I'm sitting alone on my living room couch writing this post on my most recent Bishop trip and I'm having a hard time deciding what to say. Normally I would want to keep my posts short and light since writing my thoughts out is a level of vulnerability that makes me cringe, but a conversation I had on the way back from Bishop about false positivity and the use of media as a highlight reel has me compelled to be a little more open.
This time last week I was basking in the chilly February sunshine on top of the rocks of the Sad Boulders, surrounded by good company and doing two of the things I love most, climbing and photographing. The juxtaposition is pretty stark when comparing that moment of simple happiness to me sitting in my empty house right now as the rain pounds away outside. Last weekend felt like a breath of fresh air, not just because I was outside in one of my favorite places, but because I was sharing a place that is special to me with new companions and old friends.
Overall, it was a good trip. The constant cloud cover threatened to open up on us at any moment, but with the exception of a brief drizzle on Saturday afternoon, the weather was on our side and we were able to make the most of that first day of climbing at the Happy Boulders. I have a few projects in that area, but since I haven't been training lately I had already accepted that I most likely wasn't going to send any of them. As someone who struggles with unrealistically high expectations and perfectionism it's hard not to feel discouraged when you're not even reaching your previous high points on projects, but I was determined not to let that prevent me from enjoying my time there. Even though I didn't send anything except my warmups, it was still extremely satisfying to cheer on my friends as they made their way to the top of several classics like the Weekender, Serengeti, Bleached Bones, and Ketron Classic. As we sat around the campfire singing along to the ukulele later that night, I watched the full moon rise through the clouds and I committed that moment to memory.
The following morning we were all hoping to make our way out to the Buttermilks, but the road wasn't open so we opted to climb at the Sad Boulders instead. I was slightly dissapointed since the conditions were fantastic and I had been looking forward to climbing again in that iconic wonderland of granite for the past few weeks, but I'd never climbed in the Sads before and experiencing new places always makes me excited and energized. After making our way up the winding dirt road with Great Basin Bakery in our bellies and bluegrass pouring from the stereo, we arrived at the boulders and had the place almost all to ourselves. I spent the day exploring the canyon, bouldering, photographing, but mostly napping in the wonderful sunshine. We had to leave around 3 to make in back to San Diego that night, but I look forward to returning to the Sad Boulders in the future. I usually dread the return drive back to San Diego and my regular routine, but this time the miles on the 395 seemed to fly by with open and engaging conversation. Before I knew it I was back to where I started.
It's only been one quick and busy week since Bishop, and as I reflect on the trip one phrase keeps surfacing in my overthinking mind, 'this too shall pass.' Religious connotations aside, it reminds me that just like the happy moments from last weekend have gone, so will these difficult feelings of today.