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kevbone

Beacon

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So......I've never climbed at Beacon.  Are these all free-solos you're doing on 5th class terrain?? 

I have to admire your determination no matter the grade.

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Posted (edited)

you ain't lived boy-o, come on down for the whole shit-show! :)

the classic route, the south-east corner, is something like a 5 pitch, 5.7 route and ascends more than 500 feet of mountaineer-worthy terrain- every pitch is 5th class but it's always 5-fun (the 2nd pitch is the crux, and has several serious parts) - much, much harder multi-pitch routes too on the rock, including many still aid-routes - like index, for generations locals have looked to it as a yosemite test-ground

at any rate, yes, it's a 5th class free-solo, but a far cry from what olde ale honnold is doing these days...

Edited by ivan

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On 10/2/2018 at 8:06 PM, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

 

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

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22 hours ago, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

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Picking up the slack for Ivan. Last week U and I did the Car to car in 1 hour I didn't post it up. This weeks go round (yesterday) Ujahn, JT and I did a leisurely corner lap.  Played hooky from work and we parked at 2:45pm. There were a couple of kids just hitting the Tree on P 2 as we hiked to the base and we caught the 2nd where the Uprising diverges from the regular route. We did Uprising to not crowd the kids and car to car time was 3 hours. Ground was wet, but the only wet crack was P 3 at the start of it where the 1st piece goes. Fantastic day, fantastic company.

Jeff Thomas.

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Edited by billcoe

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On 10/4/2018 at 8:55 PM, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

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On 10/11/2018 at 10:05 PM, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

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On 10/13/2018 at 10:55 PM, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

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23 hours ago, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

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On 10/16/2018 at 7:45 PM, ivan said:

 

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

day 54 - lap 47 - october w/o equal, the quiescent sun shines seemingly unwilling to quit - the week wounded to death, we decamp east as evening sets in - it's friday so fuck-off is what we say - shade and wind on the south side, but nothing like what the season will bring us in short order when the roar of heaven and furious earth will declare w/ simplicity the simple n' humble message of fawk-you human - death over our shoulder, we proceed undisturbed n' bolt down the pedestrian trail - back in time to fetch the maladjusted young'un from macbeth n' make pizza n' nap out the bitter end of the dying day - for november we have no need :) 

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On 10/19/2018 at 8:46 PM, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

day 54 - lap 47 - october w/o equal, the quiescent sun shines seemingly unwilling to quit - the week wounded to death, we decamp east as evening sets in - it's friday so fuck-off is what we say - shade and wind on the south side, but nothing like what the season will bring us in short order when the roar of heaven and furious earth will declare w/ simplicity the simple n' humble message of fawk-you human - death over our shoulder, we proceed undisturbed n' bolt down the pedestrian trail - back in time to fetch the maladjusted young'un from macbeth n' make pizza n' nap out the bitter end of the dying day - for november we have no need :) 

day 55 - lap 48 - wearied by a long swim yday i was abed by 9 n' therefore wide awake come 430 in the morning, the soreness of my top-half making just rolling over a chore and the choice to rise n' binge n' purge on trailer-park boys in the rude darkness the clear one - a nice short nap come rosy-fingered dawn n' then it was d'n'd n' daughter-fetching n' time enough for a beacon lap - the golden gorge, fall's plaything, the columbia gone languid with catspaws crawling over its lazy face - passing 9 folks on the corner, i ended up essentially sprinting each pitch to avoid the log-jam at the next, no way to enjoy the sultry sabbath at all and killing my desire to cram in a 2nd ascent and set meself up for the half-century mark tomorrow - geoff in the lot w/ his prized bulls and a good goddamn gavreet over some session-beers ensued as we bandied over the here-to-fore's n' how-in-the-hell's of this atavistic age of ours - the world's gone completely side-ways on us, but there ain't no getting off anytime soon, so it's all about looking for a handhold and keeping an eye on the door :)

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22 hours ago, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

day 54 - lap 47 - october w/o equal, the quiescent sun shines seemingly unwilling to quit - the week wounded to death, we decamp east as evening sets in - it's friday so fuck-off is what we say - shade and wind on the south side, but nothing like what the season will bring us in short order when the roar of heaven and furious earth will declare w/ simplicity the simple n' humble message of fawk-you human - death over our shoulder, we proceed undisturbed n' bolt down the pedestrian trail - back in time to fetch the maladjusted young'un from macbeth n' make pizza n' nap out the bitter end of the dying day - for november we have no need :) 

day 55 - lap 48 - wearied by a long swim yday i was abed by 9 n' therefore wide awake come 430 in the morning, the soreness of my top-half making just rolling over a chore and the choice to rise n' binge n' purge on trailer-park boys in the rude darkness the clear one - a nice short nap come rosy-fingered dawn n' then it was d'n'd n' daughter-fetching n' time enough for a beacon lap - the golden gorge, fall's plaything, the columbia gone languid with catspaws crawling over its lazy face - passing 9 folks on the corner, i ended up essentially sprinting each pitch to avoid the log-jam at the next, no way to enjoy the sultry sabbath at all and killing my desire to cram in a 2nd ascent and set meself up for the half-century mark tomorrow - geoff in the lot w/ his prized bulls and a good goddamn gavreet over some session-beers ensued as we bandied over the here-to-fore's n' how-in-the-hell's of this atavistic age of ours - the world's gone completely side-ways on us, but there ain't no getting off anytime soon, so it's all about looking for a handhold and keeping an eye on the door :)

day 56 - lap 49 - once more we're prime, and seemingly poised to reach the half-century goal - a deep dive into years of cc.com drivel reveals my solo lap record was 54 in 2013 (not formally counted in 2012, when i first starting setting the daily dirty down w/ disdainful discourse n' good-lord even i can't wade through all that to madness to suss out the necessary #, but it looks well lower - 42 laps in 2014 - just 19 in 2015 - in 2016 only 23 - 24 more in 2017 - 162 counted laps so far in 5 years, roughly 3 everest's from sea to summit) - suddenly 56 seems the gnarly number to beat though the season stands on the end of a knife...

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23 hours ago, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

day 54 - lap 47 - october w/o equal, the quiescent sun shines seemingly unwilling to quit - the week wounded to death, we decamp east as evening sets in - it's friday so fuck-off is what we say - shade and wind on the south side, but nothing like what the season will bring us in short order when the roar of heaven and furious earth will declare w/ simplicity the simple n' humble message of fawk-you human - death over our shoulder, we proceed undisturbed n' bolt down the pedestrian trail - back in time to fetch the maladjusted young'un from macbeth n' make pizza n' nap out the bitter end of the dying day - for november we have no need :) 

day 55 - lap 48 - wearied by a long swim yday i was abed by 9 n' therefore wide awake come 430 in the morning, the soreness of my top-half making just rolling over a chore and the choice to rise n' binge n' purge on trailer-park boys in the rude darkness the clear one - a nice short nap come rosy-fingered dawn n' then it was d'n'd n' daughter-fetching n' time enough for a beacon lap - the golden gorge, fall's plaything, the columbia gone languid with catspaws crawling over its lazy face - passing 9 folks on the corner, i ended up essentially sprinting each pitch to avoid the log-jam at the next, no way to enjoy the sultry sabbath at all and killing my desire to cram in a 2nd ascent and set meself up for the half-century mark tomorrow - geoff in the lot w/ his prized bulls and a good goddamn gavreet over some session-beers ensued as we bandied over the here-to-fore's n' how-in-the-hell's of this atavistic age of ours - the world's gone completely side-ways on us, but there ain't no getting off anytime soon, so it's all about looking for a handhold and keeping an eye on the door :)

day 56 - lap 49 - once more we're prime, and seemingly poised to reach the half-century goal - a deep dive into years of cc.com drivel reveals my solo lap record was 54 in 2013 (not formally counted in 2012, when i first starting setting the daily dirty down w/ disdainful discourse n' good-lord even i can't wade through all that to madness to suss out the necessary #, but it looks well lower - 42 laps in 2014 - just 19 in 2015 - in 2016 only 23 - 24 more in 2017 - 162 counted laps so far in 5 years, roughly 3 everest's from sea to summit) - suddenly 56 seems the gnarly number to beat though the season stands on the end of a knife...

