Santa Fe #2

Southwest kitsch at its finest.

I have never felt so deliciously unmotivated as I feel right now lying on my queen bed here in the Guadalupe Inn in Santa Fe, Mexico. The fireplace is going. The internet is working again. There are a plethora of wonderful cafes just a javelin-throw from the inn, but I don’t want to walk to any of them. I did just walk to one of them, Iconik Coffee Roasters, where with tip I paid $8.00 for a matcha latte. This is now the most I have ever paid for a matcha latte. Which I guess makes it unique in that regard. And it was a good matcha latte, but no matcha latte is worth eight dollars, save maybe the one I got in Monterrey, Mexico a few days ago that was sold by a girl in the running for friendliest girl on the planet and made with fresh peanut milk. And that matcha latte cost $2.50.

Ahhhhhh, the fireplace. With the blue angel wings hanging above it. The clear, blue sky outside. The crisp air. The REI that’s just a five-minute walk away. How can a capital city be so sleepy? Should I move to Santa Fe? What are the drawbacks? The generally arid climate? Does the adobe get old after awhile?

The plan right now is to drive to Moab tomorrow, stay there for a night or two, then drive somewhere north of SLC, then somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, and then back home. I’m not in a HUGE hurry to get home, because I see that a big cold front is coming. I hope the boat is ok. I hope things aren’t freezing on it right now. I’d say I hope my succulent is OK, but our souls are joined now, so that succulent isn’t going anywhere. My soul is also a bit joined with the boat’s, definitely joined with the Subi’s, and inextricably joined with anything involving bouldering. I can’t wait to boulder. I want to boulder so bad. I have a virtual physical therapy appointment on Monday, and then hopefully in-person the following week. The physical therapist I talked to today who will be seeing me is, wait for it….a climber. What luck. He knows what a heel hook is. He knows why I want to heal. He knows that I need to be projecting primo granite blocs and that I need to be doing it as soon as possible. He knows that if you’re sending, you’re not wallowing. And by sending I just mean touching holds. And by touching holds I mean dreaming about the movement.

Getting ready for some life coaching with my friend Jen. Forty five minutes till that, though, so I should probably go for a walk first. Get some mate. I didn’t want mate five minutes ago and now it sounds like a great idea. The sun is shining and two of the Subi tires got fixed today. Both had screws completely puncturing them. One of them has a gash in it. The one with the gash in it has become the spare. The whole escapade cost 45 bucks, and I also decided to tip the mechanic. Now I feel a lot better about the drive home with the Subi. The last 80 miles were pretty disconcerting yesterday.

Ahhhhhh, the sweetness of this bed and this room and this fireplace. The wanton sloth. Sometimes I feel bad about being lazy, but for some reason today I feel great about it. Maybe it’s because sometimes it’s not being lazy. Sometimes it’s just resting, letting your mind rest, letting your mud settle until the water becomes clear.

And then boiling that water and making mate with it.

Bathing in Vitamin D | Last Day in Zacatecas

Pigeon. Zacatecas, Mexico.

It’s time to seize the absolute living daylights out of this day since it might be my last day in Zacatecas before I start heading north tomorrow. Tomorrow to Saltillo, then Monday to Nuevo Laredo. Go to Banjercito and get the deposit back for my car. About 200 dollars. And then drive to SOMEWHERE in Texas and be back on American soil. Doesn’t sound very sexy, does it? That’s because it’s not. Is there anything sexy about Texas? Why does everyone want to move to Austin. I don’t want to move to Austin. I want to be as far away from Austin as possible. I want to move to Alaska.

Having some black tea at my AirBnb in Zacatecas, which is dangerous on an empty stomach. Those tannins. Knee is feeling pretty good considering amount of sugar ingested yesterday. Swelling seems to FINALLY be going down. Which is amazing. I still elevate it. I still don’t feel like I could run. I still try to avoid lateral movement. But I’m a little less worried about it. A little less worried about walking on uneven surfaces.

God I can’t wait till Cafe du Monde opens so I can go get mate.

