Mike and I hooked up back in early 2007 after PMing tons during 2006. He stayed at my Crowley home on several occasions as we went out and roped up on some local Sierra Alpine and Sport routes. Pretty much gave him a world wind tour of the Upper Eastside
I remember the first time we met as we agreed on a good route to get to know one another. It was at Tioga Lake the first week of May at the T/H for the 3rd P of Dana. It would be his first run and my 4th. It was around 5:30AM and I was awaiting in my Escape when up cruises a nice looking shiney black Audi A4 station wagon packed full of shit. Looked like a richass homeless dude attempting to dirtbag it. I chuckled. Got outta my car, approached the dude and asked. "Michael"? He said very intelligently, "Rick I presume". That was our first meeting. We quickly humped up to the start, traded leads with Mike getting the mix to insure he led all the "money" pitches as this was his first time on this Sierra Classic, and we completed the 3rd P with style, C2C in less than 7 hours. On the run back down to our cars, I offered him a place to stay for the night, a shower to wash his ass, a hot meal or two and the company of myself, my wonderful Wife and our two mutts. He actually turned more open and less reserved at that point. "Hell yeah!!!" And that was that. After meeting Michele and the mutts, taking his shower and getting some good ole home cooking in, he began to open up. As usual, the conversation turned into a literary back and forth as my Wife too is a writer. I sat back and just listened. Lots of interesting personal transactions took place about his background and why he decided to throw in the towel with normal society and turn into a writing climber dirtbag roadie. He shared about his hard work on his recently released book on the NV Senator McCarran. What struck me was his consistent intelligent character. He knew his shit and he knew it well cus he did his homework. That was the crux of why he loved to write. He really got into the homework gig.
We spent the following two days doing some local sporty climbs up at the Gong Show and over at Clarks. Mike returned a couple more times for outings at the Gorge and then up at my favorite spots in Pine Creek. Each time showing a more enthusiastic and motivating zeal for the lifestyle. He had become a true climbing dirt dweller and he loved it.
Well Michael, you moved on while doing your homework on the Sawtooth's. What more could one ask then to leave this dimension doing what they loved best in life.
No rest for the weary with Mike. I know he is doing his homework in the next dimension. Probably interviewing the Master of the Universe as we speak. All the while on some Eternal Infinite WI6+ Water Ice Pillar of perfect styrofoam ice.
for allowing me your company on the rope and showing me that true Climbing Dirt Dwellers still can happen.