day 57 - laps 50-51 - the dead-man of summer's at the door n' moaning - sunshine supplanted by grim grayness by noon n' it was all too clear it's time to get one last gullet-full of beacon before daylight savings and the ceaseless showers of winter say fuck-all to vain after-school vertical ambulations - sarah n' jared in the lot, fortunately just moments after i went the full-monty to wrangle my way into the ever-hawt shorts over poly-pro - dashed up one lap ahead of them, then another to get some action shots of the ever-active anagogic couple higher up - fled them as night crawled in on crepuscular wings and the sweet smell of fresh rain washed over the innocent stone :)

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So who Planet Granite'd Borderline? And who this past week sunk the two bolts instantly to the left of the middle of YW p4?

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I recall clipping one of the newer off route bolts the left of P4 Young Warriors YW last year (maybe the year before that?). They're not new. (brand new but they were added not long back) It was very confusing and screwed up YW for me. I asked around and heard that folks had retro (added) bolts to an old Wayne Wallace route that peels off of P3 of the Corner (to the right, near exactly in the middle).  I figured Jim or some other crusty would chop them, but will note that once I pulled my head out of my ass...no small feat thank you very much, and did the line without clipping them, staying to the right where God intended, it made the route much more enjoyable. Pitty the fools that head over and clip them. 

I take it that was you this go round?

 

On that subject, I heard it was Kevin E owned up and chopped his own baloney add on bolt at the top of the Corner (traditional finish), maybe you can both thank him nicely, and show him how it's suppose to be done: he totally cucked up the rock (if that was him). Not that I'm bitching, OK, maybe a bit - but I've seen your work and it's like you fix Swiss watches in your free time it's so good.

 

That's all I know....not much... as usual. :-) Now that the rains have returned it's time for a good winter Beacon argument to get started again.

Edited by billcoe

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On 10/29/2018 at 3:33 PM, billcoe said:

I recall clipping one of the newer off route bolts the left of P4 Young Warriors YW last year (maybe the year before that?). They're not new. (brand new but they were added not long back) It was very confusing and screwed up YW for me. I asked around and heard that folks had retro (added) bolts to an old Wayne Wallace route that peels off of P3 of the Corner (to the right, near exactly in the middle).  I figured Jim or some other crusty would chop them, but will note that once I pulled my head out of my ass...no small feat thank you very much, and did the line without clipping them, staying to the right where God intended, it made the route much more enjoyable. Pitty the fools that head over and clip them. 

2

Different bolts. These are new from my last go of the route two weeks ago.

Quote

I take it that was you this go round?

??? Not sure what you're referring to here...

Quote

On that subject, I heard it was Kevin E owned up and chopped his own baloney add on bolt at the top of the Corner (traditional finish), maybe you can both thank him nicely, and show him how it's suppose to be done: he totally cucked up the rock (if that was him). Not that I'm bitching, OK, maybe a bit - but I've seen your work and it's like you fix Swiss watches in your free time it's so good.

2

Kev reached out to me about fixing it and I need to get to it. A bit of a challenge, but doable. However, the pressing issue up there at the moment is that it's now a complete nightmare of loose rock that's going to take a substantial effort to clean up. As it is it's only a matter of time before a bunch of it ends up raining down on the base of the SE Corner and possibly killing someone. 

Maintaining Beacon requires far more than re[tro]-bolting, building unneeded platforms, and destroying beautiful little trees that didn't need cutting. It requires formally organized and coordinated loose rock cleanups at least once every five years and preferably a loose rock survey prior to every open to determine if any threats to climbers or the railroad developed over the winter which needs to be cleaned up.

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On 10/23/2018 at 8:28 PM, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

day 54 - lap 47 - october w/o equal, the quiescent sun shines seemingly unwilling to quit - the week wounded to death, we decamp east as evening sets in - it's friday so fuck-off is what we say - shade and wind on the south side, but nothing like what the season will bring us in short order when the roar of heaven and furious earth will declare w/ simplicity the simple n' humble message of fawk-you human - death over our shoulder, we proceed undisturbed n' bolt down the pedestrian trail - back in time to fetch the maladjusted young'un from macbeth n' make pizza n' nap out the bitter end of the dying day - for november we have no need :) 

day 55 - lap 48 - wearied by a long swim yday i was abed by 9 n' therefore wide awake come 430 in the morning, the soreness of my top-half making just rolling over a chore and the choice to rise n' binge n' purge on trailer-park boys in the rude darkness the clear one - a nice short nap come rosy-fingered dawn n' then it was d'n'd n' daughter-fetching n' time enough for a beacon lap - the golden gorge, fall's plaything, the columbia gone languid with catspaws crawling over its lazy face - passing 9 folks on the corner, i ended up essentially sprinting each pitch to avoid the log-jam at the next, no way to enjoy the sultry sabbath at all and killing my desire to cram in a 2nd ascent and set meself up for the half-century mark tomorrow - geoff in the lot w/ his prized bulls and a good goddamn gavreet over some session-beers ensued as we bandied over the here-to-fore's n' how-in-the-hell's of this atavistic age of ours - the world's gone completely side-ways on us, but there ain't no getting off anytime soon, so it's all about looking for a handhold and keeping an eye on the door :)

day 56 - lap 49 - once more we're prime, and seemingly poised to reach the half-century goal - a deep dive into years of cc.com drivel reveals my solo lap record was 54 in 2013 (not formally counted in 2012, when i first starting setting the daily dirty down w/ disdainful discourse n' good-lord even i can't wade through all that to madness to suss out the necessary #, but it looks well lower - 42 laps in 2014 - just 19 in 2015 - in 2016 only 23 - 24 more in 2017 - 162 counted laps so far in 5 years, roughly 3 everest's from sea to summit) - suddenly 56 seems the gnarly number to beat though the season stands on the end of a knife...

day 57 - laps 50-51 - the dead-man of summer's at the door n' moaning - sunshine supplanted by grim grayness by noon n' it was all too clear it's time to get one last gullet-full of beacon before daylight savings and the ceaseless showers of winter say fuck-all to vain after-school vertical ambulations - sarah n' jared in the lot, fortunately just moments after i went the full-monty to wrangle my way into the ever-hawt shorts over poly-pro - dashed up one lap ahead of them, then another to get some action shots of the ever-active anagogic couple higher up - fled them as night crawled in on crepuscular wings and the sweet smell of fresh rain washed over the innocent stone :)

day 58 - lap 52 - winter blew its wet horn for a few weeks but then took a hike w/o warning - the sun suddenly returned, cheer flooded into my sick soul through the school-house windows, but daylight savings ending left me No Time for Fucking Around when that last bell sounded - to beacon i bounded, arriving in an already shade besotted parking lot - more clothes upon than the last 51 laps for certain, but soon it was frantically rushing down the leaf-littered trail in the breezy impending darkness - dampness on the stone for sure, oozing weeps upon the rock in the bad spots, but enough for a hero to take comfort (this is, indeed, the payoff for all those vernal ambulations) - up, up n' up, never a thought of death through sudden falls - the joy of the route reset by nature, an assurance of the curious fact that the things of man are in fact only quite temporary - the gravel surging down the 4th class spots, the recently snapped branches all ahoo, the sense of a scene of nature prepared to in short order grow totally alone - the quaint glow that does indeed soothe and salve the soul...

