I've never thought of them as "forks in the road" but more as reference points.
The moment when I chose to quit climbing for twelve years.
I remember that instant, that hold, the view, all I was focused on and all I was missing, and everything I needed.
That one decision led to personal development that needed to happen, learning a trade, growing up, and living the ocean life.
The moment I decided to quit southern California and the surfing life and move back to my hometown in the desert.
I remember that last wave as a local- the speed, every cutback, the color of the sky and water.
I remember driving away, the bewildered looks of friends, and all that I learned and all the years that melted together in the blink of an eye with every tide, each new swell, and evey mini monthly financial crisis.
That decision brought me home, to a sense of place, to my Mom, to the old crack in the sidewalk I've tripped over since gradeschool, to the streets my grandmother, my great grandmother, and my great great grandmother rode burros on.
It led to a surprise career, a word I formally thought of as synonimous with "deathwish". It brought me back to rockclimbing, a crucial thread in the fabric at the core of my very being.
I've tried to embrace each "fork" as not a fork but just a turn, which around just lay more beauty, more struggle, more learning. It's just called life.
Believe in the mystery.
Hey BASE- thanks, brother, for the awesome posts and ensuing thread.
The book or piece is called "Feeding The Rat." My BASE buddies called it Feeding the Monkey.
Sometimes you just can't be happy unless you are doing intense things. Feeding the Monkey.
I'm like that. Gotta feed the monkey.
I am buying a sailboat on Cheapeake Bay right now. Not some zillionaire sailboat, but a 27 footer with a good reputation of sailing around the world many times, some trips around the horn. All that. I'm gonna take off next summer and go live on the boat and sail it in the bay for the summer. I got some learning to do. My sailing experience is racing 18 foot centerboard boats on lakes.
The best thing is that you can buy an Albin Vega in decent shape for less than 10 grand. I know of one for 8 grand. Not exactly a rich man's toy, but a vehicle for adventure. There are hundreds of these boats on the market at any time, but I couldn't find the right one on the west coast, which is much closer to the S Pacific and all that fun.
Don't tell my wife she doesn't even know. I've done this on the down low searching for the right boat for months.
The friends, though. They will stay with you for life if you just keep up and don't blow them off.
Can you all share a couple of those moments that our burned into your brains? Just the good ones. The bad ones are a drag, and we all have them.
They make waaaaay better BASE gear nowadays and you can afford it 104! Since I was a kid, climbing was always an easy and natural fit for my life. I was swapping leads up the Naked Edge when I was 16, the same year I made my 1st parachute jumps. As a "sponsored" climber BITD I knew it would never pay for anything but just the climbing though. No car, home, food or electricity covered in climbing sponsorships unless you're in the .1% and then just barely. I've never felt more boxed in than not being able to afford food, rent, a nice dinner out with my girlfriend/Wife on her birthday. Owning a house in Golden CO makes climbing fit easily into our schedule these days(our absolute lack of need for kids makes everything alot easier), but "real adventure" for me requires money and that requires a good job unless you have family money and niether of us have a penny of that. We are very close to having way more money than time to spend it, but I just wouldn't trade that for anything. Much like the image of Jim Bridwell stepping out of the tent and tradmanclimbs story I've had my own vision of what my life could end up like and I fought like grim death for years to get to where my uneducated ass is now, middle class and thrilled. My absolute #1 climbing idol since day 1 gets killed falling down some stairs while hammered? Lots of dangerous forks in the road that have nothing to do with money, but situations you have control over but not the wherewithall to recognize it.
Back to adventures, which are the moments that I crave like heroin.
Video is from last weekend BASE 104, adventure is all a state of mind,
Def not a legal jump, and Sonic is VERY enthusastic groundcrew.
I guess my point with that was, we jumped that windmill last Sunday morning and were back on our couch, in the house we own with the heat cranked and watching the Broncos kickoff on our bigscreen by noon. Fridge jammed full of sweet groceries! Then we both woke up at 5:30am the next morning and went to our jobs like any other shnook.
With climbing, I got really strong being a dirtbag and then I swapped priorities partway through so I could afford to go to outrageous places and be sorta strong.
Forks, turns, whatever, I've learned that I can do a lot of different things and still be the same as#@&%e, just in a different locale doing the same old thing. Real, conscious change, that is much harder to instill. It took a severe, near-death beating for me to even confront that monkey.