Looking at Apartments in Leavenworth || Road to Recovery

Morning, friends! I hope everyone is doing well today. I am doing well, aka decent, aka I just got a matcha latte from Woodland Coffee with almond milk and A LITTLE BIT OF HONEY. LITTLE BIT. This must be stressed: LITTLE BIT. Except I think it was actually quite a bit.

Because it was delicious. And matcha lattes with almond milk and no sweetener are usually disgusting, unless you get them from some place like Mr. West or Iconik, in Santa Fe.

Yesterday I went to Leavenworth. I took I-90 because Stevens Pass was closed — I HATE taking I-90 to get to Leavenworth even though it’s just as fast. This is probably because I hate I-90. I don’t like Issaquah. I don’t like North Bend. I don’t want to drive through these towns. Also, I don’t appreciate having to go over TWO passes, aka Snoqualmie and Blewett. I would much rather take Highway 2 through Monroe and Sultan and Startup and Gold Bar and Index and Baring and Skykomish. And indeed, that’s what I did on the way back, because by that time Stevens was open. But on the way there I was forced to take the dreaded I-90.

The point of going to Leavenworth yesterday WAS TO LOOK AT STUDIO APARTMENTS. No, thine eyes deceive thee not. I looked at apartments yesterday in Leavenworth. And you know what??????????????? I was actually kinda stoked on them.

Were they tiny AF?

Yes.

Were they somewhat tasteless and right next to a Safeway?

Also yes.

Could I see myself living there?

Absolutely.

The apartment I was most interested in was a ground floor corner apartment. Normally I don’t like ground floor apartments, but I think that’s changed since living on the boat, since on the boat I’m so closed to the ground (water). Now it feels weird to be up high. It’s like you’re….in an apartment building. But if you’re on the ground floor it’s kinda like you’re in a house. And this apartment, since it was corner, had three windows instead of one. These rooms are basically the size of small hotel rooms. They’re tiny. But. I don’t know. Like I said, I’m kinda stoked on them.

AFTER looking at the apartments I went to get a coffee at J5. I would’ve gone to Argonaut, cuz it’s much nicer, but they were closed. So I went to the J5 right on the main drag and even though they’re not on the menu they had matcha lattes. Bonus. Plus the girl working there was super nice. And then afterward I went to the bookstore and THEY were super nice. Maybe everyone in Leavenworth is super nice. It’s a weird place because it’s so small but at the same time so touristy.

After the matcha latte I just had to, you guess it, check out some boulders. So I coaxed the groaning Subi into the Icicle Canyon and we went to check out the Fridge Boulder. The Subi waited in the parking lot, since she doesn’t really care about bouldering. I went to check out this waking dream of a boulder. The line I most wanted to look at was Fridge Center V4, since it’s a line I’d tried before. But I also looked at Fridge Left V8, and it sort of seemed doable. Some heinous slopers, but I like slopers. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground, and Fridge Center was wet. Not that I would’ve gotten on it. I would’ve wanted to. But I’m not quite ready yet.

Then I drove over Stevens Pass.

Then I stopped at the Camp Serene Boulder.

The Camp Serene boulder is one of my favorite boulders of all time. The only line I’ve done on it so far is Insanity Later V2, but I’ve tried Serenity Now V4+ about a thousand times and I’ve even given Climax Control V6 some decent go’s. Here I kind of had to pee, but I also just wanted to commune with this hulking mass of granodiorite ecstasy. I sort of got on the starting hold of Serenity Now, but even turning my foot sideways for the starting foothold kind of hurt, and I was wearing hiking shoes, and I’m just so damn out of shape. It’s gonna take a while for me to get back in shape, but desire will not be the problem. Going to the gym on a regular basis will not be a problem. Just need this ligament to heal, first.

So that was my Leavenworth outing. Full success. Saw the apartments. Could move in as early as today if I wanted to, but I’m going to think about it a little more. Since I have the boat in Seattle, I don’t feel rushed. Also, since I can’t even climb right now, I don’t feel rushed. And when I can climb I want to start in the gym first, and there’s no gym in Leavenworth. So no rush. For now it’s off to physical therapy in a little bit to see what my wonderful physical therapist has in store for me. I’m excited.