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On 11/8/2018 at 6:43 PM, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

day 54 - lap 47 - october w/o equal, the quiescent sun shines seemingly unwilling to quit - the week wounded to death, we decamp east as evening sets in - it's friday so fuck-off is what we say - shade and wind on the south side, but nothing like what the season will bring us in short order when the roar of heaven and furious earth will declare w/ simplicity the simple n' humble message of fawk-you human - death over our shoulder, we proceed undisturbed n' bolt down the pedestrian trail - back in time to fetch the maladjusted young'un from macbeth n' make pizza n' nap out the bitter end of the dying day - for november we have no need :) 

day 55 - lap 48 - wearied by a long swim yday i was abed by 9 n' therefore wide awake come 430 in the morning, the soreness of my top-half making just rolling over a chore and the choice to rise n' binge n' purge on trailer-park boys in the rude darkness the clear one - a nice short nap come rosy-fingered dawn n' then it was d'n'd n' daughter-fetching n' time enough for a beacon lap - the golden gorge, fall's plaything, the columbia gone languid with catspaws crawling over its lazy face - passing 9 folks on the corner, i ended up essentially sprinting each pitch to avoid the log-jam at the next, no way to enjoy the sultry sabbath at all and killing my desire to cram in a 2nd ascent and set meself up for the half-century mark tomorrow - geoff in the lot w/ his prized bulls and a good goddamn gavreet over some session-beers ensued as we bandied over the here-to-fore's n' how-in-the-hell's of this atavistic age of ours - the world's gone completely side-ways on us, but there ain't no getting off anytime soon, so it's all about looking for a handhold and keeping an eye on the door :)

day 56 - lap 49 - once more we're prime, and seemingly poised to reach the half-century goal - a deep dive into years of cc.com drivel reveals my solo lap record was 54 in 2013 (not formally counted in 2012, when i first starting setting the daily dirty down w/ disdainful discourse n' good-lord even i can't wade through all that to madness to suss out the necessary #, but it looks well lower - 42 laps in 2014 - just 19 in 2015 - in 2016 only 23 - 24 more in 2017 - 162 counted laps so far in 5 years, roughly 3 everest's from sea to summit) - suddenly 56 seems the gnarly number to beat though the season stands on the end of a knife...

day 57 - laps 50-51 - the dead-man of summer's at the door n' moaning - sunshine supplanted by grim grayness by noon n' it was all too clear it's time to get one last gullet-full of beacon before daylight savings and the ceaseless showers of winter say fuck-all to vain after-school vertical ambulations - sarah n' jared in the lot, fortunately just moments after i went the full-monty to wrangle my way into the ever-hawt shorts over poly-pro - dashed up one lap ahead of them, then another to get some action shots of the ever-active anagogic couple higher up - fled them as night crawled in on crepuscular wings and the sweet smell of fresh rain washed over the innocent stone :)

day 58 - lap 52 - winter blew its wet horn for a few weeks but then took a hike w/o warning - the sun suddenly returned, cheer flooded into my sick soul through the school-house windows, but daylight savings ending left me No Time for Fucking Around when that last bell sounded - to beacon i bounded, arriving in an already shade besotted parking lot - more clothes upon than the last 51 laps for certain, but soon it was frantically rushing down the leaf-littered trail in the breezy impending darkness - dampness on the stone for sure, oozing weeps upon the rock in the bad spots, but enough for a hero to take comfort (this is, indeed, the payoff for all those vernal ambulations) - up, up n' up, never a thought of death through sudden falls - the joy of the route reset by nature, an assurance of the curious fact that the things of man are in fact only quite temporary - the gravel surging down the 4th class spots, the recently snapped branches all ahoo, the sense of a scene of nature prepared to in short order grow totally alone - the quaint glow that does indeed soothe and salve the soul...

day 59 - lap 53 - just 1 what-have-you between me n' my personal record and several days of clear weather to go so it's mine for the having unless i suddenly decide i don't give a shit - i'd be beside meself were it not for the fact that i'm by nature bemused by indifference - summit!....or....sleazy cheese?

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22 hours ago, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

day 54 - lap 47 - october w/o equal, the quiescent sun shines seemingly unwilling to quit - the week wounded to death, we decamp east as evening sets in - it's friday so fuck-off is what we say - shade and wind on the south side, but nothing like what the season will bring us in short order when the roar of heaven and furious earth will declare w/ simplicity the simple n' humble message of fawk-you human - death over our shoulder, we proceed undisturbed n' bolt down the pedestrian trail - back in time to fetch the maladjusted young'un from macbeth n' make pizza n' nap out the bitter end of the dying day - for november we have no need :) 

day 55 - lap 48 - wearied by a long swim yday i was abed by 9 n' therefore wide awake come 430 in the morning, the soreness of my top-half making just rolling over a chore and the choice to rise n' binge n' purge on trailer-park boys in the rude darkness the clear one - a nice short nap come rosy-fingered dawn n' then it was d'n'd n' daughter-fetching n' time enough for a beacon lap - the golden gorge, fall's plaything, the columbia gone languid with catspaws crawling over its lazy face - passing 9 folks on the corner, i ended up essentially sprinting each pitch to avoid the log-jam at the next, no way to enjoy the sultry sabbath at all and killing my desire to cram in a 2nd ascent and set meself up for the half-century mark tomorrow - geoff in the lot w/ his prized bulls and a good goddamn gavreet over some session-beers ensued as we bandied over the here-to-fore's n' how-in-the-hell's of this atavistic age of ours - the world's gone completely side-ways on us, but there ain't no getting off anytime soon, so it's all about looking for a handhold and keeping an eye on the door :)

day 56 - lap 49 - once more we're prime, and seemingly poised to reach the half-century goal - a deep dive into years of cc.com drivel reveals my solo lap record was 54 in 2013 (not formally counted in 2012, when i first starting setting the daily dirty down w/ disdainful discourse n' good-lord even i can't wade through all that to madness to suss out the necessary #, but it looks well lower - 42 laps in 2014 - just 19 in 2015 - in 2016 only 23 - 24 more in 2017 - 162 counted laps so far in 5 years, roughly 3 everest's from sea to summit) - suddenly 56 seems the gnarly number to beat though the season stands on the end of a knife...

day 57 - laps 50-51 - the dead-man of summer's at the door n' moaning - sunshine supplanted by grim grayness by noon n' it was all too clear it's time to get one last gullet-full of beacon before daylight savings and the ceaseless showers of winter say fuck-all to vain after-school vertical ambulations - sarah n' jared in the lot, fortunately just moments after i went the full-monty to wrangle my way into the ever-hawt shorts over poly-pro - dashed up one lap ahead of them, then another to get some action shots of the ever-active anagogic couple higher up - fled them as night crawled in on crepuscular wings and the sweet smell of fresh rain washed over the innocent stone :)

day 58 - lap 52 - winter blew its wet horn for a few weeks but then took a hike w/o warning - the sun suddenly returned, cheer flooded into my sick soul through the school-house windows, but daylight savings ending left me No Time for Fucking Around when that last bell sounded - to beacon i bounded, arriving in an already shade besotted parking lot - more clothes upon than the last 51 laps for certain, but soon it was frantically rushing down the leaf-littered trail in the breezy impending darkness - dampness on the stone for sure, oozing weeps upon the rock in the bad spots, but enough for a hero to take comfort (this is, indeed, the payoff for all those vernal ambulations) - up, up n' up, never a thought of death through sudden falls - the joy of the route reset by nature, an assurance of the curious fact that the things of man are in fact only quite temporary - the gravel surging down the 4th class spots, the recently snapped branches all ahoo, the sense of a scene of nature prepared to in short order grow totally alone - the quaint glow that does indeed soothe and salve the soul...

