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Edge's Wild Ride, Part 2, Boulder and Bolder
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edge


Mar 30, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Edge's Wild Ride, Part 2, Boulder and Bolder
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Continued from http://www.rockclimbing.com/topic/109161 this topic.


So far the journey West had been the destination, in that I had already visited more places in the last week than I could have possibly imagined from my little New England world.

We drove towards the setting sun in Flash’s brown van, our fingers still hurting from our last encounter with the Black Hills. After pilfering close to $100 in quarters from the park service, the ride to Devil’s Tower was almost pleasant. I say “almost,” because I had to drive the van with my wrists so as not to put any pressure on my fingertips; the Needles, you see, will do that to you.

We had abandoned the Black Hills campground the morning after my monetary “indiscretion,” but had picked a solitary tower as our next victim. We hiked through a treasure-trove of rock pillars before arriving at the base of “Rubaiyat”, which was a single pitch 5.8. We summitted, ate lunch, and then high-tailed it outta there. Fact was, the climbing at the South Dakota Needles was quite predictable, in that the moves entailed grabbing a protruding pebble, pulling on it, and then tossing it over your shoulder as you advanced. I am not sure if it remains the same today, but if every climber who pulled on a loose South Dakotan pebble launched it asswards, then I think North America would have an enviable hole in the earth where corn coulda/woulda/shoulda been grown.

Were the Gill boulder problems the same as he had experienced??? I seriously doubted it; the rock seemed too fluid for that. Anyways, our attention shifted westward towards Devils Tower, and we arrived there late in the afternoon. Unfortunately for us the weather gave us the proverbial shaft, and it began sprinkling as soon as the basalt shaft came into view; we were able to take the hike around the tower, but that was about all we got. The wind had kicked up to the point where I was able to pick up 3 Ensolite pads that had been blown free as they escaped across the barren landscape, and although my van buddies cautioned against bad karma, I kept them all and slept like a baby for the next three months.

We took shifts driving through the wastelands that were Wyoming, with elk, prairie dogs, and Citgo stations providing the few and far between entertainment. Flash and Mike had meant to settle down here, but driving through this country made even them second, third, and fourth guess their decision. Collectively we decided to continue until Boulder, where I had friends from the previous year. It only took us 2 days of adventure traveling from the Black Hills, but we rolled into Boulder at 11:30 PM and with most of the hotels closed, we did what seemed logical and found a quiet spot to pull off the road and sleep near the start of Boulder Canyon.

It was probably 2:30 AM when the van erupted into heinous shaking and knocking of tin. Like any sensible person, we 1) hid all drug related paraphernalia, 2) dragged our bleary eyed selves out of our sleeping bags, and 3) opened the side door to find a Boulder City policeman asking just what the hell we were doing.

Flash and Mike had never been to Boulder before, so I took it as a personal point of pride to act as liaison, regardless of the fact that I was wearing nothing but my Chloxoxed white undies. I explained that we had rolled into town too late to secure a hotel room, and that we would be gone as soon as the sun rose. The clean-shaven academy kid who confronted us thought for a second before retreating to his radio, and when he returned he gave us permission to stay at the pull-out, since none of our records had revealed us as anything more than innocent New Hampshireites. I have no doubt that if we had produced New Jersey drivers licenses, then I would be typing this in a striped suit.

We did indeed wake early, and had breakfast in town. I had several connections from the previous summer, but my one friend Jeff* (*name changed to protect the guilty!) had left me a hastily written note so that I could find him. It was a combination of my naivety and his bad penmanship, but he had abbreviated “University” Ave to “Univ”; however the period he added after “Univ” made the V look like a K, and so I spent the better part of 2 days asking people if they knew where Unik Ave was. While almost all laughed at me and admitted to knowing what a “eunuch” was, no one made the connection, least of all me. I finally gave up looking and bought a ticket for a midnight showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, and that, oddly enough, is where I found him. Thankfully, he was not throwing toast or anything like that.

