Category Archives: Uncategorized

And, For What?

A lot of folks equate money with worth, and even self-worth. Three similar, but very different things.

The rise of Trump has shown that money can’t buy class, and if you think Trump is better than you just because he has money – you have another ‘think’ coming.

Being away from the work world for over a year has given me some perspective on money, jobs, worth, and self-worth. We work so hard, trade our time away – for what? Dollars. To buy what? Houses and TV’s and expensive vacations, and even more expensive educations for jobs –  to make what? Dollars.

As I travel countries with different currencies, and paying such different amounts for items that would cost double, triple and even quadruple in the states, I wonder what is the true worth of things?

In Banos, Ecuador I can pay any where from fifty cents to $25 for a meal, but would be hard put to spend $35. In the states, I could easily pay $150 – no problem. I remember a place in Denver where I paid over $1,500 a plate for 5 people.

What’s a dollar really? A piece of paper, some think. Really, a colorful piece of cloth backed by the full faith of the USA. So much so, foreign governments such as Ecuador replaced their currency with the US’s.

But, money, outside of some particular characteristics such as rarity (can’t use shells as currency if you live on a beach), portability (Large stones only go so far!), etc…money is a shared belief that the money is worth something.

Back in 1972, my parents bought their 3 bedroom house with basement for $24,000. Nowadays, it’s worth over $300,000. Over 1,000% inflation. And, was their house improved over 1,000% over the years? No, it’s basically the same house, and perhaps with wear and tear, a little less of the house it once was.

The change did not occur with the house, it occurred with the dollar. Inflation, through “government printing money” – really, through issuing bonds and other debt items, money became worth less and less over time.

I look at Cryptocoins, like Bitcoin, and see it rise from $2,500 in June 2017 to over $8,000 in November 2017 – an over 220% change in 5 months. From June of 2016, Ethereum, another cryptocoin like Bitcoin, went up 2,000%

And what is a bitcoin? Not even made of cloth, nor metal – only 1’s and 0’s on a computer, phosphor on a computer screen.

But Bitcoin is not worth $8,000 because it’s so great, it’s worth that much because the dollar is so crappy. Governments can and do inflate their currencies – because they can. When a country owes a billion dollars, it doesn’t cost much to create a billion dollars out of thin air. They don’t even have to get the printers up and rolling – they can just do this through fiat –

Fiat – a command or act of will that creates something without or as if without further effort

~Merriam Webster

Which leads us to Fiat Money:

fiat money: money (such as paper currency) not convertible into coin or specie of equivalent value.

Let’s say the US owes China Trillions of dollars. And let’s say that the US can’t pay off this debt.

What can it do? Well, one thing is to default on it’s loan – but that can get messy, lead to war, etc. A better alternative is just to issue more debt to pay off the last one. But say you create a bond (a loan) for a trillion dollars to pay off the trillion dollars in debt. As a sovereign nation with fiat money – sure you can! As long as you are able to get another sovereign nation to buy that debt, you pay your trillion dollar debt , and are flush once again!

All of a sudden you have all this money – to spend, for projects, for – whatever. This enriches everyone, and all of a sudden everyone has money to spend on – whatever. And, more importantly are willing to spend more for things – such as a new car, a new house, etc. Add a little scarcity and there you have it – the perfect storm for inflation.

So a dollar worth a dollar in ’72 is now worth 10 cents, and we wonder where we went wrong?

So, now I’m in Ecuador, and pay $3 for a decent meal of rice, beans, chicken, salad, avocado, which would cost at least 3 times as much in the states, using the same currency as I use in Denver, Colorado.

But isn’t a dollar worth a dollar – anywhere?

Not so much.

I’ve worked for big multimillion dollar corporations, and was sued by one, and fired by the second. The first company I quadrupled their search engine traffic within 2 years, after which they sold the company for over 294 Million dollars – and promptly sued me. They used words like “misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of duty of loyalty, and breach of contract”, but frankly I think they just wanted to sideline me so I wouldn’t work for the competition while they sold the company.