day 59 - lap 53 - just 1 what-have-you between me n' my personal record and several days of clear weather to go so it's mine for the having unless i suddenly decide i don't give a shit - i'd be beside meself were it not for the fact that i'm by nature bemused by indifference - summit!....or....sleazy cheese?

day 60 - laps 54-55 - high times in november continues w/ no notion of what's proper - adam's at ten after a good belly-sleep - i do 2 laps while geoff n' adam wrangle their way up cruising n' the corner - we wrestle w/ the west side soon thereafter - ain't got no record of me doing more corner laps never, so i'm gonna say it's the world record - still, no need for hubris, i figure the fella who really, really wants it could grab 400

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21 hours ago, ivan said:

been neglecting logging beacon days - guess the thrill is gone and i should just lay down in my grave already - still, in the spirit of defying obdurate death, some tardy observations:

7/14/2018 - day 1, solo lap 1 - wasted from 3 weeks in the sawtooths, olympics and alpine lakes wildernesses i laid about the house on opening day, not a tad ashamed of my torpor - on bastille day though honor demanded i rise and drunkenly wobble my way beacon-wards - heat was upon the rock, but i waited until after 3 when the sun sets and fuckers off west and then sauntered on up without event - the world keeps on turning and so must we

7/15 - day 2 - ben on a hall past - 97 degrees predicted so we foolished figured we could beat the heat by meeting at 7 - breathless heat dispatched the already sunny young warriors from our minds and we settled instead for the shade of cruising on up the corner - at grassy ledges we settled in the listless shadows of the trees as i sucked down beer - uprising was punishing in the baleful glare of the hated helios - afterwards we cooled ourselves in the columbia and nattered about nothing

7/18 - day 3, lap 2 - the family fetched from the old dominion, i settled for swimming for 2 delirious days, then it was nasty labor negotiations and sitting across a big table in a small room and trying to kill the killing thoughts that creep about the minds of even common men - for therapy i bent my way beacon-wise afterwards and sidled up the basalt sidewalk, finding of all things a fraternal brother at tree ledge - impromptu union issues expounded upon and my conscience clear, i crept my way upwards into the sky

7/19 - day 4 - the hms revenge, geoff at the helm, roars into the parking lot after 3 and soon thereafter we gun down the highway running east, eager w/ life's little leavings - i'm probably not built right for corvettes, though their curvaceous lines are not insensible to my dulled senses - helmet-less as from habit i suppose, i follow on crusing and wonder where the old me who used to solo this regularly went - good times and gut laughs follow - it's pretty much always the same old story, and its a grand one, so why gaze too deep into the meat?

7/20 - day 5, lap 3 - ushered 10 year old asher priestly and his addled papa up the corner after arriving a few hours earlier and wandering up the way alone, bumping into all kinds of familiar faces along the way - shared a beer w/ 2 union members on the ledge, than pink-himself appeared along w/ arndt - discourses about dramas and days gone by, the sun keeling over as an old man on fire, we fidget and fumble for something that already has found us but lies

7/22 - day 6 - plan for a trans-columbia crossing skrewt - geoff had a grand new wave riding what-have-you and i eagerly wanted to swim the river and climb phoca rock under cape horn w/ some adult supervision, but a combination of great gusty winds and rather-big waves, plus a not-so-ready escape-driver scuppered that there plan - we settled for scuttling eastwards a bit more and nattered around the beacon-channel - geoff roared around on the the what-have-you while getting bruised n' concussed and i swum - great schools of river carp under the pilings - beer and big times - grand.7/25 - day 7, lap 4 - 3 days of summer coding-camp concluded, i scurried out cautiously into the calamitous heat - 94 degrees at the skamania mart for the beer stop but settled on climbing first instead of swimming - unremarkable ascent, concluded w/ some high times and hearty yak-yaks w/ adam at the boat-launch - got a prime plan for a full moon ascent come saturday, should anyone by so motivated

7/27 -day 8, lap 5 - built a boxing bag in the morning w/ the boy in the morning then heaved away out east -lovely swim out to pierce island and and a leisurely float back, no fish on the pylons - a bit of head medicine after drying off, ran into dave in the lot - meshed our malodorous ways  and soon thereafter headed up the corner, simul-solo - good times n' guffaws along the way - on the way down our parkour boy done went'n parkoured the fuck outta of his face :)

7/28 - day 9 - a grand get together out at adam n' claire's - the plan was to frolic in the fair columbia, dine, then climb the corner by the light of the recently full moon - didn't quite work out that way, but the first part was spot on - kyle n' amber n' geoff n' steve n' jim appeared in short order and we guffawed n' marked time as the scorching sun keeled over and the breeze blew - eventually we were at the boat launch - some swum, some shot about the channel on the blue demon, geoff's latest deadly boy-toy, and some sat in the shade and took in the scene - not a soul on the rock, even after the sun left the face - beers on pierce island and under the corner on the sandy shore - my smokes quite scuppered by a shit dry-bag - lazing by the river later on, then most left, bailing on the wonder of the moonlight ascent - swallowed my betrayal with bitefulls of lovely steak n' waiting for ben to arrive while bantering w/ my beatific hosts - darkness came and the glowing orb rose and ben roared in - adam retired to his well earned bed as we rambled on over and had an uneventful ascent, returning near 3 a.m. to natter a bit about future plans, then for ben to drive back home, leaving me to sleep in the cool air under the haughty heavens

7/31 - day 10 - lap 6 - illish health, my survival routine of swimming everyday disrupted by a disgusting infected cyst requiring lancing and antibiotics and a stern admonition by learned doctors to avoid total immersion in the local lakes - figured the corner might be a salve for my sullen soul - kevbone n' andreu on little wing - light breezes n' languid views, the world alone n' listing heavily to port - topher on the descent, bound to rap stone soup, saying the whole damn thing has been desecrated of its iron :(

8/1 - day 11 - lap 7 - the first of august upon us and my beacon rock pass weren't no good no'mo, so i wrangled w/ the bastard machine - ate my credit card, required Strong Talking To to free it and complete my civilian transaction - a dude knows kenny saw i was a brother and need and succeeded where i failed, so goes the story of my life - still, made a new friend and he followed down to the corner to film my ascent while waiting for his girlfriend to finish hiking up the trail - lovely sight of a sealion zipping on down the river - against the strong cross-wind it cut up quite the bow wave, a big light brown torpedo sizzling on down the stream, heading towards adventures unheard of

8/2 - day 12 - kyle n' i went for a look see on something new that turned out not new at all - salvaged a corner crawl - homo gummi bears on the summit - topher n' company starting up stone soup - kevbone in the lot gearing up but i had to eschew conversation to roar back west for a salary bargain sesh that went straight to shit in short order...

