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.

Time for a Road Trip?

I’m wondering if it’s time for a road trip. I’m wondering if it’s time to get the hell off my boat. I’m wondering if it’s time to somehow rescue the pigeon that fell into the water this morning and is now taking refuge on a log just below our dock. I’m wondering if the roller foam I got for my shoulder/body in general will actually do anything. I wonder if my shoulder is actually going to get better. I wonder if it’s all in my head and the only reason I think my shoulder hurts is because I’m bored and I don’t focus on anything else. I’m wondering how much it would be to get a cottage on a couple acres in the Italian countryside. I’m wondering if I should make tea right now. I’m wondering if I should sell SHAK right now. I’m wondering if my waste tank is actually full and, if so, when they’re gonna come pump it out? I’m wondering if I could somehow justify getting another coffee after writing this blog post (I totally can). I wonder when I’m going to climb V4. I wonder if I’m EVER going to climb V7. I wonder if it matters.

Good morning. My name is Mark. It is September 16th (Mexican independence day!) and the smoke hasn’t cleared and by god I want it to clear but I don’t really notice it causing any health problems it’s more just the gloom. I have heard people talking about it causing coughs and headaches and sore throats and all sorts of other stuff. I’m not noticing any of this. The only thing I do notice — and very seldom — is a faint smell of campfire, for some reason usually when I’m driving. And I drive a lot. When you’re unemployed and the world is your geoduck, you do a lot of driving. You go to coffee shops. You go to bookstores. You go to the grocery store. You go bouldering. And sometimes you go surfing. All of these (see: some of these) require driving. I can’t imagine getting on the bus with my crashpad. But I have gotten on the bus with my surfboard.

WHERE WOULD I GO IF I WENT ON A ROADTRIP?????????????????????????????????

Renton. Aka Bothell. Aka Woodinville. Aka I’m not going on a road trip.

Aka I might be.

Aka what most likely is going to happen is the following: I’m going to chill on my boat this morning, I’m going to go to my parents’ house to do laundry and hang out with them and wile away the afternoon playing the piano and going for walks, I’m going to climb either tomorrow or the day after tomorrow or on Saturday, and then, maybe, MAYBE, I’ll get the hell out of dodge. But I’m not entirely sure.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the above photo I’ll tell you. When I was in Ushuaia in 2016 this dude named Tomas Bradley came to stay in the hostel I was staying at and, afer chilling in the common room for a couples minutes with us drinking mate, proceeded to serenade all of us with a rendition of “Si me quieres escribir,” a Spanish civil war song. Mercedes, the woman working the reception, instantly fell in love with him. I also mostly fell in love with him. And then, when I was in Buenos Aires a few weeks later, my friend Analia and I went to see him at some bar in Palermo and I was able to get this photo with him. And drink wine. And listen to his haunting (not haunting. maybe haunting?) voice.

What does that have to do with a road trip?

Wanderlust.

And now if you’re wondering about the ABOVE photo I can tell you a few things about it. First of all, guess what country it was taken in? Swaziland? Close. But not quite. I’ll give you one more guess. No, no, it’s not Sweden. But you were very close. Norway. I was there in November of 2019. It was the last solo trip I did. The last trip where I just dropped everything and said, “I’m getting on a plane. I don’t know where I’m going (well, ok, I know what country I’m going to) and I don’t know what I’m going to do there, but I’m going to go explore.” Since the pandemic has started I’ve still done this, just on a more local scale, aka all of my bouldering expeditions. Why do I like bouldering alone so much???????? This is a topic for another post. But I will say this: I like feeling like I’m alone and at large in the world and that anything could happen. I like feeling those possibilities. They make me feel alive.

Oh, and the above photo was taken in a town called Flå, where I stayed a couple nights and went to the animal park there and had a wonderful, surreal encounter with some linxes and also got to see some huge brown bears. But mostly I chilled alone in the hotel which had an abundant breakfast and was very cozy. There’s nothing like being in a warm hotel room in a Scandinavian country when it’s snowing outside. I remember the girl from the reception. She was Polish and I was so jealous of how well she spoke Norwegian. I speak Norwegian decently. I can say, “Can I get a black tea?” which makes me 37% fluent.

Speaking of black tea.

One more photo today which MIGHT inspire me to go on a road trip, aka inspire you to go on a road trip. This was taken on the island of Chiloe in southern Chile a couple years ago. It’s a boat. It’s low tide. One time I was there with my surfboard and when the tide would come in I’d go and paddle around to keep in shape. And then one time I was rinsing my wetsuit afterwards and there was a sizeable earthquake. This was Christmas day of 2016.

Why is there so much about 2016 in this blog post?

Bro, that was like four years ago. Move on.

K I’m about done for the day. Aka I’m completely done. I’m gonna go get coffee. Aka tea. Aka lie down and not watch YouTube videos.

Si me quieres escribir, ya sabes mi paradero.

– Wetz