after my landlord told me in mid july that sydney (aka squiddypup) had to go, i started to hatch a plan. i was already taking the girls to yellowstone for a summer/fall vacation, so it seemed like getting a place before we got back from that would just be a waste of money.
it looked like the three of us (me, nacho, and the squiddypup) would be staying at the outback lodge, a subaru resort, for the better part of september.
while being homeless has some challenges, it definitely keeps you motivated. after all, sitting around the house just isn’t an option. what follows is a pictorial of what ended up being closer to 40 days of homelessness.
the first benefit i noticed was that i could decide where i wanted to wake up based on my plans for the next day. but i had my favorites and some requirements.
one requirement was a nice sunrise
the parking near the crystal bay boulders
waking up at the angora ridge fire lookout
the other requirement was that i could just roll over, open the door and release the hounds
cuz the puppies be cray cray
i had a week in tahoe before our trip to montana, and except for the never ending smoke from the rim fire, the september weather was perfect for climbing.
so climb i did. anna came to town and we spent a day clipping bolts at luther rock
anna on betty ford’s route (5.9)
anna on the crux of daily prayer (5.10c)
pulling the roof was no walk in the park either
me pulling up to the pew on daily prayer
then anna gave leading with draws (5.11a) a shot. you can keep up with anna’s adventures on her blog
next we moved over to distillery wall. where i led 5.9, which is a fun 5.10a
next up was anna on the sharp end
on the way out, nacho does what nacho does
the next day we headed to woodfords. anna works a route on bandit crag
then maggie and her boyfriend colin came for a visit. we headed back to luther rock. with three of us i was able to anchor on the wall and take some pics. here’s maggie leading betty ford’s route
me leading on methadone (5.10a). don’t do drugs
not only can you not sit around the house doing nothing during the days, but you can’t sit at home on the computer at night. i spent several nights up at angora lakes taking photos
my least favorite constellation, the orb weaver
then it was time for the outback lodge to hit the road. destination yellowstone.
our itinterary would take us through cali, nevada, utah, idaho, wyoming, montana and then the reverse order minus utah. our first stop was city of rocks, idaho for a couple days of climbing adventure.
elephant rock in the early morning light
our first climb was on the back side of bath rock. a route called roller coaster (5.8/9)
it offered a nice spot for me to anchor and shoot some pics. jasmyn getting after it
skylyn working out the moves on roller coaster while jasmyn belays.
shortly after taking that last pic with my iphone 4, i started climbing up to the anchors. the leg loop of my harness squeezed the phone out of my pocket. as it first hit rock i was terrified thinking it was a necessary piece of equipment and i would be falling next. so for an instant i was relieved it was just my phone.
the music was still playing though. 2 days later i cashed in on my upgrade at an att store in pocatello, and was able to get my contacts from it, but two days with no phone O-M-GEEEEE! 😉 after returning home, i was able to get everything else from it as well
then the rains started, and would be with us in some fashion for the next 5 days. we were chased from bath rock (and i had to leave a biner behind on coffee and cornflakes) but were back at it later in the day on practice rock, which surrounded our camp site.
jasmyn cleaning up my new 4.5 on first lead (5.6)
across the road some folks just finished a route on elephant rock. this is one of the things that will bring me back to city of rocks
also nearby was this cool formation that i call book of skulls
meanwhile, back at practice rock. jasmyn on original left (5.7/8)
as sunlight was waning we headed to window rock, which looked to have some easy trad routes for cameryn. me starting up pure pleasure (5.6) before moving left to good times (5.6).
cameryn approaching the top of good times, which she was not having. 😉
the next day, the sun rose again
illuminating today’s destination, upper breadloaves
the route we chose was fred rasmussen (5.8), named for graffiti at the base of the route. cool shot with the birds overhead
jasmyn laying it back, cause we lack the crack… technique. you can see the graffiti at the base
skylyn’s turn to lay it back
as if climbing wasn’t humbling enough, this guy showed up and soloed the route when we were done
it was time to be on our way. by the end of the day we had to be at our site in grant village, yellowstone. we took the eastern route past the mighty tetons
turns out, the sun rises in yellowstone too. 2 minutes from our camp site was yellowstone lake
we watched old faithful from the traditional spot, but just before she blew the wind changed and our view was completely obscured by steam. so we hiked up for a different view
morning glory pool
what castle geyser sees all day every day
bison and geysers
bison and geezers
small geyser off firehole lake drive
grand fountain geyser with white dome geyser erupting in the background
the yellowstone wildlife tour continues. we were able to photo every animal on the yellowstone list except the grizzly, wolf and fox
the next day we made it to the grand canyon of the yellowstone. yellowstone falls
a better look at the falls without that stupid family in the way
downstream and down the trail
a pronghorn in hayden valley
we saw no elk until we got to mammoth hot springs. then they were everywhere. bull elk above mammoth hot springs.
