Water V6: An Ode to My New Favorite Boulder

Water V6, Gold Bar, WA. Photo: Pat M.

We will fall in love several times throughout the course of our lives. Often, it happens when we least expect it. Perhaps you’re crossing the street and you twist your ankle and she helps you to the curb. Perhaps you’re shopping in the frozen foods section for some peas to ice your mangled hand and she whispers in your ear, “I like peas too.” Perhaps you’re sitting at home on your boat watching YouTube videos, wishing things were different, wishing you had purpose, wondering if purpose is even necessary, and she strides down the dock, lost, looking for a neighbors’ boat, and you start chatting, first about the weather, then about the Mariners, then about the stock market, numbers are exchanged, tensions run high, and the rest is history.

Perhaps.

Or perhaps if you’re like me yesterday you fall in love in an entirely different way.

You fall in love with a boulder.

Meet Water V6. She hails from near Gold Bar, Washington. She’s about 12 feet tall, with a gorgeous neck, shapely sloping hips, and beautiful, delicate feet. She’s made of granodiorite, like many of the other boulders in the area. What separates Water V6 is how un-contrived she is, how unassuming. You come across her and think, Hot damn, that’s a beautiful line. I’d like to get on that line. I’d like to caress those slopers. I’d like to see if my fingers fit in that seam. I’d like to see if I can get up that thing.

And so you inspect closer. You run your hands along her beautiful lines. You contemplate where you’d put your feet at the sit start, what the first move might be. Do you go up with your left hand or your right hand? And then where do you put your feet? Do you match? How do you get to that sloper? What’s the best place to grip it? How’s the lip? Can you lunge for it or should you try to do it really controlled?

And then you remember it’s V6 and the hardest thing you’ve climbed outside is V4. How can this be V6? you think. How can something this beautiful, this inviting, be so outside my wheelhouse? Is it outside my wheelhouse? Because I look at it and think, I could do this. I could climb this boulder. I could climb this bloc. Or I could at least do some of the moves.

It’s hard to walk away from her, but finally you do. There are other boulders to look at: Midnight Lichen V4 (if you can just do the first move!), Stinking Slopers V5, Metroid Primer V6, The Samurai, whatever its V-grade is. As you walk away from Water, the new love of your life, you glance over your shoulder to see if she’s still there. She is. She looks demure, pouty even. She looks sad you’re leaving. You’re sad you’re leaving, too, of course. You’re already making plans to come back. You’re thinking what you’ll ever say to her parents if you ever meet them.

You’re getting ahead of yourself.

You walk off and look at a bunch of different boulders. You crimp the starting holds of BMOC V2 and talk with your friend about how it’s a short but actually quite fun problem. You trek further up the hill and look at more blocs before making your way back to the dirt road, where you slowly descend, the setting sun off to your right, the crunch of the gravel under your feet.

And all the while you’re thinking, When will I see her again? When will I see Water?

You breathe in sharply to stifle a sob.

 

Cutting Caffeine

Hey guys, so…………………………………..only three views on the blog yesterday. You guys on vacation? Not looking at your phones? Not looking at the internet? It’s the support of the diehard fans that keeps us at Where’s Wetzler going. Without your support we’re just another WordPress blog, barking at the wind……

Anyway.

A red-letter day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check it out:

Ohhhhhhhhhh the matcha everywhere. The green tea. The drink on the right that has “no refined sugar” but actually still tons of sugar ‘cuz it’s sweetened with dates. Crooks. Normally I wouldn’t buy all these matcha products (there’s a matcha latte hiding behind the Urban Remedy bar) in one fell swoop but I’m celebrating a potential job interview next week. I’m not going to tell you where, because you don’t deserve to know, but I will say it’s for a job in the Greater Seattle Area. So no, don’t worry, I’m not packing up and moving to Everett. I know a lot of you were worried about that. It’s just that the allure of Everett is strong. You’re closer to the Gold Bar boulders and to Leavenworth. Rent is WAY cheaper. And the kicker? You can become a Silvertips fan.

ANOTHER reason and one that’s equally important is that I’m going on a caffeine detox starting today. The detox will probably start around oh…………………………………. 12pm Pacific Daylight Time. Give or take an hour. The reason I’m doing a caffeine detox is because when I don’t drink caffeine I’m much less stressed, much less irritable, and also more creative. Also I associate no caffeine with my quote unquote natural state. Like, when I was young. Like, my inner child. Like, the part of me I disparately (sic) need to get in touch with.

