5cense Taking a walk on the wild side w/ malice in wonderland (Hueco Tanks + Joshua Tree, 1993)


[23 June 2020> Back to our bee journal, March 1993, picking up from Feb 1993. Seems all we did was travel around climbing, souprizing we was even enrolled in a graduate physics program. These first 5-10 pages were written on lined paper that we stapled into our journal + we didn't own a camera most of the '90s so no pics]

March 7, 1993—El Paso, TX
[C] and I are sitting in a typical Village Inn in the outskirts of El Paso. I have to write on this paper cuz we impulsively decided to come to Texas and i didn't have my journal. Originally we were on our way to the Dragoons (so much for that cool fountain pen)[switched ink color], but C realized she had a test on Monday and was all stressed and then Shaheen planned to go [boring logistical info we'll omit], we had planned to do Days of Future Passed [coincidentally we wrote a song last week with this same name] and we were on our way to the Dragoons in Benson when we were all hey, we're headed east, we should just keep heading east and i don't know who mentioned Hueco Tanks but it sounded like a good idea, so we did a U-ie to get the Hueco Tanks book + C's calculus book so she can study in the car. So we got all the way back to Tucson, that was the weird part. We had made the decision and i was in the excited road trip mode and here we are going back to Tucson! Like petting a cat backwards. It seemed to take forever going back and i just wanted to get in and out as fast as possible but it was Friday rush hour and we were going around to the bank, Summit Hut, etc. and realized we needed another rope so went to Harlow's and stole his and I'm sure he thought we were freaks going to Hueco like this but hey, he had his Dragoons trip planned all week. Then Shaheen decided not to go. Finally C and i were off, it was 4:00. I loaded up on Texaco Coffee and got my bag of sunflower seeds around "The Thing?" and from there on out i had it on cruise control at 80 and C was sleeping jacked up on cold medicine [undecipherable since the paper is frayed at the bottoms] .... Be Careful. Make sure you bring your SCUBA gear. Be careful, it's your 3rd one." And all sorts of weird little things i couldn't make sense [evidently she was talking in her sleep] of and it was a full moon over New Mexico and next thing you know were in El Paso and it was only 11:00. This guy at Summit Hut was telling us about this Pete's Place where people crashed for $1.50 in some upstairs room or pitched a tent in the parking lot and sure enough there it was, but we kept going to see if we could get into the park. The gate was locked but the rocks beyond waited ominously and silently in the dark. We went back to Pete's and slept in the trunk with the backseats folded down, sleeping bags zipped together. It was cold. Woke up early next morning and the gate was still closed so we got out our stove and made some coffee and ate PBJ on Pita Bread then some ranger opened the gate and the next hour was hell. We had to get these Conservation Passports that cost $25. There was a long line and some completely incompetent neurotic woman trying to manage with just one book of things to fill out, one by one and answering calls and these 2 guys demanding to see the supervisor [.. more details we'll omit] so that took an hour and we were trying to find the North mtn and there was a gate in our way, which ended up being locked but i just touched it (haha) and it broke so we drove through and C was feeling strange about that maneuver since we had this whole campground to ourselves and it was still cold on that side anyways so we drove back and the ranger was putting the lock back on and the ranger asked us how we got through and we just said it was like that. So we decided to find a climb in the sun but that little guidebook was completely bogus and well, we had a nice walk anyways around the wasteland and strange rocks and ended up back at the North Mtn. It was still cold and we didn't know what to expect so figured we'd start on Cakewalk (5.6)... the name says it all, my first dose of Hueco ratings. It was more like a 5.4, but really fun. So then we went over to Malice in Bucketland (5.9) which was completely kick ass, tho clipping the first bolt was a bit dicey, climbing up a bunch of huecos on top of this boulder, so if i fell was looking at 30-40 feet ground fall careening off a boulder. Easy climbing out but clipping was strenuous. After that it was easy and fun. Huecos are so cool. You see these chalked holes and just go for it and sometimes they're smeary and sometimes not so hot, but then there are the classic ones, with big edge that you can cup. And the smaller smeary ones you can use as dishes for your feet. That got us pumped and psyched so then we did Alice in Bananaland (5.10–) hah, a Hueco 5.10, really a 5.9 or 5.8+ (and Malice in Bucketland more like 5.8, but another triple star classic. More Huecos and then a crack to part gear and a little more than ½ way up and the crux was over gear. After that we did Divine Wind (5.8+) which was a piece of cake but still classic. Then we did All the Nasties (5.9) which had mixed gear and bolts and was more edgy than the others. By then the sun was setting, beautiful! And we walked back in the dark and discovered we were locked in! The logistics of this park are weird. We ended up getting a motel room and eating Pizza Hut. Took hot showers and slept in clean linen. C was stressed about her test so climbing on Sunday was questionable. Woke up early and went to Village Inn and C studied while I wrote this (now we're in the outskirts of El Paso toward Las Cruces in a Carrow's). After a while went to the park and did Uriah's Heap (5.8), 3 pitches long, classic! The first pitch was easy and cheesy but the second pitch was amazing. Really cool placements and this hand traverse that was cool. The last pitch was easy but got us to the top where we haven't been yet. Pools of water and huecos everywhere but getting down was a pain but brought us out at this really cool pond with fish in it. Finished off by doing Banana Patch (5.10) yet another classic. Another heinous 20 feet to the 1st bolt and that was the only bolt. I had to do this sketchy traverse to a crack and then sew it up, the crux probably being towards the bottom of the crack. Followed the crack up a ways until it went into this chimney and then up. Hoowah. We had to bail unfortunately and now we're here (C's studying), contemplating the drive home.

