Time for Bed | Pecos, TX

I had a revelation today: I’m gonna be able to sport climb before I can boulder again. Why will I be able to sport climb? Because it’s lower impact. You don’t have to worry about falling. When you feel yourself start to go you can just tell your belayer to take and then just chill. Whereas with bouldering you have to worry about getting to the lip, not having any strength, and having to bail all the way to your pad. Or missing your pad altogether. I can’t imagine doing any kind of intense bouldering right now. I can’t imagine doing any kind of bouldering at all.

I’m in Pecos, Texas. And my neighbors are loud.

Crossing the border from Mexico into the US today was easy. Almost too easy. There was only one car in front of me. I guess this is something good that comes out of the pandemic, the fact that the border is basically closed and only US citizens can get in. I spent all of yesterday stressing about crossing the border and it turned out to be ridiculously easy. Go to the drive through to cancel your Temporary Import Permit. Get in line for the border. Pay the toll leaving Mexico. Ignore the guy yelling at you to stop who’s actually trying to sell you something. Show your passport to the first set of US customs and border patrol people. Choose a line (the most stressful part). Inevitably choose the wrong line. Get behind someone who’s getting full cavity searched. Finally get to the front. Answer the questions. Drive into Texas.

And then, of course, you’re in Texas, which is a mixed bag. It’s a huge state. I spent all day driving and didn’t even get out of it. I’m closed to the New Mexico border, and thank god. I think I’m gonna wake up tomorrow and go get some matcha in Carlsbad. Then drive through Roswell, and stay tomorrow night in Albuquerque or Santa Fe or a small town outside one of those. And then, what, onto Utah? Onto Arches National Park? Maybe?

This hotel is so nice. They have a gym, which I worked out in (bench and pull-ups), they give you cookies when you check in, and there’s a barbecue place just down the street. I had to get barbecue while in Texas. I got pulled pork with a side of coleslaw and a side of baked beans. And then I walked back to my hotel and watched episodes of Seinfeld. And then I figured out where I might drive tomorrow, where I might stay, etc etc etc etc

Etc.

And now it’s time for bed.

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.