At some point, we will hit a literal bump in the road, and our new camper will definitely break in half, our bed will smash down onto our heads, and we’ll learn our forever lesson about trying to live a life that makes us happy. Until then, we’ll just keep not taking the hint. Our maiden voyage, like most new things, felt a lot like trying to puke on someone else from a rollercoaster, but throwing up into the air instead, not understanding what direction your body is travelling through space, and slamming straight into your own floating vomit ribbons.
BRAAAP, BRAAA-GLORP. My bike came to a dead stop, sunk deep into the confusing embrace of mud. There’s nothing like not crashing your dirtbike for long enough to conquer a hill climb, only to find your riding buddies waiting with a camera pointed at you. This is not what I encountered at the top of this particular hill. Eli knew that if he pointed a camera at me, I’d either choke, or just avoid the giant mud puddle, both of which would bore him. So with no warning, already committed to my line, I pin it straight through the deepest water-filled rut in the mud puddle naively expecting only a gross shower. Instead, I had to squlorp my boots out of the deep mud, climb off of my dirtbike statue, and laugh until I cried. Luckily, there were 3 of us, so after taking pictures and gawking at my bike being held upright by the earth’s own hands (see below), Travis and Eli each grabbed a handlebar while I lifted and pushed the rear, extracting my bike with extreme efficiency. I attempted to roost all the mud onto Eli, stalled it instead, and then we continued ripping around the OHV area until we were all exploding bottles of bliss. We arrived back at camp to drink some beers and yell through our salty helmet hair about how that was the Best Rip Ever.
What does sending your hardest climb yet get you if not eternal glory? Not sure if I answered that, but I certainly typed a lot of words:
“Their enthusiasm has no bounds, and therefore people born under the Sagittarius sign possess a great sense of humor and an intense curiosity. Freedom is their greatest treasure, because only then they can freely travel and explore different cultures and philosophies. Because of their honesty, Sagittarius-born are often impatient and tactless when they need to say or do something, so it’s important to learn to express themselves in a tolerant and socially acceptable way.” Hey, fuck off, you don’t know me!
All human life is spent trying not to fail at any more things. Reassuringly, nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold. So even she fails, and we get seasons. Failing can take infinite forms: burning food, hurting yourself, and letting everyone down. Generally, barfing is a sure sign of failure. You take a risk, you fail, and puke comes out. When walking into the boulders, hikers ask about our crash pads. With bright eyes we explain that they are for rock climbing, and they say, “Oh, in case you fall, I get it!” But there’s no “in case.” It’s inevitable, climbing is falling. I should say, “They are for falling off rocks.” Maybe you can’t identify with any of this because you’re not a walking train wreck, you have a shiny golden face, and all your wheelies are eternal, but you have definitely failed at something, and will most definitely fail at something else again.
If all those internet trolls wondered why Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson were wasting their lives doing something as useless as climbing the Dawn Wall, then boy are they going to be disappointed in me. There’s nothing like a glued-together cave problem with a drop-off finish in a world class bouldering area to make you question what the hell you are doing with your life. Fortunately, if you look into the cave with the right kind of eyes, you will find the definitive answer to soothe any existential crisis: Going sideways, to that glued jug, DUH.
When people say things like “retail therapy” the vomit starts a-flowin’. Maybe it’s because the idea of shopping to get oneself out of a depression is more depressing than just dying. Or maybe I like to exaggerate, sue me! HOWEVER, I like getting new shit as much as the next guy, and yes, sometimes I’ll go acquiring new shit if I’m feeling uninspired (ahem, injured). Of course, I can’t go buying things all the time because I hardly make any money. Besides, in the long run it’s boring and unfulfilling. Instead, I turn old pieces of garbage into new kinds of crap. To this end, one of the best tools I’ve ever purchased is the Stewart Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl. It is $15 and with it you can do amazing things, such as purchase something while depressed and then use it to create and modify yours, and others’ belongings with startlingly invigorating results. It creates a locking stitch, just as a sewing machine would, but it uses very strong thread and is able to easily pierce thick materials such as leather, foam, and hardened hearts. I’ve heard¹ rumors that it is the most fashionable way to sew a rhino’s horn back on, and I know for a fact that sailors use it to repair sails, and that people make HELLA leather knife sheaths.
Above: The view from Radio Danger Mountain
Yesterday was our 3 year 3 month and 3 day anniversary of living in The Rampage, which we have totally been planning to celebrate on purpose, so we went on a dirtbike adventure date! We packed the GPS, towels, 6 liters of water, snacks, swimsuits, and rode out of Moe’s Valley, across the desert to end up at the Gunlock Reservoir. The idea was that we would sneak up on the reservoir from the back side, and not have to pay the state park fee. Sadly, the only picture I took the entire day was the one at the top of this post, so you will have to suffer my use of Imagery (and possibly stolen photos) from here on out.
Well here you are, lost in a maze. It could be haunted and made of corn, or you might be stuck inside of a cheap plastic toy, with a tiny ball bearing ever in pursuit. It’s none of my business. Eventually you will happen upon a dead end (a legitimate one, not a wall… that seems to have features on it…), where the only way out is to turn around. Except, sometimes it isn’t that simple. Sometimes, there is a family of bears waiting for you to turn around, ready to savor your flesh while you call your mom and tell her you’re dying. Sometimes, you turn around only to discover yourself in superposition, already having turned around, finding yourself eating a Schrodinger’s catdog. Sometimes, you turn around and see yourself hunched over in a terrible superposition, not even knowing which end of the Schrodinger’s catdog you are supposed to eat first.
If you’ve never asked a 3 year old to guess your age, put that on your bucket list. I’ve been put anywhere from 5 to 100. They usually guess below 10 because you must be however old the other big kids they know are. If they don’t guess “big kid age,” they usually guess the highest number they know, because the older you get, the bigger you get. Little kids don’t understand peaks or primes of life. To them, age, strength, and “bigness” are directly proportional.