March 12, 1993—Yucca Valley, CA
Another diner (Denny's) another state, another weekend but hey, this weekend doesn't end on Monday but will continue on into the week and into next weekend. Woo hoo! Harlow and i drove out here to Joshua Tree yesterday evening to stake out a site. Hidden Valley was full and so was Ryan. Ended up sleeping in the no overnight parking area. Woke up and went all the way back to Jumbo Rocks, ended up getting the same site we had last April, imagine that. We are stoked, $96 of groceries from Price Club and a week to climb. Today we went to Echo Rock. Boyd showed up and tagged along. Harlow and i had already decided to switch leads. First Harlow does Stitchters Quits (a.k.a. Black Tide) 5.7 and i'm looking at the book going i'd like to try "Stick to What" and we're rappelling off and i get down and Boyd's gearing up and tied in the rope saying "you don't mind if we do this do you?" So he led Stick to What (5.9). He was telling us it was some 5.10b and he fell like 3 times. I was pretty pissed and had half a mind to go hiking. I didn't feel like sitting around all afternoon with some dude that talks out his ass a lot. Harlow and I follow it (not falling, it was easy) then i went and lead Touch and Go (5.9), a strenuous crack. I got to this one section that i should have laid back but was stressed about making a placement and was gripped and down-climbed. I could see my #2 camalot at my feet and knew i was going. Wahoo, took about a 5-7 foot fall onto my camalot, but it held. My first fall on gear! Kind of cool looking up and seeing my cam above me, my "friend" as they call them, it saved my life. I went back up and made a higher placement like i should have then laid it back and figured it out. What a blast. Harlow went to try Solid Gold (5.10a) and decided the vibes weren't right. The first bolt was about 20 feet up on run-out 5.8 slab, looking at a fall into boulders and shit. So then Boyd tried it. He had tried it before and backed off. But he went though he looked stressed. Past a rusty bolt then you had to traverse under this roof, clip another bolt and traverse back across smearing on a little lip right on the edge of the overhang with no handholds then eventually into a layback crack (flake). Boyd fell at the second bolt but eventually did it and we followed it. We ate some lunch and took a siesta, the sun was nice. Didn't really get to sleep but it threw Boyd off our trail. Then Harlow went to lead R.M.L. (5.9), the opening 10 feet in this weird crack. He got his head all contorted under this roof groping for a jug up above and couldn't see anything. He started going "oh, shit" and his feet were slipping. I wasn't even belaying (he hadn't placed any gear yet), but spotting him. Eventually his feet slipped out but he was hanging by the jug then let go, dropping about 7 feet. Crater Chawn! He went back up and got the jug under control but struggled to make a placement and his arms were giving out so he downclimbed off but left the cam up in the crack. So i went up, grabbed the cam and continued traversing up, my hands over the roof, my feet below, until i could get a foot up and swing over (maybe 15 feet off the ground) to a stance where i could clip the bolt. Phew! Another thin smeary move that i didn't even attempt last April and another two bolts, then 20 feet of healthy 5.7/5.8 runout at top and that was it. Harlow was burnt after that so we just bailed, ate tuna casserole and then drove into town and here we are at Denny's.
     I haven't said much about C lately, probably cuz every time i write in my journal she's around. The best thing about her is that i don't miss her. But i always just have a good feeling around her or when i think about her.