Their fear was that I could do for the competition exactly what I did for them. And they were right: I could.

An interesting outcome of our case is that it potentially helped the cases of victimized ex-spouses. You know, the ones who are sued into the ground for frivolous reasons by their exes? You know, when asshole husbands sue the single-mothers who gave up their work life to focus on their children? Yeah, those.

For the second company, I led a team that met the requirement of inflating their search traffic 6,500% so that the two owners could get their millions of dollars bonus after selling their company to a large Insurance Company. I hear that one of the former owners now owns a condo in Aspen.

How is it that 2 people can enrich themselves off the work of over 100 people? I really don’t care that they took the risks that lead to that payoff. What about the employees that rocketed their “worth” into the stratosphere? Was it really only them? Why didn’t we ALL just get a million dollars each – and call it a day? My fucking team got them their bonus, and while they got their millions, we got our salaries.

Well, that’s capitalism for you.

When I told one of the guys from the Big Insurance Company what they did, that the traffic was purchased from Pakistan, and the other ‘stans, just to meet their traffic obligations and get their bonuses, his eyes boggled.

And now I wander the earth contemplating the immorality of corporations, the worth of things, and self-worth – what we determine what our worth is.

I like that line from Jerry McGuire:

Rod: Tell me what to do, Jerry. You tell me to eat lima beans, I’ll eat lima beans. If you say take the shitty deal, that’s all we can get —
Marcee: “All we can get?”
Rod: Can I SPEAK with my agent here?
Marcee: You know what you’re qonna do, Rodney. You’re gonna reject this shitty contract. You’re gonna play out your existing shitty contract and go be a free agent next year and the hell with Arizona. This is us, and we determine our worth. You’re a fine, proud, surviving, splendid black man.
Rod: Honey, you are just — the shit.
Jerry: If you get injured, you get nothing.
Rod: Won’t happen. I’m strong in my mind.
Jerry: It’s a risk.
Rod: Bet on me, dude. Bet on me like I bet on you.

“We determine our worth”

Yup.

And, I took a year off from work, only taking on side contracts, like for that marijuana company, where I charged a monthly fee, and only showed up for one hour per week, effectively charging over $1,250/hour, but mostly…doing nothing.

Just thinking.

And, as I watched my money drain away, mostly to my mortgage, I thought of what I could do. What could I do to make all those years I suffered during The Lawsuit, that, after owing $100,000 even drew me to thoughts of suicide? What would be the biggest fuck you to the corporations of the world who thought they were worth more than me? Who thought they could sue me “Into the dirt” as one of their lawyers said?

I remember a professor who said during the Vietnam War, that there were 2 ways people protested the war – either through actually protesting – or going to see 2001, A Space Odyssey.

Seems like a funny protest, but the point of seeing this masterful tour-de-force of a film was to reject even the premise the war was based on.

To opt out.

Well, I opted out.

I decided to rent my house, take some of my ill-earned lawsuit money – and hit the road.

I remember how as a SEO guy I had to justify the worth of my projects. But, if you are a visionary, if you know exactly what has to happen in order to create something, justifications are just one more thing that gets in the way of results.

Steve Jobs knew this. Every angry genius motherfucker knew this.

Greatness does not come from consensus. It comes from either a small group, or sometimes just a single person rejecting the mob and setting out on their own. The US, Apple, heck even the Mormons came out of nowhere and established powerful groups that changed the hearts and minds of millions.

And, I just refuse to make another corporation rich. And further: I reject the idea that money = my self worth. That being said, I respect the power that money has, but hope for something better.

I look on Bitcoin hopefully, as a way out of financial corporations that lay waste to our great country. Bailed out on the backs of US citizens –  we rose out of the ashes. But I see how our young people graduate with $100,000 backbreaking dollars of debt, when I got out with $15k or something, and wonder why? Was their education any better, or was mine so much worse?

