Trip Report
Longest 6 months + 6 days of my life...
Saturday October 13, 2012 4:33pm
Starting in the middle...

Jaw-dropping surprise!
Jaw-dropping surprise!
Credit: LilaBiene

Little did I know then that I would be making a pilgrimage in September to, of all places, Yosemite...to take part in a "Facelift"...or that climbing would soon surreptitously take over my subconscious. ('Tis a wicked web you SuperTacoans weave!)

So six long months later, more amazing people and discoveries than I could ever have imagined, packing list ready months in advance...my hiking boots mysteriously disappeared (and the muppet was running around with my head lamp...ohhhhhh, no!)...but I had a map and I couldn't miss!

Directionally challenged...
Directionally challenged...
Credit: LilaBiene

Never mind that I realized driving en route to Merced that all of the signs kept saying "East"...well, I decided to just keep following the GPS anyway. It slowly dawned on me that I had just explained to my hubby before leaving that I would be fine -- Yosemite was dead WEST of SFO -- straight shot -- no problem.

But back to the action, a daring rescue (two missed flights put me in CA in the wee hours EST) and warm welcome by Mouse from Merced...

Credit: LilaBiene

And too many laughs to count...

Credit: LilaBiene

We hit the road to Yosemite, caught a few winks in the car, said "hello" to Werner and Merry, and...

Oooooooooooooo...
Oooooooooooooo...
Credit: LilaBiene

First look
First look
Credit: LilaBiene

Hello Yosemite!

MFM and the Mad Bolter
MFM and the Mad Bolter
Credit: LilaBiene

A stop by the bridge to meet Tom Evans aka ElCapPics and a wonderful surprise bumping into the Mad Bolter, himself! I was also bestowed with the honor of my very first view through Tom's telescope to see El Cap...just in time to catch Pass the Pitons Pete happily taking his morning "bath" up on the wall. :D

We drove around and around in circles (how far away could the camp site actually be???), and finally managed to stumble out of the car in the right place.

Credit: LilaBiene

Hello Yellow Pines! A very happy place to be. Wandered around a bit looking for a spot to pitch the tent, and happened upon a sign reserving a spot for the mysterious Guido. Very cool. Nita greeted me with a beautiful "Welcome to Yellow Pines" sign, which I happily placed at my tent for the duration. (Pic to follow.) Thank you for such a warm welcome, Nita!

I'm a confirmed relativist and just a little fuzzy as to timelines in general (time is a funny concept, isn't it?), but the lack of sleep and change in time zones certainly haven't helped...so please forgive any oversights or turned-around recollections. At some point after setting up camp, MFM and I headed over to the Facelift Registration and got decked out in appropriate gear. Finally got to meet and thank Chicken Skinner, who was the first person I called and spoke with after receiving the email above.

We headed back through camp and out into a marshy area that MFM assured me was safe to walk through. Surprisingly, there was a lot of trash to be found in what appeared to be a not-very-oft-traveled area. The river was next, which made for a nice break for our feet in the heat of the day as we made our way across to collect trash along the trail/road on the other side.

Credit: LilaBiene

Serious effort!
Serious effort!
Credit: LilaBiene

Garbage turned in at the end of the day, it was time to head back to camp. And to finally meet BooDawg! And his beautiful Lisa. BooDawg knew BOTH my birth mom and my birth dad, and has been a constant source of connection, encouragement, guidance and and and... It is because of his encouragement that I even ever originally posted the story of finding my birth parents -- I would have otherwise been far too shy.

As I thought about writing this TR, I wondered to myself over and over why anyone would want to hear about what I was doing wandering about in Yosemite (so far outside of my comfort zone that I was desperately pretending to be invisible). But a voice from somewhere hammered home, again, that it really isn't about me, so I'd better shake right off the fear of exposure. And that there are stories and histories and lives far beyond mine already intricately woven together, and that I am just a small thread so (incredibly) fortunate to have been taken up into the weft.

Credit: LilaBiene

I largely put off writing because I wanted to give my thoughts and feelings a chance to percolate. Eventually, I thought, the words will come. The photo above expresses how it felt to finally meet and spend time with BooDawg far better than I will ever be able to express in words. For some things, words simply don't suffice.