March ?? (Sunday)—Joshua Tree Natl Monument
Sitting here in front of the fire at campsite #30 at Hidden Valley Campground. Rock, fire, stars and little mice scurrying around. The second day, yesterday, we were slacking. Went out to the Wonderland or Rocks. Beautiful area as the name implies, rocks everywhere. Started off on Lightning Bolt Crack (5.7). We got all the way up there (40 min bushwhack) and Harlow realized he forgot his shoes so ran all the way back while i went to check out Astro Dome. Intense Rock or i guess i should say rocks, north and South. Went back and Chawn did Lightning Bolt, he looked funny all jammed in it, at one point his whole leg was in the crack. He was struggling immensely but said he enjoyed it. I thought it sucked. I didn't jam as much but tried to lay it back and do foot jams. Afterwards we looked at My Laundry but i passed cuz i didn't want to trust my life with a ¼ inch rusty old bolt. So then we went over to Breakfast of Champions (5.8+, 2 pitches). It might not have been my day cuz i got 3 pieces in and didn't want to do this strenuous layback so i backed off it and let Harlow do it. Then i did the second pitch which i expected to be shitty runout but instead was cool 5.8 face with 3 bolts. Topped out. Excellent view. Rocks galore. After that went and did Mental Physics (5.7+) out on Lenticular dome. Excellent full pitch crack, or crack with facial features. I had fun placing almost all the hexes. I thought it was classic. By then the sun was setting. A long haul back by Barker dam which was full of water, beautiful area. Last time i was there was, what, the summer of '90 after i graduated and was out here and went to Barker Dam with those 3 people from Cincinnati. Wow, how i've changed. I never would have imagined then i'd be back here now in this shape and form obsessed with scaling every rock imaginable.
     Today we went out to the Wonderlands area again, stopping at Dissolution rock where Chawn led Life's a Bitch and Then You Marry One (5.7 crack) and then we top-roped Til Death Do Us Part (5.9) this cool arete, but mangey rock. Then we TR'd Marital Sin (5.10c) this nasty finger crack. Both Chawn and i finished it though we had to rest on the rope. We went all the way back to Astro Dome via Barker dam to do Room to Shroom but it looked very strenuous so i led Lead Us Not Into Temptation (5.9), a bitchin' face/slab climb up North Astro dome. Lots of dishes, laybacks on flakes, smeary moves, crimpers, or good combinations of things. As little sporty (5 bolts in 140 feet or so). It was really cool on top. For some reason we though this route on the South dome looked like North Face, a 5.2 climb we decided to free solo it but i'm reading now that it was actually called Bozo's Buttress (5.1), but it was cool and i guess my first free solo of an actual route. Another haul back at sunset in time to eat spaghetti (goulash), bean burritos, hmm. And now it's time to brush my teeth.

March ?? (Tues)—Joshua Tree
No calendar or datebook. Matter of fact, i don't even have a watch. No walls and no mirrors. Chawn boogied off to L.A. last night leaving me here all alone. I kind of like camping by myself, besides, Chawn was starting to get on my nerves. Every climb i did was easy and no good while every climb he did was classic and harder than they rated it. "Mental Physics was not a real crack. Now Lightning Bolt crack now THAT was hard, and much better." Could i help it if the book rated Mental Physics harder and gave it more stars? Or that Lightning Bolt was easy, he was just all jammed up in it making it harder than it had to be? I just kept quiet cuz what's there to say? Climbing is about doing. It's an opinion of personal experience. He started off doing Sail Away (5.8–) a nice crack on Hidden tower which was pretty classic. Then i did Loose Lady (5.9+) and awesome face/slab climb. Actually the most "facey" climb i've seen in the park. I guess i'm a face climber at heart. Something about the movement over stone. The balance, being on the edge, the brink of falling. It was a full pitch, never letting up, thin crimpers and smeary dishes, past 7 bolts up this smooth spire. Then we went over to the Lost Horse area after eating lunch and Chawn did White Lightning (5.7), he took forever on it and i was freezing my butt off down in the shade. There's another we always disagree on, he always wants to climb in the shade, while i like being in the sun. It was a cool crack, straight up Hemmingway buttress. We went to Intersection rock after that and i led The Flake (5.8) which i thought was really cool, it started off in this intimidating chimney to a layback and you could keep stemming up. Then up and over and into another chimney and following the crack system doing some jamming and using some facial feature and then on this big layback flake back into a crack that ended on smeary face with 2 bolts providing great contrast to the crack. It was especially hard as i was pulling 130 feet of rope through all those cracks. I topped out and the bolts were way on the other side and i barely had any rope so i had to belay from on the other side and people were