– Wetzler

After We Read The Order of Time || Chilling on the Boat

I look forward to writing these blogs. I look forward to communing with you, my friends. I also look forward to writing these blogs because it means I get to drink caffeine. Gross amounts of caffeine. Caffeine coursing through my veins. They say now that caffeine makes your brain have more grey matter than white matter. I don’t really know what this means. I think grey matter might be less flexible. Caffeine definitely makes you less creative. More focused = less creative. To be creative your mind needs to be absolutely still. At peace. Wandering. Your mind needs to wonder. Living on a boat alone is a good place for your mind to wander. You feel the boat swaying in the water. You hear the ducks outside. This morning a Canadian goose came swimming into the waters between my boat and my neighbors, honking. I think it wanted food. My neighbor with the devil child sometimes throws food to the seagulls, and the birds know this. The mergansers come. The ducks come. And maybe now the geese are coming, too.

Time to breathe. Always time to breathe after the first paragraph. Big exhale. Come on, Marko. Everything you got.

God this Hop Tea is fucking delicious.

I’m almost done with Free Food for Millionaires. Thank God. I was enchanted by this book at the beginning, but after 500 pages it’s lost some  of its luster. I’m ready to dedicate my attention in full to Desert Solitaire. Why are there so many shitty novels out there? I mean, I guess there can’t only be GOOD novels. There has to be a full gamut. Amazing novels. Mediocre novels. Shitty novels. Good novels. The kind of novel where you think, OK I COULD go on. Like, I could probably finish this, but I don’t really want to. When is someone going to write a good book about climbing? More importantly, when is someone going to write a good book about BOULDERING? Could I write that book? Could I write A book?

Hop Tea.

Woke up this morning and looked at apartments in Leavenworh. There’s a BEAUTIFUL two-bedroom for $1,800. There’s a decent looking two-bedroom for $1,300. There’s a decent looking studio (though it appears to not really have windows) for $1,000. And then of course there are all the Leavenworth Haus apartments. Aka the efficiencies that are only 283 square feet and cost almost a thousand bucks. What redeeming qualities do these apartments have??????????????????????????????????? I ask you: What redeeming qualities do these apartments have. I ask the manager, who changes the price every single fucking ad on Craigslist: What redeeming qualities do these apartments have. And finally I ask myself: When will I be able to gym climb again.

Which reminds me, I need to do my physical therapy.

I’m not looking forward to the drive to Gig Harbor today. I’m going to Gig Harbor to visit my sister. I’m not looking forward to this drive. Who would look forward to a drive down I-5. I’ve done this drive so many times. Past Burien. Past Federal Way. Past ffffff-ffffff-fffffff-ffff. Past fff–ffffff-fff-fffff-ffff. Past FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFFF….Fife. Past Tacoma. Over the Narrows Bridge. And into Gig Harbor. Gig fucking Harbor. I mean, I’m glad they moved away from Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is a prison, though at least it’s a prison located near SBP Poplar. WHICH REMINDS ME!!!! Dear God I need to talk about this. Yesterday I was out with Nate and Hunter and Nate showed me THERE’S A NEW CLIMBING GYM NEAR THE FRED MEYER ON 85th!!!! I repeat: A NEW CLIMBING GYM!!! AND IT LOOKS TERRIBLE!!!! IT LOOKS SO AWFUL!!!!! The walls are too short, there’s no slab, it’s ALL OVERHUNG, and the routesetters look like they randomly just screwed holds into the wall. Anyway, I was not impressed and certainly won’t consider ever climbing there. When it comes to climbing gyms in Seattle you have a couple options. You have SBP, which is far and away the best option. You have Stone Gardens or Momentum, which are probably the next best options. And finally you have Vertical World, the worst option. Why is Vertical World the worst option? Because its bouldering area is the size of my shoe. Why is SBP the best option? Please do not ask such questions.

Please spend this evening reading The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli.

After you finish The Order of Time we can read Desert Solitaire together and compare notes for the test.

After we ace the test we can out to Mr West in U-Village for a matcha latte.

After we get a matcha latte we can spend the evening bouldering at SBP. We can power spot each other.

I’m losing steam. I’m going to go to the locks and do my physical therapy. I miss you all and think about you constantly.

– Marko Rovelli

 

 

I’m Not Your Friend || Matcha Lattes at Woodland Coffee

I just got back from Woodland Coffee, where I got a matcha latte with oat milk and a LITTLE bit of honey. This was the first time I’d been to Woodland Coffee, which has a pretty horrible location, tucked on a sidestreet behind Safeway just off 15th Ave NW. Dastardly location. Closed to McDonald’s. I mean, there are some other businesses right next to it, and the building it’s in (brick) is actually sort of comely. But, I mean, it’s in Safeway’s shadow. It’s literally (figuratively, since the sun comes from the south) in Safeway’s shadow.

