Category

Musings

Photo credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/shutterstock.com

Inspiration Found

By Climbing, Food, Musings, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip Journal3 Comments

After a week of California vacation binge-mode, we are back in Chattanooga and feeling motivated again.  Sometimes a forced break really helps put things into perspective. Spenser talked a bit about our climbing haps in his last post, and this post is going to about another things we can’t live without: food. [No matter how much traction the Breatharian movement gets! Okay, but seriously, I know food can be an addiction, but this as a long-term sustenance plan is nuts.] While in San Diego, we figured we’d take advantage of our locality and head up to Encinitas to visit a company we were first introduced to at the OR show in January, GoodOnYa. Spenser knows that I am always on the lookout for good gluten-free products, and during the OR show, he happened upon the GoodOnYa booth. We were able to snag a box of bars during the show and devoured them over the next week. They were delicious and, for once, we were pleasantly surprised by each and every ingredient. My stomach is incredibly irritable, even beyond my Celiac Disease. I also don’t do well with soy (read: mad indigestion), so it’s an annoyance to find a gluten-free snack bar that fits the bill. Since we loved the bars and, even more importantly, the company ethics, we decided to pay the GoodOnYa office a visit and see if we could figure out a way to we could work together. They have a small office on the 101, and an…

Read More

How Do You Access Adventure?

By Musings, Trip Journal14 Comments

People often tell us that we are on an adventure. This always gets me scratching my chin. I mean, really, we just climb little rocks. We’re not big-walling, we seldom sleep in a tent. We’re not polar explorers. As far as climbing goes, we’re usually on a well-beaten path. We actually live quite comfortably, and though we are thrifty, we don’t really have financial stress. Yet, it was adventure, in some sense, that we sought when we left the default world nearly two years ago. What does that mean? an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity. daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm. Rock climbing certainly conjures up images of adventure. Stallone. K2. Vertical Limit. That Mission Impossible opening scene. The climber archetype, as per pop culture, is fearless to the extreme, well-versed in all kinds of gear, and with the exception of Stallone, highly intelligent. The modern climber is in some ways more heroic than adventurous, rock solid in the face of uncertainty. I’ve been pulling on holds both plastic and geologic for ten years now. Climbing is my comfort zone. Rarely do I feel heroic or adventurous. Being an introvert, social gatherings take much more mental energy for me than a day spent on a personal struggle against a route. I’m much more scared by the thought of going to a crowded bar. Sometimes, stepping into a large group of people is scarier to me than stepping off the ground on a committing highball. Similarly,…

Read More

Go Your Own Way

By Musings, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip JournalOne Comment

Do you ever feel as though you’re living someone else’s life? You’re going through the motions, but you’re more “floating” rather than “living.” Until this realization hits you. It always hits hard. Last time this happened to me was when I was decorating a cake at a gluten-free bakery in Oakland. It was supposed to be a temporary job, but now, a year had passed and I was touted as the ‘best person who could write on cakes’ in this bakery…with a Bachelor’s in Public Health. I really enjoyed working at the bakery but this wasn’t my passion. And this definitely wasn’t where I saw myself post-college. I felt like I was living the wrong life. Temporary had become permanent. I was in a rut. I gave my 2 weeks notice that day. I bring this story up because a similar feeling came over me as I drove the truck and trailer by myself up the windy road to Rocktown a few weeks ago. That day, I had hitched up the trailer all by myself. I had manuvered the entire rig down a crowded street in Chattanooga, luckily they have been installing speed humps so it was not that bad. I filled up the gas tank all by myself and then directed myself to Rocktown. After spending about half an hour parking the trailer in the “perfect” spot in the big open camping field, I felt exhilarated. All these tasks may not sound too exciting or difficult, but adrenaline has…

Read More

The OR Show- Outdoor Commercialism at its Finest

By Musings, Trip Journal2 Comments

On Friday, Vikki and I spent 8 hours on our feet wandering the Salt Palace, meandering in and out of exhibitions of the latest outdoor fashions and products. It was a wonderland of trendy consumerism with a soundtrack of inflated excitement. For us, it was productive, and we can’t wait to see how our promising leads pan out. At the least, a few video projects are already in the pipeline and a few companies seem excited to give us stuff in exchange for us telling you all that their stuff is good and worth buying. (You’ll have to pardon my sarcasm…there was a lot of over-selling and over-branding going on.) In the meantime, here are some observations I gathered. This being our first OR show (but not my first trade show), I know that some of these items will be banal and some will be interesting. Or some combination thereof. Anyway, here goes. 1. Every Company Makes Innovative Clothing Shoe companies, kayak companies, backpack makers and clothing companies all make innovative technical dri-syn-wick-flow-gortech apparel. Graphic designers must make a killing on all the diagrams that show how heat magically is retained while moisture, stench, and bad juju are allowed to pass through the polyphasic tri-layer material. (Don’t get me wrong, some of this stuff is actually amazing. Just not all of it.) 2. It’s All About Appearance Speedo was there. This was the Winter show. Their setup involved a Jacuzzi with 2 girls in 2-piece suits. Nuff said? 3. Honesty…

Read More

Ups and Downs: A Case of the Mondays

By Bolt Clipping, Musings, Trip JournalNo Comments

Sunday was awesome. After abnormally minimal debauchery on Saturday night, we all arrived at the Purgatory wall. Matt Morse and a French guy named Thierry had trundled off early to the Motherlode region, while fellow Primo Chalk athlete Neal Sipahimalani and his girlfriend Chelsea Sommer came with us in Bert to Purgatory with the main goal of ticking Lucifer, a heinously thin 5.14c that Neal’s been working on for a long time. After a warm-up, we watched Adam Taylor run a casual lap on Neal’s project. It was badass. Neal was unpsyched due to the heat but I think watching Adam got his heart racing, and he tied his 115-pound frame into the sharp end and climbed easily through the bottom section, falling two hard moves from the good rest in the middle. So close! Byron took off with his parents to spend some time at home in Bloomington, and we had to drop Neal and Chelsea off at the Motherlode parking lot so they could go home with Thierry and Matt. Since it was still early and I still had more juice in my forearms, I dragged Vikki up to the ‘Lode to check out this supposed insanity. I should mention that Vikki is currently in non-climbing mode because of a bruised rib. (I made her take a lead fall to get rid of the heebie-jeebies, and she got injured by irony, and a ledge.)

Read More

Anatomy of a Punt

By Bouldering, Musings, The InteriorNo Comments

What causes a climber to punt? What leads to the sudden and drastic failure of someone for whom success had seemed assured? The RV Project science team has just returned from the laboratory having analyzed, scanned, measured and weighed several punt samples. The following series of photos is a dissection of a recent punt, and should shed some light on this tragic disease that affects us all.

Read More

Vehicular Slaughter

By Musings, Trip JournalNo Comments

First Bert, then Bert again, then Bert again, then the Enterprise Rent-a-Car, then Courtney’s truck, and now the Hueco Rock Ranch trailer. Seriously, if you know us and you own anything with wheels, stay the hell away. With the wind howling, we decided to take a rest day and earn our keep by doing a dump run with Nikias, the manager of the Rock Ranch. We hitched up the trailer full of trash and drove an hour to the dump in Clint. Along the way we all silently wondered why they bothered to have a dump. The desert landscape seems to serve the same purpose for the people of El Paso County.

Read More