8/3 - day 13 (4 days in a row) - rainy at dawn, our plans seemed doomed - the doctors office and more nasty and needless pain inflicted on your friend and humble narrator - kyle in the thick weather at the bk parking lot, his enthusiasm ironically undamped - we bend space n' crawl up to the beacon way to the uprising railing - cut some brush to investigate a possible line that might take you from the top of hidden treats to top of riverside's exit by the norseman's head - find an obscure and old hardman's route - many smc hangers with non-stainless bolts that are all now brown as shit, plus a big beefy nail - doesn't seem to have seen much traffic in the past 20-some-odd years - latter geoff rolls in and we head up right gull, where i'm rudely reminded i'm half the shit climber i once was

8/6 - day 14 - lap 8-9 - started w/ a doc yanking a nasty pus-infected strip of packing from my excised cyst - sad news, at least another week of not swimming for the dude, even as savage heat descends upon us, damn near clawing my eyes out to be stroking through the kewl... - beacon after some beers, two laps, both w/ shielas present, damn near paradise :)

8/7 - day 15 - lap 10 - a dentist visit left me w/ a numb face at the boat launch, wondering what the hell exactly i'm doing w/ my life but ready to take a punch - a tasteless beer in the shade of the pylon n' then it was to the business - not a soul on the face and a big shady breeze in near 90 degree temps - pouring sweat, i found redemption, if not my sense of smell - no time to linger, i made it to "infinity wars" w/ the family just moments after the credits :)

8/8 - day 16 - lap 11 -  union war planning  in the morning - teacher strikes on the march all throughout this state if The Bastards don't come to their senses soon - 98 degrees by afternoon and my back wound still unstitched i had no options but to return to church and pray that the water might readmit me soon - reached out to denali dave via the luminiferous aether on the long lunge out but the interwebs don't seem to work right and we got wildly different perceptions of the plan - spent a beer's worth of time waiting for his arrival on snag ledge before figuring out he'd run up the trail and was waiting on the summit - lit a fire under my ass to arrive up there, sodden w/ sweat, only to find him gone - lovely views up there though as the magic minute commenced and i cracked open a pbr and settled in when suddenly he appeared, making mystic motions and random runes atop the the tumult of thumb rock  - made a down-payment on the beer debt i've built up w/ our boy over the years and we sucked up the ambiance - 2 score of elk ambulating around in the emerald canal, living like lords of the earth - barges banging up the columbia as the coal trains chugged back the other direction - the smoke n haze of our smoldering earth setting everything in subtle shades of hate - sigh...the summer shall not last...

8/9 - day 17 - lap 12 - no time for dilly-dallying w/ Serious Business impending, i raced up the scorching stone, soaked in sweat, then winged it back west to the district office to behold 200-some-odd of my pissed off union brothers and sisters sharpening their pitchforks and preparing torches to Storm the Barricades (between bouts of belting down hot dogs of course :) 

8/10 - day 18 - laps 13-14 - the wife away with friends of yore, i slept away the morn until even the kids were bored - they non-plussed at sallying forth, i fled beacon-ways for a bit n' had a good old mid-summer session - topher n' a lovely shiela on the siddle on down after lap one - adam honking as he raged along the road - jim n' a grand gavreet, the things of the past still the same but somehow sliding on by - lap 2 cooler still but nothing to report

8/12 - day 19 - lap 15 - shut down by rain, or at least the gut fear of rain, after 5 straight days of beacon goodness, i returned for an early morning lap before d'n'd w/ the kids in the afternoon - veritable dogdamn meat popsicle parade on the verge of the cool columbia - passed 13 folks on route, some with birthday caps on, many clearly up there for the first time and having fun - encountered ole chris winter who i ain't seen since the world was young and had a good gavreet - nattered about nastia w/ numerous folks in the know - maybe 10 folks on young warriors as well - topher up high on stone soup frittering time away - a fellow at the base who freed the first pitch of the soup recently and called it only 12a, how strange - woulda loved to do a second lap but time and the judgement of man made me jingle-jangle my way away back west

8/13 - day 20 - lap 16 - the morning mist dispersing, 70 degrees and dappled shade and the flow of the universe over my mottled flesh sweet sick-fuck in my flayed mind - the stone as it always is, it is only the curious i that changes i swear, my skin that of a depressed doppelganger that dithers forwards out of a habit of hope  - breath and dripping sweat and sinuous movement, the mind a tabula rasa after all its rude ambulations, this is the path to paradise even if it is nothing more than an odd oroboros that ultimately dumps us in disarray at our mother's doorstep, new-eyed and obtused by age

8/19 - day 21 - lap 17 - after a week at buxom lake quinault, i was querulous with cooped up beacon longings - sure, two grand lake crossings, both clad as a glorified white-walrus, did excite the meat in the marrow, but gawdamn it ain't quite the same, is it?  the rock much as i left it, rudely exposed to heat and wind, but rife w/ life - a crew with a dude named cannon i think - kayakers all upon the sound, fallen several feet from last i'd seen it - a lovely dmm off-set nut that i shall have come tomorrow morning or me name's not cheap-skate-mcgee :)

8/20 - day 22 - lap 18 - thick canuckistani clouds of smoke upon the land - bonneville dam a mystery just 2 miles away - a morning lap w/ familiar faces on right gull and whatever it is we call the line just right of young warriors w/ the new bolts (the bolter himself on hand giving it a go) - not much time for dilly-dallying, but bootied a sweet dmm offset nut after near ten minutes of monkey-hammering on it w/ rocks and nut tool -  another below it but non-offset and a bit of a puzzle as to how to extract and thus not worth the effort - some union bidness over lunch dispensed, then it was the doc and my dupuytren's contracture poo-poo'ed and finally a lovely mile long swim back and forth and back again out at battle ground lake

8/21 - day 23 - lap 19 - discouraging day at the bargain table, a strike all but certain now, no matter the blase niceties that are nattered at us from the other end and with less than a week until the day of days - 6 hrs of pacing around a big table in a tiny room trying not to get uncontrollably pissed, my never significant small talk skills truly tapped out  by the end - the noose unloosed, a short flight out to beacon through the choking heat and smoky haze - the stone alone, i soared and sweated and saw the same old sights in the hellish half-light, leaving w/ a new resolution

8/23 - day XXIV - lap XX - a grey day, smoke subsumed by wind and light rain,  kinda nice to feel like ya can breath again - early to rise, my mind tormented by uneasy affectations, happily kilt by burnt coffee and trailer park boys - friendly union bidness near noon w/ the new fish - why join the union, you ask? firfuksakes, 'cause The Man don't want ya to!  just a skosh of the afternoon to bang out east, into the storm, and winkle my way up beacon in the big, big breeze and gentle sprinkles, passing folks here and there - time to take in the frenzied scene for a few below the southeast corner ridge but then it was hustling up n' hurtling out, the weasels raging along the edges of this swiftly revolving what-have-you - no better way to get my game face on then to have a construction worker scream "faaaaaaaaawk uuuuuuu" as me and another driver innocently turned through the cones to get to the district office - ugh, was there another way? sigh, the hairless monkey is just a hand's breadth from total hatred in even the most benevolent of times...

