Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photo Update: Hueco and the High Seas

A three day stop in Hueco Tanks was great fun on our way east. It has been called the Bouldering Mecca of the west- and for good reason. The rock is like something out of a fairy tale, perfectly sculpted for climbing, and relatively friendly on the fingers. I think we'll stop there again on our way back west. We sampled a only a tiny portion of the climbing Hueco has to offer.
Cody on his flash attempt of Mexican Chicken, V6. He fell at the lip! Hueco is full of overhanging, thuggish, burly climbing, like this route!

We saw so many familiar faces in Hueco. We ran into a small crew of 307ers, (from Wyoming) one morning, and the next day found our friend Shannon in the check-in office. Shannon was the head route-setter at the Front Climbing Club when I worked there, and he's in Hueco for about a month. He knows the place well, and was able to show us around some cool areas. Here he's working on Free Willy, V10.

Cody quickly dispatched Babyface, V7. A friendly aussie, Cain, helped out with beta and a spot, so I was free to shoot some pictures!

A non-typical Hueco route- not an overhang! But a fun warm-down at the end of the day.

We left Hueco for San Antonio, where we made an Amazing Race type journey from Miami to Marathon. After two flights, three busses, a train, and a little bit of wandering around in the dark, we finally found the Pat and Lorrie, the Marina, the dinghy (named Blondie, because she's full of hot air and just a little dingy) and finally, Godspeed.

Cody steering on a day sail in the Boot Key area.

The weather has been fantastic- a little humid and in the 80's. It's so nice to be on the water!
Looking toward the galley. It's a small but efficient kitchen complete with stove, oven and refrigerator.

The table folds out for dinner. We haven't caught any fish yet- the recent cold snap killed a lot of fish, so food has been abundant, and the ones that survived the cold aren't biting. I'm sure they'll forget about it soon, and hopefully we'll see some pompano on our plates!

I hope all is well in your neck of the woods! We're certainly livin' the dream!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Photo Update: Red Rocks 2010

Climbing at Sunny and Steep.
Almost exactly a year ago, Cody proposed here!

After a fun day of climbing!

Red Rocks is a great winter climbing area because it's so close to Las Vegas. When it gets dark, around 6:00, we would go into the strip, instead of hanging out at camp, waiting for bedtime. We had a close encounter with a lioness at the MGM Grand. Pretty cool!
Once we saw the crowds in the Park where we were planning to climb, we decided to take a hike instead. We went up to the La Madre spring, a pretty little oasis. The guy who owned the land before it was acquired by the Park built a dam, so there's a pond.
Waiting out a cold and windy day at home in the van.
Cody and I are both getting better at guitar.
Visiting the Hoover Dam. They're building a big bridge down the Canyon from the Dam. The dam is almost upstaged by the new bridge- both are simply massive.

The architecture of the Dam is reminiscent of the 1930's, when it was built.

Cody and I are currently in Hueco Tanks State Historical Site in Texas. It's a fantastic bouldering area, and we're climbing our brains out. In a few days we catch a plane to Miami to see Pat and Lorrie Harris, aboard their sailboat. We'll keep you all posted on that adventure.

Well... off for some more sending..
I hope you're all living your dreams! To quote my Dad, "You could be in Haiti."
So enjoy what you're doing instead!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Vegas has been good so far, Beth and I are a little rusty on the rope. Our first day climbing I was shut down on a route I thought I could do and then took one of the biggest falls of my life on a route I was certain I could do. Anyway its coming back fast and I'm "sure" that by the time we leave we will be comfortable and confident rope climbing once again. Yesterday we climbed a little in the morning and then hiked a 10+ mile trail that passed by some small springs, and lots of friendly old retired people. Today its raining and that's why I have time to write this, but Beth and I are taking this rainy day to experience some of the many cultural and intellectual sights around Las Vegas ie. Hoover Dam. Even on rainy days we can live the dream, the dream of Herbert Hoover.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We have a Plan!

We spent almost a week in Salt Lake, goofing around with PJ and Sarah, cross-country skiing, climbing at the Front, and visiting the Perry Family's wonderful 3-story, custom built, "cabin" in Park City. (Thanks Richard and Joey!) During the downtime, when PJ and Sarah were at work, we were trying to map out our next destination on the LTD tour. It's a complicated affair, trying to work out just what you want to do when you have plenty of time and some money in your pocket. Tough work, but someone's got to do it.

After checking the monthly forecast and potential job markets in several different locations, we settled on a southern tour; beginning in Red Rocks, Nevada. We'll climb here for about a week, and then continue on to San Antonio, Texas, where we'll hop on a plane to Miami. Once in Miami, we'll meet up with Cody's parents, on their sailboat, for a two week stay that will hopefully include a crossing to the Bahamas. When we fly back to Texas, we'll drive to Mexico, meeting up with a few pals, (The Brian/Bryan team), and head to El Portrero Chico, near Hidalgo, for some sweet sport climbing on Mexican limestone. That's the plan, anyway. We'll let you know how it all turns out!

Until next time, we're off to live the dream!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back in the Van!

Cody and I have arrived back in good ol' SLC, after a wonderful holiday season spent with our family in Washington. We're, once again, staying with our good friends Pj and Sarah Mannion, and still a little unsure about what we're going to do with ourselves in the near future. We're waiting for my new passport to arrive- as that will open up some options for us. Maybe we'll go visit Pat and Lorrie, who are sailing in the Florida Keys at the moment, or perhaps to Mexico for some escalando de los rocas, or maybe we'll move to Hawaii, get hotel jobs, and take up surfing. It's all up in the air.

But for now, the van is running like a champ, despite being abandoned for 2 months on a steep hill in the cold weather of Salt Lake. We went on a nice hike this morning with Pj and Sarah and their dogs, and we're looking forward to seeing more of our Salt Lake friends soon!

Until next time, we're living the dream, one day at a time.