Now, how was their MATCHA LATTE????????? And why did I get it with oat milk, if I’m trying to keep the carbs down. Simple: I’m obsessed with oats. Oh, and their matcha latte is pretty bomb. I’m not sure what kind of matcha they use but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s ceremonial grade. Wouldn’t be surprised at all. Also, I liked that they ASKED if I wanted any kind of sweetener, to which I said, “A little bit of honey.” Unfortunately, all of the honey sank immediately to the bottom, which meant the first 7/8 of the matcha latte were basically unsweetened, and the last 1/8 was like sticking my head in a worker bee hive.

And then I walked to Ballard Market where I got an Ashwagandha Spicy Chai. And an Epic Bar. The Epic Bar was 100% grassfed venison, seasoned with thinks like celery and garlic powder. It was delicious. The texture was a bit gnarly, but it was delicious. 1 carb. Bomb.

Now I’m back on my boat wondering if I have a belly. I have physical therapy in a couple hours and then I’m gonna walk around Greenlake. Maybe get a matcha latte at The Retreat, everyone’s favorite Greenlake hipster cafe. The sun is glorious in Seattle today. Today the sun sets at 5:50pm!!!!!! Civil twilight till 6:21pm!!!!! What kind of tropical paradise are we living in????? On the way to the boat I noticed all the mallards were in the shade under the docks and I thought, Hmmmmm, that’s weird, I wonder why they’re in the shade and not enjoying the sun. But then I realized: They probably have winter plumage. Right now they’re built for temps in the 30’s and 40’s, so on a day like today in the sun they probably overheat. Poor, beautiful mallards. God, I love them. They keep me company everyday. And today I saw a flock of herons flying around the locks. A flock!!! It’s one thing to see one heron, it’s another to see a flock of them. It warmed my sternum. It warmed my aorta.

I have decided that in addition to looking for apartments in Leavenworth I should also be looking for apartments on this side of the mountains, but closer to bouldering. Places like Index and….well….Index. I don’t want to live in Gold Bar. I don’t want to live in Startup. And I certainly don’t want to live in Monroe. Why not? Because I don’t want to have to get tattoos and develop a drug problem. But Index I could definitely do! And Skykomish. The problem is finding a rental in these places, since they each have about 200 people. Maybe if I just show up on someone’s doorstep with my naked body wrapped in Tibetan prayer flags? Or I could just buy a van and live in the Index parking lot. Be a a true dirtbag. A true climber. But then I might have to start “sport climbing,” and we can’t have that. We can’t have ropes and carabiners and helmets and all that crap. That’s not climbing. That’s aid climbing. Clipping in??????? Give me a break. But living out of a van is actually not a 200% terrible idea. But still, Leavenworth.

My succulents are on the back of the boat enjoying the sunshine. The new one I got from Trader Joe’s seems to have integrated well with the others. I think they have accepted him. He is undoubtedly male, and possibly a bully. If he does not behave I will have to throw him in the lake. I have not watered him yet, nor do I intend to. Nature will water him when it sees fit, i.e. when I forget to bring him in overnight. Until then, he can wait patiently like all the other succulents.

She Said || The Road to Recovery

I just had a physical therapy appointment. In person. By Greenlake. It was wonderful. I think the best part was when the physical therapist massaged my hamstring. And then I did exercises, all of which felt fine EXCEPT for the lateral walking with a band wrapped around my ankles for resistance. My LCL had to take a LITTLE strain, and I wasn’t used to that. But it’s fine. It’s exactly what I’m there for.

Afterward I got a disgusting matcha latte at Chocolati Cafe and then walked around Greenlake. I think it’s something like 2.8 miles. My knee felt fine. It was gloriously sunny. Vitamin D coursing into my body. My heart singing looking at the treetops, at the blue sky, at the geese and ducks. People walking around only counterclockwise. The odd family or couple walking against the flow of traffic. Me cursing them for it.

Then afterward I went to the Northeast Library Branch to get Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey. I think this is going to be an amazing book. Please, God, don’t be pretentious. Please god make it like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance but more nature-centric. Please god let him be one of my new favorite authors.