8/28 - day 25 - lap 21 - dark days duly dispensed - a 3 mile swim yday before a strike vote, my veins open and pumping a mighty purplish red,  the water like wine washing over my zealot head - shakespeare said it best, "all the world's a stage" etc. etc. - today the tempest upon us - half-hearted philippics in the fullness of time become declarations of war n' it's not long really - a right greek tragedy is this one, every actor aware of where his god-ordained line will leave him, loving yet ready to hack off the head of his brother if needed - beacon rock my temple i toppled towards as the day was dying - the simpleness of stone and wind and water - coyotes yip and yowl, and in their wildness tame my scowl

8/29 - day 26 - lap 22 - chaos crawls upon us - tomorrow the last best chance to avoid a strike, but only a simpleton would expect these base bastards to have changed - still, the runes are rather clear and the augors are auspicious, if fight they will, then fight i must, and hard-hearted hatred is the way we must follow - escaped the emotional cauldron near 4, finagled east, gnawing sunflower seeds like a silly fool - ben's car in the lot n' suddenly i remembered his grand plan, laid out just days before - boomed up the corner free of fear and encountered my boy with his 2 young sons plus bill n' ujahn - puff puff, drip drip, the rock receives us all - the corner is always the same, though some days its a crowd of false prophets  n' others it's just me alone - a mistress w/o maladies, a priest w/o profession - pictures ensued - i lingered and laid eyes on elks and ospreys and the livid scars of sacred earth - generations on display, i played my part, as we all must and laid aside the lamentations of the Late Ones - one day more and all is done! :) 

8/30 - day 27 - lap 23 - a day dominated by the damnable - ack - looking forward to when this thing is done and i can speak a tad more freely on the subject, hopefully with a large glass of high-proof whiskey in one hand and a very large hammer in the other  - took advantage of a two hour break to slink out to beacon and blitz up the crowded corner, realizing only belatedly i'd nothing to change into afterward - the stench of my climbing shoe funk encrusted feet could probably be weaponized and might just be the manhattan project style solution to our problems we need :)

think my beacon streak will be busted tomorrow as we're bringing sleeping bags and pillows in preparation for yet another yak-yak marathon

8/31 -day 28 - lap 24 - the cone of silence descends on the bargain team so mum's the word and robert is your father's brother - did get a lovely 1 1/2 hr break to rocket out to beacon and rage up the corner as fast as my feet could carry me

9/4 - day 29 - lap 25 - sweet god, simple good-old-fashioned normality returns after far too long - my 20th first day of school, at least as a professional, and for the first time ever i genuinely could say to the hormonal masses "i'm glad to see you" as the alternative was too awful to contemplate - beacon breezy and balmy, the haze so thick hood was half-visible on the ambulation in - an easy ascent, all alone, the fear of death like water over hot stone, bubbling off and evaporating in an instant - if this is suddenly to be the end,  after all these tribulations, then who couldn't be eager for it, rather than face the far more terrifying descent into disuse and decay old age must inevitably entail?

9/5 - diebus XXX - beacon corner solo 26 - the heat of summer returns and tech issues leave me sweating through my shirt damn near every period - the crazy churn of new faces n' perky personalities, i feel drowned by names and details it'll take me months to truly reckon w/ - still, the day dispensed, there's the becalmed way east on balding tires - the sprint to the base in silly crocs - crowds n' conversation - followed a very lovely lady up the first pitch and struggled not to come off as a creep - kinda hard when you're on a rope on a big giant crag for your first time and some bleary-eyed foul-mouthed cord-less buffoon is stationed just feet below you, chomping at the bit to blast on past and staring at your ass (b/c...like...you're looking straight up the cliff to find your way, so what else could you do?) - bill coe n' the ubiquitous ujahnn at grassy ledges - we natter over beverages n'  resolve the dilemmas of man, the devil be damned :)

9/6 - a prime beacon day, #31 - lap 27 - the big wind blows in and smokes confounds the sky - 3 days into school and the olde cycle establishes itself once again - the warts begin to appear and we start seeing just how decent are the human cards we've been dealt - recreation afterwards the order of the day - ole'lash rambling up the trail with a rucksack full of recovered soul - a good gavreet n' a gambol up the rock all alone, just me n' the wind n' me thinky-thoughts, then a reunion in the parking lot - this that and the other thing considered over a can, i cast out, gnome-king in the way-back n' we natter on the way to adams for the drop-off, then back back back to home n' hearth n' some tasty bbq :)

9/7 - day 32, lap jimi-hendrix/janis-joplin/jim-morrison-can-go-fawk-themeselves (28 in case that needed translating) - friday night feels alright - a week in the can, just 35 more to go before the whole rigamarole goes round again - a very, very lonely rock, just me and the zopilotes and the dying shade of waxing fall

9/14 - 33rd day, 29th solo lap - fell fall upon us, and sooner than usual it feels - a year ago exact the gorge still raged in flames, the torrid air intolerable to breathe - this week of rain just past would have been relief indeed then - still, while climbing was scuppered it's been good weather for swimming now that i've figured out the super-hero suit thing, the cold and rain insensible just below the water line once in walrus mode - 5% of the school year already dispatched and friday to boot, it was beacon in the early evening, grand and somehow bigger than usual - the scenery gaudy beyond description, like the world had just taken in a big breath and was holding onto it for a while, or perhaps like the hands of the clock had slowed by half, but i could scramble just as fast as ever - whatever it was, a carefree ascent concluded and the beer debased, i decamped back homewards for a date w/ the wife in belligerent battleground - lord don't let those fools break you! :)

9/17-18 - days 34-35, cordless laps 30-31 - The shadow of beaten Beacon slips East to be born Anew as the Elk bugle their evening tunes

9/19 - day 37, lap 32 - plumb forgot i had a prior engagement and ended up at beacon quite unawares i was embarrassing myself - such lovely shade and surging breeze - old lash plumb upon the bottom wall, wincing and whooped i reckon after a long day alone - a balm for the battered soul, the blazed trail overhead - elks congregating amidst the columbia - the big man peering down on the big world - fabulous fall n' finn finnson sayin fawk-all

9/21 - day 38, laps 33-34 - the hard-numbers creep up, like dingers on a baseball card history, how many more seasons i wonder, but sure this year nothing to be dismayed at - friday night = frequently climb night - the boy recovered in the after-noon and the chores dispensed, i beacon-bent then but was woefully delayed, bolstered though by fern prairie chicken-sticks n' the chuckles of the dimly-understood demented world - late evening 2-laps, the humor of 2 different-toned diffident frogs, still in the same place the second lap same as the first - the light sadly-diminished, the world settling away towards the dying-place as it lurches lazily through this stoned stretch of space - full moon flits through the gaudy sky at good-guest adam's, we play the word-game of sober-men n' have a good-gavreet - september is pierced and rent n' we must make amends, even if the hard-heart would have it otherwise

9/23 - day 39, lap 35 - sunday starts sprawling on the couch, neck-cricked n' staring up at the lights that'd been glaring down on me for hours as i gleefully slumbered - old pizza and iced burgundy and school work soon dispensed, then it was making a dozen damn quarts of red sauce n' wrapping my head around this whole-being-in-the-world thing - to beacon where the late-day crowds were quite high up, a baker's dozen come grassy ledge - heart-attack at the horn on p2 where, for the first time ever, both feet and a hand blew, leaving me hanging n' hollering, wondering what the heck exactly was going on, laughing hysterically but scared as hell - chuckles n' castabout comments n' then the top and down, down, running into oulde dave along the way - a beer at the base, then zoom-zoom n' the groceries of the week acquired - reckon that rude bastard monday is on the mend...

