Tahoe Days | Cali Road Trip #4

South Lake Tahoe.

Today the proverbial rubber will finally hit the proverbial road. I’ll go to Bishop, California and two things will happen: 1) I’ll figure out if I want to climb, and 2) I’ll figure out if I can climb. My stoke on bouldering hasn’t been LOW lately, but it’s certainly been lower than it was a few months ago, and it’s all because of this shoulder injury which isn’t really a shoulder injury. You see, I don’t even really know what’s going on. I’m pretty sure it’s my teres minor, but it’s not the kind of thing where I wake up in the morning and can’t lift my arm over my head or can’t even imagine climbing. I can totally imagine climbing, it’s just that certain moves aggravate it. It’s hard to imagine doing dynos, for instance, and I love dynos. Dynos are one of my favorite things, and one of the few things in the bouldering world I’m good at. But doing a dyno right now just seems like murder.

The sun has just peeked over Heavenly, which means I’ve got a little more time to kill till the roads warm up more and my car warms up more. I could of course just get in my car right now, but I don’t want to. I want to enjoy the warmth of this hotel room a little longer, the softness of the sheets, the sun streaming in through the window. I want to sit here sipping my venti English Breakfast with a little bit of heavy cream that I just got at Starbucks. I want to write this blog and alternate between googling all the things I normally google: SHAK, NIO stock, Pulisic, US Canada Border, Chile border open, etc etc. Now I have added the Pfizer vaccine to that last, at least for the short term. The idea of life returning to “normal” here on planet earth is tantalizing, but it makes me think about how even when things go back to normal our larger problems will remain unsolved. We’ll continue wrecking planet, we’ll continue our unbridled consumption, and more depressingly, we’ll continue letting this unbridled consumption be our number one ideal. Just about the only constant in history seems our fate to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I am a victim of it, too. The first thing I did this morning when I woke up was go to Starbucks. Yesterday I combatted loneliness and doldrums by spending money, by consuming.

Another good reason to go to Bishop. Less to consume there.

It’s incredible how quickly things dry out. The thin veneer of frost on the Subaru is already gone. The roads are mostly clear following last weekend’s snow storm. I’m not sure how long I’m going to stay in Bishop. That all depends on how well my body does and my overall stoke levels. At one point the plan was just to cruise back to Seattle right after Bishop, but now it’s looking like I’ll be making a stop in the Bay Area on the way back. I have to remind myself sometimes that one of the reasons I left Seattle to go on this road trip was get to away from the rain and gloom, and indeed I just looked at the week forecast for Seattle and there’s rain six out of the next seven days. So I shouldn’t be in a hurry to get back. In fact, I COULD go south from Bishop and loop around through Bakersfield, and then surf up the coast to the Bay Area. I don’t know. I feel like it will all become clear very quickly.

Another thing that’s become clear to me involving this winter: I can’t stay on the boat this winter in Seattle unless I get a job. That’s the only way. Sitting around on a 27 foot boat wallowing amidst the constant rain and clouds does not sound like a good time. And this job has to involve getting off the boat. Which could be tough to find right now. If I don’t stay on the boat I’ll probably go south somewhere, maybe Mexico, maybe Central America, maybe further south to Colombia, Peru, or Chile and Argentina if they open. Argentina is showing signs of life in the tourism industry but Chile remains staunchly closed. We’ll see.

For now it’s time to enjoy my tea, check out the news a bit more, and pack my things. I’ll be climbing in Bishop today!

The Drive to Tahoe | Cali Road Trip #3

The view from the illustrious Blackjack Inn, South Lake Tahoe, California.

8:17am in the Blackjack Inn in Tahoe and the heater is blessedly on but will turn off in just a few moments. My room is small but nice and clean. The mattress is firmer than the one at the hotel in Sacramento. I look out on a beautiful hillside covered in snow. And as much as I’m scared I’ll freeze to death camping tomorrow in Bishop, that’s still the plan. The plan is to go to the Pit Campground at Bishop and, provided there are campsites, set up shop. I mean I guess this is the plan. The high tomorrow in Bishop is supposed to be 61. Which is perfect. But the low? Twenty-four. I have a sleeping bag I think is rated to around 40 degrees, and then I have a down comforter, and then of course I can just layer some clothes. Sweatpants, wool socks. Sounds pretty fun, right?

