The hardest thing about winter in Seattle is actually having to be here during the winter. As much as I would like to take a climbing trip RIGHT FUCKING NOW, an overly liberal approach to my finances and a poorly crafted strategy for finding work preclude any such thing. While seldom permanent in my relatively carefree existence, this situation always requires a strong will against the despair and self pitying nonsense that ensues. That will, oft tamed by an excess of beer, is certainly no match for the strongest bouts of foolishness, resulting in sporadic despondence.
What any person needs to cut the palpable gray that dominates Washington weather is: sun! Occasionally, an event occurs whereby the latter pauses in its tireless obfuscation of the former and allows a brief recess period before slamming the ethereal bars shut once more and driving home the lock. Even more rarely, the rock climbing areas in Washington begin to dry, allowing a highly coveted mid-winter climbing session on REAL outdoor rock!
Today seemed an unlikely venue for any such event. Rain was falling inconsistently from a sodden sky. Our plans to go to Gold Bar for a little bouldering seemed a fool's errand at best, but we eventually convinced ourselves that it would be worth it no matter the results. Bryan, Sam and Natalie proved perfect accomplices in this game of self-deception. Running on three hours of sleep and a stomach still brimming with overly hoppy beer, I was loopy and obnoxious: a veritable spring of sarcasm flowed easily and incessantly. I considered the odds fortuitous on all counts. At worst, some fresh air would surely soothe my the fog in my head. What better confirmation then, to drive east on highway 2 towards increasingly bright skies and *gasp* a shocking pale blue amongst the otherwise uniform gray!
It turned out to be downright balmy on the clear-cut hills of Gold Bar. The merry jaunt up the puddle-ridden logging road lifted my spirits and greatly improved the lingering dizziness from the night before. Gingerly donning a tank top and strapping down the velcro on my shoes, I was off on the first climb of the day in nearly full sun. Successes on boulders were lavished upon us, especially Bryan. With the addition of the incomparable R. Cole Allen and, later on, Kelly and Cortney, the day was already perfect in every way, other than the nagging suspicion that I've acquired a hernia in my groin--but that can wait until next week! Until then I'll sit here feeling like I got kicked in the junk and hope it's just a pulled muscle. Cheers!