9/24 - dies XL - sexy time beacon lap XXXVI - today about redemption after the 10 second terror of y-day - a real contemplative re-assertion that this isn't some solo-suicide pact between me, meself n' i set on slo-mo for near 2 decades now - a so called flawless ascent, nary a technical error to cause complaint, nor time to pause and wonder with a school board meeting calling my name - a wild indian summer hard upon us, the heart-breaking glorious horizontal sun of fall, all shadows the husks of heroes, the air fresh as the yearning dreams of youth

9/25 - day 41 - i lawyered up at school around noon and before 4 my nattily-attired attorney cruised into the burger king parking lot in the hms revenge, ready to roll with a twinkle in his piratical eye  - 'twas a strange scene, a whole homeless crew ransacking the dumpster behind chevron for cans, loose, tired skin over tattered old bones, a grim-vibe indeed - guess that trump economy ain't exactly working for everyone? no time for such weighty thoughts, to beacon we sped, shaping plans n' having the good deep gut laffs that form the foundation of this long alliance of ours - the no-doubt livid-trumpito unbraided with unctuous laughter before the UN - its almost as if the one thing that literally half of humanity at least can agree on is this guy's a goddamn baleful modern-day p.t. barnum - whatever, it's beyond my pay-grade, as they say... - a lovely ascent of the Olde Warrior, which is 2 1/2 pitches of the corner to stoner ledge, then young warriors from there - blustery n' breezy, indian summer on the verge of over - dark by 730, the world is dying but surely it'll all be fine? :)

9/26 - douglas adams day! atheists of the world...uh...uh...engage in high-minded, reasonably-toned, science-based discourse and fully embrace the impending annihilation of mind and body in an enlightened and insouciant fashion? :) beacon solo lap 37 at any rate, so a prime day for yours truly as well - back to skewl night, so no time for noodling about, i raged on out as fast as the government mule could fly, pedestrians bedamned, to get my clamber on before rambling on back bare-footed and bespackled with sweat and grim to guiltily change in the parking lot n' greet the parents of the current crop - the irascible billcoe n' ubiquitous ujohn high upon the rock, crawling up into the sky, we exchanged quick wit and woeful self-portraiture n' then passed as the proverbial ships in the night, each on to his pressing obligation, our consciences clean as the new driven snow :P

9/27 - a prime beacon day at #43 - solo corner lap #38, prime X2 i imagine - very much alone, and gloriously slow - the muse came upon by me after tree ledge so i stopped to consult her:

I am the candle that gutters

The guy the queer one calls quisling

I claim the bush-pilot’s creed:

“the truth is the real gold is not in the ground

It’s south of Sixty

Stuck in living rooms

Face in the boob-tube

Bored to death

Bored to death

But do you know what beats boredom?

Adventure :) "

An anti-lilliputian storm of goddamn lithuanians crawl up the beacon stone on my lazy way down

Flags in fists

The pater familias very much at the crazed forefront of their fervid, collective minds

I saluted them and bid them:

Beware the Russians!

Then receded down the smiling path

9/30 - day 44 - lap 39 - sore as hell and asleep by 9 on a saturday night, sad, sad, sad - up by 6 as a result though so the chore of grading done w/ before noon, time enough for a beacon lap before the getting of groceries and the preparation of dinner for an indifferent audience - gray and gloomy along the river - a tween-ager and her pops on the 1st pitch, then on until glory to the top - a wee slip on the chimney above grassy ledges saw me slip-slide a bit but nothing like the mismanagement of last sunday - a good gavreet w/ a fellow sabbath violator below the notch, a beer, then the big blast back home

10/1 - day 45 - 40 solo beacon laps this summer, nothing to sneer at - if it's 500-some-odd vertical feet the lap, then that's 20,000 feet so far, almost 4 miles from sea to sky, the height of denali, which the normal mortal crunch-crunches up at something half-way horizontal - a few years at any rate since i've managed so many and 50 might not be impossible if the fall chooses to be sublime - the shoulder season hard upon us at any rate - a calm parking lot, the savage winds soon will come but they're not here yet and it's a balm for the past-bittered mind - changing into shorts and t-shirt, i stumbled down upon my way, recoiling at the critical moment from face-planting through the web of a huge forest-spider hung half-way across the trail - up the route i bounded, barely aware of the warnings of recent days - nary a soul along the way, just distant deep purple rain-clouds for company and nagging fear of course - a beer and beatific thoughts below the notch, then dave hoot-hooting as he exploding up uprising - reunited at the trail we nattered over ethical conundrums the common-citizen currently couldn't avoid but certainly should - then it was home and breakfast for dinner and that hard-harpy we call tuesday just over the horizon :)

10/2 - day 46, lap 41 - the full october wind announcing it's presence in the parking lot with authority, blowing over garbage cans and ripping the tired leaves from the sagging trees - the face itself strangely quiet and calm though, the true beatard micro-climate in reality - a far cry from a flawless ascent, slipping and sliding all over the place, but the law of 3-point contact is a powerful one - just past the horn on pitch 2 i started onto the slab but found myself in an alien configuration - inspired by the freak-out of recent days to reject new ways i backed down to the start and attempted the human-flesh version of a control-alt-delete - amusingly, launching back once again after a few moments i repeated the same entire bizarre sequence and said screw-it and pulled through, all mortal fear bedamned - a great place to confront the true-true reality of sir isaac newton i swear and a happy ending so that's that - alone in the lovely wind at the top of uprising, i took in the total scene and felt the upwelling of the human spirit that keeps my broken soul at the wheel :)

10/3 - day 47, the long-sought for douglas-adams memorial lap (how i hope someday to render my regards personally to him at the restaurant at the end of the universe :P ) - frost on the car this morning, it appears fall is not fucking around - black ruminations today in lecturing on the 25th anniversary of the events of "black hawk down" - spinning senselessly through the gyre of time, sometimes i can't see out of the circle, good-god is there really any arc to history? - but beacon always the balm - as i've long claimed, every trip there reveals some curiosity not previously discovered - this time it was the double-tractor-trailer that went into the ditch just short of the park, spilling the largest pile of fresh corn on the cob i've ever seen in all directions - woulda been better n' more comical still if all the cops on the scene were eagerly munching on peeled ears whilst filling out the forms n' cleaning up the bodies - blasted up the lap w/o chit-chat w/ my fellow climbers, no time for beer n' contemplation, duty-bound to make a southwest central labor council meeting at the teamster's hall - kinda kewl to mix w/ pipe-fighters n' printers n' the other proud union laborers of the earth and plot the way forward :)

10/4 - day 48 - solo lap 43, one for each sordid trip round the sun by your's truly - my 5th climbing day in a row, and right called for as the indian summer is clearly coming to a close w/ storms and fog for fuck'all to come - nary a soul, and i enjoyed the elbow room on my tiny perch where the warrior and the corner converge - shooting over the trail railing i crashed a total teen party - it's thursday night on the south shore of skamania county and the kids are out in force, sucking down pbr n' smoking all kinds of things - i hid my face as these fellows might all well be my responsibility but, far from home, and on the side of the beacon-wand, we're all kind of swiss and must abide - the drive back the best - the hill of road-corn, rudely left by a crashed tractor-trailer just yesterday, already sadly diminished, crawling w/ human scavengers made giddy by the prospect of free grain - as i paused solely to take pictures, car after car cruised in, spilling out half-drunk hill-billies w/ ikea bags and common tarps and high-hopes of scoring the perfect crime, leaving w/ arms over-filling of the produce of our far eastern brothers whose insurance i can only hope is secure :)

10/11 - day 49 - lap 44, completed just hours before turning 44 - scuppered by slickness n' unnecessary concern the day before, i rocketed east just after close of day, sucking down copper ale n' spitting dill pickle sunflower seeds out the window - the corn mound sadly gone after a week of scavengers gilded w/ crazy n' ruinous rain - the base and our dear russian and chris b just getting down - rumors of war - bounding up the dry stone, joy internalized, the feel of friction and the puff-puff of determined breath pulsating through the pink-matter of the mind - topher n' company at the grassy ledge, n' jarred just above - hoot-hoot n' good times on the land of the little people, the golden gorge glowing before us as we bantered over god know's what - traffic jam at the parting place, we went up uprising w/o complaint - lost-cam kenny firkrisakes emerged w/ his special lady friend even as jarred jetted off - our boy a goddamn grandpa now and i suppose that fate is impending for all such fools who choose to procreate - the big bound home as crepuscular evening crept in - birthday meals in battle ground, a gullet-full of glorified  mac'n'cheese n' molly-coddling the indifferent - holy hell, the 3-day weekend is upon us :)