I was stoked because the first part of the book mentions Moab and Arches National Park, which I drove through on my way back from Mexico. Moab is a terrible town. It’s basically a strip mall with gas stations. Sounds like it used to be charming, though. The only people I greeted were two Mormons on their missions who always say “hi” SUPER enthusiastically, but I didn’t have it in me to talk to them. Sometimes I like talking to the Mormons. But this time it just kinda made me sad. I did want to say, “Man, people get sent all over the world on their missions. They learn cool languages like Finnish and Russian and Swahili. And you guys are in….Moab. Are you bummed?” But I’m sure they weren’t bummed. They were spreading the word of Jesus Christ Our Redeemer. So I’m sure they were stoked. I was stoked to get a matcha latte the next morning. I was stoked to have a fuck ton of driving time to myself. I was stoked to drive through canyons.

The physical therapist said….

She said…..

She says…..

I says…..

She said, “—”

I said, “So can I go climbing after today’s session.”

She said, “Give it a couple weeks and we’ll discuss.”

I said, “OK.”

I threw a tantrum.

She said, “Your LCL is healing great. I was unable to provoke symptoms today.”

I said, “That’s wonderful news. I want my LCL to be stronger than ever. I want my LCL to be the strongest ligament in my body. I want it to bully the other ligaments in my knee.”

She said, “Just give it a couple weeks.”

I said, “…..”.

She said, “?????????”

I said, “–“.

She said, “.”

It is gloriously sunny. I’m thinking of going over to Bainbridge. I’m thinking of getting a FocusAid. I’m thinking of applying to more jobs. I’m thinking of calling someone east of the Cascades. I’m thinking…..

– MTW

Seize and Throttle || Back on the Boat

Ugh, I kind of feel terrible today. Maybe it was all the matcha lattes yesterday. Maybe it was the carb loading before dinner. I just kind of feel…..out of it. Like, not into it. Like, all I wanna do is stare into the distance.

Today marks day three of injecting BPC-157 into my left knee. I know it’s anecdotal, but my knee feels great. Yesterday I even did a little jogging on it, and for the first time it didn’t hurt upon breaking into a trot. I also walked about six miles yesterday, which is one of my highest totals since The Injury. For those of you who are new to this blog, or new to life, or new to injuries, or new to bouldering, or new to Seattle, or new to the world of liveaboards, or new to the world of winter, or new to injecting peptides, I injured my LCL on New Year’s Eve of 2020. Since then I have taken what has probably been the most aggressive approach I’ve ever taken to injury healing. I’m attacking this thing on several fronts: diet, peptides, movement and physical therapy. The “movement” part will hopefully increase significantly after I see my physical therapist next Wednseday. I plan to ask him: “What do you think about me running gross amounts of stairs? Taking them two at a time, etc etc?” I hope his reponse will be: “Mark, you’re ready for stairs.” There are only so many bouldering videos you can watch before you have to get out there and try it yourself. But bouldering videos are a great way to improve. When you get out there on the blocs, you find yourself imitating the pros…

AKA I might go get a Patagonia fleece at REI today.

AKA it was sunny yesterday.

AKA how is the Subi still hanging in there.

AKA Nana’s Green Tea.

Aka unsweetened.

aka.

In other news. My succulent is doing better than ever. I’ve had this succulent at least over a year now. We’ve been through some tough times together, falling in the lake, getting left out in the rain, the pandemic. And we’ve come through these times as better people/plants. She/he/it looks better than I’ve ever seen her/him/it. Her leaves are supple. They’re almost vibrant. I think this summer could really be her summer. I’ll transplant her to a bigger pot. Maybe I’ll even get another succulent of the same species and put them next to each other. Just kind of let them hang out.

Is it time to go to REI now?

Yesterday the best matcha latte of the three was DEFINITELY from Milstead. You see, they mix some kind of madagascar vanilla mixture in with their lattes, making them just a little bit sweet, and a little bit vanilla-y. It was sublime. If I wasn’t doing keto today, I would definitely be back there. And if they didn’t cost almost $7. And if the place was a little less pretentious. And if they didn’t have Nick Drake playing when you walked in. Come on, Nick Drake? Who are we trying to impress here? What year are we in?

The second best matcha latte was from Mr. West in U Village. The problem with theirs is they serve it in a glass….glass and it never seems to be hot enough. Also, they used to slightly sweeten them with honey whether you asked or not. Just, “We know what’s good for you. And what’s good for you is a little honey.” I like when places do that. But now they don’t sweeten them anymore, and they taste like cardboard. But the milk was steamed perfectly.

The third best was from….ok I guess I only had two.

One was a REBBL matcha latte in a bottle. Which of course was delicious.

OK, time to leave the boat and seize and throttle the day. Wish me luck.

– Wetz

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