1. Dex’s Gear Dream

    So let me preface this by saying, I am a little OCD.  Any friends, family or co-workers who know me well can attest to this fact.  I am the guy who chimes in at meetings with suggestions about prioritizing warehouse organization and fixing grammatical errors in item descriptions on the website.  And yes, every bit of my climbing gear is clean and organized, and matching.  Mainly because I clean and organize it after every climbing outing and I buy new gear that compliments my existing gear.  Yeah, I’m that guy.  But don’t be fooled.  For beneath this obsessive and extremely well organized surface, there are some mad climbing skills that compliment my OCD tendencies quite nicely. 

    But back on track.  In knowing about my OCD traits and my general organizational habits, the reader will begin to understand why the dream I had last night, while strange to some, was quite calming, wonderful and an overall magical experience to myself.

    The Gear Dream

    The dream started out simply enough.  A group of about 6 of my friends and myself were out wandering the desert surrounding Moab, trying to find a good place to do some climbing. While searching, we happened upon an unusual rock formation which seemed a good place to start.  The formation was similar to those inflatable slides you see in the children’s area at carnivals.  You know, the ones that are right next to the bouncy houses.  You climb the ladder on one side, and slide down the slide on the other (I know you have seen them…And played on them).  Anyway, this formation was similar, in that on one side there was a bouldery class 4 scramble to get to the cave at the top, and then a nice smooth wall right next to it (Although the formation was about 100 feet high).  Needless to say, in my dream, this spot presented a perfect spot to do a little rappelling before getting to the serious climbing we were going to be doing.

    So my friends and I scrambled up this 100 foot class 4 climb, carrying with us our personal gear as well as seven large duffle bags of MY gear.  Now in reality, I only have about 2 1/2 medium sized duffle bags of gear,  but this was a dream, so naturally It reflects my innermost desires.  After reaching the cave at the top of the scramble my friends sat down and took a breather while I rigged up a couple of rappels off of the stalagmites which were conveniently and perfectly located for rigging up said rappels.  After I had finished rigging, my six friends and I started to rappel down this beautifully smooth and vertical 100 foot rock face.

    This is all good fun for a short time.  However, eventually everyone decides they want to abandon the wondrous rappelling rock formation in search of some good climbing.  Naturally I am on board with this idea.  The problem though is that all of my gear is still in duffle bags in the cave at the top of the rock formation, and all the rigging for the rappels is still set up.  My friends however, decide that they are not going to wait for me.  They say that if I want to come, I had better hurry up because they are leaving with or without me.  Well of course this is the point in the dream where I am trying to scramble up the boulders as fast as I can, but I seem to be getting farther and farther away (I hate it when that happens to me).  

    Well needless to say, I had taken so long to scramble up, that when I look out of the mouth of the cave upon reaching the top, my friends are already quite far away.  After screaming very bad words in their general direction (I am quite a profane person in my dreams), I start the process of breaking down the rigging, and organizing and packing my gear.

    It is important to point out at this time that The events that have taken place in my dream up to this point in time encompass about 1/5 of the total dream.  So what happened for the remaining 4/5?  You guessed it, I organized my gear.  This may seem mundane and boring to a lot of people, but for a person as OCD as myself, who loves climbing gear as much as I do, It was a glimpse of utopia that I have seldom experienced in my life.  This is what I hope is waiting for me in heaven when I die at the ripe old age of 150 being the oldest man to freeze to death at the summit of Mt. Everest (Yes that is how I hope to die).  

    I started out by dumping all of my gear (7 large duffle bags, remember) into a pile in the middle of the cave, and rolling around in it.  This will seem strange to some, but my co-workers at Gear Express can attest to the fact that one of my deepest desires is to pull off every piece of gear that we stock in the warehouse, pile it up, and roll in it.  So in a way, performing that very act in my dream was somewhat of a fulfillment of a long held desire.  

    Following the ‘gear rolling’ I organized all the gear by type.  Then I piled everything up again for another ‘rolling around’ session, then proceeded to organize all of the gear by manufacturer.  I repeated this process of Piling, rolling around, and organizing, many many times.  Each time Organizing my gear in a different way.  By type, manufacturer, activity, size, color, magnitude of gear-love on a scale of 1 to 7, etc.  And if that is not enough, there was a constant stream of smooth romantic Jazz music playing in the background the entire time (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaoLU6zKaws). 

    Each time I repeated this cycle, I was analyzing my organizational process and seeing if I could do a better job, and fit everything into the duffle bags better.  Ultimately the way the gear got organized by the end of my dream was similar to how I organize my gear in reality.  It was a complicated hybrid of multiple organizational processes, which I alone can fully appreciate and understand.  

    The dream ended with my 12 large duffle bags (I somehow accumulated 5 more bags of gear.  I don’t know how)  loaded onto my elephant and me riding in the direction I had last seen my friends headed, with a mind to trample them (A dream isn’t a dream without an elephant randomly making an appearance).  

    You may think what you will about how strange I am, or how much therapy you think I should be in.  And good luck to anyone trying to glean any kind of subconscious explanation from this whole experience.  But at the end of the day, I have never woken up so refreshed, calm, and peaceful in my entire life.  I hope to be able to repeat this dream in the near future.  Because when all is said and done, nothing soothes an OCD climber, like and OCD dream about organizing copious amounts of climbing gear.

    By Mark Dexheimer