So at length I have dealt with my new reality. To be fair that is not ALL I have been doing, that has just been the focal point of my writing. But now that the half full vs half empty dichotomy has been set up and explored, you can overlay that as a background monologue behind everything that I am doing. Point being that I have a pretty stout to do-list that needs whittling down before I leave San Diego. I am a list-maker. I compulsively write down everything that I need to do from grocery items I need to buy to emails that need to be returned. It’s not necessarily “sane” behavior, but it helps me function.
1 I have found that retained far too many clothes since leaving NY. I need to get rid of the excess.
This is not a veiled reference to my desire to embrace nudism. I simply have found that aside from undergarments, multiples of any piece of clothing are…just more stuff to drag around. So I am going to do another ebay blitz and sell-sell-sell!
2 I will be leaving San Diego behind as my home base (and not returning!) so there are some things (paperwork mostly and some winter-gear that is out of season) that I will have to mail to my dad’s house back east for safekeeping.
3 (Remember our Indiegogo funding campaign?) It is our plan to finish the monkey-fist chokers and send them out before the middle of the summer. Since all of the other perks were based in media (photos, movie credits etc) those will have to wait to be fulfilled until the project is complete–but since I can MAKE the monkey fist chokers myself, that will be done in short order before I hit the road again. I have made 12…35 more to go. Each one takes about 30-45 minutes to make once you get in a rythm.
4 The Dragon-Wagon needs an oil change and tire rotation since those backroads in Moab kinda left a hitch in my get-along. It also needs to be “re-organized”…I have a new “system” to put in place to keep the food from getting all mixed up. Hint: It involves a LOT of snapware. This is probably the most tangible advantage of going solo–my systems can reign supreme and unchallenged! (I didnt say it was normal)
5 I am waiting for another package from GoPro–I think it is camera accessories–I really have no idea so it will be a surprise, whatever they send me! I also am waiting to recieve a package from Clifbar who are always hooking us up. Our sponsors are SO amazing–each and every one has been super supportive and generous!
6 Make more lists.
Ok, so looking at that list, it’s not that much to do. The real challenge now is what to do/where to go from here. As I alluded to yesterday, I have several options and all are exciting. Basically I have two options that I am torn between at the moment–which can be summarized as such: basecamp vs drifting
1) Make Zion my new basecamp (Rob and Bill have offered their couch for me to sleep on as long as I need) and I could do my “summer” season by taking trips for extended periods out of that area.
Pros- I will have solid partners who I know, trust, and can count on to push me. Living AT the climbing area–greatly reduced need for travel. Having a semblance of a workspace (IE not living out of the car) will allow me to blog and to be able to have a much faster turn around on photos and videos and staying connected. All of the best climbing in the US is a day’s drive from Utah and finding partners looking to travel to my intended destinations should be easier in Zion than in San Diego. Having friends around is more likely to keep me from going Apocalypse Now. Hitting my farther destinations with competent partners would mean less time, but bigger routes.
Cons- It’s going to be getting HOT in Zion which will limit the climbing there. The original plan was not to have any basecamp for the summer. The net affect would be more climbing in an area that I have spent a fair bit of time in already. The time spent in the Pacific NW would be lessened since I would not be drifting at will but making a more focused trip out there. I could get sidelined by slipping into a comfort zone.
2) Pack up the car and take off. Yosemite would be the first area I’d head for. I would do as much as I could there with partners that may or may not avail themselves, then head up the coast of California and go from area to area trying to find people to climb with. I would move with the weather and stay in places where camping was free and simple. The Dragon Wagon would be permanent basecamp.
Pros- It sounds cooler. It is more committing and there is more unknown. I will be forced to adapt to multiple changes that will come at random–that’s life on the road. It will allow for a more leisurely, less “objective-based” climbing experience since I can truly take my time and have nowhere else to be. Granite. Climbing on granite is so much easier…and some would say safer. Weather is no problem–if it gets too hot, just find some mountains, and go there.
Cons-Possibly too many variables to handle in the process of filming, photographing and trying to maintain all of the day to day processes of life while alone. Likely more expensive, with more time spent on the road (driving is costly) and more time spent in CA which is a LOT more expensive than UT. Being out of touch, unable to blog, post photos with any consistency. Difficulty finding partners, no real support network, isolation.
So. While I am checking off the things on my “to do” list, I am trying to sort out the things on my “pros and cons” list. I can envision either scenario as a best-case, going really really well. Worst case scenario, I feel like no basecamp and just bumming it in the car would be decidedly worse if fate conspires against me…The reality is probably a mixture of some things going well and others really poorly. That’s life.
Maybe all the pros and cons are more illusory than I realize and it doesn’t make a huge difference which way I choose to go–but it sure feels like I am standing on yet another brink of a big decision that will steer this project either over a cliff (splat!) or up a cliff.
I hate making decisions.