The sun has finally come out in Tahoe. The high today is JUST over freezing. What am I going to do today? I have no idea. Probably walk to a coffee shop at some point. I’m drinking a Guayaki Blackberry Mint right now. The grocery store here, Raley’s, has an insane collection of every weird beverage I like. They have all the low-calorie Guayaki options, including the 5 calorie powerhouse Lima Limon, which is (drumroll) unsweetened. They ALSO have every kind of Tejava variety you could imagine. They have the lemon variety, which until yesterday I didn’t know existed, and also an ORGANIC OOLONG VARIETY THAT OH MY GOD…I haven’t tried it but today could be the day. There’s so much to do around here. Is there anything to do around here? I could walk to the lake, walk into Nevada, maybe…go to some hot springs? Maybe….sit in my room all day and meditate? Maybe…sit in my room all day and mediate? Maybe…plan what’s coming next in my life after this road trip?

Highlights from yesterday include:

1) Buying a hat made in Canada that is 50% wool, 10% alpaca, and 40% other stuff.

2) Realizing the wool rim on the hat made my forehead itch, trying to return it, and getting shut down.

3) Getting to the chain control checkpoint just past Kyburz (what a cool name for a town), stressing that I’d have to turn around, buy chains, figure out how the hell to put them on, and then get back in line, but instead just getting waved through because I had a Subaru.

4) Finally getting into Tahoe and not having to drive in snow anymore.

5) Meeting a dude named Jake at the Rocklin Quarry Park and talking to him (the only in person conversation I’ve had on this trip longer than 30 seconds).

6) The beauty of the fresh snow near Tahoe adorning the trees and boulders.

7) Getting a grande peppermint mocha at Starbucks at like 6pm.

8) Walking to the Nevada state line, feeling a bit like I was entering the gates of hell.

9) Getting a guidebook to Bishop and gazing at all the beautiful problems that could become my first V4.

10) Walking to the lake and seeing the steam rise off it.

My mate is gone which has been me feeling a bit distressed. There’s a cafe called Free Bird that apparently serves mate but it’s three miles away and I don’t know if I’m down to walk that far. And I’m not going to drive because my car is currently frozen and the next time I get in my car will be to drive down to Bishop. I hope my surfboard is OK right now. I’m a little worried about it freezing and then thawing out. I’m just so glad the sun is out. And that I don’t have to drive back toward the pass tomorrow to go to Bishop, but rather into Nevada and then south. It’s probably time for me to put some clothes on and leave this hotel room. It’s probably time to get away from screens. It’s probably time to go for a walk and find even more mate.

 

Cold Jimmy Dean | Cali Road Trip #2

Bald Rock, CA.

8:35AM at the Fairfield by Marriott Sacramento Expo. The heat is on since the temperature in my room got into the low 60’s last night. I can hear my neighbors across the hallway constantly opening and closing their door. I think they were partying last night. At least they were across the hall, though. Their next door neighbors probably had it much worse.

I’m watching the Manchester City vs. Liverpool game and sort of waiting till 10am when REI opens to leave so I can get the Bishop Bouldering Select Guidebook. Then the plan is to go to the Rocklin Quarry Park, boulder for a bit there, and then drive to Tahoe. Two nights in Tahoe, and then on to Bishop. Part of me wishes I were just going to Bishop today. Bishop was the whole point of this trip in the first place, and I feel like I just keep putting it off. At the same time the more my body has to adjust before Bishop the better. I want to get there and at least SORT OF be able to climb. I want to at least sort of have calluses. I want to at least sort of be able to pull down.

I’m waiting till there’s a goal in this game before I allow myself to eat. I hope someone scores soon.

The granite at Bald Rock, California.

So far I have only successfully climbed three boulders on this trip. I’ve only attempted five. Which is a bit strange considering this is a “bouldering” trip. But I’ve held fast to my ideal of not forcing things. If I don’t feel like climbing I don’t, and if I don’t feel like trying a certain boulder I don’t. This means that a lot of the time I’ll get to a spot, find a V0 or a V1 I know I can do as a warm-up, then set my eyes on something hard (for me) in the V3-V5 range, and try a few moves on that. Usually if I can do just one move on a V4 I’m stoked, so the session usually ends with me pretty happy. The problem is I don’t know when I’ll be coming back to these spots, so I can’t exactly project the boulders, but that’s OK, too.

