Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Terrifying Trad! - Week 4

  I may have been more terrified this week then I have been in awhile. After a toilsome hike up to T-wall and a wonderfully strenuous warm up route we stumble over to the next formidable route we had picked to climb. Then Jon says to me, "Suit up, you're leading this one!" Giving me a look that basically says that I have no choice in the matter. Or maybe I have a choice to lead the route or find a cozy saturated cave to sleep in for the night. With that choice, I did what any person would do and made sure I packed my good sleeping bag!

  In reality, I put my big girl harness on and suited up with many pretty colors jingled around it; which I'm pretty sure added about 25Ibs to the already growing pancake belly I have. As I started up the climb I decided that whatever happens, I just can't fall. What happened next may have been a miracle from the great climbing Gods. I plugged and chugged my way up the wall! Stopping halfway up to realize I was far from my last piece with nowhere to place a good one, panicked, then stayed there for what felt like a good hour, until I found a piece of rock that would mold into a good hold for any of my gear. I then ran (climbed extremely slowly) up the rest of the wall. Going 90ft on nine pieces, I was extraordinarily  pleased to say the lest! And I didn't have to sleep in a cave!

  I may even try it again next time!

This weeks Video!

Oh no! I forgot to include Florida's Video last week!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Driving South for the winter.. or week! - Week 3

As the weather started to turn cold Jon and I decided it would be a great chance to explore farther south. So, to Florida we went!

We landed in St. Augustine, Florida, ready for a sun filled week in warmer weather. Sadly we did not get to lay out on the beach or play in the ocean but I will take the 60 degree weather over the 20s any day! Time was filled with morning sunrises on the beach, puppies parks, and pleasant strolls through historic downtown. The water front tour of town, may have been my favorite. Or having to jump in the water to push the boat off of a sand bar! Both are up there on the list.
We even found a wall to climb!

... or a old fort.. Come to find out, it is generally frowned upon to climb the ruins of a fort protecting America's first city.

The puppies even had a blast chasing the seagulls and trying to not get washed away in the ocean. Devastatingly, they contracted fleas and Peak decided to it was time to shed away his winter fur. I guess he thought we were there to stay.

He currently looks something like this:

Okay, I guess this is more realistic...

Florida was great! But in the end, we missed climbing! So we packed up the van and hit the road. Back to Tennessee we go, just in time for the snow storm!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Deep Freeze - Week 2

Finally Climbing!

We finally were generously blessed with a few sunny days to climb. Granted the temperature was just above freezing and may have snowed a few times, but we got out there!

Jon and I spent four days living off the grid. Using electricity from our solar panels, and water from the raging falls to survive in the wilderness. Life was grand, until the sun set and the battle began. Nights were cold and long. Previously we would receive a few droplets of condensation in the morning. Now these were replaced with ice, inches above our heads. I have never been to a rain forest before but from what I felt when we turned on the stove to make coffee, it seemed like I could have been there.

The days warmed up nicely when the sun fought its way through the clouds. We spent three days exploring Foster Falls, getting back above bolts. Most of the time I was not sure if I still had hands while I was climbing. We spend the fourth day at T-wall, soaking in 50 degrees of pure sunlight. It was a brilliant and gorgeous climbing day! Followed by what may have been the most satisfying shower I have ever experienced!

So much for escaping the Cincinnati cold and climbing in the warmth!

Maybe we should go further south...

Look everyone! A cool video!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Life on the Road - week 1

After being gently thrown from the nest, of our warm temporary home in eastern Tennessee, Jon and I hit the open road heading to Chattanooga for what is sure to be a great adventure. We have spent the past week learning a few helpful hints on how to survive on the open road. I will share the top 3:

1. Don't have a dog. As cute and adorable as they can be, they take up lots of room. Two people and two pups in one van = packed likes Sardines. Always bring extra towels for when they roll around in the mud and never let them out of your sight, or they might eat poop in the middle of the road with oncoming traffic.
2. Check the weather. Before departing we equipped the van with a kitchen, storage space, bed, and electrical needs. We were set and ready to go. Little did we know that we might not survive the first night in the van, for mother nature was in a different mood. Our second day was spent attempting to hike to climbs, nearly falling over from exhaustion (the most exercise I have done was trampling from the couch to the kitchen to get more cookies), and Goodwill shopping for as many blankets and we could carry back to the van.
3. Get down a system. The first few days may be a bit rough trying to cook, clean, and actually coexist in a closet sized vehicle but you just have to push through and survive it. After establishing a sort of chaos system of organization and living, things may go a bit smoother.

As you can see we have learned a lot in the first week but in this process have met some wonderful people. We have been surviving for 7 days now and hope to make it many more!

Click to watch our video!