Skipped 3rd Year like a HO!
In the Fall, some things I did for fun included Hiking and Rock Climbing. The University of Virginia is a great location for both of these hobbies, especially due to it's close proximity to Old Rag mountain which is one of the best hikes in the east and a site for tremendous granite rock climbing. Kelly never came on these excursions but we still had plenty of friends eager to tag along. Here's a picture of Gavin, Zach, John and I when we first made
it to the ridge of Old Rag:
Another awesome hike was Rose River Falls. This hike began on Skyline drive and consisted of following a small river up a sequence of cascades. We left the trail a few times to do some freelance hiking and climbing. One of the greatest pictures I've captured in my professional career was on this hike:
Both Gavin and Zach barely made it into the frame in time. As is the tendency in our current metaphysical paradigm, the weather usually turns shitty in the late fall. Thankfully, mother earth gave us a few great days right around Halloween so that I could wear as skimpy an outfit as possible. Check it out:
Zach had an accident and he tried to blame it on the refridgerator:
Zach had a terrific fall semester. In one two week period, he managed to hook up with three different girls, all of which wanted more and all of which he managed to abandon immediately. He also met a tremendous girl named Vicky at a pool party that we all organized. We all hiked White Oak Canyon together and they were inseperable for the entire trip. Even I couldn't believe how similar they were in tastes and philosophies. It all ended up working out well for Zach, and they are together to this day (this is no longer true):
Sometime during the semester I had the pleasure of meeting the coolest looking guy ever. His name is John Mann and he is always found with his sweetheart Meredith. If Mann isn't a cool enough last name for you, then you MUST concede ultimate coolness to John's favorite T-shirt, which reads 'Moon Om'. I still don't understand, and neither do you. Anyway we threw a ton of get-togethers at our townhouse, and here's a pic of the Mann himself at one of them:
Sadly on this particular occassion, he was not wearing that shirt.
After our Halloween romp, things became a little rockier between Kelly and I. Nothing against her at all, but we held onto very different morale philosophies and often got into disputes. Usually, these disputes consisted of me yelling at her and her not doing anything wrong to deserve my abuse. Regardless, I questioned why she put up with my crap and realized that things really were not healthy after all. We had a few talks about these problems and decided to allow more time for us to figure it out. In retrospect, it would have been better to end it there, but it dragged on for another month before I broke it off just before finals. It was the first time I had ever broken up with a girl, and oddly enough, I felt I was doing it for her sake.
To get my mind off of these issues, I began engaging in what will be my biggest lifelong hobby. I found a cozy little indoor climbing place called Rocky Top Climbing Club in Charlottesville and John Wunderlin, John Bates and I all got memberships. Here's a picture of me tackling a 5.10 called Mantle Madness. It was actually my first 5.10 and a very important step in my development as a climber:
The owner of the climbing shop, Bill, is perhaps the happiest and coolest person I have ever met. Unlike the past two semesters, this one ended without me getting a new tattoo. However, the finals were brutal, and without the help of John Bates, I never would have survived Econometrics with John Pepper. In my Distinguished Majors Seminar, we all wrote the first part of our theses. I decided to write mine on the Shipping Gouging strategy found on websites to determine whether it is empirically justified and profit maximizing. My results were conclusive that it is a sensible strategy and this research continued into the spring semester. Before the semester finished, we had several days of snowfall. Being from DC, Zach was extremely confused: