Day Two in Mazatlan | The Long-Ass Road Trip

The view from the Park Inn.

Man, that was a trip. I went all the way to the Zona Dorada to go to Starbucks to get some kind of chai tea or green tea or some other kind of tea you can drink when you’re fasting, and I didn’t make. I mean I kind of made it. I made it to the Zona Dorada. I just went to a completely different cafe, where I got some kind of pear sencha variety that is mildly disgusting. But then again, when all you want is a swordfish fillet, buttered and cooked with garlic, and a whole lobster (possibly even live), along with some sauteed vegetables, no tea is ever going to satisfy you.

And this pear sencha is no different.

I’m coming up on 42 hours of fasting. The longest I’ve ever done is 44, but that was kinda weird cuz I “cheated” by drinking coffee. The thing about drinking coffee is that it can get you out of a fasted state by raising insulin levels, and also it just makes you feel worse after. If you’re in the market for a 24 or 48 or 72 hours fast, I don’t recommend drinking coffee. Drink water. Possibly mineral water. And maybe drink tea. Maybe. Probably not black tea, though, cuz the tannins will wreck your stomach. Maybe green tea. Definitely herbal tea.

Why didn’t I sleep more last night.

I’m going to watch like 12 episodes of Alone today.

Slash jump in pool.

I’ve pretty much subsisted off Topo chico con limon for the past 42 hours.

That’s the plan, if I make it: fast till tomorrow evening and break the fast with the previously mentioned meal. If I DON’T make it till tomorrow, still break the fast with the aforementioned meal. And then the next day probably have no carbohydrates. Stay in ketosis for as long as possible. Stay in ketosis till I die. Smother myself with avocado and ghee. Swim in ocean. Eat carnitas with no tortilla. More avocado. Swordfish fillet. Ghee.

This morning was a productive morning in the soul-searching arena. The following things came up:

  1. Why do I think that changing my externals will make me happier? Substituting boat for apartment or house? Seattle for another city? Chipotle chicken burrito for steak?
  2. Why can’t I approach the soul searching from a place of calm, curiosity and creativity as apposed to: You’re a washed-up 37 year old, you’re worthless, all you do is run and run and run and run?
  3. How can I learn not to want to excise the parts of me that think I’m worthless, that think my life is just passing me by and I’m not doing anything, that think I’ve wasted the last 10 years of my life?

God, all I can think about is this one pizza I had in San Remo, Italy right now. And this other pizza I had in La Spezia. And this other pizza I had in Fiumicino. Even the pizza I had a week ago in Lone Pine from Pizza Factory! We toss ’em they’re fucking awesome! A medium black-olive pizza, no meat, possibly because earlier that day I’d been communing with the gods at the Grandpa Peabody boulder, channeling my inner Kevin Jorgeson, my Jimmy Webb, my Daniel Woods, my Nina Williams. Am I allowed to eat if I go fishing right now and catch my own fish?

I am definitely in ketosis right now. Autophagy might be taking place. Inflammation is down.

Let me tell you a quick story: This morning I was getting ready for my morning swim, looking out at the ocean, stretching, wrapping all my stuff in a towel so you couldn’t see my wallet and my mask wouldn’t float away. I went down the stairs to the beach and waved to a hotel employee at the next hotel over who was standing on the breakwater. He waved me over. I could see some little black shapes on the beach. They were turtles, baby turtles. And they were dying.

“Throw ’em in the water!” he said. “Way out there!”

I grabbed the first baby turtle, sticking my hands way underneath it so I could lift it up on the sand it was resting on and not have to touch it. It was waving its little flippers. And then I waded out into the water and tried to toss it over the breaking waves. One of the little turtles was missing a flipper. One of them, after it was in the water, just floated with its head down. For all I know none of the baby turtles made it. I’m assuming their brothers and sisters hatched last night and most made it into the water under the almost full moon. Many were then probably devoured by predators. Most will probably die before they make it to adulthood. And then this morning came these little guys, who obviously missed the memo about needing to leave last night. And even though they probably all died, I like to think that one of them, just one of them, made it. And in 15 or 20 years it will lift it’s head out of the water and smile, and be happy to be alive.

Aka the only thing I can think of right now is a buttered swordfish fillet.

– Wetzler

Man’s Search for Topo | Los Mochis to Mazatlan

Alki Beach.

Part 1

The question on everyone’s mind right now: How long will it be before I can boulder again? AKA this is the question on no one’s mind, and not even really on my mind right now. In fact, this is precisely something I’m trying to avoid thinking about.

My knee actually feels pretty good today. I have eaten nothing today. I just passed the 24 hour mark, which apparently is the sweet spot for digestive repair. I need this digestive repair considering the amount of coffee I had yesterday and the wretched (though right now it sounds so good) pizza I had for dinner. I’m drinking green tea that I just got from Starbucks. This is my evening. Oh, and watching Alone. Alone. But at least this road trip sort of has a point now! I mean, it always had a point: the weather was terrible in Seattle, and I was hurt. So, rather than wallowing on my boat until the days got a bit longer and the weather got a bit better, why not drive to Mexico and spend some time in the sun and rehab? The perfect plan, right?

Right.

Except gas is kinda expensive.

But other than that the perfect plan, right????????????????

Actually, yeah, pretty much right, except I forgot how alone I’d be. Which of course is my fault. I could be meeting more people. And I have met some people. And I have friends in Mexico City, should I go there.

One thing I’m stoked about right now is that right now where I am in Mazatlan is pretty much the furthest south I’m gonna go. I mean, I’ll go a little further south, to get to places like Guadalajara and Mexico City, but those places are pretty much east. ALSO, I WILL NEVER HAVE TO RETRACE THE KILOMETERS I JUST DROVE THROUGH SINALOA AND SONORA. EVER AGAIN IN MY LIFE, IF I DON’T WANT TO. And this is huge, because I don’t think I want to. When I eventually leave Mexico, I will either drive A) Back to Mazatlan and through Baja, or B) Up to Monterrey and into Texas. I’ve never been to Monterrey and all the space between Mexico City and Monterrey, and I’ve never been to Texas. Not that I have any desire at all to go to Texas. In fact, I patently don’t want to go to Texas. But I would rather do the bulk of my driving in The States on the way back. When I’m ready to go home, I’m just gonna wanna get home.

But I could also always go to Guatemala.

Today’s route, Leg 7-ish????

The plan for tomorrow: Wake up, go swimming in the ocean, chill in the hotel room, take a walk on the beach, maybe try to go to the dentist for a cleaning (this is an absolute must while I’m in Mexico slash 33% of the reason I came here), drive to San Blas, stay with the wonderful familia at La Familia, go to Stoner’s or some other beach in the evening, watch Alone, write a blog post, go to bed (hopefully still having not eaten).

The plan for tonight: Walk to Oxxo. Buy Topo Chico with “Twist de Limon” and also a gallon of water. Go back to hotel room. Listen to waves. Fall asleep listening to waves. Read the book Circe. Maybe buy travel insurance. Research ayahuasca retreats.

Part 2

This is wild. A week ago I was in Lone Pine, California. I was also in Bishop. I was also in Fallon, Nevada! And now I’m in Mazatlan, sitting out on a balcony, listening to the sounds of the waves. And all because of a right foot pressed against an accelerator pedal in a ’97 Subaru Outback.

Speaking of which, I got passed today by ANOTHER Subaru also with Washington plates! Wild stuff, I know.

I’m starting to get hungry.

Ok, ok, take a step back.

Just walked to the Oxxo where I got a lime Topo Chico and a 6-gallon container of water. I’m good on water for the next week and a half, aka the next 24 hours or so. Aka I might just stay here tomorrow night too. Aka depending on how much it costs on Booking.com.

Aka I need to brush my teeth.

Aka I want to brush my teeth.

Am I in autophagy now?

Probably not.

Mazatlan sunset.

The smell of the ocean is intoxicating. Tomorrow I’m going to get up and go for a swim. I’ve been doing some soul-searching on this trip, of course. I think anytime you’re alone for long stretches of time you start to do some soul searching. And I’ve come to the following conclusions: 1) I need community. 2) I need to feel like I have some sort of purpose. Fuck meaning, I’ve long given up on the search for meaning. You give things your own meaning. Meaning and purpose are SIMILAR, but they’re not the same thing. Purpose is something you can definitely have, and I think meaning is more something you can sense. My goal in 2021 is to get to the point where I am excited af to get up every morning, excited af to get out of bed. Like, I wake up and I’m just like jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus it is great to be alive.

That is my goal.

It is also my goal to boulder V7. In 2021.

Which means I better get this knee healed.

Which means I better get some rest.

– W

The Other Side | Palm Desert to Mexicali (Grand Road Trip Leg 6)

Sunset in Mexicali.

The first time I came to Mexicali was in 2007. I remember it like it was 14 years ago. I was 23 years old, freshly graduated from the Universidad de Washington, where I had just majored in Spanish and Portuguese studies, despite having never studied Portuguese. My Spanish was the best it’s ever been, since I’d just studied in Mexico City the year before. The idea was to go from Seattle to Buenos Aires by land and write a book about it. That book never materialized, though parts of a rough draft of it did, mostly written in a coffee shop in Victoria, BC called the Moka House and also a the UVic library, where I would also read Jane Eyre until I fell asleep and then meet my girlfriend for a late breakfast, which usually consisted of hashbrowns smothered in ketchup and sausage.

