Archive for August, 2008


Muir Woods with Friends Hux and Lindsey

August 14, 2008

At the end of July Hux, a close friend that I met at the Florida School of Massage, and his partner Lindsey packed up all their belongings and whatever did fit they put in Hux’s truck and left Tallahassee Florida in direction of Oregon!  A big move.  On the way they managed to pass by Oakland and meet up with Ursula and I and we decided to visit Muir Woods as well as one of Hux’s favorite places in the world: Slide Ranch.

Group photo by some of the first redwoods.

Labels like: Colombus reaches America… those are real old trees, 3000 years old even… crazy!

Good friends reunited again!

The group.

The view as we stepped out of the car and saw Slide Ranch.

Enjoying a bench on Slide Ranch

Sunset at Slide Ranch, a group of kids were having a sleep over and the people living at the Ranch organize events for them.  I imagine that some of them will never forget that day.


Climbing In The Berkeley Hills

August 14, 2008

So yesterday I went outdoor climbing in Berkeley for the first time.  Pretty cool that there is rock in a number of parks here in Berkeley.

The first place was Indian Rock.  Basically you step out of the car and walk a minute to the park and there are several outcrops of rock.  None of which is really awesome, I mean you see these super low-ball rocks with holds chalked… and the main wall is a bunch of eliminates (avoid the huge jug there and go with your right hand to the pinch and left hand ….).  Which isn’t “bad”, it’s just… it has got its very own personality let’s put it that way!  It is not world class and no-one is trying to say that it is world-class in the first place, it is just a place to go outdoors instead of the gym and to have fun with friends.  One of the climbers I met there had been climbing in that area since 1984!!!

Anyway, great group of people, fun and chill and strong climbers, and after hanging out at Indian Rock we all moved over to Grizzly Peak.  Grizzly Peak is about 10 minute drive from Indian Rock and is even higher up in the Berkeley Hills.  It is somewhat close to some labs that Berkeley has over there and for some reason which no-one really knew you could hear Hyenas yelping in the background…. ya, Hyenas!

Anyway, Grizzly Peak, you park the car on the side of the road, walk for about 10 seconds and there is a boulder of… sandstone?? conglomerate sandstone perhaps?  sitting there.  The objective was to do the main problem on that rock, which they didn’t know of anyone who had done it.  And best of all: it wasn’t an eliminate problem!!  Rad.

Straightforward nice moves.  An awkward right-hand undercling to a crimp, adjust feet and go again to a worse slopey crimp and some other stuff.  Ben and John both sent in good fashion the others had some good burns and I acclimatized to the outside rock of the West Coast for the first time since Yosemite in what 2006/7??

Basically, as with every trip I have taken since I was born, it has always been about the people… the places are what they are and they can definitely catalyze certain experiences but it’s who I meet, the interactions, the vibe.  And this was an excellent intro to Berkeley outdoor climbing!


New House

August 3, 2008

Well, the news is that I have moved into my new home with my wife and our daughter/step-daughter!

The move happened two days ago and so these past few days have been unpacking and organizing and seeing what else is necessary for the house and being blissful.  It is sooooo good to now have to share the house with 3 other people and 3 cats and all the fleas the cats bring and all their hair….  Arghhh was going insane in that place.  Here we can organize the place as we want, clean after our own mess, enjoy each other’s books and music!

The only drawback is the money since it is cheap for a 2 bedroom in Oakland/Berkeley but not cheap for the two of us.  It is a challenge which we are both willing to work towards and are willing to be with.

It has been interesting to track the sense of my personal space during these past two weeks.  Up and down and sideways and in and out.  This has been the hardest move that I have made in my life, and I have made plenty of them across countries/continents and from one house to the next.  This one feels big even though it was going from a home in Gainesville Florida to Oakland California.  When I say “even though” I mean that it wasn’t as if I was leaving my family somewhere or leaving “my country” Portugal (or my country Oman).  It feels big and today, as I was doing more unpacking, I felt a real sens of missing my friends in Gainesville… this sense of floating in the Ocean, and really feeling its vastness.

Climbing at the Berkeley climbing gym has been a great resource for me, that and the morning runs.  They both bring my body into the present moment and in that space all the mental and physical worries, past and future ones, quietly drop away.  And possibly, if things in the house feel organized, I’ll take a short weekend bouldering trip to the gorgeous high-country of Tuolumne Meadows.

So I’m sitting on our new used couch listening to Jan Garbarek; in front of me lie boxes, drums, books, a massage table, and crawling over me is golden three-and-a-half year old.