The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

I was thinking, I’m 18 hours into an enduring 24 hour drive from Squamish, BC to Boulder, CO and beyond.  I don’t even remember how many times I’ve made this trek – either from one end of Canada or the other – to run in the mountains like an idiot, climb rocks and explore, going on 12 years straight, at least.  And still, at 30 years old, the long yellow line calls to me during the night.   I love driving long distances in the name of climbing trips.  I’m pretty sure this part of me will never change, it’s the way I’ve always been, longing to experience another place I haven’t yet.  I travel to climb, sure, I always will, but equally so, I travel for travel’s sake,  the great event for me is to keep moving.

I don’t have much cash right now, I have a van I bought for a $1000.00 bucks off a tow truck driver, it’s full of rope, a rack, and 3 pairs of sticky rubber boots.  The Good, is that I’m on the road again, the rig is packed with all I need and nothing I don’t, the rock ahead is warm and dry, it’s simple.  The Bad, is that I’m leaving behind my home, including the place, and the woman, I love more than anything else in the world, (even though she’s flying out to see me in 5 days, it doesn’t make it any easier) and The Ugly, is the coffee they serve at these rusty truck stops across Wyoming.  Yikes!   But nothing remains the same, soon I’ll be driving through beautiful Vedauwoo and Fort Collins and up to Estes Park to harass Kelly Cordes for a cold margarita, a couch to crash on and a guide book to sift through.

If you dream to climb (like many of us do), and the season is closing in your neighborhood, my advice (stolen from fiveten) is to quit your job, and just go.  Or at the very least, beg your crazy boss for a leave of absence.   Can’t work your life away you know.  A wise man once said, you can always make money later in life (if that’s what you truly desire).  But I think I know you, and you want the same as I want, more than money, and stuff, we want to feel free and alive.  Freedom to roam, freedom to play, freedom to choose.  And once I finish this stale cup of 2 dollar java, I’m going out to the gas pumps and I’ll put 35 bucks of guiding wages into the precious vessel which will carry me there.   Anywhere.  And that’s the freest place I can think of.


  • EJ

    Funny, I just posted to my blog with the same title, except mine was about the MRI results on my decrepit shoulder. If you are passing near Lander in the daylight, they have a great coffee place. Just ask at Wild Iris Climbing. If you’re near Rawlins has a pretty dern good Thai restaurant just off the old main street.

  • sniffer

    Keep on, Keepin on

  • ktmt

    Ya gots to approach truck stop coffee as a different beverage altogether. With that in mind, you can even go on to categorize it, rate it, savor (?) its nuances, assign your own Wine Spectator like points. They key is, never compare it to the burr-ground, french-pressed good stuff.

    Great post!

  • Rich

    It’s supposed to be in the 70’s this weekend. You picked a great time to come dude. You working on something here or just coming out for a little “vacation”?

  • Your words ring so true! Longing for the road.

  • Best coffee in WY: (ask for the Coffee It Makes You Poop sticker)

  • Christian

    You should check out the bouldering in Cody, WY and the amazing Bighorn Dolomite in Tensleep Canyon if you get time on your way back.

  • Nigel

    No road trip for me this winter… Using a blow torch to keep up some outdoor development over on Salt Spring Island through the wet season while I save for a long trip next year.

    The plan is spending the summer months largely unemployed in Squamish, then heading south for 3 months starting around September. Can’t wait to return to some routes that spat me off, fall in love with some more, and meet new people. The real goal is a big wall or two after getting in proper shape.

    Have fun, and keep us posted!

  • caroline

    Just as well you don’t live in the UK or Europe, you can hardly drive to the bottom of your street on $35 worth of petrol. Enjoy.

  • Good stuff, man. So psyched I tossed you some props on my site:

    I’ll second the Cody/Ten Sleep recommendation. Really good off-the-radar climbing. Cody’s one of the cooler little towns in the US.

  • willy s.

    Love the post, Trott. Love it.