talking so i couldn't hear what Chawn was doing. I would think i would hear him yelling slack, then up rope. When he got up he was all bitching about having to remove my placements as usual. We did Overhang Bypass (5.7, 2 pitches) after that. Chawn did the first pitch which stopped under this big roof. The second pitch was short and sweet, this wicked hand/finger traverse with absolutely nothing for the feet. I made an initial placement then started traversing under the roof out over Chawn, my feet dangling. I didn't want to stop to make a placement cuz i would have to dead hang by one arm and it seemed easier to just keep going. If i fell i would have hit the deck 20 feet below and tumbled. It was pretty insane. Rounded the roof and clipped a bolt thank god then did some smeary moves to the top. Chawn followed and sarcastically said "ballsy!" I thought to bring him his sweatshirt since it had gotten cold but he didn't say anything. It's obvious he's getting on my nerves. So he left, and i cooked some dinner by myself in the dark then made a little fire with some wood other campers left and just kicked back and fell asleep early after lots of coffee. Woke up and didn't have to jump up at sunrise like Chawn always does. Had some casual coffee in the morning sun with a fruit and nut breakfast then cleaned up the campsite, sorting and organizing all the gear and food then i found a secluded spot on the sun and took a sponge bath then laid in the sun. I’ve been chilling here all afternoon not doing much of anything. Just me and the chipmunks and squirrels who came to invade the campsite while everyone's gone. I'm kind of hoping someone shows up cuz i want to climb, but i guess the rest will do me good. Besides, i should try to get some studying done.

March ?? — J. Tree
Still in Joshua Tree, I can't see what I’m writing cuz it's in the shadow of my hand and everyone has gone to sleep. I just stuck the pen in the fire and now it works much better. Everyone? So yah, Tuesday i watched the sun go across the sky doing absolutely nothing. Well i went for a long 8 mile run through the desert, but it killed my knees. I came back and was just beginning to get some coals going [that's how it ends]

Saturday, March 18 or 19—Del Mar, CA
Now i am at the beach in Del Mar staring at the waves. The string of emotions i've experienced in the last couple of days are too intense for words. I feel as if i've aged 3 years in 3 days. I guess i should just go with the superficial actions that triggered the emotions... So yah, Wednesday night or maybe it was Tuesday night i don't know, the day i spent by myself.... just as i was getting the coals going to cook dinner, Mac the climber dude from the next site over came by smelling of patchouli and was babbling on in my ear with climbing lingo and i'm all yah, yah, cool and C and her parents pull in. Unpacked all their shit, which was a lot, built up the fires and we made burritos. C's parents are so cool [her father was a professor of Native American studies], they're just so mellow. Really strange to watch their family dynamics. They slept in tents (C in mine) while i slept outside. A storm came in that night. It was windy and you couldn't see the stars. The coyotes were howling all night. Actually that night C slept outside with me. The first thing she told me when she drove up was (under her breath) "a fucking coyote crossed our path." [evidently a bad omen for Navajos] I was thinking about it in the middle of the night, opened my eyes and a coyote ran by about 10 feet from my head. The wind was weird and it was a freaky night. This is strange writing about this right now as I'm at the beach in Del Mar and all that seems like eons ago, on another planet. So this coyote cross-pathing and the chalk bag (we found in Hueco Tanks) gave us a weird feeling about climbing that day, but we went anyway to take a Walk on the Wild Side (5.7+, 3-4 pitches) very aesthetic dome in Sheep's Pass. Easy climb. Started going up clipping bolts until they ran out and i didn't see the way except chains to the right so i go over and belay though it's only ½ a pitch. Hmm. Then i went up zig zagging a couple more bolts, obviously not the route, to another belay stance about 40 feet above the other in this weird alcove. We were still on the shady side and the wind was picking up and i was getting cold, I could see Harlow approaching across the desert below. C got up and was beginning to lose it. She got off route, did a hard move and slipped and was getting frustrated and cold. The wind was making everything scary and you had to scream to be heard. She said she just wanted to get off. I thought one more pitch would lead us up. So i started going straight up, once again, off route, on "Walk on the Steep Side" until i realized what was up and traversed 30-40 of runout til i got to the right belay stance, well, bolts with no stance. I felt bad for leading C into this and wasn't enjoying myself. We had one more pitch to the ledge, but we still weren't off and had to fourth class it one more pitch til we found the way off. We bypassed all the rap slings and just climbed down this cool chimney and scampered down rocks. Funner than the climb. We got down and it was all weird cuz Harlow was just there lingering, "I don't mind climbing with a party of three." Yah, well, maybe we do. And C is being all "I don't want to climb, you 2 climb" but i know she wanted to. So i'm stalling, hoping to throw Harlow off our trail, saying "let's go each lunch" and he's all "it’s a beautiful day to climb" and we got back to the campground and i'm all "hey C, where's my rope? and she's all "holy shit i left it in the parking lot." and she's really losing it and we’re flying back to the parking lot and she's running people off the road and going on about how she sucks at climbing and i'm thinking why does she do this to herself?  