I was instantly invited to move out of Flash’s van and stay at Jeff*’s place, but within 12 hours of locating him he was off to the Denver airport to pick up a bag at baggage claim. This was not just any bag, however, but one containing 1000 hits of a little purple pill that had been flown in from Berkeley. Jeff* could have easily won an Oscar for his non-descript performance while casually strolling up past the baggage checkers and collecting said bag, but really, he pulled it off like it was all in a day’s business.

Note to self: Little purple pills from Berkeley=EVIL.

My next recollection is of accompanying Jeff* home from a walk downtown. We had just rounded the corner of his street when he threw me across the road and herded me up into the foothills. There were cop cars a go-go all in front of his apartment, and we watched from the sanctity of the rolling plains as men in blue rummaged about for over one solid hour.

Just when we were about to throw up our hands and turn ourselves in, we saw the coppers escort
a man in chains from the next door neighbors house. It seems like Jeff’s next-door neighbor was dealing drugs. What is wrong with people???

As soon as the cops left, Jeff and I burst into his house and cut up some high-grade sensimilla to calm our nerves. It seemed like the right thing to do at the moment.

Later that week, Jeff made a telephone call to a friend in western Colorado. It did not take a rocket scientist to figure out that what he was requesting was not “Who concert tickets”, but within 4 hours it was “snowing” in Boulder, and we found ourselves snapping rear view mirrors off parked cars to gain suitable surfaces to accommodate the snowstorms.

I still wanted to go to Yosemite, make no mistake, but I kinda felt at home in Boulder. Fact was, I had spent the entire previous summer there, and had managed to survive on a combination of food stamps and $25/week that I earned from selling my blood plasma. Other transients who I befriended clued me in on how to double my plasma earnings, but I personally drew the line. I am still not sure why I drew it, but I did; $25/week buys a hellavalotta Coors with moolah left over for strange mushroomy things...

After moving in with Jeff*, I basically had no connection with Flash. He might have left for Wyoming with Mike, or maybe not. Being 22 years old and stupid, I really didn’t care. I never really talked with him again about that trip.

The last memory I have of Flash is probably 20 years old. There used to be an old access road under Whitehorse Ledge, and I would drive my beat-up Datsun pick-up out there to sleep each weekend. Flash would appear, without fail, about 20 minutes after I tried to go to sleep. Just before my sleeping spot there was a humongous puddle, deep enough to dip an entire truck up to it’s axles. Without fail, Flash would show up and, in his best scuba diving voice, would yell, “Dive, Dive,” before entering puddledom. God, I miss those days…

Anyway, Jeff and I used Boulder like an addict uses heroin. We cranked out pitches left, right, and sideways. The previous Summer I had advanced from a 5.9 leader to a 5.10 leader, but now I felt right at home on the sandstone and lead my first 5.11, C’est La Vie. Jeff and I cranked off Cosmosis, and then Yellow Spur; classics all, and would have gone well above and beyond if it weren’t for the constraints of time.

Still the valley awaits, and I needed to get there. It was, after all, Fall, and I now found myself with no wheels and no prospects to get there.


pumpkins


Mar 30, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Re: Edge's Wild Ride, Part 2, Boulder and Bolder [In reply to]
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u stole 100 dollars from the park service...

:?

i know you might be an old school climber and such but i think actions like urs are the ones that really give climbers in general a bad rep...u know that money helps keep areas like the ones u climb in open and clean.... not to mention somewhat safe

no wonder the park service is starting to hate us

oh yeah blogs r gay


edge


Mar 30, 2006, 11:58 AM
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u

Is that a word???


Partner j_ung


Mar 30, 2006, 12:16 PM
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In reply to:
u stole 100 dollars from the park service...