Another reason I wanted to take this trip was to get some sun. And I’ve gotten plenty of sun. So far I don’t miss being on my boat in the cold and the rain. When I go back to Seattle I have to be climbing everyday at SBP, or surfing every couple of days if I want to stay sane. Or I have to get a job. I can’t just chill on my boat.

8:56AM and I’m thinking I should pack up. The cold Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich was disgusting. Good thing it was cold though or I probably would’ve eaten the whole thing. The tea is good. The apple was good. I’m officially addicted to caffeine, and one tea is not going to be enough. I’ll need to make a stop on the way to Rocklin. I need some mate. I need something. I need to send a freaking V4. I need to get a job. I need to write more. I need to eat better. I need to figure out what I’m doing with my life.

Or something.

First Days of the Road Trip | Cali Road Trip #1

Near Madras, Oregon.

Checkout at Motel West in Bend, Oregon is at 11am today which means I only have about 15 minutes to write this post. Maybe less. I just went bouldering at the Widgi Creek area in Bend and while fun it threw in stark relief how amazing the bouldering in Washington is. Widgi Creek felt like one tiny area of the Icicle Canyon in Leavenworth, of which there are TONS of areas, and then in Leavenworth you don’t just have the Icicle but also have Tunwater and Mountain Home, too. Not to mention all the insanely good bouldering in the Skykomish Valley. Which reminds me: If I ever move away from Seattle (and I will), I only have one option: Go north. I can move to Leavenworth, Squamish, Victoria or Vancouver. These are literally the only options. But I am not allowed to move south. Which means I can never move to Bend. Which is fine.

My body was hurting after the drive yesterday. Too many hours sitting. And today I’m probably going to do it all over again because the goal is to make it to Colusa, California. But first I need to go to REI. I need to go to REI here in Bend because a) I love REI (I drive a Subaru, for Christ’s sake) and b) They might sell surfboard ding repair stuff (though they probably don’t). They also just have so many treats at REI. I love browsing REI. They’ll probably have a copy of Central Oregon Bouldering so I can read about all the boulders in this area that I have no idea exist that will probably make me eat my words in paragraph one. And then after REI I’ll get on the 97 headed south, first to Klamath Falls, and then on to California. I need to beat this cold front.

Breakfast.

Why Colusa, you ask? Well, it’s a sleepy town on the Sacramento River. It won’t be as cold there as in other places. And most importantly it has good lodging at a reasonable price. This trip might become a surf trip pretty soon. I’m not sure. I realized today that bouldering is hard. It took every fiber or strength in my body to climb a V1. So maybe I’ll just go to the coast. Maybe I won’t even make it to Bishop. Who knows.

For now though I need to make sure I’ve gotten all of my stuff out of room 241 at the illustrious Motel West. Luckily most of the stuff is still in my car. Then check out. Then go to REI. Then hit the road.

 

My Attention || Road to V4

It has come to my attention recently that I don’t know how to write. I’m often told: You’re a good writer, and I only about 30% believe this. But reading through recent blog posts I only about 5% believe this, and I’m not really sure how to change this so I more about 90% believe this. Though, to be fair, I don’t think a writer can ever get to 90%. The best a writer can get to as far as self-belief is probably somewhere around 84%.

It has been about three weeks since I’ve bouldered. Let me give you a quick update on the state of my bouldering and also what I’ve been up to since the last time I bouldered:

Current state of bouldering:

Sent three V3’s (U2, Rocksteadeasy, and Unnamed V3 at the Index River Boulders)

Sent a bunch of V2’s (among them I Heart Jugs, Beam Me Up, Magic School Bus, and Insanity Later)

Almost sent one V4 (Dirty Dancing at The Washout Boulders in Leavenworth).

