Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Cody and I left Bainbridge yesterday morning, hopped on the Kingston Ferry and drove up to Squamish, BC.  Our drive went smoothly, inturrupted only briefly at the border for a series of questioning and a quick search of the van.  Apparently, it's unusual not to have a permanent job or residence, and the mounties at the border don't want American vagrants drifting permanently into BC.  Once we had assured the friendly officer at the customs desk that we really were planning on leaving Canada by the 19th of September, and he had determined we weren't carrying contraband,  he waved us through.  

We're so trendy!

We arrived in Squamish under overcast skies, but found it was dry enough for a little bouldering before dark.  We wandered around in the Ewok forest at the base of the Stawamus Chief for an hour or two before heading back to the van to cook some dinner.  That night, just as we had pulled the covers over us, it began to rain.  As far as I could tell, it rained steadily all night, and was still drizzling as we woke up this morning.  Currently, we're sitting in Starbucks, sipping chai lattes and waiting for the library to open at noon,  and are planning to catch a matinee later today.  The weather forecast looks pretty good for the rest of the week, but we're going to have to be patient and wait for the rocks to dry out.  We're not too concerned- time is one thing you have plenty of when you're living the dream.   

Thursday, September 3, 2009

City of Rocks and back to Boise

With some time to kill before we head for Seattle we decided to go to the City of Rocks ID.   Brian Wolfe couldn't bear to say goodbye, so he met us there for a couple of days. 

The first day we were there was pretty relaxed, Beth and I scoped out climbs, we decided to climb this attractive looking 5.10.  After I realized the dangerous potential of the second half of the climb I decided to back off.  Slightly frustrated, we did a fun scramble up Bath rock which brightened our moods.

When we got back to camp Brian had just pulled in with his new dog Abbey.  The next day brian lead his first trad climb, a 5.6 cleverly named "first lead", he did great!  The next few days were filled with generally scary climbing.  Quite large run-outs on round featured slabs;  we have come to realize that the climbing here is just not for the fearful.  Two nights in a row we went into town and relaxed in the hot springs until dark.  On our last day we decided to do some gear hunting.  The previous day after finishing Columbian Crack we walked over to the rappel and saw that people had dropped gear, into a crack near the anchors.  We made a retreival device out of a tent stake taped to a tent pole.  It worked great and within 45 minutes we had pulled tons of gear and trash out of the crack.  Free gear is always a good way to end a trip.

We arrived in Boise thinking that we would be climbing in the new gym and hanging out with friends.  That was not the case.  The wall we left one month earlier was still not done.  It was a grim looking place, and morale was very low.  We agreed to stay and help get the place done.  We stayed a little over a week and the wall is finished, we got to climb on it, but its still not open.  They've had lots of problems with the subcontractors and the city.  Hopefully it will open soon.  

We just arrived on Bainbridge last night, spent the morning picking blackberries and relaxing.  We're going to a music festival with Grace in 2 days, and then off to Squamish for some climbing.  

Until next time....  We're living the dream.