Bank Treats

Between two jobs I've been working almost every day.  I get every other Sunday off.

The money is starting to pile up, notably augmented by living out of the van, scavenging snacks, avoiding the impulse to buy gear, free shift meals, and half priced food at the SD Bar.

I can feel myself subconsciously shifting values back across the spectrum towards money.  This time last year I had less than $100 to my name and was sailing somewhere in Panama.

The whole more you've got more you want mentality seems inevitable, and it depresses me.  Holding onto hope that I'll be outfitting a bigger boat this time next year is what's keeping a smile on my face... after all, it's better for tips.  Behind that smile there's a smirk, however, and a sentence that usual begins, :"If only you poor, dumb fuckers knew how good it can get..."

Yesterday while killing time before heading to work, I snatched a copy of Adbusters and, as usual, it's intentionally shocking content jarred my system and reminded me what I'm really fighting for: raising awareness of impending doom unless we collectively get our shit together... and, since odds unfortunately favor chaos, pointing out the way I'm hoping to avoid it... a way to step aside and let it all slide on by.

Today while killing time before work, I walked Maestra downtown.  We headed to one job to pick up a paycheck and then to the bank to deposit it.  Maestra was loving it and wasn't even phased when she almost got clipped by a young douche who ran a stop sign while texting in Daddy's BMW.

I was a little shocked when I arrived at work to find I was the second to last person to pick up my check: they were only issued yesterday, so at some point in the last ~20 hours over 80 people had stopped in to get paid... and only one person was less concerned about it than myself... a clear reminder of the overwhelming dominance the almighty dollar has on life here.

My local bank got bought out by Wells Fargo but they're still trying to retain that small town feel by continuing previous practices, one of which is allowing dogs in the bank.  The tellers even give them treats, thrown down in from the window in give a dog a bone style.  As such, many local dogs are as addicted to the bank as their owners are... some will even refuse to walk past without stopping.  They'll sit outside the door and wait for their owner to yield.  Once inside, they'll put paws on the counter or sit patiently awaiting their treat.  At times, it almost looks like they're waiting in line with the rest of us suckers.

 Maestra's never been to the bank so she didn't have a clue how the program operated.  I let her in the front door and she just sort of sniffed around before plopping on the carpet for a scratch.  The tellers threw a treat at her... she sniffed it carelessly and went back to scratching.

I made my deposit and, Maestra in tow, started out the door.  The teller called out: "You forgot her dog treat."

"She's too smart for that trick," I replied.  I don't call her the Maestra for nothing.


Thanks KHOL

This morning while firing up the house I heard an incredible old Johnny Cash song that I didn't even know existed.  This powerful attack at consumeristic bullshit from one of our greatest songwriters was immediately followed by some Far East Trip Hop.    I love 89.1 KHOL.

When I last left Jackson Hole the radio stations here pretty much sucked.  They'd spin a good tune once in a while but most of what they played I considered crap. Also, they'd devote the first 10 minutes of every hour to repeating the same shitty CANNED NEWS over and over again.  WTF?!  Don't they know ski bums and folks on vacation couldn't give half a shit about kitties caught in trees halfway around the world.  Ski bums and folks on vacation want good tunes.. you know, something they can groove to.
A friend with the most impressive record collection I've ever had the privilege to peruse (it takes up a whole room in his house) decided to change that.  He made it his mission to bring good radio to Jackson Hole and after banging his head against bureaucratic walls for years finally succeeded.  Jackson Hole Community Radio and it's flagship station KHOL were born.  It kicks ass.

If you like it, show support to JHCR.  Hopefully with enough good vibes flowing their way, they can boost their signal so it fills the entirety of Jackson's Hole with independently spun goodness.


Slightly Stoopid - 2 AM

For at least two months, this song is all I've wanted to listen to while biking to and from work.  Needless to say, I feel like sharing it.
Though the video is a little schizo, the song kicks ass and it's got a damn good message.  I'd post the lyrics but I don't think anyone who's published them online has gotten it right.  Listen for yourself...


Native WIsdom

In response to a recent post, a buddy sent me this classic little joke.  It's worth reading over and over again until it ceases to be funny and the utter truth of it really sinks in...