after mammoth hot springs, we headed north, mostly so the kids could say they had been to montucky. along the way we saw a number of bighorn sheep above the gardiner river
mammoth hot springs has more to offer than just wildlife. there are some awesome formations here
while we saw a moose on our entrance to the park (he bolted out from the woods and ran in front of our car), we hadn’t got any pictures. so our last day started with a rainy early morning hike to riddle lake, prime moose habitat. we got skunked, but did get this awesome pic of a whitetail
our last stop in yellowstone was moose falls. there were no moose here either
jackson lake in grand teton national park is purdeee
if you missed some wildlife in yellowstone, you’re likely to find it in grand teton, like this black bear here and the moose below
we were even treated to a double rainbow (omg, a double rainbow!)
ok, enough with the wildlife and scenics. we left yellowstone and the tetons behind and began to work our way back to tahoe. first, a stop at rodeo wall, just east of hoback junction
me leading rodeo queen (5.8)
jasmyn on rodeo queen
there were some other climbers there too. they got a piece on top of the roof section of thelma (5.9) but couldn’t get the next move. worked out good cause i’m pretty good at pulling roofs, but probably wouldn’t have gotten to the first bolt if they hadn’t already done that. i got a chance to lead the second half, and everyone got their gear back
we stayed climbing a bit longer than we had anticipated, so instead of heading to the ruby mountains of nevada, we opted for a campground we found online in nearby swan valley. we didn’t notice the campground was closed until after we had paid. we stayed anyway, but were a little scared of axe murderers and such.
the beautiful swan valley and the snake river
the previous picture was taken from the top of falls creek falls, a truly beautiful place
as we were driving away the next morning, we saw a couple ducks. not sure what kind though
we made excellent time to elko and were able to get some post lunch climbing in at the sports rock in lamoille canyon. skylyn on sports rock’s easier climb with lamoille creek below
jasmyn topping out on sports rock
cameryn got into the action as well
back in tahoe, on a day i probably would have been sitting at home, i headed up to the north shore to hit the climbing gym. on the way, i came across some dudes turning their lemons into vodka and lemonade
by this point, i was already supposed to have moved into a place, but my previous landlord has not been forthcoming with my deposit, so three more weeks of homelessness ensued. i couldn’t have the girls living in the car with me too, but i was occasionally able to pick them up from school and naturally, we went climbing. jasmyn on unknown 10c (5.10c) at berkeley camp
me on the same route
me on leflie (5.12a), which is very easy for the grade
other days were spent soloing with a ghetto technique i was later to find out is, ummm, unsafe. jane’s spy (5.7)
lots of days were spent climbing with britney, who was my inspiration for living out of my car. she did it all summer, and seeing that is what got my wheels turning. here she is leading mixed emotions (5.10a) at luther spires
the outback lodge even has property in tahoe city. i woke up with snow on the ground just under twin crags. this is me on chris toe, a somewhat committing 5.7
britney rapping down off scissor kick (5.12)
me on flirting with disaster (5.10b)
we made it over to mayhem cove for a short but fun day. the camera failed me though (wasn’t the camera’s fault). britney on car jacker (5.9)
then it was off to yosemite for me and josh, a buddy from work. our goal was to climb the east buttress of el cap. it was a lofty goal since the crux (5.10b) is at or above our current abilities and the 5.9 sections would likely be slow for us. but for our first day we had an easier goal, nutcracker, a 5 pitch 5.8 on the manure pile buttress
josh following up the easy part of the first pitch
then we got to the belay ledge after the second pitch, where things were a tad backed up with four groups waiting to go up. at least it was an awesome ledge
four hours later we started pitch 3. josh cleaning the route
after the crux of the route on the 5th pitch, i looked over and saw this. had to pull out the camera
that night, we were ninja camping which means find an out of the way place, drop your sleeping bag and close your eyes. we found a spot, i went to the bathrooms in curry village, and then spent hours trying to find our spot again. never found it. slept in the freezing car on a pile of climbing gear with no sleeping bag. it didn’t go well. we woke at 5:30 and got our gear ready to head to the base of el cap to get on the east buttress
despite the initial stoke of being at the base of this most awesome piece of granite, the ‘me feeling like shit’ soon returned. we arrived at the base of the route to find a leader out of sight near the top of the first pitch. the sound of him falling twice and then whimpering that he was coming down reeeeeeallly had me pumped.
nevertheless i clawed and scratched my way to the top of the offwidth. even climbed a little. josh followed behind
but the way things went we were at the top of pitch 3 and it was likely we weren’t going to make the top while there was light, and this was the last point to be able to retreat with just one rope, so retreat we did. the retreat was quite the adventure as well since we weren’t sure if we were on the right track so it was a matter of rappelling off a tree hoping it lead to another tree below. in each case it did
besides, i missed nacho. so i came back to tahoe and took him fishing
and took the girls climbing. skylyn on unknown 5.8 at spooner crag
then the pups started to show some signs of living in the car
so we got a place