DAY 241

DAY 241
TREE 165

I slept in this morning.  It’s funny to have weekends again.  That means sleeping in, relaxing, going out late at night.  I did some design work for the CD that John recorded.  I did some other things then got out of my sweatpants and slippers and into some clothes to go outside and climb a tree.  I stepped out the back door and walked to the tennis court. 

I went around the outside perimeter, balanced on top of the fence and checked out the pine trees.  I wasn’t feeling them today.  I continued around to the other side of the court ready to climb.  I remember climbing one of these trees back in 2003 or 04 when I lived with my parents before moving to Seattle.  But before I got to that one tree, I spotted a skinny tree with possibilities.  I wrapped my hands around the tough bark of the trunk, raised my foot and pressed the front of it to the trunk as well, testing the grip.  It was good.  I began to move up the trunk towards the first limb.  It was gong so well I almost considered using this method higher up, but the only problem is that it tires my muscles very quickly.  I took one hand and got a hold of the first limb.  From there it was very typical… some dead limbs to avoid, some good gaps to overcome, but nothing too difficult.  I pushed it up to the very thin top. 

The sway was very strong under my weight.  With a tree this thin I stayed pretty still not wanting to start a sway I couldn’t recover from.  I tied my ribbon and took some shots. 

The sunset left beautiful pink strips on the horizon between the clouds.  The pictures couldn’t do the intensity justice.  I put the camera away and enjoyed the view.  I took a short film to capture the sway and possibly some turkey buzzards but none were to be seen and I got scared of how far I was swaying and turned it off. 



My mom came home and walked into the house. 

I know she hates to see me high up in trees so I refrained from calling attention to myself.  Then I made the climb down with a pole slide-like move to the ground.  This cold weather has really made me appreciate how tree climbing warms the body.  In the summer, all the sweating was just annoying.  But now, I know a good climb will warm me up.  And pump me up.  It always gets my spirits going.  That is, unless, the climb sucks and is disappointing which doesn’t happen often.

12-4-08:  As you can see from the blurry photos from this entry, I had trouble staying still in this tree.  My fear for so long was that I would sway so far that I would not sway back.  Then as I was bending down, the tree top would snap and I would fall to the ground.  Later I tested this theory on smaller trees and found that most will bend slowly all the way to the ground and place me softly.  I would let go and some would bend back up, while others did not.  My worry there is that I killed those trees.  I need to find those trees and see how they are doing.  Sure is fun though.

Last Sunday my brother and I made plans to go see Role Models at Stonybrook Theaters.  We tried to go to the 1:50 showing but hit accident traffic on the way there.  We drove over to Hurstbourne anyway to find a book store or some other shop to keep us occupied.  It was a cold, dark, and rainy day.  I knew I needed to climb but wasn’t thrilled about the idea.  We had this extra time before the 4:05 showing but I didn’t press the issue.  We drove past the Chucky Cheese and Scott got really excited and suggested we go play ski-ball till the movie.  At first I questioned of he was serious, and he was.  So we parked, went in, bought $10 worth of tokens and went straight to the ski-ball section.  We played for a while trying to up each others scores until we hit hit our wall of improvement.  That only took about ten games.  Then we played the basketball game and I was surprisingly on.  I couldn’t miss and I broke the record on the game.  It was pretty awesome.  We played a few more games then headed to the movie. 

The movie was funny, very formulaic, but funny.  I don’t think I have been to a movie in a theater this entire year.  If you ever do that you build up this hope that whatever movie you do see has to be amazing and worth the cost that inevitably went up since you last set foot in a movie.  It didn’t live up to that, but then again, my brother treated. 

When we stepped out from the theater I noticed it was dark but it had stopped raining.  I scanned the parking lot for a decent tree and found one not too far off.  I handed my brother the keys and picked up my pace to the oak tree.  It was right on a median by the intersection in the parking lot.  It had good symmetry with lots of branches.  I didn’t want to make my brother wait too long so I got up into the tree fast and climbed quickly. 

It was not too tall of a tree and I was to the top in a minute. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find the branches were dry.  I pulled out my camera and tried my best to capture the front of the theater to help tell my story here, but nothing was really coming out. 

I quickly got pictures of all my surroundings…

then scurried back down, snapped one more of the whole tree, then went back to the car. 

We went back to our parents and ended up watching Touching the Void which is a very intense documentary of two guys whoclimbed a huge mountain in South America and almost died in the process.  It was so crazy and inspiring to me.  I would never want to climb like that, but I was just so impressed with their will to live despite impossible odds.  I highly recommend it.

On a quick side note:  Anyone want to follow me around and document me climbing trees around the world?