At least with Bitcoin, we can’t inflate it. Bitcoin has no sovereign, owes nothing to no other nation. It has a fixed mathematical supply – 21 million bitcoin will ever exist once fully mined.

I tell my spanish language teacher that I rent my little 2 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath house for $1,600 per month, and watch as her eyes boggle. She tells me the average monthly salary in Ecuador is $350. As a person with the equivalent of a Master’s degree, that’s what she makes.

I don’t tell her I could have rented for $1,800. That I used to make a 6 figure salary.

And then, she proceeds to tell me that her country is billions of dollars in debt – to the Chinese, with the Galapagos Islands, their crown jewel, used as collateral against the loans. Meaning: if they default, the Galapagos Islands, that rare collection of islands filled with sea iguanas, giant tortoises, sea lions and dead dodos – would be part of China.

And I look at this country – so full of natural resources, overflowing with crude, with minerals, with cascades of waterfalls, and wonder how they got to where they are.

And where am I?

I am finally, after 2 years of doing – whatever, am finally unwinding the stress and tensions within my being. I never knew how wound up I was, not just through fighting the lawsuit, but infighting in companies, justifications for my actions, my expertise. Of my past – both with friends and families, and how everything is just – relaxed.

Down to my core, through my muscles and even organs and even the fascia – the interconnecting tissue. Whatever stresses travel has is brief, and in comparison to modern stresses of corporate work and legal hassles – is nothing. less than nothing. It’s what I consider “1st world problems”, “Good problems.”

Meaning: they are hardly problems at all.

Yesterday, my face was painted by a native from the Jungles of Ecuador. Today: I went from a very hot thermal bath, and went and sat for over 2 minutes up to my neck in a very cold one. A week ago: I climbed over 16 thousand feet to the top of a volcano. Three weeks ago I fell off a mountain. A month ago: I ate a guinea pig. Three months ago I visited Machu Picchu.

And I wonder: if money is a shared illusion, why can’t everyone do this? This. This eating, and seeing, and walking and climbing and experiencing – is the birthright of everyone.

We have been duped into getting into debt, and working a job we hate, and for a corporation that does not have our best interests at heart, to service this debt. And we, once a tribe of adventurers, or wanderers, of gypsies, merchants, and buccaneers and ne’er-do-wells are ground down – to what? Making college, or house loan payments for the next 30 years, or hocking the Galapagos.

And for what?

 

Follow blog via Facebook



...Or

...or Follow blog via Email

Forbidden Fruit: Don’t Cross the Border Agent

Crossing Borders – Renewing my Peru Visa

I left Arequipa at 7am, missing my 6:30am time because my alarm didn’t go off, probably because I neglected to set it.

I planned on heading to Tacna, the southernmost town in Peru about 135 miles away, get there at Noon, then transfer to a bus to Arica, Peru, about 15 minutes across the border.

At the station, I was just in time to get an Olsura bus just about to leave. Cost at the time: $29 soles. You also need to pay for an additional ticket or tarifa for 2 soles. An additional fee/tax/what-have-you.

The bus was nearly empty, with only about 6 of the seats taken on the upper deck.

I was able to review some of my Spanish audio lessons along the way. I actually enjoyed having some extra time to catch up, ignoring the “Expendables 3” movie playing in Spanish overhead. They actually got similar sounding Spanish language dubbers for the voice-overs.

Arriving in Tacna, I had to transfer to a bus going from Tacna to Arica, which means crossing the street from the “National” bus station to the “International” one across the street. Seems to be an odd way of doing things – I mean, why not use the same building for both?

On this bus you just surrender your passport and take a seat. I had a brief instance of wanting to play tug-of-war with my passport. I mean, the guy didn’t wear any official badge or anything, could have just been anyone standing near the bus with a handful of passports. Felt very naked without it.

You also have to fill out a Visa form, making sure to mark “No” for things like transporting livestock, fruits, or over $10,000 in cash, etc.

Not sure if the bus was simply full, or if be was just doing a random act of kindness to an “extranjero” (foreigner), but the bus assistant let me sit up front next to the driver, while other folks got on the full bus afterwards, sitting on the floor, a few standing.

