It took me six hours to fly from New York to San Francisco and the funny thing was, that even after going so far people were still speaking the same language, which wouldn’t be the case in EU 🙂 . My friend Tony picked me up from the airport and I must say it’s such a wonderful feeling when you see a friendly face once you land in a foreign land. I met Tony last year in Laos and we climbed some great lines together and we said until we meet again on the other side of the rope 🙂 . The next day, we drove to Yosemite, because as a climber it is a must to see the big wall…
El Capitan… standing in front of the huge complex of rock, made me feel so tiny :O … I was impressed, but on the other hand, looking at the structures, made me realize, damn where are the holds. My mountains are the Alps, which are made from limestone, meaning it is a different type of climbing and now looking at granite, made me wonder how the hell do you do it. Another problem was the measurement issue: feet… I had to convert it to meters to be able to understand the extent of the wall (for example the famous route The Nose is 880 m long). I didn’t even know I was standing in front of a 2,307 m high mountain but its nice to learn something new everyday 😀 .
This December was not the month to climb there, so we did a hike in the rain and than in snow and… well eventually after two hours of cold we decided not to go for the summit of El Cap and returned to the Valley and instead, caught up by telling funny stories from the last year in the warm room.
Three days in the Yosemite National park went by quickly and after the cold there I was looking forward to some sunshine and warm weather, so next stop was San Francisco. I thought California just had one season: the summer… NOT, so I learned something new yet again. The thing I already knew about, was the legal usage of cannabis in California, so you can buy it in the shops to smoke it or to eat it in all sorts of edibles you prefer. But by walking down the streets I must say I saw some sad characters walking tootally stoned in the midle of the day, which made me doubt the positive side effects of the drug…
Seeing the movie Alcatraz made me want to visit it, so I decided to spent 40$ (well SF is expensive in general, so it is not a place for low bugets for too long 😛 ) and see it. The audio tour is really well made, walking you through the former prison learning about the prisoners and their escape attemts.
Coming back from the Island I went to explore the city on foot. Exploring further into the downtown showed me a lot more homeless people… Because of the mild temperatures in the winter months, they live on the streets, but they made me feel unconfortable. So I decided to walk in the other direction and head it to the Golden Gate bridge. I met my friend there and we drove over to the other side. There I found an isolated world with beautiful beach and a lot of silence to recover from the hard day in civilisation.
This trip was different from the other ones, because I didn’t meet a lot of new people, but rather met up with people I knew from previous travels… Seeing Tony made me feel grateful for getting to know him in Asia and to be able to see him again.. Because I came during the wrong season, I wasn’t able to climb with him outdoors, but we still manage to keep our word in the climbing gyms 🙂 . I had my crazy Californication and now I was ready to ROCK – climb outdoor, but in another State… Where will the Greyhound take me???