joolee's forty

forty days. forty stories.

starting from Shasta

by Casey Gardner

Joolee's camp on Mount Shasta

I dug around and found some images of Joolee and I’ve been trying to remember the details of our times together. I mostly have impressions of SCINTILLATING ENERGY and a huge generous heart of playful determination. Just thinking about her makes me feel sort of goofy and happy, but, what are the details? ….we met so haphazardly; Must have been in 2000 or 2001?  I was bedding down at the base of Mt. Shasta, or maybe I was waking up, but somehow Joolee was there wearing enormous 1970s Sophia Loren-type sunglasses. (This was before they were retro-cool, so clearly she is a fashion mavin among other things.) We must have struck up a conversation and Joolee invited me to climb up with her. I was on some sort of solo mission, so I reluctantly declined her invite.

Joolee climbing in Arizona

It was probably best, because when I finally made it up to Helen Lake, Joolee had been there for hours and was happily lounging around on the rocks and taking in the scenery. I think she’d  already made it up to the summit and back.  My respect for her was enormous. She also gave minimalism a new name. I have a photo of her “camp site” at Helen Lake, and her accoutrements are spare. I think all her gear fit in a day pack. I have a sense of her being incredibly hilarious, yet thoughtful as she regaled me with stories and insights there at 10,000 feet.  She didn’t seem to take the whole mountaineering thing too seriously, whereas I was grimly set on groveling my way to the top. What did we talk about? Wandering, traveling, adventures, probably. Whatever it was, it was enough for us to form an enduring friendship that I am so grateful to have.

She is such a rare combination of depth and levity. Our friendship has endured, even with such a brief and airy beginning. A little while later Joolee invited me to join a NOLS climbing trip in Arizona. We got to spend the week in the snow, living in a tent, cooking dubious meals and doing some singing and dancing and a lot of laughing, as one is apt to do with Joolee.  She did something courageous and outlandish on that trip. Oh, what was it….something in the snow….She’ll have to remind me when next we meet, which I hope is soon!

Joolee and Casey

Happy Birthday woman of wonder!
love
casey

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3 comments on “starting from Shasta

  1. Bridget
    March 9, 2012

    Joolee…does it make you wonder how many people have pictures of you doing random things? And wonder even more about the pictures that we are not posting on a cyber site?! I am sure there are secret pictures out there of you….but I am thoroughly enjoying the pictures as people post the stories!

    • joolee
      March 9, 2012

      Heehee…ja, I’d never seen the one that Casey sent on Shasta…you and Carrie have some I’d probably rather you didn’t post, if you know what I mean! Love you, Bridgie! Thanks for being a follower…did you see we’re up to 8?!!? :O)

  2. joolee
    March 9, 2012

    Ca-sara-sara!
    You look so beautiful in this photo…ooooh, can’t you come to Colorado, please? We’re in Crested Butte for the month if you want to come visit your house! :O) The ratio of time we’ve spent together to the influence you’ve had on me is funnily lopsided, but I love our relationship…what’s it been? That day on Shasta, a week at Cochise Stronghold, and one quick and dirty afternoon in San Francisco, over these 11 years? But every correspondence from you brings great glee with it, and all things are possible with you…thanks for the story…you are delightful! oxoox

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This entry was posted on March 9, 2012 by in stories.

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