At this border, the Peruvian and Chilean border officials sit next to each other. The Peruvian guy looks over your “pasaporte,” then pushes over to the Chilean guy. If all goes well, the Chilean guy gives you a new PDI document:

Here’s the thing: no one tells you that this Chile PDI document is important. You need this in order to leave the country, even though your passport is stamped.Peru has an equivalent form.

Another annoying inefficiency.

Not sure what delay happened where, but our bus finally made it through Customs at 4:40.

Even though my friend Yun-Fen was able to get off at the border and get a return bus back,I couldnt detect how one would get a return bus back. I decided to just go the 10 kilometers from the border to Arica, and get a return bus back.

I got a tad turned around at the station, walking out, then back in, realizing that I was, in fact, already at the international station, and just needed to look around.

I finally asked this guy soliciting tickets if he was headed back to Tacna. He said he was, and that it was “Dos mil”, or 2,000 Chilean pesos. Luckily, I had already changed some of my soles to pesos, so I was ready.

The only US Passport in the pile.

He asked for my “documentos” and I handed my most precious travel document again to a complete stranger.

Funny, just the way things work. I got a seat on the bus back to Tacna.

As I sat, the bus driver asked for my “boleto”. I thought the previous guy said I paid onboard. He neglected to tell me that Chile needed an additional “boleto” as well, for another 350 Chilean pesos.

An additional fee all passengers must pay – for some unknown reason

I paid the “Dos mil” Chilean pesos for the ride to Tacna, hoping the border crossing was uneventful.

My friend Yun-Fen was able to just cross the border, then get a return bus, so I didn’t anticipate any difficulties, but just prior to leaving that morning I read a blog where the author said there is a 24 hour delay requirement, before they let you back over the border. I’m hoping this is not enforced, as I made my way back.

One of the things that struck me as I crossed the border is that nearly all the buildings on the Chile side were complete, with roofs.

Wow, roofed houses, whaddayaknow?

That may seem odd to someone from the US, but in Peru many of the buildings were unfinished, with steel reinforcement rods sticking up where roofs should be. Someone told me that he was told that you only paid tax on finished buildings, so that was the reason most buildings in Peru stopped before putting on a roof, leaving the rods sticking up, even though they had no intention of finishing the building. Not sure if that’s true, or not.

Border Problem

The Chilean guy passed my pasaporte to the Peruvian guy. When asked my profession, I made the mistake of saying “Soy voluntario” – I am a volunteer.

He angrily said I needed a special visa. Confronted by his anger, I lost my Spanish.

List of forbidden fruit

I tried to explain that I am, in fact, a turistico, I just happen to trade volunteering for a free room sometimes. It came out broken: I am a tourist. Workaway? Only volunteer trade free room.

He didn’t buy it. You could see him figuring what to do with me, with a line of people behind me out the door, and since the passport was passed from the Chile agent to him, I was now his problem.

I stood there helplessly, wondering what I’d do if refused entry. He finally stamped me with 30 days, which I guess is better than being stuck at the border.

 

 

 

Need to send luggage through x-ray, and declare anything weird or illegal

Well, the bright side is that this would force me to decide whether to go onwards to Ecuador, or just return and renew in 30 days. I’ve sort of overstayed in Peru anyways, time to move northwards.

With only 30 days (a luxurious amount of time, for some), I knew I needed to become more efficient if I wanted to do the things I wanted to do.

– Climb Volcan Chachani, a 6,000 meter (over 20,000′) volcano. See Nazca. Eat at some fine dining in Lima. Climb in Huaraz.

Not much else.

I’ve been made drowsy with time, volunteering to save money on rooms.

Now: time to act.

The time shift from Chile to Peru whacked me, 6:30 Chilean suddenly switched to 4:30 Peru. It’s earlier than I thought. With any luck I’d be back in Tacna at 5, then back to Arequipa by 10pm. Find some late night eatery.