On that trip I was actually in San Felipe, a couple hours south, and realized that if I wanted to go further south in mainland Mexico I’d have to go all the way back to Mexicali and get a bus. So my host, a guy from my parents’ church originally from San Felipe, found me a ride with a couple going north and next thing I knew I was at the bus station in Mexicali and for 50 bucks I got a one-way ticket o Mazatlan, a bus ride that would take 24 hours.

In Mazatlan I stayed with my friend’s grandmother, and then on the bus to Guadalajara from Mazatlan met a guy named Jeff from Vancouver, who I’m still friends with to this day. We got black out drunk on tequila in Guadalajara, and the only thing I really remember is sitting around Jeff playing the guitar and singing. The next day I felt awful. And the next day we were supposed to do a tequila tour. Those were my first memories of Guadalajara. After Guadalajara I went to Mexico City, and then my girlfriend at the time and I went to Puebla and Puerto Escondido. Eventually I did make it by land to Buenos Aires, albeit with a boat ride from Panama to Colombia.

Now, here I am 14 later, back in Mexicali, this time with my ’97 Subaru who BARELY got a Temporary Import Permit today letting her/us go anywhere we want in the whole damn Republic. The world is our periwinkle. And this barely happened because APPARENTLY my car has a damaged frame. Which means I probably don’t even have a clean title. Which I was a bit dismayed/surprised to learn. But at the same time I’m thrilled I even GOT a TIP (Temporary Import Permit) because I thought you needed the title to get a TIP and it turns out all I needed was the registration.

So now I’m in Mexico. I have Mexican car insurance. I have permission to go ANYWHERE I WANT IN THE ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY, and that might be exactly what I do.

But first I have to decide: Am I going to eat tonight.

You see, I’ve been fasting all day today, and I’m coming up on 24 hours. This has been one of the easiest fasts I’ve ever done, because I’ve been distracted by 1) driving all day, 2) crossing the border, and 3) getting a hotel. I’ve had water and a little bit of green tea, but no calories. And while I would LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE to eat tonight if I don’t eat tonight I could possibly do my longest fast ever, and tomorrow might be the perfect day to do it because tomorrow I might spend all day driving to Hermosillo.

Oh yeah, I’m probably not going to Baja.

I love Baja.

But, like, I’ve been there a bunch.

And I’ve never really been to Hermosillo.

And Hermosillo seems kinda dope.

Cuz it’s, like, the desert.

And it’s Sonora.

And if went there I might go to Chihuahua.

Which when I was younger I thought was pronounced, “Chi-hoo-a-hoo-a.”

Fajita.

You don’t really realize how ridiculous the border wall is until you spend some time on the other side of it.

If I don’t eat tonight, what am I gonna do? Just sit in my hotel room all evening? You see because if I eat then that’s something to do. That’s my evening. I eat and then I come back and I watch “Alone” for awhile and then I go to sleep. But if I don’t eat, then, well that’s an empty existence. But then again my whole life revolves around food. I’m like a golden lab.

OK, I’m gonna take a shower. That will feel nice. And drink some more green tea infused water. I forget that you can’t drink the water in Mexico. Which means if I want water I need to brave crossing the busy thoroughfare in front of my hotel. And I don’t know if I’m up for that. And let’s be honest, if I go to a grocery store right now there’s no WAY I’m not getting food. Ugghhhhhh this is so difficult. Why is fasting so hard.

OK time to chill.

I’m in Mexico.

So fucking stoked.

Hanging On | Road to Recovery

I think screen time activates my heart murmur. It didn’t seem to be happening today until I opened my computer screen, especially when I took the blue light filter off.

I’m drinking green tea.

It’s green tea mixed with a bunch of other shit like licorice root and burdock root.

Today at 1pm I see the sports medicine doctor. I couldn’t be more overjoyed/terrified about this. On the one hand they could confirm they think everything’s OK and I could start heading south as early as Friday. On the other hand they could tell me they think the original assessment is wrong and that I need an MRI and possibly surgery. Either way I just wanna get this over with.

SHAK is down today. Good. The sooner it corrects the sooner it can go up again.

SE Limited is up. Should I sell it and buy something else?

ACB still posed for a big break?

God I love this tea. It doesn’t taste like green tea. It’s delicious. And only SLIGHTLY caffeinated. Gets rid of all those free radicals so you can smoke till your heart’s content. I will be drinking wine within the next few years, I’m sure of that. Could even be within the next year. But I’m not quite ready not. Not quite.

I just want to know what’s going on with my fucking knee.

What could I do today to integrate my senex? Meditate. Clean up my boat. Do acid.

If SHAK finds support at the 110 level all bets are off.

After this cup of green tea I’m going to have another cup of green tea and hopefully walk to Whole Foods. I say hopefully because the last few times I’ve thought I was going to walk to Whole Foods I got to the parking lot, where my car is. I then got in my car and drove to Whole Foods, which is roughly the calorie-burning equivalent of walking there, but not quite. The temperature on the boat is 60 degrees. There’s water in the bilge compartment and I don’t care. I have an automatic bilge, why do I keep cleaning it out?

Should I be injecting peptides into my knee? I have collagen peptides on my boat but nothing to mix them with. They’re unflavored so they probably taste like bovine. I need smoothies to mix them with, and I have a Magic Bullet but since I live on a boat with just a refrigerator no ice cubes. How to get around the ice conundrum? I could turn up my fridge until it’s basically a freezer. But then I can’t have anything else in there.

I will have fasted 15 hours by 10am.

Today the sun sets at 4:53! When I get back the sunsets will probably already be after 7pm. They say a meniscus tear can take three months to heal with conservative treatment. So maybe that’s how long it’s gonna take? But what about this ACL stuff? I could see myself turning into one of those problem patients today who refuses to leave until he has answers. “Give me a fucking MRI!”

Today is probably a good day to wear sweatpants.

Twenty four minutes till I can eat.

Every summer feels like the last summer of my innocence. This last summer, for example. Bouldering every day. Hanging out with Carolyn. A mission to Mexico. What will next summer be like?

This last summer seemed so pure. It seems like something was lost. But maybe it’s good that it was lost. Maybe the negative elements of the puer aeternus will be lost. Maybe hanging onto that innocence is the problem. But it’s so beautiful.

 

Hella Sardines | R2V4 #18

Hella sardines.

I did something deviant yesterday. I bought a ticket to…..MEXICO????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? ARE YOU GOING TO MEXICO, BRO???? YOU’RE NOT GOING TO MEXICO….

But yes, I’m going to Mexico. On August 15th. A day before my birthday. For 11 days. And everyone’s invited. Slash no one’s invited. Slash Barold might come but that’s about it. There’s a good chance I’ll be alone on my 37th birthday, though I hope I’m not ACTUALLY alone, i.e. I meet people in San Pancho, where I hope to stay.

You’re not God, dude…

Now, before everyone starts going insane and shaming me for traveling during a pandemic, at least do your research.

A couple points:

1) Alaska Airlines is taking HELLA precautions to make sure flying is safe. With their HEPA filters their air quality is comparable to what’s found in hospitals. Masks are, obviously, mandatory. You must sign a health agreement before flying. The list goes on.

2) I’m not going to Puerto Vallarta to club, guys (well, I’m not really going to Puerto Vallarta anyway but the surrounding areas). I’m not going to stand in enclosed spaces around a bunch of other people. In fact, other than in my hotel room, I don’t plan on ever being inside, ever. And I’m not going to be around a bunch of people because I don’t KNOW a bunch of people there. I know less than I do here. So I’ll mostly be on my own. Surfing, on my own, and driving around. Which is actually kinda sad. And kinda awesome.

3) I plan on getting tested when I get back. If It’s free, I’m going to do everything I can to get tested when I get back so I can put those around me at ease. And I will definitely not hang around my parents until I either a) get the results of the test or b) a suitable amount of time has passed.

Why on earth am I justifying myself to you?

Maybe I’ll delete that. Or maybe I’ll just leave it.

I’m doing a bit of the quote unquote INTERMITTENT FASTING today, aka I ate my last food at 10pm last night which means today I’m not allowed to eat till 2pm. I bought HELLA SARDINES yesterday when I was at Safeway, aka hella smoked fish and shellfish, aka smoked baby clams, smoked scallops, LIGHTLY smoked sardines, and smoked oysters. They were all on clearance for some reason, which I patently don’t understand considering 98% of people go to Safeway to buy little tins of smoked seafood.

I MIGHT climb tomorrow, because I’m probably not climbing on Thursday, and Friday Dan and I leave on our backpacking trip to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Who knows. I gotta say, I am a bit hungry right now. Two and a half hours till I can eat. What am I gonna have. Chipotle? Hella sardines? A salad from Evergreens? I mean, I gotta have something KINDA healthy. Like, I can’t break my fast with pizza. Not that that’s even THAT unhealthy. But I mean the whole reason I’m doing this is to get healthier. Get leaner. Improve healing. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

OK, I think that’s everything. There’s almost literally nothing I could tell you that would be novel. Update on the state of my fingers: They’re doing fucking great. Update on my shoulder: Slow going but slowly healing. Update on the state of my mind: Fasting is fucking awesome.