 

And now, what I’ve been up to since I last bouldered three weeks ago:

Went to Mexico. Surfed better than I ever have in my life. Surfed the 6’1” Wraith (based on the Pyzel Phantom or Ghost at this point I don’t even remember and shaped by Northwest Native Parker Worthington). Ate a bunch of good food. Smoked a bunch of rollies with friends. Lounged in an air-conditioned room. Went to Mexico City. Did nothing there but drink matcha lattes and eat prickly pear fruit. Flew back home to Seattle. Thinking about climbing tomorrow (or maybe even today).

Oh, and also I might be going on a bouldering road trip starting next Saturday.

But that’s still kinda up in the air.

At this point in this blog post you’re probably wondering what I’m doing at this exact moment, since I talk about that pretty much every blog post. I’ll give you three guesses. Ok, you got it first try: I’m sitting on the boat drinking Earl Grey from Trader Joe’s out of a cup from a matcha latte I got yesterday at Whole Foods. I can’t believe you got that. You’re good.

Chelsea play in 15 minutes. I hope Christian Pulisic plays well. Then I’m having coffee with a friend and I don’t know what I’m doing this afternoon. If my COVID test I took yesterday comes back negative I COULD go climbing today at SBP with my friends Bloom and Jessa, but we’ll see. That time slot is probably all booked up anyway.

I could also just get in my car right now and drive to Serenity Now V4+ and pick up where I left off. But that sounds kind of awful.

I could go to Whole Foods and get a matcha latte.

I could use my foam roller.

I could write another blog post.

Or I could drink some mate.

The choice is clear.

-Wetz

 

Back in Time // Mexico on Sunday

I’m trying to decide whether or not to go climbing right now. I’m sitting on the boat drinking a matcha latte I just got from Whole Foods and it’s delicious. Sixteen ounces, oat milk. Need I say more? Shall I say more? Would you like me to say more?

The neighbors’ devil child has been screaming all morning and it makes me want to get off the boat. I’ve thought about going bouldering today, but feel it might be too much for my shoulder (shoulder). But if I were to go bouldering, where would I go? Well, I think the choice is pretty clear: The Sasquatch Boulders. Today might be the last day the Sasquatch Boulders are climbable all season. Starting tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, and with the rain the river level will be coming up, and if the river level gets too high it will be impossible to cross. Which means you’d have to either bushwack in from Index or get in a raft and not get sucked down the rapids. Either way a somewhat dicey prospect. Put on a wetsuit and swim across, toting your belongings behind you covered in plastic? That’s also a possibility.

Another possibility is that I could go to a place called Seattle Bouldering Project today. Seattle Bouldering Project is a climbing gym (actually there are two of them) in Seattle that’s dedicated to the discipline of “bouldering.” Bouldering, in case you’re familiar, is essentially rock climbing but without ropes and never getting high enough to where a fall would be fatal. If you boulder high enough it’s no longer bouldering: It’s free-soloing. Alex Honnold, for instance, sort of “bouldered” Freerider on El Capitan, only his boulder was several thousand feet high. Most of the time when you boulder you’re only several feet off the ground. Sometimes several inches.

Or I could wait till tomorrow and NOT climb today. A dastardly prospect. A prospect.

God, I wish I had another matcha latte.

Maybe I’ll roll it out fo a bit with the foam roller.

If I don’t climb today, and I don’t climb tomorrow, I won’t be climbing for another three or so weeks. This is because on Sunday morning I’m going to Mexico. Zihuatanejo, to be exact, though we’re not actually GOING to Zihuat, we’re going to points north to go surfing. By “we” I mean I and three of my friends. We fly into Zihuat Sunday afternoon, rent a car, drive up to a surf spot called The Ranch, surf there for a few days, and then drive north to Nexpa and possibly La Ticla. I don’t know how I feel about this trip, to be honest. Sure, I’m excited. I’m excited AF. But I’m also going to miss bouldering. I’m going to miss my solo missions into the mountains. And I know it’s for the best. I know my shoulder is screaming for (politely requesting) a break like this. And now it’s going to get a break. Three weeks with no bouldering at all. What will become of my psyche? How will I live?