Claro’s Crime against Nature, or Natural Advertising – you decide!

It finally dawns on me through my foggy brain that I need to go to the National terminal across the street. I buy a ticket on the Flores busline to Arequipa, leaving in 10 minutes at 5:30pm. When I ask when it arrives, the counter person says: in 7 hours. 12:30.

Ugh.

Well, it’s better than waiting until the night bus leaves, like at 10pm.

I pay the $20 soles, another $2 for the tarifa, and way we go.

Midnight rides

It’s 11:30 pm, and I’ve been sitting in this bus for 6 hours. Total, probably 15, with an hour more to go. If I knew it would have taken this long I would have done one leg as an overnight, then stayed in Arica for a day or two prior to returning. Yun-Fen advised me to take an overnight bus. Like she says, “Girl is always right!”

Right.

So, I only have 30 days. But I have already spent 90 days here, split between Arequipa, Puno and Cusco, now back to Arequipa.

How to cross at the Tacna/Arica border:

  1. Get a bus from the Arequipa Terraport to Tacna. Also pay the 2 sole tarif prior to boarding.
  2. At Tacna, cross the street to the International Bus Station and get on a bus from Tacna to Arica. Surrender your passport. Pay the fare on the bus. Fill out one of the custom forms.
  3. Do the customs thing. The driver or his helper will hand out your passport to give the border agent, along with your paperwork.
  4. At Arica, get on a bus back to Tacna. Remember to buy the Chilean version of the tarifa (350 pesos).
  5. Do the customs thing. Don’t say you are a volunteer unless you actually have that special visa. Don’t act sketchy. Don’t volunteer additional information. Don’t make a wise-crack. Stick to “touristica”.
  6. At Tacna, buy a return bus back. I prefer one of the more expensive lines (like Olsura or Cruz del Sur), as it is a long 6 hour bus ride. The semi-cama or cama (reclining) helps alot.
  7. (Optional) Stay overnight in Arica. The way I did it I started at 7am, and didn’t get back till after midnight. An overnight in Arica would have gave me some needed rest, and would break up the journey. Arica is a cool little town, with surfing, seafood and sand – might as well!

Follow blog via Facebook



...Or

...or Follow blog via Email

Best Damn Hostal in Antofagasta!

The address was right, but it looked like it was an apartment dwelling,with 6 buttons to ring the residents. I didn’t see any sign for a hostal anywhere.

After rolling my roller luggage in circles trying to find anything that looked like a hostal, I decided to ask these 2 older gentlemen in front of a used furniture shop. They said something about going down the street and taking a right blah blah blah.

I decided to use maps.me and find a hostal on my own.

Apparently, a typical thing in Antofagasta is to list apartments for rent on Booking.com. Not official hostals. About the 3rd hostal, I finally find a sign: “Hostal D’Milan.

The door is opened by a huge Chilean guy named Juan Carlos. I managed to express in my rough spanish that I needed a room. He shows me a room with three beds, and after some miscommunication I gather that I would be the only one in the room. I say, “Fine,” tired of going in circles. After that, he drops it:

There are no locks on the door to my room, or any interior room, for that matter.

At any other time I would have bolted. But my gut said he was true to his word when he said he would watch closely, and that I shouldn’t worry. That, and my cable lock decided it for me.

Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Juan Carlos and his wife Merlida took quite good care of me. Juan even took me around in his car, showing me his beachside home, and trucked me to one of the sights: La Portada, a dramatic beach with huge waves, cliffs and even Condors circling. That night, we drank jote (Red wine and Coca cola) cervezas including a Michelada (beer+salt+lemon juice), and ate boiled oysters and clams till I could hold no more.

He even took me in his car to get bus tickets out to San Pedro a couple days prior to my trip, and said he would take me on my bus out in the morning of the trip.

Hostal owners aren’t so charitable, but these two were. Don’t let the unlocked doors fool you – this is the place to stay in Antofagasta!

Follow blog via Facebook



...Or

...or Follow blog via Email

Chased by a Bull in Frutillar!

