My Greatest Adventure.


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Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 7, 2012 - 10:55am PT
In between my 2nd and 3rd year of college, I told my parents that I was going to Boulder to live in a friend's apartment to work for the Summer. I had never ventured further west than NY state, but I felt a strange pull, and so I packed up two backpacks and hopped a Greyhound.

Once there, the mountains called daily, so I applied for food stamps and sold my blood plasma twice a week for spending money. I would leave the clinic on Pearl Street and hitch into Eldo, hooking up with a variety of characters and ticking off classics that I had only seen in pictures in my dog-eared copy of "Climb!" I was fortunate to hook up with john Rosholt, and we climbed together most of the Summer, including forays into RMNP and Boulder Canyon.

That trip was a turning point in my young life, and I swore to myself that I would return someday to live there. I made a half hearted attempt a few years later, but life has a strange way of dictating the timing of things, and I returned to NH after two months. Instead I roadtripped to Yosemite for 4 seperate 2 month trips, and after a successful first trip to Cham, I was introduced to the love of my life and we settled into an apartment to start a family. My Electronics Engineering degree held no sense of purpose, and I entered the building trades to earn money and self taught finish work, then cabinet making, and eventually fine furniture. We found a beautiful New Englander that we made our home, the classic "big house, little house, back house, barn." That was 19 years ago.

My wife was also interested in moving to CO, but insisted that the kids finish high school, and so I bided my time, waiting. When my youngest entered college, we listed the house, and nothing, I mean nothing, happened. In four years we had no more than 5 showings, and my resentments accelerated an already heavy drinking career. I was shipped off to rehab for two months, but the bottle proved too powerful and I continued to be a black out drunk as my life crumbled around me. I gravitated away from climbing, gained weight, and signed over my interests in the house to my wife, who feared that every time she saw me would be the last.

Most people who fall in a ditch would climb out, but a committed alcoholic tends to move in and start picking out mud curtains. Months from divorce and lost in a continuing downward spiral I finally hit bottom, and this time I checked myself back into rehab. This time, I was ready.

That was 26 months ago. It took time to rebuild relationships and my life, but the miracle of sobriety returned my career, my marriage, my climbing, and my life. Every day brought healing and new gifts, but the house still sat, unwanted.

Last week we had a rare showing, and I paraded around smudging the rooms with white sage smoke and asking the Universe for an answer. I offered tobacco to Mother Earth, and set my intentions to move and evolve wherever I needed to go. It was now out of my hands.

We left last weekend for a 4 day canoe camping trip on Squam Lake of "On Golden Pond" fame. I brought my new iPhone, despite our strict "no electronics" rule; something told me it would be useful. On the second day I retrieved an e-mail with an offer on the house! We countered, and the price was accepted; their only demand was that we be fully moved out of our home of 19 years within 30 days. Hell yes, we can do that!

To end an already long story, a chance encounter at the General Store led to a 6 month rental 10 miles away. I have 25 more days to finish the bed and nightstand I have been crafting, and then the shop will be culled of years worth of exotic hardwoods, unneeded tools, and the necessities moved into storage; the rental has no viable shop space.

I will not be able to ply my trade over the Winter months, but I have a variety of skills to keep me pulling in a meager outcome. Having lost my license for 3 years after a DWI, I will be rental-bound until I get it back in early December. I offer popular workshops in holistic healing, sell and teach Native American drum and rattle making, and will probably do some writing for various trade journals.

After the 6 months are up and Winter behind us, my wife and I will be buying a truck camper or similar, loading up our two Welsh Corgis, and taking a three month road trip with the Colorado front range as a final destination. We plan to hit the Black hills, the Tetons and Yellowstone where we honeymooned, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion, Mesa Verde, anything and everything that calls.

We both have no idea what we will do for work when we get there. My wife is burned out from 20 years as a mortgage officer, and I may or may not re-open my shop.

It really doesn't matter, we're just along for the ride.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 7, 2012 - 10:59am PT
Very cool slice of personal history!

Thanks for sharing it with us.

Gym climber
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:05am PT
Congratulations, Edge.

Ice climber
dingy room at the Happy boulders hotel
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:08am PT
Very inspirational. Good for you with your recovery.
I am looking to make a change also, and you have motivated me to get my but in gear.

Trad climber
the east
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:11am PT
"Big house, middle house, back house, barn." Made me laugh, I haven't heard that is a while. Schooner Fair has a fun song by that title.

Congratulations on your recent successes, Edge. Best to you and your wife as your adventure continues.

Sep 7, 2012 - 11:12am PT
Great story. At some level it resonates with all of us.
Fish Finder

Social climber
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:20am PT

Glad to see you have a handle on the paddle.

Looks like you made it to the edge and are now back.

Gym climber
the secret topout on the Chockstone Chimney
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:23am PT
Thanks Edge. Good luck with the new adventure!

Trad climber
Dover, NH
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:23am PT
Lauren, pumped to hear it. It's been great seeing you get after it again, FA's and FFA's and taking care of demons keeps us strong. Have a great time on this 'next' next phase.
-Jon Howard

Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:31am PT
An honest and compelling story. Much appreciated.

As a side note, it continues to impress me how many lives John Rosholt touched. I was introduced to the loads on the ledge technique in Colorado (western slope) as well.

Also, the sobriety thing gets even better as well. I cracked 20 years in June. Keep up the good works!


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:31am PT
Good for you Edge! Much happiness to you and yours even if it will all be
for nought as of Dec 21. ;-)

Boulder, CO
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:34am PT
Neat story. And very appropriate for my day.

I'm heading to Boulder right now to sign a lease.

I'm moving to Boulder, ColoRADo.

Joto is on the way - Naked Edge calls.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:37am PT
Great to see that picture of Rosholt, it certainly is him, those Chouinard pants and the forearm guns are a dead giveaway...miss him.

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:37am PT
Happy Trails fellow life traveler.

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:48am PT
It is wonderful to feast on a world full of possibilities!

Sep 7, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
Love them Corgis! Mine is 10 years old and has an incredible personality. He's even written poetry that I post occasionally on ST.


The Granite State.
Sep 7, 2012 - 12:33pm PT
Wow! What a sudden change!

Great write up, let me know if you want someone to take care of any unneeded tools. :)

And, congratulations!
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Sep 7, 2012 - 12:40pm PT
A friend of mine builds fences for the rich people in Boulder. The last couple of years have been hard for him, but now he says its picked up and the construction industry is hot again. There's a lot of illegal construction workers from Mexico in the Denver area, and some animosity. My friend's an old climber, let me know if you need a contact.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 7, 2012 - 02:25pm PT
Awesome Edge!

The future is bright,
the world is your oyster,
possibilities are limitless.

Git some red dirt on them shoes.


Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2012 - 02:41pm PT
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and support.

Dee ee, there will be "red dirt" in my future. Growing up, the two most influential books in my life were "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Desert Solitaire".

Hunter S Thompson helped get me where I am today, now I figure it's Abbey's turn...
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