In other news, I slept so fucking well last night. This morning I was having the most vivid dream — I’d slept through the whole night without having to get up and pee — and it was one of those dreams where it’s not necessarily great but it’s also not really a nightmare, it’s more just realistic, and it feels like it goes on and on and on…and then you wake up. And you’re kinda bummed you woke up. You kinda wanna fall back asleep and go right back to the moment you were living right before you woke up. But then you DO get up, and you go get a matcha  latte. And all is right in the world.

I think I’m going to meditate now. And by meditate I mean sit up somewhat straight and close my eyes and focus on my breathing. I don’t know how to meditate. Is it possible to know “how” to meditate? Is there a right and a wrong way? Can you meditate while listening to Metallica? Can you meditate while letting your mind run wild thinking whatever the hell thoughts it wants. OK, OK, real quick the Back in Time Exercise. Where was I a month ago? I was here, probably climbing, or if not climbing then thinking about climbing. My friend Pat would come over the next day and we’d take the boat out. Two months ago? OK nevermind that was two months ago. One month ago the smoke was here and there was a strange woman chilling on the dock and I’d gone to visit my parents that day but I was back on the dock trying to figure out who this woman was and the air was hot and sultry and I was bored.

So basically a lot has changed.

One year ago to this day? I was in Mexico with Nate and Hunter. We were in Nexpa. We’d probably just met Doreen and Tina, the girls with whom we’d spend the rest of the trip.

Two years ago to this day? I was in Vienna.

Five years ago to this day? I might’ve been out partying and drinking too much. Or hungover.

Ten years? I was in Oaxaca, coming back from a trip in the moutains.

20 years ago. I was in high school.

30 years ago. I was in Minnesota in first grade.

40 years ago. I didn’t exist.

Fin.

A Capital Climbing Day | Road to V4

Happiness is a homemade brush extension on a boulder you’re about to eat shit on. Photo: Carolyn.

Yesterday I went to the Index River Boulders despite the fact that I was feeling under the weather, or maybe BECAUSE I was feeling under the weather and didn’t want to spend all day wallowing on my boat. I think yesterday was a perfect example of where the phrase “under the weather” probably comes from. The day before I’d gone swimming in the semi-frigid October Lake Washington water, and then promptly taken a hot shower, and then promptly walked around with my wet hair exposed to the elements. This is supposedly a recipe for catching a cold, and that appears to be exactly what I did. Yesterday I woke up, it was cloudy and shitty and generally depressing outside, and my voice sounded like I had a bullfrog living in my larynx, and I generally felt slightly fatigued. But there’s the keyword: slightly. This felt like a quintessentially common cold to me, and so I decided to press east towards the mountains, not least because I had a hotel reservation in Leavenworth for that night.

My first step on yesterday’s fall odyssey were the boulders on the Skykomish River near Index. These boulders are sometimes called the “Boulder Drop Boulders,” since they’re right next to some kayaking feature which is apparently called a “Boulder Drop” (or something. I have no idea. I’ve never river kayaked in my life. Is it fun? It looks kind of lame. But that was exactly what I said about bouldering until I tried it). My goal when going to these boulders yesterday was 16-fold: 1) Send Unnamed V3 (around the corner from Finger Crack V3), 2) Get some good burns in on Finger Crack V3, and 3) Maybe send the River Warm-Up V0 problem. If you remember from a previous post, I ate shit on Unnamed V3 one day when Carolyn and I were there, falling all the way from the lip, barely landing on the pad and in the process rolling my ankle, slightly spraining my wrist, and almost hitting my head. So another goal was just to not do that. Bouldering by yourself with one pad is significantly different from bouldering with a bunch of homies and a bunch of pads. I’ve never really experienced the latter. One time Barold, Carolyn and I went bouldering together and had THREE PADS. Can you imagine the decadence? We were punting off highballs just for fun. Carolyn did a swan dive off French Slab V2 just to take advantage of the multitude of protection we had placed at the base of the boulder.