#hostelliving

The bull was running, and omigod it’s running towards me!

Having not grown up among large farm animals, I had no idea what to do: run away, or stand and face it bravely like a matador?

I split the difference, crossed to the other side and sorta jogged-walked fast while looking over my shoulder. I figured if it crossed to my side of the road – then I would know. I figured I could dive into this ditch if things got serious.

He passed.

It’s always a little weird confronting something larger than you in the same no-holds barred space. I had a similar stroke of fear scuba diving in Cozumel when a huge grouper swam by me, as wide as I am tall.

When I saw the bull push through the gate and come towards me, I had no idea whether it was just taking a stroll – or, you know – coming for me!

 

Tallest building in Santiago – no idea what it is.

He went to where a herd of cows were in another field. Funny how they gathered around him, seemingly fawning over his massive studness.

So, okay, the bull probably wasn’t chasing me, probably barely noticed me, but in my mind I thought he was, and that’s got to count for something!

El Muro

My final day in Santiago I felt somewhat accomplished. I figured out the metro (subway), which on my first day, among a huge crowd, with a line behind me at the purchasing machine – seemed impossible. But this day, I figured it all out, found the right bus station (after a couple wrong stations), and then making my way to one of 3 rock gyms in the area: El Muro.

I figured out the metro! My mother would be so proud!

The walls were very small in comparison to my home gym of EarthTreks Golden. And, there was no set routes – everything was a rainbow route – meaning you just picked whatever hold you wanted to. Regulars seem to make up routes for themselves. One young rockstar picked out routes for other people. He was pretty impressive moving powerfully across the bouldering area, up through a cave route and traversing across  for a bit before downclimbing.

 

Saw this in a window in Santiago

If there is rock climbing nearby, I will find it

El Muro Rock Climbing, Santiago

‘Que es su favorito?’ I asked the waiter. ‘Yo?’ he asked. ‘Si.’ ‘Salami.’ Salami it is!

Double decker interstate busses. Seats recline all the way – perfect for overnight red-eyes

Bus station in Frutillar

I was curious how he’d do at EarthTreks.

The other curious thing was that no one had their own chalk bag – except for me. Everyone else dipped into a communal bag – probably owned by the gym. In this limited space bouldering area that sort of made sense. The bag was within reach of everyone who wanted to use it.

 

I didn’t speak to anyone, except for the desk person who spoke the perfect english he learned after a year in Vancouver, Canada.

I wanted to talk to my fellow climbers, but even with a shared activity, it’s not the speaking that’s hard – it’s the understanding what they respond with that is the hardest. I could feel the language barrier as stiff and solid as the rock wall.

Onwards to Frutillar!

Figuring out transport is always a bit difficult. Pushing through crowds and figuring which bus to take and where is difficult in your own language let alone another. But, with a few well placed questions I was able to figure things out.

The interstate bus cost about $24 US to take an 11 hour trip south from Santiago to Frutillar. It’s a red-eye that starts at 10:45 and arrived at 10am the next day.

I slept relatively well in the seats that reclined nearly horizontal. I thought, ‘the airlines could learn a thing or two from this.’

Frutillar was overcast, yet not rainy (yet). After meeting my host Ricardo, and having breakfast with him and his mom and dad (and a couple somehow related – not sure) we talked about his different projects and how I could help.

I don’t think it the project is well-defined, but I will find out more tomorrow. Basically help with the interface – whatever that means. I want to be able to contribute before I leave.

I’m staying in a large communal hostel house by myself. Another volunteer couple is staying in a different house.

Anyway, a short nap, and a hike to the beach and along the road marked my first day in Frutillar.

Oh yeah, and being charged by a bull 😉

On the shores of Lake Llanquihue

Apparently, Frutillar is big on meat and potatoes. What I received for my meals – A bowl of meat (beef) and a bowl of boiled and skinned potatoes.

Heated and potatoes sliced – it was pretty good!

