We finally met a real, live Bear. This particular Bear was Ariel’s dog, a large, black sled dog. Bear is the product of an unplanned pregnancy in a female Iditarod racer. He was too big to be a good Iditarod dog (preference given to smaller dogs that consume less food and are better endurance runners), so Ariel and her husband Patrick ended up adopting him from the humane society.
Ariel took us bouldering at a place near her house. The sandstone was soft and friendly, but I still managed to leave blood on every boulder we climbed. This resulted from a combination of sloppy foot placement/poor technique and the web of scabs covering my legs and arms. Whether it’s thin skin, “bad genes” as Mico likes to call it, or a sloppy way of moving through the world, the result has been that my body is almost more scab than skin. When climbing, I invariably end up upsetting one or more of these scabs, so I come off the wall with a trail of blood leaking down my shin, my inner thigh, etc. This constant reopening means the scabs aren’t healing, so I’ve decided to start naming the perennials after people in my life. It’s hard to say which ones will last, so I haven’t named too many. There’s the Jon Chen Knee Scab, named for Jon who once told me about a knee scab he had that took over a year to heal. There’s another called Mommy located on my inner bicep. We’ll have to wait an see which others stand the test of time.