:?

i know you might be an old school climber and such but i think actions like urs are the ones that really give climbers in general a bad rep...u know that money helps keep areas like the ones u climb in open and clean.... not to mention somewhat safe

no wonder the park service is starting to hate us

oh yeah blogs r gay

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Somehow, I think the statute of limitations applies. Read the first four lines of part one. :wink:


saxfiend


Mar 30, 2006, 12:31 PM
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Re: Edge's Wild Ride, Part 2, Boulder and Bolder [In reply to]
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Nice TR continuation! Makes me look fondly back on the insane stuff I did when I was in my 20s. :) I'm looking forward to the next installment.

In reply to:
no wonder the park service is starting to hate us

oh yeah blogs r gay
Glad I can rate today . . . you get turds, lame-ass.

JL


ubotch


Mar 30, 2006, 1:57 PM
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u stole 100 dollars from the park service...

Thats what you pick out to have a problem with? :lol: Just seems odd that that is what stands out as morally objectionable from this whole story.

I may not live my life the same way but its a great story and it was a long time ago. I have enjoyed these two installments a lot. Thanks for sharing.


Partner cracklover


Mar 30, 2006, 2:17 PM
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oh yeah blogs r gay

It's called a Trip Report. Learn... I dunno... something... anything... please!

Edge: 8^)

My own first X-country trip starts in a few days. Wish I was younger and stupider, but there's no time like the present.

GO


ambler


Mar 30, 2006, 3:31 PM
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Hey, this is a fun TR to read, and obviously it was a fun one to live too.

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We had abandoned the Black Hills campground the morning after my monetary “indiscretion,” but had picked a solitary tower as our next victim. We hiked through a treasure-trove of rock pillars before arriving at the base of “Rubaiyat”, which was a single pitch 5.8. We summitted, ate lunch, and then high-tailed it outta there. Fact was, the climbing at the South Dakota Needles was quite predictable, in that the moves entailed grabbing a protruding pebble, pulling on it, and then tossing it over your shoulder as you advanced. I am not sure if it remains the same today, but if every climber who pulled on a loose South Dakotan pebble launched it asswards, then I think North America would have an enviable hole in the earth where corn coulda/woulda/shoulda been grown.
I can't recall the climbing on Rubaiyat, just that it looked fine from the road. But somewhere in the Needles I got to thinking that for higher grades there, I was happier on the crack climbs. The Sore Thumb, now there's a great route!


Partner macherry


Mar 30, 2006, 3:37 PM
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oh edge, you've brought back a lot of memories (what were left) from my drug addled days in banff.

good fun

i await more installments


jdouble


Mar 30, 2006, 4:42 PM
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Keep em' coming!

And those quarter fell out of the machine. You were picking up litter.

Eventually we do get to Yosemite, right?


cowpoke


Mar 30, 2006, 5:37 PM
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Note to self: Little purple pills from Berkeley=EVIL.

As soon as the cops left, Jeff and I burst into his house and cut up some high-grade sensimilla to calm our nerves.

$25/week buys a hellavalotta Coors with moolah left over for strange mushroomy things...
Wow, you really are writing a "trip" report...love it!! Can't wait to read the next chapter!!


edge


Mar 31, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Eventually we do get to Yosemite, right?

Ummmm, yeah, I do. In will write that installment when I get in the appropriate mood.


Partner pharmboy


Jun 7, 2006, 1:27 PM
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In reply to:
Eventually we do get to Yosemite, right?

Ummmm, yeah, I do. In will write that installment when I get in the appropriate mood.

Any chance you are nearing that "appropriate mood" yet? I'm getting very anxious... I'd be happy to pay for the next installment. :D


Partner cracklover


Jun 7, 2006, 2:02 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Eventually we do get to Yosemite, right?

Ummmm, yeah, I do. In will write that installment when I get in the appropriate mood.

Any chance you are nearing that "appropriate mood" yet? I'm getting very anxious... I'd be happy to pay for the next installment. :D

And my guess would be that with a name like "pharmboy", he could get you whatever you need to get in the required mood. I'd support that!

GO


elvislegs


Jun 7, 2006, 3:14 PM
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nice edge.
kerouac is surely somewhere scrolling down, reading, smiling.


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