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Crankster's Personal Page

Thank you for expressing an interest in me as a person and not just in my web pages. I'm tired of people only wanting me for my mind.
And, yeah, I know. The background is a girl climber but, I dig girl climbers.

(I have no idea who the man is in this picture.)



My Background

I was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany. My dad was in the US Army and
we made our final move back to the states in January of 1982.
My love for the outdoors and climbing came at a young age for me.
I was always full of energy and very, I repeat, very independent.
I took my first backpacking trip of my life with my brother, Art, in 1984.
We didn't know anything about the advances in gear.
At that time, the best stuff we had seen was the army ruck sack and heavy metal gear.
My pack weighed in at a lofty 100 lbs!!! Art's was even heavier!
We did't have any canteens that didn't leak so we used large shampoo bottles.
We thought we had rinsed them out completely but that was not the case.
It gets worse. There was no Weather Channel back then and so weather prediction
wasn't at it's best. We didn't know it but a huge storm was blowing in.
It turned out to be a tornado! We were stuck in the tent and soaking wet.
Believe it or not, we still had the time of our lives and we were unaware of
the danger we were in. Needless to say, I fell in love with the outdoor lifestyle.
Yes, even though my first experience was camping in the rain and during a tornado,
it didn't stop my attraction. So, I experimented a bit with different sports.
I tried hunting and fishing and other Field and Stream sports but none appealed to me.
That's when I found REI.
For some even more Mac Daddy deals goto REI OUTLET.
I was in love again! I still hold that child-like attraction to the wilderness. It suits me. It has stolen me.
Speaking of stolen, I was stolen once. My sister met this lady in Italy and traded me for this poodle.
Sounded fair enough, aye? My dad managed to chase her down and save me.
But, I would constantly wander off on my own, sometimes over night. I stopped doing that around the age of 17. That's when I moved out of the house.
I was just curious about the world and that never changed.
My teens were painful. But I managed to groom my love for the outdoors.
I saw a picture of Mt. Hood and told my father that I would some day climb
that mountain. He didn't believe me. Since then, I have climbed it.
I graduated from Saks High School in Anniston, Alabama at the age of 17.
Within a month, I moved out and away from my parents.
I moved to Ocala, Florida to "make it on my own." That lasted a year.
I then realized that I needed to attend college.
Acually, I was tired of busting my ass and not getting paid enough.
I figured college was my ticket to real cash. What I found was real debt.
I started my college career at the University of Oklahoma in Norman in 1988.
That was a fabulous school. It was there that I started The Oklahoma University Timberline Explorers
with my buddy Brian Freie. We started mountaineering and we both took an interest
in rock climbing because we both wanted to climb Mount Washington in Oregon.
So, I set out to learn. I learned to climb under the tuteledge of Rob Brunk and other fellow climbers in Norman.
Brian and I have been on some incredible trips. In fact, the truth of those trips is unbelievable.
We have endured the mountains of New Mexico during the winter at altitudes over 12,000 feet and
temperatures of -80 degrees F! We have climbed the highest peak in Oregon and paddled some dangerous rivers
in West Virginia. We have driven across the US and back and forgot the tent. It could happen to you.
We both have had near death experiences on these trips. Brian fell 180 feet on Mount Hood.
He was leading and stuck his crampons in his Gore-Tex bib and tumbled down the ice towards the volcanic crater.
Luckily he was roped up. In New Mexico, he slid down a steep, powder covered cliff face only to stop with half his body
over a 400 foot cliff. The only thing that stopped him was this little twig of a pine tree.
It looked like the top of a Christmas tree. I on the other hand, have almost drowned on our first paddling trip.
Neither of us knew how to kayak roll, but we rented a couple boats and headed for the most advanced river we could find.
We stumbled on the Tygart in West Virginia. We swam every class III-V rapid on the river. We were so lucky.
I almost drowned at Tygart Falls. There, we had to navigate and run two 18 foot waterfalls back to back.
I got munched in the top falls and almost drowned. I managed to claw my way along the bottom and swim to safety.
I decided that the next time, if ever, I would learn how to paddle or go with people who knew what they were doing.
I recommend Courtney at Rapid Adventures. Learn before you go.
At least learn to roll. It's not very expensive. Hey, is your life worth it? Mine is. The object isn't to do it, but to do it again. Right?
Climbing, as well, is another sport where knowledge equals safety. Go with someone who knows the ropes. Learn all you can.
My first climbing trip was to Hueco Tanks, TX in 1992 during Spring Break.
Since then the State Park has all but been closed off to climbers. My first lead was on my first day of climbing.
The route was a 5.9X sport route. I have loved climbing ever since.
I held a number of jobs there in Norman while attending school.
My most memorable was as a wilderness guide for kids in Canada and Northern Minnesota.
While back at the campus the tuition kept rising until I could no longer
afford to maintain a residence and eat and go to school so, I gave up my residence.
Yes, I was homeless for 2 years. I managed to pull myself back together and
during the summer of 1993 I lived with my buddy Brian in Indianapolis.
There I worked as a lab assistant and was responsible for, among other things, gene sequencing.
I am very lucky and thankful to have a friend like Brian.
I then transferred to the University of Alabama.
I am proud to say that in May of 1997, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
and a strong minor in Computer Programming. I now work as a software developer
for Lithonia Lighting here in Atlanta, GA.
That's where I met Karen. Since then, things have been pretty good for me.


My Interests

My interests in no particular order include but are not limited to rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking,
kayaking, rafting, beer drinking, trail running, adventure racing, swimming, spelunking, skiing,
snowshoeing, fishing (though I suck... badly), roller blading, and backpacking.
My favorite color is Red, I think. Actually, I don't know for sure.
My favorite food is peanut butter.
My favorite movie is Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
My favorite musical group is the Smashing Pumpkins.
My favorite painting is A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Seurat (ca. 1884-86)
My favorite city is Santa Fe.
My favorite day is Saturday.
I am an introvert. Though, most people don't believe it.
I am a dog person, hence Alli.