Credit: LilaBiene

BooDawg explained that he had a plan for the next couple of days. It sounded great! I think I stumbled to my tent, severely sleep-deprived not too long thereafter. Slept like a bear in winter, and awoke with an unexpectedly very cold nose. ") Best to get moving on chilly mornings, and I think about half-way through my breakfast I realized that a couple of folks had just headed off through the trees for morning yoga. No way I wanted to miss this, so off I went and there were Fletcher and the instructor...and a lot of tall, wonderfully aromatic pines. (I thought to myself more than once that this was the kind of thing people filmed for other people to enjoy at home -- heaven.) I was busy trying not to make too much of a fool of myself not having done yoga in eons, and the instructor began to talk about grounding yourself, but also reaching for that other element called "lila", which was about play and dance and expression...too profound of an impact for words. Really enjoyed this morning practice, and especially meeting and talking with Fletcher.

I know it's a car windshield, but it's the closest picture I have to w...
I know it's a car windshield, but it's the closest picture I have to what it was like to do yoga among the trees...
Credit: LilaBiene

BooDawg had a plan. Nice hike, great views, 10 miles or so all downhill and trash pick-up along the way...let's do it! (BooDawg posted much better photos in the Facelift 2012 thread.)

BooDawg and LilaBiene, with one of BooDawg's FAs setting the scene
BooDawg and LilaBiene, with one of BooDawg's FAs setting the scene
Credit: LilaBiene

Credit: LilaBiene

At some point it occurred to me as we were trudging up yet another incline, that I had read somewhere about another rather well-known climber having a similar penchant for drumming up co-conspirators... :D However, had we not had such an excellent adventure with the finest company, I never would have stumbled upon El Cap by moonlight; a sight which nearly took my breath away.

I was never so glad to be in possession of a piece of paper in my life.

Worth more than gold!
Worth more than gold!
Credit: LilaBiene

Another day of collecting litter, this time more or less micro trash. Who knew how many fruit stickers, cigarette butts and drink box straw wrappers get tossed along trails?

At the raffle later that day, I was blown away by the generosity of the Mad Bolter and the Mastadon. (Little do either of them know how honored I felt to simply be in their presence.) Once again, words simply don't suffice.

At the evening presentations (awesome, awe-inspiring and hilarious), it was truly my pleasure to have a seat next to Silver and the opportunity to learn (as much as his incredible modesty would permit). I hope that next year our respective, precocious little muppets will have the chance to tumble and scramble about together.

The following morning, BooDawg had another plan. This time Ed Hartouni and Mighty Hiker had been roped into taking me climbing (my second time on actual rock, ever). Brave, eh?! We trudged along the trail to the base of El Cap in glaring heat, and the next thing I knew...

HHHHOOOOOO! Gulp. ???!!!!!!!
HHHHOOOOOO! Gulp. ???!!!!!!!
Credit: LilaBiene

Thankfully, the actual climbing involved was fairly straightforward, though I did have my moment spread-eagling the rock and squeaking up to Ed to pull-the-rope-tightly-please-because-I-just-did-something-wildly-impractical-physics-wise. ") Bless the two of you for having the patience to watch paint dry as I fumbled around trying to extricate myself from absurdity and find the rather straightforward movement past the bump in the rock (hummmmm...the first hint being the placement of the protection?). And a special thank you to the Townsends for taking me for my first climb just weeks earlier in Maine -- without which, I never would have figured out what I was supposed to be doing.

Photo courtesy of Ed Hartouni
Photo courtesy of Ed Hartouni
Credit: LilaBiene

Ed at the top of the Footstool
Ed at the top of the Footstool
Credit: LilaBiene

Now tell me Mighty Hiker doesn't love that rope!!!
Now tell me Mighty Hiker doesn't love that rope!!!
Credit: LilaBiene

Photo courtesy of Ed Hartouni
Photo courtesy of Ed Hartouni
Credit: LilaBiene

The Footstool was the chosen climb; a first ascent of my birth dad's with friends in 1959, and Ed's first climb in the Valley. Running my fingers along the various holds on my way up and distinguishing those with a palpable patina of those hands that have gone before from those that probably hadn't ever seen any human interaction (did I seriously just throw dirt into my own eyes?!) was definitely not lost on me. My heart skips a beat in recollection.

It was incredible being able to meet another friend of my birth mom's from the UCLA Bruin Mountaineers, Catherine, and talk with her about some of her memories. I also had the pleasure of meeting another friend of Catherine, BooDawg and my birth mom, also from the Bruin Mountaineers, Ira. I am terribly disappointed I did not take more pictures...but being able to be completely "in the moment" is something I'll treasure for the rest of my life.

