This fall in Squamish was wet. It was much wetter than normal. When it happened that the sun did come around I either had to work at Climb On or watch the sun dry every other problem around except my precious dripping wet project. With low motivation I reluctantly escaped the impending week of rain and so as the birds fly, so do we.

The first and obligatory stop that makes my heart miss a beat, a stop which could potential steer our plans in another direction, was the dreaded US border. All my knots and butterflies were for nothing. It was surprisingly easy and we both yelled out a big whoop as we headed down the I5. Well, truthfully it was I who yelled YAY. Cedar looked at me oddly and then she did the same and we giggled like school girls who just got away with skipping class.

Leavenworth was our first destination. It proved to be short and well, an interesting turn on life. I believe everything is just as it is meant to be. Everything, right now, is perfectly in place. It is sometimes hard to accept this as sometimes things don’t go our way but we won’t know what is good or bad for us until after the case. I am a self proclaimed fool for having made plans. As barefoot Jody once said, “if you want to make God laugh: make a plan. Ha! Life will bring to you what it wants. Everything is all thrown together like chaos into perfection, weaving in and out of order. And so with that…. Oh yes, Leavenworth. Great place, weather was great and the rocks, even better.

While tittering on the brink of insanity with beauty and stillness surrounding me, I left Leavenworth before I was ready and not quite sure where to go. But that’s life and not all that seems bad is bad, if only I could remember this at the time.  Meanwhile, the comforts of home sounded appealing but the rain didn’t so my optimal choices included Utah, Yosemite, Kentucky or Bishop.

The valley won out. I haven’t spent an extended time in Yosemite until now. And Wow! Good stuff. Sandbagged and good. Getting spanked on the warm ups is wonderful and humbling. I’d rather not find a project here but it seems impossible. There is so much rock and my tick list is only getting bigger.  Trying new things is fun, especially in Yosemite where v4’s feel like v10’s.

A rainy spell expelled Cedar and I from Yosemite. We ended up being neighbors with the pig pen at Coiler’s. What could be better than having adventures with ol’ James Lucas and mad Max… We adventured to do routes, something I haven’t done in 15 months. The walk to the crag proved a bit of a hike which Cedar had no problem with. I however had to ask papa smurf how much further it was. He replied” thomo, we aren’t going bouldering”. Ha, indeed. And big surprise here, my endurance didn’t prove much better than my cardio. Steep limestone is pumpy, but fun. Then there is falling. Falling on to a pad is easy; falling 50 feet up with a piece of spaghetti in between your legs however is not. Falling with a rope takes getting used to. There is something about being up that high and just, letting go. Baby steps baby steps…

So while James hiked the routes, Max and I were left to the warm-ups and flailing on our one project that we tried the previous day. Neither of us sent anything but the warm ups but we both had fun, at least I did. We were at least a source of entertainment for the other climbers present and ourselves.

So having to choose between spending a crisp day in Yosemite or a day exploring haunted houses is not a hard decision for me. The haunted house won over as did the company. I love scary houses and I got my fill of them the last rest day. The first house had a perfectly placed hawk skeleton in the top window, which died trapped between the window and the screen. The paint on the house was tattered and peeling. The wooden porches lay broken with holes in the floorboards that felt they would break with your own weight. How could one resist. The outside was spooky and the inside was just as impressive. There were letters dating back to 1932, old newspapers, uncashed cheques for $1. 78. Trendy flattops from the 60’s, rat poo and tattered bed mattresses. The floor was piled knee high with stuff. Apparently the owners just got up and left, leaving their belongings behind. It was amazing; there was even an old beautiful piano that was just right of a blue door which was left slightly ajar. The inside was dark since all but one window was boarded up. My eyes gathered in as much detail as they could with the small phone light that I held. I feared the next corner would hold the body but it was all just abandoned stuff. It reminded me of death and how amazing it is. My thoughts were interrupted by an upstairs noise and I jumped back to the present. I walked cautiously to the window and pounced out of there as fast as I could. Besides, it was getting dark; I didn’t have a head lamp or the balls to hang out there any longer.

So we find ourselves back in the dark valley with the car alarms and hoards of tourist.  Conditions are ripe and the weekend crowds amass. I usually climb alternate days but with friends around and crisp conditions, bouldering 3 days on here is easy to get sucked into. My body is paying for it today. (This probably coincides with that fact that I took the time to write this). My finger feels tweaked yet surprisingly my shoulders don’t. My psyche remains high but I reckon another rest day may be needed. I will have to recover from last weekend and so prepare for the next weekend warrior ship arrival of friends. But the forecast doesn’t look great so perhaps this is the end of our stay. What happens will happen, and so it looks like 2 or 3 more days on is mandatory. My body doesn’t like this idea but whatever; it’s the way it is.

By the way, yosemite rock= hard. I am not a writer.

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