and we get to the parking lot and the stuff is there and she grabs it all except the chalk bag and that makes sense to me [we forget the significance of this chalk bag, but obviously some weird superstition]. She drops the stuff walks back over to the chalk bag, starts to pick it up than just kicks it, gets back in the car and drives off. The bad karma's behind but it's not over and it's still building up and her anger is now tears streaming down her face and she pulls over and we’re in the middle of the desert in J. Tree and she's in pain, never meeting the high expectations she sets for herself and i'm helpless in my body to change her emotional state. We get back eventually and she just crashes in the tent and i figure i may as well make Harlow happy and do a few climbs to get him off my back but now he's being uptight "listen, if you and C are having your problems, fine, i'll leave" and his jaw is clenched and he understands nothing about emotions, relationships or superstitions, being the hard-man physicist/climber. The only way i can act to him is sarcastic and funny. I can't be sincere to him. Haven't i wondered why i hang out with him even though we have nothing to talk about (besides physics and climbing) and i'm not myself around him? Well, i'm parked in 2 hour parking and Kevin is supposed to meet me at the Polo fields in a while so i should get going back and leave the never ending hush of the ocean. [followed by this page of quantum wave function equations:]

Now i'm back at the Polo fields with all these ultimate people. The air is humid and oppressive as Southern California often feels to me. C is being insane in her colorful skirt. C in action, going all out. "Fart. Psycho D!" Her skirt flowing with the motion.
     (another interlude as right when i wrote that Kevin walked up). So now, on with my thread.... where was i anyways? Oh yah, went climbing with Chawn and did C.S. Special (5.10b) first. I suggested it to boost his ego, he did it though he was gripped. He kept saying dude you're in a weird mood. So i do it and fell. Which i’m sure boosted his ego. I didn't do it on purpose but in afterthought I'm glad the way it turned out. It was as if C's mood was wearing on me. All this number crunching, 5.9, 5.10, whether you rested or whatever. It was like then the race was over. I had nothing to prove. I was not motivated at all to do the move. I finally did it but it didn't feel good. I don't enjoy it at all with Chawn. So he's all "o.k. it's your lead" and i'm like i don't feel like leading so he's all i'll do another and i'm like you don't get the hint, i don't want to climb at all. But he's all well, i'll lead it and clean it on rappel but there were no chains. So he's all well i wouldn't mind trying Big Moe. You could belay me on that, and i had ½ a mind at that point to say fuck you, but all the climbs he wanted to do were taken so finally he gave up. And when we got back C was siked to climb and i was trying to hush her up until Chawn left and once he left i got siked again and we went and did Flake and Bake (5.8). I forgot my chalk bag back at camp so it was kind of scary groping on sweaty slopers. C followed it and for some reason freaked. She had trouble with the move off the deck and it got frustrating, especially in comparison with Hueco ratings. There was another party climbing next to us and her parents were watching so i'm sure that was annoying her. She didn't want to finish but she had to get the gear. When she got up she went off to the other side was crying and saying she wanted to be alone and that she would walk back but that she would bring geezer back. So i got geezer and went back, "do you want me or the dog?" So she spilled her guts in the desert and then felt better. So we went back and all drove into town and ate Thai food. Her parents didn't like it but it was godly to me after being trapped in the park eating noodles and beans. From then on C and i slept in the tent together. The next day C was off to play golf with her parents and i was contemplating free soloing or bouldering when this guy comes out of who knows where and asks if i want to go climbing. So i said sure and then were walking to the climb and he's going on about how he's into the "Jesus Trip, you know, turn the other cheek" and how easy it was to kill people so i said that i actually didn't feel like climbing and went back and bouldered around.

