Tuesday, August 26, 2008


August 16th, 2008 is a date I will never forget. On that beautiful Saturday I was married to Tracy. After loads of planning (thanks mostly to Tracy) and tons of preparation by both Tracy and I, our families, and friends, we turned Rick and Paige Peck’s estate into the perfect venue for our wedding. Most of our closest relatives and friends were able to join in our celebration and the only real disappointment was not having my friend’s band play but we managed fine anyhow. It was great catching up with family members and friends who I had not seen or talked to in awhile. It made me realize how special those people are and how truly horrible I am at keeping in touch. Now being in Prishtina is only going to make things harder but I plan on trying to do a better job and when we return to the States to make up for lost time.
So, I really wasn’t nervous in the days leading up to Saturday but once I started driving to the farm I started to really feel it. I’m not sure if it was the coffee I drank in the morning with Bill, or just the magnitude of the day, probably both, but I sure was damn nervous driving there, even more nervous while getting ready, and absolutely sweating bullets walking up to the “alter” with our family and friends watching on. Even though I knew Tracy would say “I do”, I swear I nearly passed out from the anxiety that I felt while Bishop Andrus was reading Tracy her vows.
Anyways its all over now. So do I feel any different now that I’m a married man? Not really! Life is pretty much the same as always, except for the fact that I’m now living a foreign country thousands of miles from the USA where most people don’t even know a lick of English. More on that later. Peep the photos from the wedding.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Like summers past, I spent most of my time this summer in Yosemite climbing and hiking. Unlike past summers I realized that its not only the climbing that attracts me to the Sierras every summer but the friends that I meet out there, and the new ones that I meet every year. Once a year for a month I get to see these guys and gals and catch up. We come from all walks of life. We range from over fifty to under fifteen (Max you're a beast kid, keep it up and I look forward to future adventures with you and your family). Some are recent college grads, others are young professionals, and many are accomplished professionals with loads of experience in there fields, as in life. The common bond that brings everyone together is the rock, the mountains, and the general beauty in the simplicity of life that a climbing trip in the Sierras creates. I used to return home after these summer trips and mostly recall epic onsights, captivating moves that stumped me, classic ridges that led to beautiful summits, and pristine alpine lakes that made for refreshing after climb swims. This year however, I find myself telling family and friends about my friends out there much more than anything else. I find myself cherishing the cycles that my friends go through from waking up to going to bed out there. For instance, I was telling my buddy Bill, how my friend Sascha wakes up every morning and does yoga as part of her daily routine. What an inspiration. I remember being on the plane talking to Gray (who was out there with me) about how I finally understand how Hunt, Bob, and Dave can spend hours in the morning sitting by the stream before they set out to do anything. I realize now that each of them relish the conversations and cherish the bond that they have between them so much that the climbing is secondary. My new friends the Wasers were in full-on family mode every morning managing two boys. This year I got to see one of my best friends, Gray Joines (I spelled it right this time gangStar) mature and grow into a great climber that I knew he would become. I'm proud of you man- you ripped this year. Also, I got to see Mad Max Joseph , the belt sander offwidth machine, before he embarks on a roadtrip of a lifetime in which he undoubtedly will crank, and more importantly grow as a person. Keep up the good work Boris and I'll see ya when I get back where I'm sure to have you rope gun for me up some big wall. Finally, I got to know Ben (the soloing machine) Doyle better when we spent the day running up peaks and ridges as if we were two elusive big horn sheep returning to our herd. What an amazing day, man. All those peaks and ridges solo was truly remarkable and something I'll never forget. I'll see ya in good ole West "By God" Virginia during Christmas time.

As I get older I realize that its the friends that you get to share company with and the new ones you meet, the stories you share with each other, the powerful experiences that you embark on together(Phil, Gray-Half Dome was sick-remember the base jumpers and never forget that full moon) (Max,Gray-The Nose full commitment style was proud and brave-We learned a lot) that truly make these trips lifetime memories for me. So here's to another great season in the Sierras and the gang I call Le Dirtbag Sophistacate.