Catharine and Ed
Catharine and Ed
Credit: LilaBiene

Later that night at Meatfest, an incredible memory was created unbeknownst to me...thank you so much to MFM and to everyone who signed the poster, and especially for the Topo on the reverse. It's a dilemma trying to decide which side to frame!

Credit: LilaBiene

Credit: LilaBiene

The following morning, I eagerly anticipated learning to aid climb with the Mad Bolter, whose wit and wisdom and ingenuity run truly, incredibly deep. To sum up what he had to say about the adventure, I believe he called me a "disaster"! Thank God he has a sense of humor. In my own defense, I will say that I was very honest in explaining up front that I had only been climbing two times, and that the second time was only the day before. The Mad Bolter didn't believe me. Needless to say, I have a list of equipment to buy, a lot of knots to practice and some serious experience to get under my belt before next year...that is, IF he'll ever take me under his wing again. ;D

Credit: LilaBiene

LostInShanghai met us as I was extricating myself from the equipment and rope, and it was truly an honor to meet him. I was overwhelmed that he made the trip to Yosemite just to see me and to pass along a couple of very special items given to him by my birth dad, to my daughter and me. Another great surprise was the gift of the rope seen below, given by my birth dad to the Mad Bolter. How I wished we could have spent the rest of the afternoon just talking together...

LostInShanghai, the Mad Bolter and Ben
LostInShanghai, the Mad Bolter and Ben
Credit: LilaBiene

The days seem to have just flown right by me...I didn't want to leave.

Headed SFO way
Headed SFO way
Credit: LilaBiene

Treasures and very, very happy memories surround my sleep at home
Treasures and very, very happy memories surround my sleep at home
Credit: LilaBiene

But back home to the best hugs in the world from my muppet!

Credit: LilaBiene

And waiting at my door, a most amazing gift and welcome home from Frank Hoover.

Credit: LilaBiene

Credit: LilaBiene

Thank you, Everyone, for creating a "once in a lifetime", unforgettable experience for me, and countless stories I will be able to share with the muppet as she grows up and learns to climb, from my ever grateful heart.

LilaBiene

P.S. I'm fixing the pictures!
P.P.S. Thank you, Werner, for the squeeze on the shoulder.

  Trip Report Views: 4,863
LilaBiene
About the Author
LilaBiene is an (aspiring) trad climber stepping into some very big shoes from the Other Coast.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
eKat

Trad climber
  Oct 13, 2012 - 05:06pm PT
FANTASTIC!

TFPU!

It's wonderful to have a recap of your journey!

Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Oct 14, 2012 - 01:21am PT
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Ed photographs Audrey, who IDs the Footstool.

It was delightful to meet you, and go for a climb with you! Hopefully it wasn't all too overwhelming. Life can be bittersweet at times.

(Cross link to http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1818126/Speaking-of-statistical-improbabilities);
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
  Oct 13, 2012 - 05:20pm PT
A most excellent TR, documenting a most engaging and unique Life AND Facelift experience. Thank you so much for your kind words here. But words cannot express what an honor it was for all of us whose lives you've touched to share our lives and those of your birth parents (to the extent we can) directly with you. We all know that this is just the first installment of more TRs that will follow, but this FIRST ONE will always have a special place in all of our lives.

On your next visit west, I'll see if I can arrange to have more of your birth-mother's friends present since you've now made such great connections to the community to which Bill DOLT belonged.

I look forward to our next meeting.

Ken
BBA

climber
OF
  Oct 13, 2012 - 05:25pm PT
Isn't the Valley something?

Thanks for putting those posters up! Glad to see you got in touch with Frank Hoover. I was wondering what the heck the posters were about - the Traitor Horn - classic Dolt.

Bill Amborn
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Oct 13, 2012 - 05:26pm PT
This is an amazing and poignant journey....it has left me very misty eyed...I enjoyed meeting you at the Meat Fest. What a spectacular story!



Susan
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
  Oct 13, 2012 - 05:30pm PT
Great TR, one trip that will keep on going! The east west reference is funny, I always have a hard time driving in New England, I should be going east to head to the mountains, shouldn't I?
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
  Oct 13, 2012 - 05:42pm PT
Awesome TR.

Thank you for posting this with photos

That is the Nina that I remember

Cheers
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Oct 13, 2012 - 06:26pm PT
hey there say, lila!!!
this is so precious and wonderful...

wow, i feel like i was there watching you, after reading all this...

soo sooooo very special...

hugs and god bless, as you savor this, for all your life,
:)

*can't see all the pics, but i will when i can...
:)
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
  Oct 13, 2012 - 06:40pm PT
Great TR. Welcome to the tribe.

