February 2, 1998
Westminster, California, USA
Joshua Tree National Park is an amazing place. The region of the park I visited was very flat and dotted with immense boulder piles. It looks totally prehistoric, and kinda resembles a village where the Flintstones might live. Covering the desert floor was a bizzare looking form of Yucca, called Joshua Trees. I have never seen any place quite like it. I felt like I was on another planet.
On Saturday, Dave, Patty, myself, and a bunch of their friends, climbed at Wonderland Rocks. It was cold and windy, but it didnt keep us from having a great day of climbing. I led a 5.8, two 5.9s, and two 5.10s(no falls!). For supper, Dave made spaghetti, and fresh garden salad. I did not sleep very well that night. I kept having dreams that vicious animals were biting me. A polar bear was nibbling on my left hand for a long time, then, to escape the pack of wolves, I jumped into a pond with a crocodile. I woke up, in fear of being bitten by the crocodile, to find that I was sleeping on my left arm. It was tingly with pins and needles.
Yesterday, I got up before sunrise, and spent two hours shooting off a couple rolls of film. By 11am, we were climbing on Candy Mountain at Echo Rocks. It was a perfect day: blue skies, warm rocks, killer crack climbing, and cool folks to hang-out with. Life just doesnt get any better than that.
The simulation I get from rock climbing is beyond anything else I have ever experienced. When Im hanging off a rock face, I am literally putting life in the palm of my hand. On tough climbs, Im always thinking two moves ahead of myself. Its a mind game. The best climbers arent the strongest... theyre the smartest. The consequences for poor judgment can be fatal. I love it! Its like playing life or death chess.
My last climb was a four star 5.9 hand clack. It was totally vertical and sustained. When I reached the top, I felt unstoppable. The sky was illuminated by a magnificent purple and orange sunset. It was the perfect place to be. The moment empowered me. I felt like I was in total control of my life. It was an amazing weekend.
Last night, after arriving back at Marnis house from Joshua Tree, I received a gift from a Mrs. Judith Clark, a lady I had met at the Success conference. It was a sterling silver medallion of St. Christopher - the patron saint of travelers. Inscribed on it are the words, "Behold St. Christopher and go your way in safety." It is now around my neck, and I have tied a knot in it, so it is impossible to take it off. I do not believe in luck ...so can not believe in good luck charms. This medallion will be my "good fortune charm" - to remind me of how fortunate I am.