Last week, we met Katie and Niko at the local Joe’s Valley watering hole, The Food Ranch. The similarities were pretty conspicuous from the get-go: another couple on a year-long road trip, blogging and videoing their way through the experience. The main difference is that they are 2 months in, while we’re on year 2. We immediately got along great and became fast climbing partners and even (gasp) friends. As the amiable couple left to Moab for the week, Spenser and I mulled over a large realization they had brought to our attention: we’ve been on the road for almost 14 months!
This awareness was a bit shocking to both Spenser and I. The year-mark came and went, without the least bit of recognition.
It was an organic occurrence for us, it didn’t mean nothing to us, but it didn’t exactly mean anything either. Why didn’t we celebrate? Wait, celebrate what? “Congratulations on living your life,” seems very silly to me. I should mention I’m also not much for celebrating birthdays. Celebrating a year of being on the road is along the same vein.
At least now I know why Spenser and I have been having such a difficult time answering people when they keep asking us how much longer we’ll be on the road for. The short answer is, we don’t know. We can’t really think about it. This is our life. We’re happy, much happier than we were in the Bay Area. We still enjoy gong back to the other ‘real world’ for once in a while, but always end up wanting to leave. It’s not our world, it’s theirs.
…Now I’m just going to get philosophical on y’all for one second. At the ripe age of 26, I think I’m finally starting to understand how individual each person’s reality truly is. The way every single moment is perceived is particular to the individual, even with Spenser and I who spend almost every moment together. How we experience each step of this road trip is is a completely separate reality. Neither of our experiences is more or less real, but it certainly helps to be cognizant of how differently we can comprehent the same moment [this tactic is particularly useful in assuaging variances in opinion that occur…daily ;)].
Disparate experiences aside, life on the road is our current reality and neither Spenser nor I want it to change. Spending time with Katie and Niko, remembering how we felt when we started this crazy trip, reinvigorated us and reaffirmed that this is the life we want.
This post was supposed to be about a fresh start for our second year. It still will be, just not in the way I’ve been brewing it up in my head the past couple days while we’ve been out of internet contact at the campsite.
I was planning on writing about The RV Project’s new training plan. Since Spenser is just getting back into the bouldering game after a long siesta, we have been projecting many of the same lines (a silver lining to having Spenser injured). Wanting to milk what’s left of the cool temps, we came up with a training plan for the rest of our time in Joe’s; a two-day on, one-day off routine: a try-hard day, followed by a conditioning day, and then a rest day.
Yesterday was a try-hard day and I decided to get back on an old nemesis rig from our last trip to Joe’s, Kill by Numbers. I was inspired by Katie’s ambitious send of the climb about a week ago. Kill by Numbers has been especially frustrating for me, being the only climb that I’ve worked on repeatedly and am still trying to refine my beta on. I was feeling good at the end of the day as we hiked up the small hill that leads to the Kill by Numbers cave. I’ll admit, I didn’t feel strong on the moves, but I thought I could push through. The problem is right-hand sloper intensive (not my strong suit) and my right hand was getting pumped quickly. After my second-to-last go, I felt a slight pain in my left middle finger, but ignored it and pressed on. I pulled hard on the left-hand roof crimp and then pop.
Although this has never happened to me, I knew exactly what just occurred: I’ve read this story many times before. So, that’s that. My original training plan is out the window. We’ll see how the finger feels in the coming days, but for now…no climbing. Making the most of the lousy situation, Spenser and I went on our first icing date last night at the river- I held my hand in the ice-cold water, while he his elbow. Cute, right? 😉
Our second year is not starting off how I imagined it. The single most important thing I’ve learned on this road trip still rings true: plans change [see: our very first blog post]. Nonetheless, this second year I’m really excited about. Before year 1, I was incredibly nervous. Not anymore. We’re pros. We’ve got this. I mean we still have stuff to learn, always. What were pros at is rolling with the punches.
Although you won’t see a video of me sending Kill by Numbers anytime soon, here’s a vid that Katie & Niko’s friend Angus made of his trip here. It includes Katie sending the rig!