Long story short: I sent Unnamed V3, and it glorious. Start on the side-pull and the undercling, move left grabbing the ledge above you. Get your hands on a good sloping ledge and then get your left foot up on the ledge on the left side of the boulder, and then reach up and grab the mini-jug just before the lip. The problem is the lip is slopey, and once you’ve grabbed the lip your work is not over, because everything about the boulder wants to push you off to the right and off balance. You must fight this feeling with not a little bit of cunning and cool-headedness. Yesterday I got to the lip very easily (the tenuous slopers you chill on just before reaching for the hold below the lip are so sick, you feel like you’re gonna fall off but they hold you perfectly), but then couldn’t top out because I felt off balance. Then the SECOND time I got to the lip I took my time, got my feet figured out, and the top out was actually pretty easy. I basically just vaulted my person onto the top, which was covered in moss and leaves, not unlike a bed. And then I rejoiced in what was only the fourth V3 I’ve ever sent!!!!! The fanfare!!!!! The glory!!!!! The sponsorship deals!!!!!!! The feeling of accomplishment!!!!!!

And then I peaced out and drove to Leavenworth.

Well actually before I peaced out and drove to Leavenworth I gave Finger Crack V3 a few burns and yes, despite getting shut down, made some progress. Do I feel like it will go next session? Maybe. Do I feel like it will go in the next couple sessions? Definitely.

Fall is upon us, and the drive to Leavenworth yesterday was nothing short of orange-tinged ecstasy. I passed most of the drive in a sort of reverie induced by black tea, the happiness of sending a project, and the uncertainty of what I was going to do that night. Carolyn and I were supposed to hang out but hanging out was probably not a good idea given the current state of my health. I figured if I DID go all the way to Leavenworth though I might as well climb, and so after chilling in the Swiftwater parking lot for a second and fondling some of the jugs on Hate Rock, I decided roll on down to The Labyrinth, an area I’d never climbed before and which MIGHT be the subject for another post, or might not since I only sent two problems (one of which was a V2 flash!!!!).

But anyway, for now it’s sunny and beautiful outside, and I’m going to get out of my sweatpants and off my boat. Though actually I might chill here just a little bit longer and read Pride and Prejudice, since I think Ms. Bennett is finally about to pull her head out of her ass and tell Mr. Darcy how she feels. God, I hope so.

Did people boulder in Victorian England?

– Wetzler

Should You Have Goals?

OK, dann machen wir weiter, mit Hausaufgabe vier….

Good morning! It is a beautiful, cloudy morning here in Seattle. And by Seattle I of course mean the Ballard Locks, and by the Ballard Locks I of course mean where I’m sitting on my little 27-foot sailboat, boiling (actually not quite boiling) water for matcha so I can start my day. For today’s post I’d like to talk about goals, and how goals have shaped my life and what my life is like with goals vs. what my life is like without goals. I’d also like to talk about whether or not one should HAVE goals in their life, whether or not they’re truly necessary. I’d also like to talk about 9.9 horsepower Johnson outboards and possibly milfoil.

It took me a long time to realize goals were important for me, I mean REALLY important. Basically what it took was trying out a life without goals in it to see the kind of emptiness it brings before I finally realized I have to “be like everyone else” and just have goals. Over the last 10 or so years I’ve had goals — that much is true — but I haven’t had a long-term vision, I haven’t really stuck to anything, and at times I’ve tried to see what it’s like to have no goals at all, to just kind of float through life. After all, one of my favorite Tao Te Ching verses contains the line:

Other people have a purpose;

I alone don’t know.

I drift like a wave on the ocean,

I blow as aimless as the wind.

(Stephen Mitchell Translation, verse 20)

I’ve been reading the Tao Te Ching for about five years now, and I’ve always interpreted this verse as sort of meaning that if you have goals you’re really just distracting yourself. And so I just kind of let my goals…slip away. I justified this using the previous verse, and I also justified it saying that my goals weren’t really worthy, that since my goals didn’t really “make sense” or do anything for others they weren’t worthy goals. Which I actually sort of believe is a valid point. Sort of. The reason that, when scrutinized, it’s not a valid point at all is because GOALS DON’T HAVE TO MAKE SENSE. If for some reason your goal is to play a particular Chopin piece perfectly even though you don’t know why, that’s a wonderful goal. You’ll figure out the why later. Or maybe YOU won’t figure out the why, but other people will find a why. Other people will appropriate your goal and make it meaningful for themselves. Or maybe you want to have a wildebeest farm. Or maybe you want to be a world-class crocheter. Or maybe you want to set a new world record for how long someone can stare at a wall. These are all great goals. Noble, admirable, even if they don’t make sense at all. You’ll make sense of them later, or other people will, and they’re noble because they come from the heart.

