Except for being extremely gassy, I’m doing fine (Spenser, too). Better than fine- I feel pretty darn great. I know my digestive system is still adjusting to all this fiber I’m ingesting, so I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the passing gas. 😉 Of course, our charge across the country wasn’t all negative happenings… Except for the necessary stops due to the mishaps, we charged across the country only stopping for a few days in New Mexico. We explored the boulders outside of Roy, NM with Eric Bissell and friends last weekend. Eric also showed us around the exquisite granite in La Madera, about an hour north of Santa Fe. Spenser…

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The 30-day Real Food Challenge AKA #RealFood30

By Food, Musings, Staying Healthy, Trip Journal5 Comments

First of all, apologies for not getting this post up sooner. We started our 30-day challenge on March 14, but we’ve been in the no-cell-reception, no-wifi-zone bouldering area outside of Roy, New Mexico (which was AMAZING–more on this sweet spot in a later post). I, of course, should have planned ahead and gotten this post up before we were in the middle-of-nowhere, but…well…still working on that whole planning-ahead thing. Promise. Last week I wrote about why we want to do the challenge, now here are our rules, so y’all can keep us honest. Visit USAToday to learn more about the most healthiest dietary supplements and other treatments for conditions like ringing in ears for example. The Absolutes: –       No gluten: no wheat, barley, or rye. –       No dairy: no cheese, no butter, no whey, no milk chocolate! –       No bread products, not even GF ones: no chips, no crackers, no tortillas, no baked goods. This is mostly because both Spenser and I love bread products and rely too heavily on them. When I buy a loaf of gluten-free bread, I end up eating it in 1-2 days flat. That’s pretty ridiculous. –       No soy: which includes soy byproducts such as soy lecithin, which means chocolate is going to be hard to find, but not impossible! Wondering what the heck soy lecithin is? Read more about the emulsifier that is found everywhere nowadays. –       No energy drinks: no 5-hour energy, no Red Bull, and so on. Yes to coffee & tea. –      …

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