10/12-13 -days 50-51 - 2 days of beacon bliss, and all thanks to adam, the supplier of the beacon-base for this critical shoulder-season session- my birthday friday free and so ben n' i made our separate ways out to the woe-be-gone driveway just off the little road in the early morning, where 'true country-living,' to coin ben's phrase, was for the having all around - friday a bit of donnybrook, me way-laid on flight time, a true disgrace really, for a route i once regularly traveled when the world was young - we salvaged it though in the afternoon, clambering up the first two crazed pitches of jensen's and fixing on down - a rare hootenanny of an evening to follow - bonfires n' beers n' hellish introspection on the part of your friend-n-humble-narrator - abed by 10 for firfawksakes and that's the worst you can say for some sad-sack on the completion of his 44th whizz-whirl around the great big-flaming-what-have-you - the first day after that though a prime one, ole'adam lighting-along his signature breakfast that makes dining till dusk unnecessary, the goddess-sauce the primary touch - we bolted from ben at the first opportunity, then jugged n' juggled our way up from the place where the trail ends - atop pitch 2, i launched again, my cuticles immediately cursed to dribble blood on the rock from there to the end - p3 the tribal-treasure, the wind blast a test of our basic character and nothing more - exposure enough to excoriate our under-lying essence which is weak-weak-weak - ben owned on p4, which we all beheld in the furious glare of fall's fell air, then me up the final bit and belaying on the trail - burgers n' bridging-the-light-fantastic after n' then the long roar down the road home to hang w/ ladies who don't look lightly on trying to talk during the midst of their movie-tales

day 52 - lap 45 - the indian summer is threatening to last at least another week, the long-shot goal of 50 solo laps in a year yaws into sight - cats-paws n' baby white-caps upon the columbia, the raging winds of winter are clearly in the parlor and planning on rushing out soon to transform every outing into a rude epic, sunshine or no - fear enough to go round, despite no good reason, just the growing reality that it's all about to come crashing down soon and it's common sense alone between us and the devil and the deep-blue sea - the crag alone, the long nagging shadows of evening at just 4 o'clock now, the trail down as lonely as the climb up - a waxing moon - more corn trucks on the crawl in - before long it'll be finger-gloves n' 2 layers against the wind and a lap a month at best :)

day 53 - lap 46 - hero-october half-dispatched and summer will not die, though the wind builds up and sags upon the rock w/ a long and lasting sigh...

day 54 - lap 47 - october w/o equal, the quiescent sun shines seemingly unwilling to quit - the week wounded to death, we decamp east as evening sets in - it's friday so fuck-off is what we say - shade and wind on the south side, but nothing like what the season will bring us in short order when the roar of heaven and furious earth will declare w/ simplicity the simple n' humble message of fawk-you human - death over our shoulder, we proceed undisturbed n' bolt down the pedestrian trail - back in time to fetch the maladjusted young'un from macbeth n' make pizza n' nap out the bitter end of the dying day - for november we have no need :) 

day 55 - lap 48 - wearied by a long swim yday i was abed by 9 n' therefore wide awake come 430 in the morning, the soreness of my top-half making just rolling over a chore and the choice to rise n' binge n' purge on trailer-park boys in the rude darkness the clear one - a nice short nap come rosy-fingered dawn n' then it was d'n'd n' daughter-fetching n' time enough for a beacon lap - the golden gorge, fall's plaything, the columbia gone languid with catspaws crawling over its lazy face - passing 9 folks on the corner, i ended up essentially sprinting each pitch to avoid the log-jam at the next, no way to enjoy the sultry sabbath at all and killing my desire to cram in a 2nd ascent and set meself up for the half-century mark tomorrow - geoff in the lot w/ his prized bulls and a good goddamn gavreet over some session-beers ensued as we bandied over the here-to-fore's n' how-in-the-hell's of this atavistic age of ours - the world's gone completely side-ways on us, but there ain't no getting off anytime soon, so it's all about looking for a handhold and keeping an eye on the door :)

day 56 - lap 49 - once more we're prime, and seemingly poised to reach the half-century goal - a deep dive into years of cc.com drivel reveals my solo lap record was 54 in 2013 (not formally counted in 2012, when i first starting setting the daily dirty down w/ disdainful discourse n' good-lord even i can't wade through all that to madness to suss out the necessary #, but it looks well lower - 42 laps in 2014 - just 19 in 2015 - in 2016 only 23 - 24 more in 2017 - 162 counted laps so far in 5 years, roughly 3 everest's from sea to summit) - suddenly 56 seems the gnarly number to beat though the season stands on the end of a knife...

day 57 - laps 50-51 - the dead-man of summer's at the door n' moaning - sunshine supplanted by grim grayness by noon n' it was all too clear it's time to get one last gullet-full of beacon before daylight savings and the ceaseless showers of winter say fuck-all to vain after-school vertical ambulations - sarah n' jared in the lot, fortunately just moments after i went the full-monty to wrangle my way into the ever-hawt shorts over poly-pro - dashed up one lap ahead of them, then another to get some action shots of the ever-active anagogic couple higher up - fled them as night crawled in on crepuscular wings and the sweet smell of fresh rain washed over the innocent stone :)

day 58 - lap 52 - winter blew its wet horn for a few weeks but then took a hike w/o warning - the sun suddenly returned, cheer flooded into my sick soul through the school-house windows, but daylight savings ending left me No Time for Fucking Around when that last bell sounded - to beacon i bounded, arriving in an already shade besotted parking lot - more clothes upon than the last 51 laps for certain, but soon it was frantically rushing down the leaf-littered trail in the breezy impending darkness - dampness on the stone for sure, oozing weeps upon the rock in the bad spots, but enough for a hero to take comfort (this is, indeed, the payoff for all those vernal ambulations) - up, up n' up, never a thought of death through sudden falls - the joy of the route reset by nature, an assurance of the curious fact that the things of man are in fact only quite temporary - the gravel surging down the 4th class spots, the recently snapped branches all ahoo, the sense of a scene of nature prepared to in short order grow totally alone - the quaint glow that does indeed soothe and salve the soul...

day 59 - lap 53 - just 1 what-have-you between me n' my personal record and several days of clear weather to go so it's mine for the having unless i suddenly decide i don't give a shit - i'd be beside meself were it not for the fact that i'm by nature bemused by indifference - summit!....or....sleazy cheese?

day 60 - laps 54-55 - high times in november continues w/ no notion of what's proper - adam's at ten after a good belly-sleep - i do 2 laps while geoff n' adam wrangle their way up cruising n' the corner - we wrestle w/ the west side soon thereafter - ain't got no record of me doing more corner laps never, so i'm gonna say it's the world record - still, no need for hubris, i figure the fella who really, really wants it could grab 400

day 61 - a day w/ the devushka in the big, big breeze - we stuck to the west side as the boisterous breath of the bilious earth came blowing over from the east - a riot out on the columbia, the waves confused as they rebound from the close shore n' blast back through their angling brothers, resulting in a churning chop and a scene of pure marine delight - labyrinth n' many others too many for my un-nimble mind to remember - a bit of a bonfire at adams after, then home n' british baking shows :)

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