Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A lot of happenings

Well, well, well. . . First off, I want to apologize to all my faithful blog followers. . . all 4 of them, HA! Its been over two months since I last updated from a variety of reasons ranging from computer issues to laziness. My computer LED backlight broke, although my computer still functions I have to use a headlamp or be in extremely bright sunlight to see the screen. A few rest days were spent in the coffee shop with headlamp in hand, headphones in ear, and other customer eyes fixed upon me staring at a black screen. Through a series of unfortunate events, my semi-broken computer screen indirectly led to coffee being spilled on fellow climber and traveler Thomas' perfectly functioning computer. We were stationed in the bustling and extremely happenin city of Price, Utah. My computer had indirectly destroyed his and I was tired of wasting headlamp battery while wasting time on the internet, so I tucked the computer into the darkest depths of my van and let it be. Last time I wrote was in Bishop, California and since then have covered some serious ground by air and road. I have traveled over 5830 miles in my van and there is no way I could possibly cover one tenth of the people, events, and climbs in one typing session so here are some pictures starting from the time I arrived in Boulder, CO on June 20th and I will try and accompany each picture with a short story. Feel free to read this in 1, 2, or 24 separate sessions.

However, first I want to thank the three unbelievably cool guys that have let me crash at their place the whole time I have been in Boulder. Most stories from this leg of the trip has involved 1 to all of them. Thanks to Mickey for letting me use his photographic documentation of my last month.

The two I have spent the most time traveling with. . . Mike and Tom sportin the short bus.

Charlie, thanks for letting me use your bathroom

JR visited in Utah, did his own thing, then met back up for a week in Boulder

Mickey, thanks for letting me use these pictures and thanks for increasing my volleyball ego.

Mark, thanks for the ride and buying me that salad at Wendy's. It was ok.

The Fourth was an extremely eventful day. We started off at the Boulder Reservoir with about 10,000 other people swimming, playing volleyball, and drinking. That night we spent most of the night on the roof of Mark's office downtown where we proceeded to drink more and watch fireworks

Endo Valley is a bouldering area in Rocky Mountain National Park with a lower concentration of problems but of excellent quality. I cleaned off an overlooked project I found right in the middle of a small concentration of problems. The problem is a dyno from two crimps to slopers and a difficult mantel. I have not done it but am way closer than I thought I would be initially and if I dont get it then atleast its cleaned off for someone else to do.

Emerald Lake in RMNP is one bouldering area that we have frequented. About a 2.5 mile hike lead you pass three absolutely stunning lakes all above 10,000 feet. On the way up, we usually have to explain the crashpads on our backs to atleast 100 hikers.

My summer long project. . . Whispers of Wisdom at Emerald Lake

The Kind traverse at Emerald Lake

The Kind Sit

The skies are pretty amazing here in Colorado, there are frequent afternoon lighting storms and one day Charlie, Mike, Mickey and I hiked near the top of Mt. Sanitas from their house with the dog Juneau and hung out to watch such a lightning storm along with the sunset. Juneau executed the greatest adherence to the "Come" command after she chased a deer straight to the bottom of the mountain and right before she disappeared out of sight turned around and ran straight up the mountain back to us after panicking breifly.

Saturday night lights knockout night, one of three volleyball courts that we have sampled, and Kevin winning the dunk contest due to lack of dunking ability from everyone else.

Rest days in Boulder are extremely different than most other rest days on my trip. Nearly every rest day is accompanied by any combination of the following
  • Knockout or Gotcha
  • volleyball
  • PBR's
  • billiards
  • trampolining
  • croquet
  • creating terrariums
  • talking about terrarium business plans
  • poker
  • talking smack
  • throwing football, frisbee, baseball, or other objects
  • drinking tons of coffee
  • owning Mike in Around the World through a chance everything philosophy
  • cruising in Charlie's old Volkswagen bug or Mark's MG
  • cooking casseroles
  • blocking Mickey and Mike's spikes
  • playing pocket 8's against Mickey
  • nothing

After the nearly hour hike out of Mt. Evans, we decided to hang out in an old pavilion while it down-poured and this is one of the pictures that came our of the situation.

Both of these pictures are from a V6 at Mt. Evans called the creative name of Trailside 6. One of my favorite problems on the trip, and a truly aesthetic setting for such a problem. Its isolated from all other boulders and in a field of wildflowers and fallen trees.

At Mt. Evans with Mike Packard, freezing and unprepared

Seven of us huddling under the Dali boulder at Mt. Evans, CO after a torrential hail/rain/more hail storm. When the hailstorm started I had just hit the crux of the problem Dali for the first time from the bottom and ended up sending. No doubt, the craziest boulder problem I have ever climbed. All of our stuff was instantly soaked and because of my inexperience in high altitude, I brought no rain gear or warm clothes (notice the other three guys with a rain/warm coat and me with my cotton flannel) and have since learned my lesson.

Now for some other happenings the past month. . .

From June 7th to June 12th, I flew to Seattle and met my girlfriend Stephanie and we drove to Squamish to boulder for 3 days. By far one of the most beautiful places I have been to with a super cool town to match. Perfect weather and a perfect time. I lost a crucial bet multiple times to Steph, ate the best meal ever at a Lebanese restaurant in Vancouver after we met the chef bouldering in Squamish, then proceeded to get lost several separate times creating an extremely flustered Steph and a uncontrollably laughing me. It led to an immature remark to the Border Patrol by my girlfriend of me being a "fruit". We returned to Tacoma at an extremely amazing hotel on the bay for two nights where I lost in pool to Steph on the only game I bet on, and ate the best piece of salmon I have ever tasted.

A few days ago, I managed to slip on a waterslide of a rock which propelled my hand which was holding my coffee thermos into my mouth and chip my front tooth. This was after I bragged about my thermos, how great it was, and how I have yet to use it on this trip because I never wanted to make two pots of coffee in the morning.

My trip is over in almost three weeks. I have four real good friends visiting me at the end of this month to the beginning of August, then Steph will ride shotgun on my way back to Georgia. Not sure what will happen then, but I'm excited to find out.

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