Mar 19 (Sun)— Still in Del Mar
Once again on these dreary Polo fields. the girls are starting their last game. I'm glad cuz i'm getting sick of this oppressive morning and this is where the weirdness begins, i mean seriously tripped out shit. So i free-soloed The Eye (5.1), which wasn't trivial. I get up top and am trying to figure out how to get off the rock and see this guy and ask "hey, do you know how to get off this rock?" the guy turns around and it's my ca! [this needs an explanation... a ca is this concept we had back then (but can't find any mention of online), sorta like a dopple ganger but they don't need to look like u, or even be the same sex, sum 1 u don't know or have ever even spoken to, but u keep running into them in strange places, like u have this unspoken connection. Well, this guy was my ca, we saw them all the time in Tucson but had never spoken to him]. I couldn't believe it. Of all the places. And i spoke to him! Which made him no longer my ca. I'm sure he detected my surprise. I said "You're from Tucson, huh? And he's looking confused "yah, how did you know?" And i'm all "I’ve seen you around" and he told me how to get off the rock. When i got down C showed up so we went off to Headstone rock which was really cool. This big block on top of a pile like a Tombstone. It was really windy. We did Southeast Corner (5.6) first, pretty hard for a 5.6, short but sweet face climbing. The opposite corner was called Cryptic (5.8) another classic, really cool swiveling around the sharp arete and up balancey ledges. C followed and noticed this little bat in the crack. Sher lowered me off to see it. The coolest little bat, with eyes the size of pinheads. Straight up the middle of the South Face was a top rope South Face Direct (5.9), great little edging and laying back on thin edges. Felt good. After that we went to Echo and did Bake and Flake (5.8), the crack next to Flake and Bake and then we did Out on a Limb (5.10b!). For some reason i though it was 5.9, getting off the ground was a really sick move that took me a while to figure out. Even after climbing past the first bolt all the moves felt harder than 5.9 and i was thinking it was crazy J. Tree locals called this 5.9. After i looked at the book and it was 5.10b. C followed and did it with the help of the rope on the first move which was understandable (it’s 10b for those over 5'11"). She couldn't even reach the hold, but she did the rest of it. Another evening around the fire, they ate steaks while i ate tuna casserole. Another night under the stars interrupted by coyotes fucking with our shit.
     The next morning we packed our shit and decided to take C's dad climbing. Not only that but it would be C's first lead. I suggested The Eye. She got a little nervous and dizzy at the crux, but eventually did it. I followed and when i got up C was getting weird about having her dad do it. She was freakin' cuz i was going to belay with a Swami (since he was wearing my harness) and was being overly protective. But she finally went down and tied him in and gave him some coaching. It was so cool. Her dad was so eager to do it and C was so cute, teaching him how to climb. He got up maybe ½ way then he looked back and got dizzy and just kind of squatted where he was and eventually i lowered him off. But he tried it and that was cool. Up a route that his daughter led. Her 1st lead! After that we walked the Real Hidden Valley trail with her folks then parted ways. We decided to go to the Salton Sea/ De Anza Borrego route. I started to feel little weird when i got to the Salton Sea cuz that was where i realized i didn't love S [our X in high school]. It had become a symbol of a stagnant relationship and here i was with C. It got really weird when we pulled onto 78 and Joshua Tree got stuck in and i was driving and it felt too familiar and at first it felt cheap, the desert air, no shirt on, driving—same picture different girl. But then it got me thinking how much happier i was with C, how it was so much more mellow. It was like back then i was in love with the picture but something was wrong with it, and it was the girl. I had no intention of sharing this with C. We stopped for spaghetti and she was writing when we stopped so i asked her the date, March 18th and i realize it was S's b-day and commented on it and then C went off and burnt the note she was writing. I was like "what's up with that" and she wouldn't share but eventually started coming out about how she felt cheap for wanting me or something like that. It's hard to explain the emotions going on. We were in the desert way from the road cooking spaghetti. C going on about how she never wants to have sex and be a nun and all that. But the kinks eventually got worked out cuz some truck stopped and we're all "what the fuck do they want?" and they were just telling us our lights were off and that changed the mood. We drove up thru Julian and eventually all the way somewhere near Escondido, where we found a motel. I got a hold of S but she was up in the Bay Area which was good cuz that made it less awkward going to San Diego. I'm starting to feel like she's definitely a thing of the past, not even worth hanging on to our friendship. I feel i have to justify myself around her. I don't think she would understand me and C. For some strange reason we ate K.F.C. (i just had potatoes, corn and salad), i don't know why but we crashed early and woke up early, ate a big breakfast and have been at the ultimate fields ever since, besides my communion with the ocean and Kevin's brief visit. And eating sea food last night and their game is over now and finally we're out of here.

