Let me just say this. Dorothy and Toto were two lucky SOB’s to have been blown out of Kansas. That state is flat, windy, and brown. Sorry all you Kansians..Kansonians..Kansions?
That’s right, the trip is coming to an end. I left the RRG on the night of December 1st after almost 6 weeks of plain, straight rock climbing. Wanting to make the most of my remaining time there, I climbed 7 out of my last 8 days. Needless to say, by the 7th day I was beating my head uselessly against the rock, but I sure as hell smiled while I did it. My friend, Todd Clark from Alabama, stepped up to the challenge of climbing 4 days on with me. As I had successfully completed my project, Flower Power (5.13b) at the Motherlode, I was keen on trying anything. We ended up going to a different area each day, and I found some amazing gems. For all you Motherloders, Swahili Slang (5.12c) at the Warmup Wall is Stellar (with a capital S). After pulling on steep, pocketed stone for over a month, I was completely out of my element on slab, mantels and technical foot placements. It was brilliant! We also visited the Bob Marley crag and scratched our heads at No Redemption (5.13b), as well as Dogleg (5.12a). It’s been a long time since I’ve had to walk away from a 5.12a. Quite a humbling experience, let me tell you. On my last day, we went to Left Flank, a classic crag that I had not yet visited. Todd and I both worked on the ultra classic Table of Colours (5.13a), a wicked route with a powerful crux. I tried the route 4 times, and eventually had to accept that I was too gassed. It would have been nice to come away with another 5.13, but hey, you can’t always get what you want. In the end, I climbed with amazing people, on quality rock, in a unique part of the world, and for that I am happy.
When I left Lago Linda’s that night, there were 6 people left at the campground. It was an odd feeling to glance at the empty cooking shelter that was chock full of people and laughter just weeks ago. I said goodbye to my friends, Todd, Tim, Ali and Kevin (as they had their eyes glued to UFC while cracking jokes about the connotations of the term “rear naked choke”) and hopped into the Gopher to head to Louisville, KY.
Now, why, may you ask, did I head to Louisville? What could I possibly be doing there? Picking up none other than the World’s Best Mum, Laurie Weldon!! My mother (did I mention that she’s rad, spectacular, and all other things cool?) decided to fly all the way to Kentucky to make the cross country drive back home with me. Now this may be some maniacal scheme to trap me in a car in order to spend time with me, but hey, who am I to complain? I love spending time with my Mum, because she is cool (as aforementioned) and a blast to hang out with. Plus she brought cookies.
That first night we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It was odd sleeping in a bed. What was even more odd was that I missed my tent dearly. And the oddest of all; this lady had hundreds of nut cracker soldiers. ‘Tis the season to be nutty I suppose.
Currently we are in Grand Junction, Colorado. We have been driving for two straight days. Today we drove through Kansas. It was horrible. We’ve already gone through this. Tomorrow we’re going to hit up Moab, Utah for the day. My friend Nick told me about a small but quality bouldering area called Big Bend that I’m eager to check out. Yet a frigid forecast of 32F (around 0C) is in the works, so we’ll see how hardcore I am.
Peace out ya’ll!