I just went up to the Subi to see if I could find the oil filter cuz the dudes at Autozone the other day suggested I really need to change the oil filter after so much driving and so much time since an oil change. I never even thought about changing the oil filter. So I did what I do best when it comes to working on cars: I opened the hood and stood there looking at it, concerned. If you ever want to feel like a man, just do this. Open the hood of your car. Stare at the contents looking pensive or concerned. You will feel your testosterone levels rising.

Obviously I couldn’t find the oil filter. But I did get down on my back and look at the undercarriage. I can’t tell if it’s mangled or not. There appears to be a slight oil leak, but it’s so minute it’s not even dripping on the ground. There’s a drip, but it’s hanging there, afraid to jump. There’s a clean area around the drip, which my cousin’s husband told me was a great indicator of a leak. But when I checked the oil this morning it was MORE THAN FULL. I don’t understand this car. What the hell is going on. Sometimes I check it on level ground and it’s bone dry. Other times I check it and it appears oil should be bursting out of the top of it.

When I get back home I’m getting BPC-157 and injecting the fuck out of it into my knee.

My AirBnb in Zacatecas is small but adequate. It has a microwave and a fridge and a coffee maker. It has a smart TV, which I haven’t used yet. It’s about a 5-10 minute walk from the historic center, and a 5-10 minute walk from my favorite cafe, where I will be going ever so shortly, Cafe du Monde. My neighbors were being loud last night but I just put on some white noise and that did the trick. It’s good to write blogs before I get too caffeinated, because when I get too caffeinated I feel like the world is coming to an end. Why drink caffeine at all then??????????????????????????????????????????????????? you might ask. Slash you’re probably asking. Well, because I’m addicted. Is that so hard to understand? I’m addicted to two substances right now. Caffeine. And sugar. I’m probably more addicted to sugar. I recently cut out caffeine for a week, but it would be harder for me to cut out sugar for a week. When you cut out caffeine and sugar you don’t have as much of the highs and lows, but the problem then is you don’t have the damn HIGHS. Sugar makes you high. It’s wonderful. And then it drops you right back down.

Hang in there, Subi. Please God.

My teeth are so damn clean from yesterday. These fucking tannins in my stomach.

OK, time to seize the day. I hope you all are seizing the day too. It is sunny here and I’m gonna bathe in vitamin D.

– MW

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.

 

Trying Too Hard (#8)

I think I might be trying a bit too hard on this blog. I say this because on my other blog, dedicated to American soccer phenom Christian Pulisic, I don’t try hard at all. I just have fun. But for some reason on this blog I feel compelled to make the writing good, which of course only makes it bad. There was a famous Sportscenter commercial where Kenny Mayne is hitting golf balls into the satellite dish behind the company offices. The guy helping him says, “Hold it like a bird. Not so hard that you crush it. Not so soft that it gets away.”

Ahhh, these metaphors for life.

The above picture was taken by my right arm outside Villa la Angostura about two years ago. The girl in the picture had some kind of exotic name with syllables where they shouldn’t have been, and as I usually do, I briefly fell in love with her on our walk. She had a boyfriend. She was very clear about that. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying a nice hike together and drinking mate in the mountains of Patagonia.

But what does this have to do with anything?

It has to with mate because the reason I’ve been trying hard on this damn blog is because I want it to be something. I have no idea what. I want recognition. The other day I heard that someone had said about me, “I got caught up on Mark’s blog. Sounds like he’s still traveling around, still drinking mate and talking about how much he loves the waitress. But, like, nothing’s really changed, has it?”

I was of course deeply hurt by this until I realized that the reason I was hurt was because it was completely true. That’s been the last 10 years of my life. Traveling around. Drinking yerba mate. Falling in love but now really. And then moving on the next day.

Which is actually completely fine.

But then I made a promise to an 80-year-old Chilean woman that I would stop doing that. So I moved back to Seattle. I bought a boat. And now I live on said boat, and it’s where I’m typing these very words, listening to the rain outside, wondering where I might be able to travel to next, and also wondering if it’s time to boil water and drink a little mate.

-W