My window view…till I changed rooms! I have a house to myself with like 4 rooms – and I can pick any room.

Una Piscina

Interesting looking restaurant nearby – may have to try it!

The bull looked like this…

…but to me, really looked like this

Follow blog via Facebook



...Or

...or Follow blog via Email

Essentials

Shed what holds you back, retain what is essential.

Follow blog via Facebook



...Or

...or Follow blog via Email

Minimalist

After traveling a bit to Moab, Shelf Road and the EPC, I have been contemplating, nay taking action on reducing, removing and recycling my unused belongings. In my travels I’ve met several people who are living minimally: the vanlife, the camper trailer life, a life with only few possessions, and what I’ve found as I shed belongings that I once thought dear, that we can get by without most things in our lives, and that in fact what we once possess comes to possess us. What we own we have to defend, or it takes up mental space cluttering not just the physical space, but the mental and spiritual space as well.

I’ve been getting rid of a box or two of books every day for the past week. I’ve shed several bags of clothing, and plan to get rid of much more. I am even contemplating getting rid of my house – either renting it out, or selling it out right.

Every item I remove I feel lighter – mentally and spiritually. I see what these minimalists that I mean talk about as I own one less thing.

When I started considering minimizing, I kept getting recommendations to read this book by a Japanese author The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. It got me to start thinking that there is a way I could start doing this – getting rid of crap.

In my former corporate life, where I was making 6 figures, and would walk into any store and point at anything I wanted – and just buy it.

Anything.

So I would just start to accumulate things, a motorcycle, a house, couches, expensive clothes, anything I wanted. I saw a jacket in San Francisco that cost over $600. Without a thought I would pull out my card and buy it on the spot.

But during the past 7 months of my 12 month sabbatical from work I’ve come to realize that these things need to go.

When I was out travelling in my 13′ Casita, through Shelf Road and up North by Northwest to Moab, with few possessions and a tiny home whose only way of powering up was through solar panels, that I was the happiest I have been in a long while. Nothing to hold me down or back or anything. I was responsible only for my own survival. And with survival taken cared of, I was responsible for everything else – my thoughts, my growth, my next adventure.

I just realized once I got back that I had to make big changes, and in order to make big changes, the first big change was to get rid of anything that I did not take any value from, that didn’t contribute to my life in a meaningful way.

Here is my start, follow me here to find out what happens on my minimalist journey.

Follow blog via Facebook



...Or

...or Follow blog via Email

About

GripandClip is where I write on my adventures, whether it be climbing, or mountain biking or whatever. I’ll also write gear reviews,  adventures with my 13′ Fiberglass RV Conchita la Casita or basically anything else that comes to mind.

Like many of us,  I am a moderate climber that is trying to improve, but I think writing about moderates and local routes is valuable to the majority of folks that also climb in the moderate range. Not all of us are rock stars, but we probably ALL felt like a rock star climbing a 5.8 for the very first time.

I’ve noticed that we all seem to get to sticking points, usually around 5.10, and then hit a point of rising above it, and for a few of us – beyond. Or, like myself, languish at 5.10, occasionally rising to 5.11s, but really not caring so much, as it’s all 5.fun! And there’s plenty to climb up to 5.10.

I started climbing in 2010, and almost immediately knew, even though there was a huge sucking sound when I climbed, that this was the sport for me. I was known for climbing trees as a kid, and in college I scrambled up the first and second Flatirons in high tops, not knowing what the hell I was doing really.

But, seriously climbing since 2010, accumulating gear and knowledge, trying to safely (and unsafely) navigate the learning curve enough to become proficient.  All of a sudden, looking at my gear closet I see 2 sets of rope, 3 shoes (with 2 more at Rock and Resole), a double set of trad cams, 3 helmets, etcetera, etcetera…

Now, my climbing has evolved to learning trad and even crack climbing. In climbing, there’s always a next level.

So, feel free to look around, and let me know if you found something you liked.

Patrick

 

 

Follow blog via Facebook



...Or

...or Follow blog via Email