First Days of the Road Trip | Cali Road Trip #1

Near Madras, Oregon.

Checkout at Motel West in Bend, Oregon is at 11am today which means I only have about 15 minutes to write this post. Maybe less. I just went bouldering at the Widgi Creek area in Bend and while fun it threw in stark relief how amazing the bouldering in Washington is. Widgi Creek felt like one tiny area of the Icicle Canyon in Leavenworth, of which there are TONS of areas, and then in Leavenworth you don’t just have the Icicle but also have Tunwater and Mountain Home, too. Not to mention all the insanely good bouldering in the Skykomish Valley. Which reminds me: If I ever move away from Seattle (and I will), I only have one option: Go north. I can move to Leavenworth, Squamish, Victoria or Vancouver. These are literally the only options. But I am not allowed to move south. Which means I can never move to Bend. Which is fine.

My body was hurting after the drive yesterday. Too many hours sitting. And today I’m probably going to do it all over again because the goal is to make it to Colusa, California. But first I need to go to REI. I need to go to REI here in Bend because a) I love REI (I drive a Subaru, for Christ’s sake) and b) They might sell surfboard ding repair stuff (though they probably don’t). They also just have so many treats at REI. I love browsing REI. They’ll probably have a copy of Central Oregon Bouldering so I can read about all the boulders in this area that I have no idea exist that will probably make me eat my words in paragraph one. And then after REI I’ll get on the 97 headed south, first to Klamath Falls, and then on to California. I need to beat this cold front.

Breakfast.

Why Colusa, you ask? Well, it’s a sleepy town on the Sacramento River. It won’t be as cold there as in other places. And most importantly it has good lodging at a reasonable price. This trip might become a surf trip pretty soon. I’m not sure. I realized today that bouldering is hard. It took every fiber or strength in my body to climb a V1. So maybe I’ll just go to the coast. Maybe I won’t even make it to Bishop. Who knows.

For now though I need to make sure I’ve gotten all of my stuff out of room 241 at the illustrious Motel West. Luckily most of the stuff is still in my car. Then check out. Then go to REI. Then hit the road.

 

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

 

Finger Strength

The end of a long week. Sitting on the couch watching bouldering videos and listening to the song “Loyal” by Odesza. Making black tea. Drinking said tea. Playing the game “Tomb Raider II,” starring the enigmatic Lara Croft. Making forays into the garage to do max hangs on a board screwed into the wall. So far on the two pad setting (which is, incidentally, the only setting, since it’s a 2×6), I can almost do 20 seconds. I know this is not a lot. I am not a strong climber. I am not a TERRIBLE climber, because I’m not super afraid of falling and am quite athletic, but I have next to zero climbing technique and also very little finger strength. I regularly fail on V3’s/V4’s in the gym. But it doesn’t matter. Because I love it. I love it and I have no plans to stop.

I pound a cup of black tea but it’s just not cutting it. I need more caffeine. The Friday afternoon doldrums have set in. It’s almost as if everything has lost its flavor. I’m bored of playing the piano, I’m bored of going on walks, I’m bored of playing video games, I’m bored of watching movies, I’m bored of seeing how long I can hang from a board in my garage. I want to do what I’ve done best all my life: Just get up and go. But since I CAN’T do that right now, I’ll just talk about what I hypothetically would do if I could.

What would I do right now if I could do anything, go anywhere, but of course taking into account current coronavirus closures, social distancing guidelines, the strength of the yen, etc.

First, I would go for a surf. It’s been a long time since I got in the water. Sunday is looking decent. Monday, too. So I’d do that. Then I’d come back, spend another week or so on Bainbridge, do one last big grocery run for my parents, and then get out of dodge. And by out of dodge I of course mean I would go to my boat. Where I would spend a few days cleaning it, making it less awful, etc. And then. And then. And then I would head for the mountains in my ’97 Subaru. Or I would go up to the San Juan’s in my boat. The stratosphere is the limit. And then I would head south, stopping at famous bouldering places on the way, until I got to southern California, where I would wait on the northern side of the Mexican border until they opened it and I could finally get across. More bouldering, more surfing. Speaking Spanish. Eating tacos. Some tacos. Smoking a few rollies even, maybe. I’m in Mexico!

Further and further south in my car? Maybe.

Or maybe not. At this point I would make my way back to Washington where I would star The Grand Adventure, aka sailing to South America in my 27 foot sailboat. First night, Port Townsend. Bounce around the San Juans for a bit. Maybe, MAYBE, stop in Victoria. Then round Cape Flattery and start heading south. Stop in La Push. Stop in Westport. Stop in Oregon, and then make the big push for Southern California. Bonfires on the beach, more surfing, and then back into Mexico. A couple weeks in Ensenada. Fixing things that have broken on the boat. Fitting it out for even more sailing, bluewater, bluewater baby, bluewater all the way, all the way to Puerto Vallarta and points further south, anchoring at La Calechosa to surf, anchoring by that little town across the bay and paddling over, that beautiful right point break, oh how she’s beautiful, further and further south, surfing La Ticla, surfing The Ranch, SKIPPING LA SALADITA, and further and futher south, and now we’re in Central America, and Costa Rica, and Panama, and maybe we just say to hell with it and go through the Canal. Into the Caribbean. And that’s it. Why would you need to go any further?

What Happened? (#14)

There is a time and a place for going to the little fishing hamlet of Westport, Washington. The time is almost never. But today was one of the days in which it was appropriate to go. The waves looked to be wondrous, and they were. A friend and I had one of the best surf sessions we’d had in awhile. I felt like a taller, less capable version of Kelly Slater. The waves were consistent and the wind was offshore. The traffic was light going through Tacoma and Olympia, which almost never happens. If I were religious I would say that the gods (plural) were smiling at us from their perches up on high. But I am not religious. I believe in Chopin Nocturnes and saying goodnight to the stars every night.

But that is neither here nor there.

What is here (and there)? I’m not quite sure. I’m going to Mexico on Saturday, and I’m excited about that. The flight leaves at 5am from Seattle which means we have to be to the airport around 3am, which means I’m basically not sleeping Friday night. Which is fine, because it means I’ll probably sleep more on the plane. I have aisle seats all the way there. At least on the first flight to LAX, home to Shake Shack, a company I have stock in which has been tanking recently.

Our AirBnb the first two nights in Mexico is spectacular.

Excuse the ghetto-ass embed above. But I wanted to show you how incredible this place looks. It doesn’t cost $273 a night.

Also excuse this paltry blog post today. I’m exhausted. After surfing I went to my friend’s house and drank coffee, and coffee is pretty much a life ruiner for me. It picks me up for a few moments, and then drops me like a sack of yams. Which basically meant that as I was driving back from Westport I began to slip into a state of malaise. As we were going by Sea-Tac I was ready to open the door, shove myself out, and roll. But I stayed strong. And now I’m at my friend’s house desperately blogging and getting ready to eat pozole.

The universe provides.

Speaking of the universe providing, I wonder if it will provide me with a massage in the next couple days. I desperately need one ( see: it would be a welcome luxury) and have always thought that when you really need something, the universe provides it. Like the time I went to Chile with $300 bucks and got a job at a bed ‘n’ breakfast and then at an Italian restaurant. Or the time I needed to get the metal out of my wrist and the surgeon walked into the triage room and said, “So, we’re taking all the metal out today?”

You know exactly what I’m talking about.

Or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. I feel miles apart from you today. What happened?

-W