"learning to aid climb with the Mad Bolter"
What could possibly go wrong? ;-)
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Oct 13, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
Well, it could have been "learning to rappel with the mad bolter" - rappel the Nose, that is! Tom is a barrel of laughs, though.
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
  Oct 14, 2012 - 05:00pm PT
WOW, such an awesome story. I think you should be considering writing a book. Thank you so much for sharing and becoming part of our family, actually you always have been part of the greater climbing community just that none of us were aware of it!

edit: literally following in your fathers footsteps on The Footstool...how cool was that, eh?
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Oct 13, 2012 - 06:44pm PT
Thank you for sharing this.
Phyl
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Oct 13, 2012 - 06:46pm PT
For those of us who couldn't be there, thank you for sharing!
Yours is a most amazing story, and we look forward to hearing more
of your adventures in the future.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Oct 13, 2012 - 06:55pm PT
What an amazing, well-written, and very touching story. Thank you.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
  Oct 13, 2012 - 11:13pm PT
Thanks so much for posting this, Lila. It is just heartwarming how the Yosemite climbing community has "adopted" you. In spite of the outlandish, irreverent and downright preposterous posts you often get in the Taco, there are some wonderful human beings out there.

Looking forward to meeting you at Oakdale.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Oct 13, 2012 - 11:17pm PT

Wonderful, Lila!!!!
Climbing with Ed, he's really special.
I'm glad you had such a great trip, and thanks for sharing with us!!!!!
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
  Oct 14, 2012 - 12:03am PT
Wow!
Guck

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
  Oct 14, 2012 - 12:11am PT
Thanks Audrey for a great trip report and a good discussion at Meatfest about how children feel about their adoptive parents. You soothed some of my anxieties about adoption. Thanks for joining this band of dirtbag climbers. Hope to see you next year!!

Phillip.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Oct 14, 2012 - 12:14am PT
TFPU Cool.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Oct 14, 2012 - 12:21am PT
Good job on meeting Anders. We aren't all like him. :-)
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
  Oct 14, 2012 - 01:57am PT
Thanks Audrey, What a story! I look forward to seeing you again and spending more time with you on your next visit.

Ken
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Oct 14, 2012 - 03:48am PT
Odd, the TR was a gem. It has so maaany facets. Cutters wait years before actually taking up the tools. Your patience and reflectiveness show a mature woman who is also a kid at heart.

I had that sign posted on the door and Odd fell out when she saw it. Who knew she is a nut about The Hobbit? It set the stage, believe me.

And it was a ball, Cinderella, and a pleasure and honor for little old me to have had the first dance.

Camila's lovelier than I could have thought, so...precious.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Oct 14, 2012 - 12:57pm PT
Good job on meeting Anders. We aren't all like him. :-)

Next year, maybe you can meet Tami at the FaceLift. We thought that for first impressions (Jane Austen) you really ought only meet the relatively normal, sane members of our community. Using those adjectives flexibly, mind. Next year, who knows?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Oct 14, 2012 - 05:53pm PT
it was a pleasure and an honor climbing with you Audrey
even though I didn't know your father, I knew he was a beloved member of the community
for all our petty differences, we are a community

thanks for the TR!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 14, 2012 - 09:27pm PT
Nice Tr, thanks!!!!
GLee

Social climber
MSO
  Oct 15, 2012 - 01:37pm PT
Thank you for the wonderful TR Audrey!!

Greg Lee, aka Glee

Bring the family next year.....
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Oct 16, 2012 - 12:38am PT
It's like you found buried treasure. How cool is your life?!
rsstiegnumbe

Big Wall climber
The five Street NewYork NewYork USA 10001
  Oct 16, 2012 - 03:35am PT
couchmaster

climber
  Oct 16, 2012 - 09:50am PT
Thanks for sharing your remarkable story with us all. For folks reading this, click this link for more of this wonderful(?) and amazing journey: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1818126&tn=0&mr=0

LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Author's Reply  Oct 18, 2012 - 10:41pm PT
I'm humbled...thank you for opening your hearts to me.

Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Oct 18, 2012 - 10:49pm PT
And thank you to opening your heart to us. It was really great camping with you at Yeller Pines. Hope you can make it back next year with your daughter. I know nita would love to spoil her for a few days.

Take care,

Andy T
Fletcher

Gym climber
A very quiet place
  Oct 24, 2012 - 02:18pm PT
Thank again for sharing your journey with everyone Audrey. It continues to be amazing!

