“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” -Hunter S. Thompson
And so it was. American am I. Are we (?). Dave and Daniel (they need no introduction). Reunited once more. It was interesting because I couldn't decide if time had passed or not, since I had seen them last, and there was no way of knowing. Well, there was, and there is, and my senses fought against the logic. Hopeless. Ourselves operating again as a force. Had it really been two years? (Daniel seems so much older...) Well, being the weak link I could certainly show them what I can't climb, maybe take some photos, watch someone else do something cool, write a blog about it. "I know how to belay!" Grrrrrrrr.
Daniel is SO STRONG. Dave is so "interesting". Such an American thing to say.
"Hey!! Why do we still have green road signs!!! Look at those green road signs!! Why?!? We always have to look at the green road signs!!! Why aren't they better! More modern, and BLUE and electronic?" I don't know, Dave, but I want it better too. The tires hum ceaselessly beneath us as we race towards the future. The road stretches the faster we go. Mile long yellow stripes slowly meld into one. Sinister electronic music slithers in and out of the smoke from their cigarettes like a fat black snake. Deeper, darker (.) To the night we go.
We have come to Lander, Wyoming. An American Road Trip. We are all Americans, driving across America. We don't have much choice. This is a new zone for climbing, irrelevant as that may be. It's new to us. New to me. I have come to brave the storm. My heart has heard a tenebrous call in a deep and feral canyon north of town. Heaven. The Devil's Kitchen the ranchers call it. We must wait. Dark. Sleep. (A nightmare about spiders).
Awake. It's morning. The sun sits plump and low and thick in the east. Hiding behind the hills. Warm light pours out slowly over the sage. A spider fingers its way across the edge of a flat rock, unaware. Reminding me to be patient. Grrrrr. We have to go.
DG: "Maybe we should go check out the sick new cave?" No. No! No!! (Well, maybe next time.) We are running out of time. God, there are so many boulders. Dave has to see it. He'll understand. We leave town later than I want, but we would have left earlier if he only knew. He will know. Daniel knows. Soon. They get it. We get it. We are ahead, and the hunt never stops. Racing down the rough road to nowhere. It's almost noon. But nowhere doesn't really exist, even when you're in the middle of it. It's right here. Right now. Somewhere.
I step out of the car, into the sun and look down upon a place of legend. Future-legend. It will be someday. But not yet. No names yet. No numbers. No beta. The dark boulders of my dreams. Chalkless. Waiting. And so we begin. We begin to make it better, and headlong, we race to the storm.