I am in Bishop, California right now. It is absolutely amazing, to say the least. This area is a mecca for my two favorite spring time activities, climbing and XC skiing. I drove down here on Saturday, with a quick stop for a hike in Smith Rocks State Park and a nap near Susanville, California on dirt road off of highway 39. Purchasing a van that I can sleep in whenever and wherever I want, is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Regardless, I was so excited to get to Bishop with enough time to climb before dark. Yet, when I passed a free XC skiing spot on the side of I-395, I couldn’t help but stop. I did a 5 mile loop around Obsidian Dome in the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains and continued on my way to Bishop. Thankfully, I still got into town with 2 hours of light time to spare, so I climbed a bit and then found a place to cook some dinner and crash for the night.
The next morning, in typical OCD fashion, I was prepared to follow a schedule: Climb at Sad Boulders, break for lunch, climb at Buttermilks, and then clean off the day at a hot spring. However, when I awoke to such astonishing views of the Sierras and nearby smaller peaks. I couldn’t help but ditch my plans for the day and go off exploring instead. I saw some peak off in the distance that I wanted to hike up. I figured it would be a good way to get my body in training mode for the upcoming mountain climbing season. Soon after I took off on my trek, I realized that there was a marsh, which was pretty much impassable. Destined to get to that peak, I scrambled up a mesa so I could get a lay of the land and figure out a way to pass the marsh. At the top, I could see deer prancing through the meadow amongst free range cattle. I looked to the left of the meadow and, “Eureka!” I found a passing. With that, I scrambled/skidded down the mesa towards the peak. I made it to the top and basked in the California sun with a stunning view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I made it back with enough time to check out one of the two climbing spots I intended to explore that day (the Buttermilks) and I got to spend an hour at the hot springs too. Overall, it was a perfect day. Well, nothing is perfect, but it was as near perfect as possible.
The following day, which is today, has been just as impressive. I took my time waking up with my coffee, a good book and a breath taking view of the mountains. Then, I headed 4 miles down the dirt road from where I slept to Happy Boulders. I climbed there for a few hours, then headed back to the car for some lunch and down time with my book. Next, I continued a mile down the road to Sad Boulders where I climbed until my finger tips couldn’t handle it anymore, then headed back to the car for another hour of reading. I have to say, the set up in my van is perfect for lounging around and reading. The bed back there is definitely more comfortable than the one in my apartment back in Portland, Oregon. Now I am chillen at restaurant making up some of the calories I burned while munching on a mozzarella, sweet potato, carnitas, BBQ sauce, red onion and scallion pizza. I was going to order a salad, but what’s the fun in that. This is the first vacation I have taken while in recovery where I can honestly say that I have followed my meal plan. Sure I have exercised a lot, but all of it was with the good intention to feed my soul. I never knew this was possible, and now that it is, I hope to never go back into the depths of my eating disorder ever again! How boring and predictable?
Unfortunately, tomorrow I am starting the 13 hour drive back to Portland. I plan to stop at Mammoth Lakes for some XC skiing along the way and I am visiting my counselor from residential treatment in Eugene too. At least I have somethings to look forward to while heading back to reality. Life was feeling a little chaotic back in the city. My head was getting loud and I was losing sight of who I was; an adventurer, a nature enthusiast, a person who thrives on simplicity. This trip was just what I needed. I want to stay in this moment, but I can’t help but get excited for the next adventure…mountain climbing season. A chance to make some headway towards my pursuit to stand on the top of the highest points in every state in America. Till then, I will continue enjoying my pizza and the warm California sun.