When I first read this report, something about your "muppet" photo and the photo of your dad from Frank Hoover moved me. Maybe something about the transcendence of generations got encapsulated there. And you are the bridge between two of them. Much magic here.

That shot of the trees in the mirror is great. It really captured the feeling of that morning. From our yoga practice and the concept of lila, here an entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1549146/lila);:

lila, ( Sanskrit: “play,” “sport,” “spontaneity,” or “drama”) in Hinduism, a term that has several different meanings, most focusing in one way or another on the effortless or playful relation between the Absolute, or brahman, and the contingent world. For the monistic philosophical tradition of Vedanta, lila refers to the way that brahman is expressed in every aspect of the empirical world. Some philosophers argue that lila springs from the abundance of divine bliss, which provides a motive for creation.

How appropriate!

Or as our teacher explained, lila is walking into Camp 4 looking/hoping for the perfect partner and she just materializes on the spot! Very cool in light of your chosen handle here!

Much gratitude!
Eric
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Oct 24, 2012 - 06:11pm PT
Kick..........


ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!1111111111111

The Taco at its best.


DMT
Jeremy

climber
  Oct 24, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
AWESOMENESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm smiling BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Much love to all!

Jeremy Aslaksen
John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
  Oct 24, 2012 - 07:29pm PT
way cool

:-)

scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Oct 24, 2012 - 08:07pm PT
Your story has been really heartwarming and entertaining.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Oct 26, 2012 - 11:41am PT
Awesome story.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Oct 26, 2012 - 11:50am PT
Going back to the start. Cool. Thank YOU!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 3, 2012 - 08:54am PT

LilaBiene, it's odd that I was lookin' for a video with a rock 'n roll 'n rockin' rock climbin' theme 'n this'n presented itself in a youtuberiferous flash of such erratic velocity that it made me think of Arlo 'n the pickle 'n how we're all goooo'na die but all we want to do is take that next step. Oh, 'n it made me think of your recent exploit on the east coast cliffs 'n so here, by Gollum. That's a Tuolumne climb, no doubt.
I wonder if you have seen Buckaroo's photos of you and the Muppet and I at the OCF. Odd things come in threes.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Nov 3, 2012 - 09:00am PT
What a cool experience :) I'm glad you were able to see all those sights and meet some amazing people.
Silver

Gym climber
  Nov 6, 2012 - 02:04pm PT
Credit: Silver
Credit: Silver
Credit: Silver
Credit: Silver
Credit: Silver
Credit: Silver
Credit: Silver
Credit: Silver

When that Piton was given the moment was very powerful. Really a special moment for all involved.

LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Author's Reply  Nov 6, 2012 - 10:44pm PT
Hey Silver! Thanks so much for the pictures -- I still feel the awe.

Just back from 10 days in CA around the Oakdale Climbers Festival, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even managed to make it down to L.A. to visit Bill's resting place. While I doubt the "wall" he's hanging out on was the type he had in mind, at least he's only a pitching wedge away from Joey Ramone's grave.

I say that lightly, but the truth is I think it'll be a while before I can get through a day without crying. It was incredibly heavy seeing so many people still so affected by the loss of their good friend...their aching sadness is palpable.

If nothing else, I hope that going forward I will be able to honor him and make him proud.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 15, 2012 - 04:41am PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/869972/Dats-a-lotta-nuts
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Nov 15, 2012 - 08:33am PT
Wow, what a story! Obviously I left the Facelift too early, ( and missed oakdale entirely) but other destinies were calling...
What a long (short?) strange, wonderful, Trip! Do happy for you. Thanks for telling us about it!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
  Nov 15, 2012 - 08:40am PT
Missed ya sunday, but my stepmom came down to NYC from Amherst and we had brunch.

While waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant a couple next to us with 2 girls about muppet age names were called. I said to them "Lucky you!"
The mother looked at me flustered and said, "Lucky us? Right! We've been 12 days without power. Lucky us!"

Oops.


Hope things are getting back to normal.
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
  Nov 15, 2012 - 09:17am PT
DOLT LIVES!

edit: on the sea wall at malibu, "DORA LIVES" (famous surfer, miki 'da cat' dora/who passed away in '02) ... he lives on in us surfer's campfire gatherings, stories, pics & vids etc.,! but first & foremost, he lives on in our hearts!

so, i say 'tha dolt' lives!!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Nov 15, 2012 - 09:27am PT
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences during your Yosemite Pilgrimage.

It is heart-warming to see how our tribe has embranced you.

