The Fork In The Road


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Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Dec 1, 2012 - 09:33pm PT
This is what is nice about schizophrenia - you get to live more than one life at a time.

Since I'm not - I'll have to wait until Alzheimer's sets in.

Dec 1, 2012 - 10:33pm PT
It pays not to be egotistical and think one can make the "right" choice. Face the facts. The best one can hope for is to make choices that "work".

Choices that don't work. never leave one wondering. So if you are wondering, just the fact you are wondering tells you your choices were "good".

Trad climber
BackInTheDitch BackInTheDirt BackInTheDay
Dec 1, 2012 - 10:35pm PT
I fully believe that, jstan.


Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Dec 1, 2012 - 11:18pm PT
I actually did come to a fork in the road. I didn't see it. Ran over it and got a flat tire. True story.

I think there are many forks in our road of life. The trick for me was trying to leave as many paths as open as possible. I didn't want to make decisions that limited choices.

That you have options makes you a fortunate man. Congratulations!
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 1, 2012 - 11:23pm PT
I actually did come to a fork in the road. I didn't see it. Ran over it and got a flat tire. True story.

Like a real fork? and it popped your tire? Well don't that beat all! good thing it wasn't a land mine eh?

Social climber
Dec 1, 2012 - 11:24pm PT
hey there say, werner... i like what you said...
not sure if i see the full salad of what you meant, but to be, as to the
ol fork in the road:

when you first take the fork-side that you choose, well, in a sense, you have also chosen the other side, too: you've chosen to 'save it' ...

we can't possibly be everywhere in the world at once, or do everything ALL at once...

if we choose the side of our fork, right--the rest falls into place:
the other side of the fork 'turns around' and either partake of some
of it... use some of it for our 'meal of life', or decide to reject
what it offers completely, as:

we don't NEED that 'adventure portion' --we are 'learned' as to who we
are and happy as for going with our 'gut feeling'...

can't say for sure:
but if one does have regrets as to certain folks in the road, perhaps one
has not fully learned all of who oneself is yet?
and needs to explore a bit more and find the missing pieces...
*not meaning to ditch what is built as to family and home (self and a tent/lone room) --just study a bit as to what happened, at the fork,
and then TAKE it from there...

good luck base104--perhaps after a bit more study, and your sail,
things will fork-over a satisfied new portion to this meal of life,
for you...


nice post for all to reflect on, thanks for sharing...

Ice climber
the ghost
Dec 1, 2012 - 11:30pm PT
Whether you climb(ed) full time or part time, you are much better off than those who have never climbed.

I suspect that most climbers:
-define themselves by their skills & attitudes, not by their possessions
-realize that life is much more fun if you have a reasonable degree of physical fitness
-are no strangers to adversity, and thus handle it better

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Dec 1, 2012 - 11:37pm PT
base,well written,i cant add to that much, but to say, go for story is almost inverse,i poured my life into hockey the first 20 years,all the way to college.had 6 shoulder injuries.moved to cali,surfed,bouldered,built back up.since then i have been a carpenter/contractor,always lookin to get away.4 years ago,everything changed,at 54 i have learned to live on nothing.its time to live at the crags,the bc ski spots and the rivers.just a different fork is all.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Dec 1, 2012 - 11:39pm PT
Like a real fork? and it popped your tire? Well don't that beat all! good thing it wasn't a land mine eh?

Yes, a real fork. A dinner fork. And it did make my tire go flat. I couldn't even be grumpy about it since it was so absurd!

I too am happy it was not a land mine. :)

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Dec 1, 2012 - 11:39pm PT

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 1, 2012 - 11:45pm PT
Neeb's and others have mentioned a interesting aspect to the dillemma, that of "regret", and that is what I think is so spooky about projecting into the future. But I also think its important that it is not so much a boogie man looking back at the past, which might not be so obvious when you don't have much of a past to look back at . In fact I think that feeling that we get and call "regret" may more often just be plain old uncertainty. Again that has mostly to do with considering your present and future, and the belief that some day you may look back and have "regret".

In my experience, I'd say this is mostly not true. I regret certain things but not the general drift my life took. That is not because its not possible to speculate on what might have been, just that its such a ludicrously moot point and wildly uncertain speculation. This becomes obvious looking back but it is not obvious looking forward!

So real regret I don't think happens so much as might be feared, even if you chose tar and gravel roofing in Sacremento over..... well maybe thats not the best example but anyway the uncertainty of looking ahead I think is healthy and unavoidable. No matter where you've been there you are and wondering where you'd be otherwise is a fools game, so no regrets. Where you're going is something else and at least you have some control of that.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 2, 2012 - 12:15am PT
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. (Attributed to some folk philosopher.)

Aren't we lucky to have all the choices that we have, and to be able to live as we do? 99.99% of all humans who've ever lived, and 90% of all those currently living, might envy our fortune.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 2, 2012 - 12:16am PT
Quit complaining Anders!
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 2, 2012 - 12:24am PT
Consider yourself lucky there's no gondola up the Chief.....


Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Dec 2, 2012 - 12:33am PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#276519

Social climber
joshua tree
Dec 2, 2012 - 12:54am PT
Good job Base!

Nice Up! jogill

I miss Walt too...

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Dec 2, 2012 - 12:55am PT
Good words for thought from a lot of people on here....
I graduate in May and have some major forks to workout...

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 2, 2012 - 01:52am PT
We all like to think we make our fork choices
willingly but do we really? Would that I
could count all the forks I've careened down.
I could stock a restaurant.

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Dec 2, 2012 - 02:01am PT
I would ride my bike from Round Valley to the Buttermilks every winter day and have them all to myself.



Went to work for REI early on, thinking it would sustain me in my climber lifestyle, but I quickly found out it wouldn't satisfy me intellectually. My brain hurt with questions: life, existence, determinism, and how to climb more.

Some school lead to summers off and climbing all over California, which lead to more school closer to Yosemite. Couple years of being able to go to the Valley regularly really let me feel a kinship for the area, and be baptized in climbing. The Prow some pitches on Half Dome, some cragging of the best kind, even a bolt or two on an potential FA.

But all the while I was schooling and maximizing my time. Summers, weekends, holidays, we were about climbing. Though not living the dirt bag lifestyle, it was modest. Rents helped as best they could, part time jobs here and there, and some good friends kept me climbing.

Student loans allowed for more school, and more climbing. All in all, quite a bit of balance between the 'climbing life' and the 'normal life'.

Do I wish that sometimes I would have done more hard cracks, more FAs, more Walls? Sure, in that vague amorphous sense that more climbing is better than less climbing. But now, having done enough things (onsights in the 11 range, climbing on 12s, high sierra routes, new routing, climbing on choss, El Cap, ice, bouldering, and even a renewed appreciate for offwidth!!! ones climbs should inspire, be fun and with friends, and not just be numbers or done because they are "classic." And also, the schooling has allowed me to do cool things I would never have been able to be exposed to before; to honestly say "I made a difference" in my own way.

The fork is what you make it. Any climbing is a blessing and a gift. Anything more is a fortune! Ride the wild pony indeed, wherever her meadow may be!


Trad climber
Dec 2, 2012 - 02:12am PT
You did it right. Whatever fork you take it's you on that road.
You were a good climber because you were happy to be there, and you really went for that and other edges with a running start. You lived, man. And you've got some left, too.
It is impossible to achieve the perfect mix of freedom and responsibility, and at either end of the scale lies a form of hell.
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