So on our left we have the Green Hop Tea by Hop Lark, with a whopping 60mg of caffeine per bottle. On the right we have our “Matcha Green Tea Almond Latte” (nice short name) by Pop & Bottle? Is this the name of the company? What a wretched name. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Change your name and quit adding so many damn dates to your drinks.

I do declare.

And in the middle we have a matcha latte with oat milk from Whole Foods, and in the foreground a Matcha “Super Greens Energy Bar” by (said in a yuppy, googly voice) Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuurban Reeeeeeemedy. Like, Uuuuuuurban Reeeeeeemedy bro. Like, food should be your medicine, right bro? Like, drop cliffs not bombs, right bro? Like……………………………………………………………………….

Anyway.

I wanna finish this post before meeting my life coach at 10:15 today, so better wrap it up.

No climbing today. Hand is feeling better. Might run a mile. Feel like I can probably climb Sunday at the earliest and still be responsible. No more climbing multiple days in a row, or multiples sessions in one day. My connective tissue NEEDS TO BE PRIORITIZED.

K, good talk.

– Wetz

Not Forcing Anymore

I have great news: I’ve decided not to force myself to blog anymore. I’m no longer a “blogger.” I’m just a guy who writes sometimes on the internet. This is wonderful, wonderful news.

And now please allow me to repeat all the wonderful news from yesterday.

Yesterday woke up and immediately surveyed the hand situation. Wrote in my journal, “Fuck my fucking right hand is fucked up,” which, looking back, is an impressive use of the word “fuck” in such a short sentence.

Oh, real quick, what does “not forcing myself to blog anymore” mean?

It means that if I don’t want to write I don’t. Like, if I don’t want to write for the next fucking month, or the next year, or ever again, I don’t. I only write when I want to. So I give up on the dream of being a “blogger” and what I really need to do is give up on the dream of being a “writer” and what I really need to do is just give up on dreams all together. OK, well, maybe not that. I like to dream. Dreaming is actually one of my favorite things to do. Dreaming connects me with my inner child.

Anyway.

Yesterday.

Yesterday I went to physical therapy at 9am. Blair, the main physical therapist, did an assessment on me as soon as I arrived. She tested my leg strength and also laxity. She said, “[The left leg] might be a little more lax, but I’m also just really sensitive to this stuff since I do it a lot.”

Then Brandon and I went to work. We added some new exercises, i.e. hopping up and down on one foot (like jump roping but without the rope), and then we did that thing where you have half a ball on the ground and you jump sideways onto it and land with one foot and kind of bounce off it and land on your other foot. I’m terrible at explaining shit. Basically when Blair did my assessment she said, “At three months the ligament is pretty much healed. So one of the biggest obstacles now is psychological.” And then, turning to her team, “We can get him jumping around and doing more lateral movement.”

More lateral movement.

I’m healing.

I felt pretty elated after physical therapy. I went to Whole Foods on 65th and got a matcha bar by Urban Remedy and also a Hop Tea. Then I went back to the boat, and then after chilling a little more I went to go walk around Interlaken but got distracted on the way by getting a coffee at Cafe Appassionato. This was mostly hopefully for digestive help. I think all the collagen I’ve been taking has made things a bit clogged up. So I had the coffee, which sort of worked, and then went to Interlaken via Montlake. In Montlake I ran stairs for awhile and then I hiked through Interlaken and then back to my car in Montlake. Drove to Chipotle in U Village. Walked up to UW to see the cherry blossoms, which were gorgeous. And then finally went back to the boat yet again.

I didn’t hang out with anyone yesterday. Well, that’s not completely true. I helped my friend H lower a table from his old balcony using rope because he couldn’t get the legs off the table to fit it through the door. But we didn’t really hang out.

Today I’m ostensibly fasting. Till 6pm. We’ll see if this actually happens. Lately I’ve been a terrible faster. I have the willpower of a golden retriever. I’m not climbing today, though I might climb on Sunday. We’ll just see how the hand is.

 

Mentally Preparing

I’m mentally preparing for a trip to Trader Joe’s this evening. What will I buy????? Oh, but the possibilities are limitless. Pickled herring. A Danish kringle. Daal. Grassfed yogurt, where the actual yogurt itself is fed a steady diet of grass of six months before being packaged. Grassfed beef, in which the beef is fed a steady diet of grass. Cold brew. Smoked oysters. Kombucha. Eggs. Bread. More eggs. Less eggs. More bread. Even more bread. Less bread. And finally more bread again.

