the art of being homeless

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.
the outback lodge, a subaru resort property

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
crystal bay sunrise

waking up at the angora ridge fire lookout
sunrise over emerald bay

the other requirement was that i could just roll over, open the door and release the hounds
puppies are cute

cuz the puppies be cray cray
Puppies are 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)
sport climbing at luther rock

anna on the crux of daily prayer (5.10c)
climbing at luther rock

pulling the roof was no walk in the park either
pulling the roof on daily prayer

me pulling up to the pew on daily prayer
top roping at luther rock

then anna gave leading with draws (5.11a) a shot. you can keep up with anna’s adventures on her blog
sport climbing, out of focus

next we moved over to distillery wall. where i led 5.9, which is a fun 5.10a
fun climbing on distillery wall

next up was anna on the sharp end
sport climbing photo

on the way out, nacho does what nacho does
nacho being awesome

the next day we headed to woodfords. anna works a route on bandit crag
woodfords climbing

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
maggie leading betty ford's route

maggie leading betty ford's route

me leading on methadone (5.10a). don’t do drugs
sport climbing on methadone

maggie follows
climbing in lake tahoe

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
milky way over angora ridge

my least favorite constellation, the orb weaver

then it was time for the outback lodge to hit the road. destination yellowstone.
road trip

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
city of rocks idaho

our first climb was on the back side of bath rock. a route called roller coaster (5.8/9)
climbing at city of rocks, idaho

it offered a nice spot for me to anchor and shoot some pics. jasmyn getting after it
climbing at city of rocks idaho

skylyn working out the moves on roller coaster while jasmyn belays.
climber on bath rock west face at city of rocks

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
phone damage

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)
rock climber cleaning gear off a route

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
climber rappelling

also nearby was this cool formation that i call book of skulls
rock formation

meanwhile, back at practice rock. jasmyn on original left (5.7/8)
climber top roping

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).
window rock

cameryn approaching the top of good times, which she was not having. 😉
climber at window rock

the next day, the sun rose again
idaho sunrise

illuminating today’s destination, upper breadloaves
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
climber and birds

jasmyn laying it back, cause we lack the crack… technique. you can see the graffiti at the base
fred rasmussen

skylyn’s turn to lay it back
climber at breadloaves

as if climbing wasn’t humbling enough, this guy showed up and soloed the route when we were done
climber fee soloing a route at city of rocks

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
snake river and the middle teton

turns out, the sun rises in yellowstone too. 2 minutes from our camp site was yellowstone lake
sunrise over 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
old faithful

morning glory pool
morning glory pool

what castle geyser sees all day every day
people taking pictures

bison and geysers
bison and geyser

bison and geezers
addicted to motors

small geyser off firehole lake drive

grand fountain geyser with white dome geyser erupting in the background
grand fountain geyser

the yellowstone wildlife tour continues. we were able to photo every animal on the yellowstone list except the grizzly, wolf and fox
coyote pup

the next day we made it to the grand canyon of the yellowstone. yellowstone falls
family at yellowstone falls lookout

a better look at the falls without that stupid family in the way
grand canyon of the yellowstone

downstream and down the trail
yellowstone river

a pronghorn in hayden valley

undine falls
undine falls

we saw no elk until we got to mammoth hot springs. then they were everywhere. bull elk above mammoth hot springs.
bull elk

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
bighorn sheep

mammoth hot springs has more to offer than just wildlife. there are some awesome formations here
mammoth hot springs

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
whitetail deer

our last stop in yellowstone was moose falls. there were no moose here either
moose falls

moose falls

jackson lake in grand teton national park is purdeee
lizard creek point in jackson lake

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
black bear

moose and fawn

we were even treated to a double rainbow (omg, a double rainbow!)
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
rodeo wall, climbing in wyoming

me leading rodeo queen (5.8)
rodeo queen - rock climbing

jasmyn on rodeo queen
rodeo queen - rock climbing

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
climbing rodeo wall - thelma

climbing rodeo wall - thelma

skylyn following
climber on rodeo wall

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
swan valley idaho

the previous picture was taken from the top of falls creek falls, a truly beautiful place
falls creek falls and the snake river

as we were driving away the next morning, we saw a couple ducks. not sure what kind though
bald eagle takes off

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
rock climbing in lamoille canyon

jasmyn topping out on sports rock
climbing in the ruby mountains

cameryn got into the action as well
climber climbs

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
surfing lake tahoe

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
climbing at berkely camp

me on the same route
rock climbing in lake tahoe

me on leflie (5.12a), which is very easy for the grade
climbing at berkeley camp

other days were spent soloing with a ghetto technique i was later to find out is, ummm, unsafe. jane’s spy (5.7)
soloing at luther spires

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
mixed emotions 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
climber at twin crags

britney rapping down off scissor kick (5.12)
climber at twin crags

me on flirting with disaster (5.10b)
climber at twin crags

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)
climber at mayhem cove

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
first pitch of nutcracker

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
crowded belay ledge

four hours later we started pitch 3. josh cleaning the route
third pitch of nutcracker

after the crux of the route on the 5th pitch, i looked over and saw this. had to pull out the camera
sunset over tenaya canyon

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
el cap

el cap

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
el cap

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
el cap

besides, i missed nacho. so i came back to tahoe and took him fishing
nacho chasing kokanee

and took the girls climbing. skylyn on unknown 5.8 at spooner crag
el cap

then the pups started to show some signs of living in the car
puppy zombies

so we got a place

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