A picture is worth a thousand words...

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Like all true mountain-lovers, she got altitude sickness if she spent too long at sea-level.
– Robert Macfarlane, speaking of Nan Shepherd introducing her book The Living Mountain.

It's been a year and a half since I was last in the mountains; I've come to realize this probably has a great deal to do with my funk. This photo represents more of the life I want to live than what I'm living now, and being out of sync with that has resulted in me feeling like things aren't right.

It's hard to describe this period of my life. There was a wanderlust, a sense of adventure. I was at the climbing gym 3-4 nights a week, spending 3+ hours each time there. I rode my bike (and the bus) to work and went on a bunch of adventures. Oakland and Berkeley were great for that, though the problems (including drive-by shootings, armed robberies, and similar) eventually outweighed the value of actually living there. I still won't take my Challenger into either area because of the high crime rates. This is when I was introduced to authors like Nan Shepherd, Robert Macfarlane, and Matthew Crawford. I hung out at the Temescal Beer Garden, ate lots of great Nepali and Afghani food, and was generally lonely, although I actually had a dating life at this point (which basically died due to a combination of the 'vid, growing up, and moving to Livermore).

Lately, my life has been more about capabilities: I went to the police academy in 2021 (though I decided the people in the Bay Area weren't worth the risk to my mental health or physical safety). I've been taking medical (though nothing on the level of taking my Wilderness First Responder in 2016) and comms classes to be able to contribute in the event of a disaster. This has resulted in a lot less wandering.

I think one of the themes of 2024 is to find some healing in the form of mountain therapy. I'm working on plans for the Mokelumne and Desolation Wilderness, to revisit the Crystal Range and do some of the things I've always wanted to do there — like sleeping on top of Pyramid Peak. Best get after it.