Which was why it was completely admirable to have the goal of bouldering V7 outdoors by the end of last summer.

Which of course I didn’t do.

I didn’t even boulder V4.

But I might today.

When I was younger I had so many goals, and they shaped every aspect of my life. I wanted to be a pro basketball player, I wanted to be a pro baseball player, I wanted to be a pro soccer player. Then I wanted to be a pro wakeboarder, or at least wakeboard all the time, and then I wanted to be a skateboarding team manager, and then finally I wanted to speak Spanish perfectly. At some point I wanted to be a good Spanish teacher, at another point I wanted to travel to every country in the world, and then at another point I wanted to get paid to travel and write about it (this last one might still be true). At later points I wanted to be a famous novelist or a famous writer of some sort (this last one is definitely still true). But then of course this idea entered my life at some point that my desires were somehow unworthy, or that they were vain, or that even if I had desires and goals I should give up on them, because goals just put you on the hedonic treadmill and once you reach one goal you’re just going to need another goal, and that way you’ll never be happy.

Which actually might be kinda true.

But as humans we also need goals.

My friend Jen says that desires are divine, and I’m still grappling with what this means. I know that not ALL desires can be divine, or at least if they are I’m struggling with how they’re divine. For example, right now I would maim for some yerba mate, and how is that desire divine? Also, the Buddha always said that desire was synonymous with suffering, and that until we rid ourselves of desires we would always suffer. So shouldn’t we strive to not have desires? Shouldn’t we strive to not have goals?

It’s all very confusing.

I think one thing needs to be realized: I’m not the Buddha, and you’re (probably) not the Buddha (but maybe you also are).

It would then follow that one must pursue goals but not be attached to the outcome. One may pursue desires but not be devastated when they don’t obtain what they desire, or to at least be prepared for the suffering and even WELCOME it.

I think that’s a little more on the mark. After all, if you welcome the suffering, is it still really suffering?

On that note, I’m going to try to reincorporate goals into my life and also let them shape my life. I’m going to try to find the divinity in desire, and I’m also going to try to prepare myself for the inevitable suffering that comes with these things. Because yes, you can drift like a wave on the ocean, blissfully sailing through life, if you’re enlightened.

But I am not enlightened.

– Wetz

Last Climbing Trip Before Mex | Road to V4

My sister and her son — aka my nephew — and I went on a walk this morning-

Hold on, let me start over.

I went on a walk this morning with my sister and her son, aka my nephew, to “Poo Poo Point,” a short little jaun-

OK, I don’t like that one either.

I’m sitting on my boat drinking matcha this afternoon and what’s different between right now and when I USUALLY sit on my boat is that I’m sitting outside, in the cockpit, feeling the breeze and watching my boardshorts sway in the br-

Damnit.

OK. Sitting on my boat drinking matcha. Boarshorts swaying in the breeze. Sunny. Crows cawing. Tired but feeling ok since I just jumped in the water. Maybe should jump in again to wake up even more? Mellifluous. Not very comfortable. Ducks pissed at each other. Plant looks like it’s dying. What am I gonna do tonight?

OK that’s MUCH better now that I’m sitting on the ground and instead of on that pad. Though the ground is dirty.

Why am I so TIIIIIIIIIIRED right now? I have no good food on my boat except apples and peanut butter, but I’ve already had two apples today. I have kale. What am I going to do with the kale? Eat it plain? Disgusting. Eat it with some olive oil and salt?

OK I’m ready to start.

Good afternoon, faithful Where’s Wetzler readers! My name is Mark Wetzler and I’ll be your host for this afternoon’s blog post. We’ve got a lot to talk about today, including but not limited to: Me going bouldering tomorrow, my hike today, why I feel so tired–

K, sorry, can’t do that either. Can’t do a real post.