Marcy 29, 1993—Tucson
Back to reality. Sunday night, midnight. It's very quiet. I cleaned up and organized all the shit on my kitchen table, paid bills and now i made myself a cup of coffee. I can hear C snoring away, well i guess "snoring" is not the proper word. I can hear steady breathing interrupted by the police helicopter. After another fairly typical weak of studying, work, etc. culminated by a Quantum test on Friday which was fucked up, i took off to Milagros with Shaheen despite all warnings about the weather. It was sunny but clouds when we got there. He wanted to lead the hew climb on the far left of Sunny Wall (5.8). I tried to discourage him but he wanted to. He stepped on the second bolt, fell on the 3rd and rested a couple of times. I led the 5.8 crack after that a couple of lines down. The rain was coming in when i finished. We covered our shit (it was only sprinkling) and Shaheen followed it. We decided to leave after that, going up through the canyon. The pools carved out of rock with waterfalls pouring into the were too irresistible so i jumped in from above. Then it really started raining we were walking on the rocks with just shorts and it was a cool feeling and these little frogs were hopping about everywhere. It cleared up and we were all psyched to climb again so we went back and i led the Dihedral/Crack (5.7) next to Valentine's Day. It was fun but easy. ¾ of the way up i ran it out so far i was looking at groundfall. I decided to make a placement in case something came loose. Right after that i grabbed a big block and it ripped off in my hands. Luckily i had another hold and caught myself and the rock missed Sean. That shot a burst of adrenalin through me! I got to the level of the anchors for Valentines and didn't know whether to traverse over or continue up. I didn't want to go up cuz the weather was sketchy and i was afraid there wasn't anchors. I continued up and sure enough there were no anchors and the rock was shady. There was a dark cloud above me and i could smell a distinct odor of electricity, ozone, that was freaking me out. I thought to find anchors and rappel off leaving my gear in the crack but that would have been messed up. Finally i just anchored myself and clipped my 8 in so if i got struck Shaheen wouldn't fall. I was perched on the edge of the cliff and i kept looking up and seeing lightning right above me arcing between clouds, building up. And that smell of ozone. I could feel the electricity and it had me spooked, i seriously thought i was gonna struck. The majority of the activity hung ominously right above. By the time Shaheen got up it was hailing like a motherfucker. We ran over and found some anchors and rapped off. I was so cold my body was going into shivering convulsions. Of course when we got down the rain stopped. But we packed up our wet gear and left. But it wasn't over. On our way back to the car we foolishly stopped a few times to enjoy the scenery—there were yellow flowers everywhere and it was lush and green everywhere and the smells so rich, amazing. But we got blasted again, this time accompanied by high winds that blew the hail right into our eyes. We were trying to run to generate heat and get the hell out of there but the wind was blowing so hard. Luckily Shaheen had a hot tub waiting at his apartment. Then we got C and went to Ovens.
     Saturday morning i ran around with C trying to get tables for the Uomo Donna Tourney, pain in the ass. Scott came into town to go climbing. The clouds were thick and dark over the lemon. So we decided to go bouldering at Gate's pass (after unsuccessfully looking for Silverbell). Brian, Claud and Carlos were there. We top-roped a bunch of bouldering problems, 2 5.9s and a 5.11 on the flat topped one and the 5.10 hand traverser on the other rock. This guy from Kentucky showed up and Scott kind of hung out with him (he had pot). Scott is a born climber. He did some seriously hard bouldering problems including one that both Tim and I couldn't do (Tim says he leads 5.11s and is getting into 5.12s), granted Scott is short. Went and ate Z's with Scott. I'm very quiet around him for some reason, maybe cuz he's also quiet like me. But he's cool, has a good attitude. Saturday night i was tired but went out anyway, to the Ultimate party with C. Shit, i'm fading... goodnight.

Mar 30, 1993
A rainy monday morning eating shredded wheat with memories of dreams last night of everything being covered by spiders, being pursued by Sammy Davis Jr and flying via the spinning method. So yah, went to the ultimate party with C which was weird. Felt like a total outsider "why aren't you playing anymore?" Spacefish was playing and everyone drinking Jägermeister shots. Same old scene. I was supposed to meet Scott at O'Malley's so i split. Took one look at O'Malley's and said no way, it was bright with lots of windows for everyone to see in and full of smiley artificial looking conservative people, nicely dressed frat boys and girls and there was a big line so i decided to try The Shanty. Allison was out front, had her ID taken away. Brook went in and said Scott was in there. I found Scott but it was too crowded and too many people playing pool so we called it a night. Went back along 4th and rain into Allison and Brooke again who were unsuccessful getting into both Jaime's and the Ultimate party. Then i ran into Shaheen, Nick and some other dude and went with them back to the party where some guy had his arm around C and was trying to kiss her but C spun off to dance with Stacey. I had to hang around to drive her home (she was drunk) and it got pretty boring, just people watching and Donna came up and was completely unintelligible which after a while i just nodded and laughed and pretended i understood and Nick would stagger by, his face flushed, and say "grate carrots" and pretend to grate carrots, i don't know why, and he would return 10 minutes later pretending he was mowing a lawn and say "do the lawnmower". Finally we left and that long hair dude that tried to kiss her is coming out on the street after us yelling "goodbye dream woman." Oh yah, i missed a crucial point. C walked me out when i was going out to O'Malleys' and told me she loved me. But on after thought, she'd had a few beers and 4 Jägermeister shots. We went and slept at her place. We've slept together every night for the past 2 weeks. Sunday woke up and rushed back to my place so i could meet Scott. It was a beautiful day so we went up to the Lemon. There was snow on the ground and it was a little chilly. I got part way up Lost and Undecided (5.7+) or maybe i did Which is Which (5.8) because i finished more to the right. But it was long and cold and not so enjoyable. When i was belaying Scott i got cold beyond belief. We rapped off Chihuahua Power. There were some frat boys doing Puppy Chow so figured we'd wait and warm up in the sun. Then we did Puppy Chow (5.8+). I had to wipe the snow off my feet before stepping onto the rock. Puppy had bolts all over it and followed an arête to the left of Chihuahua Power. Next we did Chihuahua Power (5.9), classic climb. Starting off on thing but low angle stuff, with veins of crystals and holes and cool features. The top got steeper with 2 roofs to navigate, one of them was hard to figure out. Scott didn't have problems following any of the routes though he slipped and tweaked his arm. We quit after that, it was getting cold and he had a concert in Phoenix to get to. Came home was so tired i napped from 4 to 7 when C called it felt like it was 3 in the morning. We went to Mi Niditos with Stacey, Tom, Adam, Devine, Donna and Nancy. Donna got way out of control and called the bus boy José though that wasn't his name and said all sorts of other stupid shit, it was really embarrassing. Well, back to reality. Ride to school in the rain.

March 30
A day in the life in March 1993 in Tucson... woke up at 7 a.m. and took a shower. C was in the kitchen studying statistics. I poured cereal while making potatoes. Mom called and i talked to her for a while. C was in a foul mood, stressed about her exam. I left her at my place and went off to make an 8:30 appt at the Health Center to get my HIV results (negative). Went to my office and finished grading lab notebooks and homework then went into SCLERA and typed up 3 cover letters and sent them along with my resume to 2 different biology and biophysics groups at Los Alamos. Went to my 11:00 quantum class then packaged my old climbing shoes and took them to the post office to send them off to get resoled.  Then ate gross Chinese food at not the usual place then went and shot the crap with Jesus and Shaheen then went and talked to Ina Sarcerio (sp?) about working for the particle physics group at Los Alamos. Doesn't look too promising. Monday i talked to Carlos Wilkes and it appears i could probably get a job there but do i want to enter the socio-political drama of Falco's group, especially with C working there? I let Dror Sarid off the hook, told him i wouldn't be coming any more, i'm just not into that op sci stuff. Then i went to the science library to get a book in German with tables of spectral lines. Then i went to the Bursars office and they gave me a $25 rebate (cash) on my health insurance. Then i went and got a cookie and chewed the fat with Rusty, Matt, Allison and Jess. Then i went to help Bill set up the spectroscopy lab and then taught the lab for 3 hours, having to run around getting all sorts of equipment and answering all sorts of questions. At 6 i went home, ate a banana then went to the climbing gym and traversed around. C showed up but was with Claude. I climbed with Dean but mostly just worked out on the fingerboard. Went home and ate brown rice, broccoli and aged salted plums and now i'm here at Pony Espresso drinking joe and procrastinating.

[... April 1993]

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