The Toyota Tercel coughed west on the 2, out of Sammimish, through Monroe, and towards Leavenworth. The muffler hacked, straining it's coat hanger support, and threatening to drag over Steven's Pass. Thousands of conifers cover the rocky hillsides, with small outcrops of granite poking through the forests. The strong Sykomish, the Wenatchee, and Icicle Creek rush along the roadside with their white capped flow and irreverent roar. It reminds me of the Catskills where I grew up. Less farmland. More trees. Beautiful land in the Northwest.
The people are another matter. As I followed my dirtbag climbing partner, local hardman Jens Holsten, the culture emerged. In Goldbar, a crew of firefighters plied a sedan that had backed five feet into the local ramshackle bar, destroying the flourescent Budweiser sign and knocking over a few bar stools. In Index, a trainwreck of trailers lined the river below the popular Town Wall crag. The inhabitants slunk out at one point. The sight of one woman horrified me. Her blood shot eyes stared vacantly in two different directions, her WalMart sweat pants hung off her, and her grill was horrendous. She could have eaten corn on the cob through a chain link fence.
My first couple days here, I haven't done much. Bouldered a little, climbed at Index, and the Drip Wall. On summer's solistice, I worked on securing a vicious hang over, one which I couldn't recover from all day on Sunday. The climbing here is pretty rad. The bouldering's really good. The routes leave something to be desired though Jens insists that the mountain routes (aka the brush covered 8 hour slogs) are what make the Cascades so awesome. There's a ton of monkeys hanging around the Pasamish house where I'm staying. There's a hippie dude on the couch, Max and Ryan have their own rooms, Jens lives in his car (and vias for space on the couch), Jessica lives up the street, Joe lives down the road, and Cole and Johnny G come out to Leavenworth on the reg. Charlie's also out here crushing. Yesterday he put up a sick V10 highball, which jogs right off the Ruminator in the Forestland. Neither Cole nor Johnny were able to repeat it (there assholes puckered too tightly when they had to pull hard moves 20 feet off the deck.)
My current agenda includes looking for work. I penciled in to find a job some time before I run out of money. There's a ton of Baviarian inspired restaurants in Leavenworth and as long as I don't have to wear liderhosen, I'll be pysched. Besides the restaurant scene, a thousand orchards and vineyards line Leavenworth. I could pick cherries, pears, or apples with the other migrant workers.
It sort of sucks that I don't have the internet right now. No lurking on Facebook and I can't regularily keep up with the cool things going on the world. I feel so...so...disconnected. Whatever. Also, I'd like to note that most of my time has been spent in Little Wayne style, "Getting higher than gas prices."