October 7th 2009 – There are few climbs in this week that I remember fondly. Lately I have been climbing a lot of trees late at night, and easy ones just to get it over with. I haven’t been challenging myself all that much or finding new movement within them. I need to push my skill set. It always makes me feel better. I do love the solitude this activity provides, but sometimes I wish there was a tree climbing community, like Parkour, where we could push each others’ limits and improve. Maybe someday.
DAY 864 08.15.09 – Two Magnolias and a billboard. Walking back from La Que with Natalie we stopped at the intersection of Payne and Lexington so I could climb. I had climbed the largest two-trunked Magnolia in the past so I chose a smaller one closer to the building. I went up and encountered many dead limbs. So many I decided to climb onto the back of the billboard, go up higher, then transfer back to the tree. I went up to the top which was about 20+ feet above the top of the billboard.
Then went back down, over onto the billboard and sideways towards another Magnolia right next to the building. I broke dead limbs the whole way but made it down. And still, there were many shingles stuck within the branches of all these trees from the wind storm of ’08.
DAY 865 08.16.09 – A large tree I have seen countless times that grows right in front of Liberty Elementary School.
It’s off HWY 42 on the way to my parents’ place in Buckner.
I have thought about climbing that tree ever since I saw it the first time. So I finally just parked at the school thinking there is no better time than sunset on a Sunday evening.
I walked over to the large tree (as of yet identified by myself) and realized it was a bigger and tougher tree to climb than I had originally imagined. I jumped and climbed up to where all the branches split at the same point. Then chose my path. I went up and up pushing past tough spots determined to get higher and higher. I had been thinking earlier that day that I haven’t been really pushing myself in trees and not really looking for challenges. This tree kicked my ass. I was scared and I took risks. I got up very high, transferred between three limbs and took a few pictures.
The sky was beautiful and the accomplishment felt so good. I shimmied down getting more sweaty and dirty but concentrating so hard. Something I haven’t had to do in my climbs lately. Something I should get back to. Maybe not every day, but at least more than I have been. It was a very rewarding climb.
DAY 866 08.17.09 – Biked out to Shawnee Park and went around the loop till I spotted this massive Oak. From a distance I thought the branches would be climbable. But upon closer inspection they were definitely not. The trunk is gigantic but there was one branch that went way out and curved down close to the ground. I pulled it down, crawled up the crest of the curve and took a few shots.
Then I scooted down the curve to the trunk.
There was no where else to go from there, no other branches I could reach. So I took my last few shots then failed at one attempt to reach the lower branch to climb down. Then I just went back up the curved branch and down to the end and gently hung and stepped to the ground. A dirty, sweaty, but nice climb.
DAY 867 08.18.09 – Walked out the back of my house and went down Quincy. It’s the alley split by the big flood wall. I went to the north side of the wall and went to where the street ends at Adams. I spotted a tree, not big, but with branches I could climb that I have never climbed before. Across the street is a Mercedes auto repair shop.
There were a few guys working and I didn’t feel like getting spotted so I stayed hidden opposite the tree and went up. I had to maneuver around some poking twigs but other than that got to the top quickly.
Shot some photos then went down carefully, quietly and with a constant eye on the mechanics. I hit the ground and walked away back home.
DAY 868 08.19.09 – I had a good Parkour meet-up at the Waterfront in the evening. Lots of people showed, I took some great pictures and got in some good training.
So when I biked away around 9 to go home I was pretty pumped up. I was going down Adams Street towards my house and thought, I should climb a tree. I pulled over right away and leaned my bike up against the first sycamore I saw. I backed up and ran toward the trunk, took a step off the side and grabbed the lowest branch. Then I raced up through the branches. The top of this tree has been cut due to the nearby power-lines. Instead of going up I went out on limbs that angled out. I wanted to get down fast so I started to climb down. Still in my Parkour mode of quickly overcoming obstacles, I took no time to evaluate my climb. I would drop and hang from a branch and reach for another with my feet. Since I had climbed far out on one limb I was away from the trunk of the tree and able to reach limbs that were horizontal. I scrambled down quickly and it was a blast. I swung down to the lowest limb and dropped. The climb felt so good, particularly the climb down, and it was so tied into my Parkour mindset, it was as if I had bridged the activities. For some reason, I love when that happens.
(I also went to Cincinnati early in the day to get my last 4×5 negatives processed. I went to the Center for Contemporary Art and saw a pretty good show. Then went to the top floor, the Unmuseum that is geared towards kids. I went to the craft section and cut a tree out of a piece of brown construction paper. I was quite inspired by the awesome paper cutout art on the wall.)
DAY 869 08.20.09 – BBC night with Drew, Nat, and Garret. I walked to Zephyr to get my truck. Then went to the tree on the corner of Hancock and Market to climb. I walked past the tree twice due to cops cruising by, but then climbed up once the coast was clear. It was a nice climb.
DAY 870 08.21.09 – Waited till just before midnight to climb. Went out front and climbed up to the top of my Holly tree. The seat up there is comfortable and the damaged tree top provides a beautiful view out to the world. A great place to sit and contemplate.