Stephen King said: Don’t go lightly to the page. I’m going to lightly to the page right now, Stephen. Light as a feather. Light as one of the leaves on my calathea plant that’s dying. Light as my humor. Light as my right toenail which is becoming slightly ingrown. Here’s the problem with reading books on how to write: It’s like reading books on how to paint pictures. They can only take you so far. At some point you have to launch yourself off the diving board and think: OK, I’m gonna do my OWN thing now. And if people hate it then fuck ’em. I’m going to make the stuff that I know is good, that makes me happy, and if people don’t like it well then they’re the ones with no taste. You don’t tell me what’s good art. I tell YOU what’s good art. I tell you what to like. People don’t know what they like anyway until someone has already given it to them. They say, “Well, I like light comedies,” and then someone makes a horror film and they love it cuz it’s well done and someone says, “But you don’t like horror films,” and they say, “Well, I guess I like that one.”

I’m going to be a piece of shit for the rest of the day and I’ve made peace with that. Go to Whole Foods. Read Pride and Prejudice. You know what I might do tomorrow? I might go session Serenity Now V4 FRESH. I’ve never sessioned that boulder fresh before. Only after a pretty long sesh. So maybe I’ll go there tomorrow, I’ll warm up on the slab a bit, I’ll climb the V0, and then I’ll give Serenity Now some fresh burns. Give it everything I got. And maybe make it past the crux.

K just watched a few videos of people getting up Serenity Now V4 (+!). I think I can do the crux now. And by crux I mean the low crux, there’s also a fairly gnarly deadpoint up to the hold on the lip. God, I got this. I need this. Come on, Mark.

Mellifluous

The mellifluous view from my sister’s window.

Hello friends and lovers, how is everyone doing this fine fall day, spring if you’re in the southern hemi? I’m doing well. I’m sitting on my boat right now and my stomach is fucked up and I smell like the Moroccan Sea Salt spray I got the other day at CVS which promises to give my hair unseemly amounts of volume. It smells very feminine though, which is confusing to say the most. Love some good volume, though. Love it.

What to talk about? Well, first we should talk about how I had a little escape yesterday to my hometown and it was wonderful. I found myself lying on the floor in my parents’ house looking at the ceiling, my mind completely blank. I was like a newborn, just gazing at the infinite multitude of contours on the ceiling. Everything felt very mellifluous, though to be fair I don’t know what that word means. When I got off the ferry I got a latte with oat milk because the girl working said it was the creamier between oat and hemp milk. And then I walked to my parents’ house, where I spent the evening doing the following things: Watching the movie Ocean’s Eight (I remember it actually being good on the plane but then for some reason my standard for movies on a plane drops like the barometric pressure in the wake of a hurricane); walking to the high school to play soccer by myself; contemplating getting McDonald’s and instead just having popcorn while watching aforementioned movie; falling asleep to an Eckhart Tolle teaching that Deepak Choprak was supposed to appear on but thankfully I fell asleep before Chopes came on.

Today I had physical therapy with a different guy than last time. I told him straight up, “I’m going to continue climbing, so if you don’t wanna work with me because of that that’s fine.”

And he was like, “…..”

And I was like, “…………..”

And he was like, “???????”

And I was like, “!!!!!!!!!!!”

And they were like, “……………………”

Fin.

No, he was actually really awesome. He said his goal was to “meet me halfway,” which was exactly what I was hoping to hear. He gave me two (2) exercises he wants me to do, one of which I’ll do right now (if you’ll excuse me). He also gave me a therapy band which, like, makes things feel more official. The only thing I wished would’ve gone differently is maybe some deep massage or maybe that ultra-sound thing, but I don’t even know if they use that anymore. That might be so 2011. Or even so 2006.

And now I’m tired. So tired. Is it because my diet was shitty yesterday?

I think there’s a decent chance I’ll go climbing tomorrow. It all hinges on if my friend Hart wants to go or not. If he does want to go we’ll probably go to the Sasquatch boulders, since the river is low again and this is definitely the last chance I’ll have to climb them before it gets rainy again. And if he DOESN’T want to go climbing tomorrow, then what will I do? I ask you: What will I do? Probably just sit around crying on my boat. I’m kidding, of course. I’m 46% kidding. No, if he doesn’t want to go then maybe I’ll go by myself or go on a hiking mission with my sister. Even though I sort of (see: completely) hate hiking.

OK it’s time to eat cuz I’m hungry af.

I love you guys.

– Wetz