Some of the photos and comments reminded me of one of my favorite climbing cartoons from the early 1970's Yosemite regular Sheridan Anderson.

Sheridan Anderson, Off Belay Magazine Feb. 1973
Sheridan Anderson, Off Belay Magazine Feb. 1973
Credit: Fritz
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
  Nov 15, 2012 - 09:42am PT
Life doesn't get better than this.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
  Nov 15, 2012 - 09:59am PT
Thanks for a good TR.

I got a kick out of the free shower sign. I don't think Curry Co. made much profit from showers.
crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
  Nov 15, 2012 - 05:11pm PT
Wow. Just wow...what a story! Definitely bittersweet but who woulda known that you would gain a whole new "family"?! A great story to read, thanks for sharing.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Nov 15, 2012 - 05:15pm PT
I am so moved every time I read this TR. It's a movie!


Susan
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Nov 15, 2012 - 09:20pm PT
Wicked tale, thanks for the telling. It must have all been quite overwhelming!
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Author's Reply  Nov 27, 2012 - 09:11pm PT
Fritz: I LOVE that cartoon!!!!!!!!!! TFPU!
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Author's Reply  Jun 9, 2013 - 10:53am PT
I was reading the thread about "Memories of Jim Baldwin" this morning, and was reminded (as if I need reminding!) of how generous of heart and soul and connection this community is...

(well, I didn't expect to just burst into tears, there, sheesh!)

...and I just wanted to thank everyone here and there and everywhere for reaching out to me and sharing their memories, pictures, time, hugs...

Need I say that I'm really psyched for FaceLift 2013?!!!

Oh, and if anyone in the New England area has some free time to climb with a neophyte, I just got laid off and my last day of work is this Friday. I'm going to need some help staying out of trouble...
Carolyn C

Trad climber
the long, long trailer
  Jun 9, 2013 - 11:18am PT
I missed this story before and am so glad it came back to the front page. It is wonderful!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
  Jun 9, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
...if anyone in the New England area has some free time to climb with a neophyte, I just got laid off and my last day of work is this Friday. I'm going to need some help staying out of trouble...

There are a few of us Easterners around this site, including some near to Boston. Of course, I can't speak for them, but if you want to come down to the Gunks for some climbing, I have many free days (meaning days that could be freed up) during the summer, and I'm reachable via ST pm.

That's actually an open invitation, folks.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Author's Reply  Jun 9, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
I'm PSYCHED!!!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Jul 19, 2014 - 05:20am PT
Bump.

It's about these two pics, really...you got Anders upright, which is not hard, since he's always like that, but Ed and Tom and Jay deserved better.
EH on The Footstool.
EH on The Footstool.
Credit: mouse from merced
Two wise men and a "virgin;" or was this the DAY AFTER you climbed The...
Two wise men and a "virgin;" or was this the DAY AFTER you climbed The Footstool? LostInShanhai, Tom Rhorer, and Odd. Church Bowl.
Credit: mouse from merced
It's yur karma and it's why ya didn't make Facelift in '13...maybe.

Lookin' for ya in the Fall if all goes well in the new job and in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but we won't hold our collective breath, Peanut. Moving from one Commonwealth to another is not that uncommon, but worthy of note.

Hello, THE Muppet! Please come see us, and bring your climbing shoes.


Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
  Jul 19, 2014 - 05:39am PT
I really LOVE this TR, Audrey....wish I would have been there that week.

Thanks for posting....and best to you and the Muppet!

Cheers,
DR
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Author's Reply  Jul 19, 2014 - 10:45am PT
Thanks for bumpin', Mouse. It gave me a chance to revisit so many wonderful memories!

At least this time around, I won't be a "disaster" -- the AMC Rock Climbing Program taught me to be much more efficient. ")

A month or so ago, I found my second cousin through Dolt over in Germany via FB. His name is Martin Feuerer, and he is a kind and curious and wonderful soul. I am so incredibly lucky!!!

My second cousin!
My second cousin!
Credit: LilaBiene

I invited him over to Facelift, but it's busy season in the winemaking business (Affentaler -- if you look for it, it's the wine with the monkey on the bottle -- how appropriate!). So we're hoping to meet perhaps next year, during the 750th year anniversary of Altschweier, the town where Dolt's father was born. (Martin's father, who was Dolt's 1st cousin, turns 81 tomorrow, though neither knew of the other.)

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my birth parents, Yosemite, climbing and my outrageously diverse and awesome new climbing "family". <3

I'm grateful and humbled by this journey.
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