Today has been a day of good notices. First of all the market was up. Second of all I had physial therapy and foud out at the end of my physical therapy that I can basically do unlimited apppointments in April without having to get approval from my insurer. Thirdly I applied for some jobs. Fourthly I found out I’m still getting unemployment. And fifthly…..what was fifthly? Oh yeah, I had a good coffee. I got Chipotle. I went and looked at the cherry blossoms in the quad.

Lots of good things.

Physical therapy was exciting because today they did their three month assessment, and the main PT cleared the PT’s working on me to push me a lot harder. Get me jumping up and down, get me moving side to side. She said at this point the tissue is mostly healed so now some of the biggest obstacles are psychological. I can do a lot more than I think I can do. Lateral movement is still scary, but that’s because I think I’m more injured than I am. The most exciting part is the jumping up and down is going to prepare me for precisely things like falling off a wall onto a bouldering pad, or falling off a boulder onto a small bouldering pad. She knows I climb, and she knows I want to be able to climb again. So that’s what she’s preparing me for.

In other news, my right hand feels fucked. I climbed three times in two days earlier this week, and it was simply too much. Normally I would climb tomorrow with H at 4:30pm, but I’m gonna have to sit it out. I MIGHT be able to climb on Sunday with Bloom and Jessa, but I want to get my hand back to normal and THEN give it a couple additional days of rest before climbing again. At the latest I should be climbing again sometime next week. At least it’s not my knee, right? Crying face.

Excuse me while I lather myself in CBD oil.

In other news I’m going to reduce my blogging frequency to once every two days. Every day is just a little too much.  I feel like it makes the quality of the posts suffer, and it also makes me burnt out on writing. It’s a tough balance for me because on the one hand I want to get better at writing and stick to a schedule, but on the other hand I don’t want to hate it.

So.

The lathering is complete and it’s almost time to leave the boat. I think I’m going to walk to Trader Joe’s, which would imply walking across the Ballard Bridge. OR! I could go to the TJ’s in Queen Anne, which is equal parts exotic and soothing. I could park my car kinda far away so I’m forced to walk through Queen Ann, which would be equal parts tranquil and comforting.

Anyway.

There you have it.

 

Fire Up the Two-Stroke

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I need caffeine.

Gonna take the boat out today for the first time this season. Got ‘er semi gassed up. Don’t have any snacks though; that’s a real problem. The snack sitaution must be remedied. I actually looked at google flights today and thought hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm where could i go right now. Like not tomorrow. Like right now. Like I get on the light rail to the airport in 15 minutes and fly somewhere in the caribbean again and start drinking alcohol again and just spend a week rotting in the caribbean. Sounds pretty fun.

OK. So. The people at the Leavenworth Haus are officially offering no rent till May. Should I move there. What’s the status on the knee? Well, still not fully healed. Not even close. I keep thinking it’s kinda close, then I’m like nahhhhhhhhhhhh probably gonna be another couple months. So frustrating.

I need more caffeine fuck I’m addicted.

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Failure to observe what is in the mind of another has seldom made a man unhappy; but those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy. – Marcus Aurelius

My therapist told me she liked Marcus Aurelius when she was in her teens. If you like Marcus Aurelius in your teens, what do you then graduate to? Joan Didion? Noam Chomsky? No, Noam Chomsky is probably somehow basic, too. Sartre????? No, so fucking basic. The plays of Henrik Ibsen????? Then again, she didn’t know who Karl Ove Knausgaard was, and Karl Ove Knausgaard is not basic, there’s just no way.

Maybe he’s kinda basic.

Who cares.

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And amino acids.

He’s like a poor man’s Sean Bailey. Similar style, similar hair.

I’ve been posting pretty much daily for the past month and I want to keep the streak alive.

I just don’t think it’s healthy. A few years ago Clara made me SWEAR to her not to write for a year (I was allowed to journal) and that was one of the greatest years of my life. I did journal. But I didn’t write any fucking blog.

This boat leaves in one hour and 18 minutes. I’m going to go out and fire up the motor. See if it works. It’s a two-stroke Johnon. A two-stroke Johnson! My boat does about 5 knots at a really good clip. I have no idea what the hull speed is but she’s covered in muck from sitting all winter and she hasn’t had a haul out in about many years so her bottom is just covered in algae and all sorts of other stuff. The rudder, god you would cry if you saw the rudder. It’s a green mess of flora. I should probably get out the brush and brush it, but I’m too lazy.

My forearms are absolutely shredded today.

Ok that’s about enough of this. I’m going to go do some chores, aka maybe clean boat, aka probably not, aka maybe do some light yoga, aka try to fire up the two stroke.

– Wetz