Indian Chief Two Eagles was asked by a white government official, "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he has done."

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"

The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. "When white man find land, Indians running it. No taxes, No debt, Plenty buffalo, Plenty beaver, Clean Water; Women did all the work, Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; All night having sex."

Then the chief leaned back and smiled. "Only white man dumb enough to think he can improve a system like that."

Bio Tribe, Benji "Ruckus" Pierson

Greyskull Crag and Boulders, Jackson Hole

Greyskull, Upper Crag South
Jackson Hole is a climber's paradise but it has always lacked decent climbing or bouldering close to town.  Hopefully, this recent discovery changes that.

It's been a dreary spring, so the other day my buddy Bart and I planned to take advantage of a sucker hole over the Elk Refuge to squeeze in a few moderate trad routes at Curtis Canyon.  While heading down the Refuge Road we noticed the shoddy looking cliffs about a mile North of the Curtis Canyon pullout and our curiosity got the best of us...

Greyskull Prow with Tetons in the distance.
After an easy 20 minute stroll, we discovered a beautiful zone with quality limestone and no signs of previous climber activity.

Much of the rock in the vicinity is garbage but over a dozen interesting boulders and 3-4 small crags comprised of quality rock serve up everything from very easy to ridiculously hard climbing.

I returned a few days later to scramble around, take some pics and assess the feasibility of "developing" the area. Much of the climbing seems too hard for my tastes and it would be a great deal of work to develop alone.  As such, I'm sharing the discovery in hopes that folks get jazzed to explore and climb the area themselves.  I'm referring the place as "GreySkull" because there are numerous weathered Elk skeletons in the area... and because the rock somehow reminds me of Castle Greyskull from the old He-Man cartoons.

There are many "first!?" ascents to be had: boulder, sport, and trad.  Bring typical cleaning tools and a strong work ethic to guarantee you'll get to attempt whatever catches your eye.  Since it has yet to be developed, watch out for loose rock and sketchy landings.
Main Lower Crag: Mostly Crap Rock...
Much of the rock in the vicinity is crap but don’t be deterred.  The high quality rock is hiding in and around the woods above the biggest crag.  It’s about a half hour bike ride (10 minute drive) and 20 minute walk from Downtown Jackson.  Bring multiple pads for maximum fun and safety.  Again, watch out for loose rock… it’d be a long mile back to the bike/car with a broken ankle.

Though it's less than a mile from the road, the area is close to the perimeter of the National Elk Refuge and sees little human traffic.  During the two trips I've made there, I've seen Elk, Deer, a Coyote, Red Tail Hawks, Mountain Goats, Marmots, and countless signs of wildlife.  There are nests and burrows throughout the crags and if the place is abused, all that wildlife will disappear pretty quickly.  Though dogs are allowed, maybe it's a better idea to leave them at home.  Obviously a low-key presence and respecting nesting sites is a good idea as well.

Getting There: 
  • Park your bike/car (it's only ~6 miles from Downtown Jackson) at the Curtis Canyon pullout just before the road turns and begins ascending into the Gros Ventre.
  • Follow the main trail that soon crosses the creekbed like you're headed to the Curtis Canyon Crag.
  • Veer left about 100 yards before you reach the Curtis Canyon Crag and ascend the short ridge to a faint game trail along the hillside.  You'll be walking pretty much straight North.
  • Follow the faint game trail until you find a spot good for descending back to the flats OUTSIDE the National Elk Refuge Boundary.  Continue ~0.5 mile North towards the biggest crag.  You'll find one short wall offering a few high quality cracks on that crag, but most of the rock is crap.
  • Scramble around the biggest lower crag and explore ~20 boulders and small crags of high quality scattered in the woods just above it.
Here's a little eye candy to whet your appetite for exploration...
Short but Sweet Overhanging Offwidth On the Biggest Lower Crag
Another View of that Offwidth and Other Good Cracks Nearby
Really Good Rock Above the Lower Crag

Blocky Fun Overhanging Boulder... Needs A Little Cleaning Up Top.

Sparse, Clean, Overhanging Faces Like This Are All Over The Place.
GreySkull Prow Boulder... Note Hypocritically Placed Dog For Scale.
For more pictures, check out the article here...