Yosemite National Park is one of my favorite places in earth. The dramatic cliffs contrasted with the beautiful flower-filled meadows and the idyllic river and waterfalls make it a magical place.
My friend Nuno is a legit climber and we’ve been talking about taking a trip together for a while. He just bought a Dodge Sprinter and is tricking it out for just such trips so we made a plan for me to fly out to the bay area where he lives and then we’d take off. The original plan was Sqaumish British Columbia but we changed the first destination to Yosemite. First step: get to San Francisco.
Last week I had two brushes with mortality in two days, the first was more dangerous to me and the second was infinitely more tragic. On Wednesday I was climbing in Boulder Canyon and my belay partner thought I was going to rappel down from the top of a route while I thought he was lowering me off. He took me off belay as I came down and I basically started falling down the 70′ route. Because there was so much rope drag I was able to grab the other side of the rope that was coming up at me and stop my fall. It was by far the closest I’ve ever come to death while climbing. The following day I was sitting on the porch with my Mom and mentioned that the new Batman was opening that night. She asked if I wanted to go see it, I thought about it for a second and decided that I didn’t want to fight the crowds. My mom lives in Aurora Colorado and of course that was the night of the horrible, tragic shootings. An unbelievable sad situation. All in all it was a heavy two days and I was feeling pretty good about changing up the local and heading to California. I lived on the peninsula below San Francisco for two years and really love the area.
I flew to SF and took the Bart to Oakland where Nuno lives. He picked me up, we got some Afgani burritos (pretty damn good) and spent the rest of the day working on his van. Getting insulation and a ceiling up and installing a cabinet.
That night we went to a friend of Nunos party at a crazy warehouse art space. They had huge pieces of art sitting around by one of the main artists of burning man and coachella, people on pogo sticks, a live band, later DJ’s, bungy seats, one guy had a cat riding on his shoulder like a parrot. It was fun.
The next day we did a few more things to the van, picked up a couple climbing things from REI and went to an awesome fundraiser buffet at a Thai Temple in Oakland. The food was great, it was just like being back in in Thailand. I even got to use my limited Thai.