This weekend we enjoyed a nice short car camping trip in Wawona with Tripp, Karen and Kira. We (the girls) enjoyed a river swim and rope swing, and we (all) walked many miles of trail throughout the Mariposa Grove, hearing a tree fall at 15:37 while on the park boundary trail, 2013-05-11. We made and cooked pizzas in celebration of the end of Andrew’s proclaimed Pizza Week and then spent some time setting protection for a few very-very short climbs. These climbs included two boulders (5.8) (with protection) @ 37.57887, -119.67930 and an attempt to climb Jacob’s Ladder (5.10c) in the valley – though found it to be beyond our skill-set.
Clifford W. Ashley: The Ashley Book of Knots
Halloween weekend proves successful as a two drink holiday.
This weekend was my second to last obligatory mountain drive and chalked it’s self up to be one more enjoyable Colorado adventure.
Friday morning I packed my things and set out to shop for some Halloween basics, run some errands, and then arrive at Kira’s just in time to see her walk through the door, likely ready for a nap after her high-speed week with elementary school kids. After $40 of fabric and two buttons I felt like we’d be fully cloaked for the party. Then I stopped into Walmart to pick up other inconsequential affects. The parking lot was full of snowy slush and the car had been irritated with some low coolant. Before diving away I popped the hood and checked my levels, moved some ice off the windscreen and generally evaluated the winter conditions of my car. All seemed to be in order so I shut the hood and met a young woman who asked the puzzling question, “Did you just come out of the store?” I answered yes and then waited for the pitch. She didn’t look like she needed money, or had anything in her hands to sell. I was quite confused. She then asked, “Did you drop anything?” I checked my wallet, looked into the back at the goods I’d just purchased, and finding everything in order replied, “Nope.” She smiled, said “Okay,” and started down the parking lot back toward the store. I pulled my keys out of my pocket and then stopped in my tracks. “I pulled my keys out,” I said to myself and while cursing to myself recalled the very first stop I’d made that morning at the jewlers picking up Kira’s newly cleaned and sized ring. In a small plastic bag, wrapped handsomely in tissue, I had carefully put that ring into my right pocket where it was safe from any harm. It wasn’t there. I frantically yelled a “YES!” and then embarrassedly quieted myself and smiled at the woman who turned around and walked back over to me where she asked, “Well, what did you loose?” Wincing I said, “a ring.” She smiled and pulled that little bag out of her pocket and said, “Here you go!” I couldn’t catch my breath yet and kind of cracked through a dozen versions of thank you, I probably even said it in some form of Chinese, though I can’t remember how to say it now. She then turned around and walked back toward the store as I fumbled with my hands, put the ring back deep into my pocket and almost cried.
Up at Kira’s I made sure to tell her the story and give her the ring right away. I couldn’t handle the responsibility anymore. Then I busied myself with a bit of sewing and we were set for our costume engagement. Housed in an old research facility at the camp, there were odds and ends and lots of empty dark rooms without electricity or plumbing in the bathrooms, there were file cabinets full of specimens in chemicals and a piece of plywood across two saw horses. After some quick arrivals and cheers for every costume that showed, the party digressed into a beer pong fest and Kira and I found a connect four set to entertain ourselves, but a long week, an early wakeup, and general party rough-housing ended our night early.
The sun blasted through Kira’s window and we pulled ourselves out of bed and into the car following a couple of friends south, down to ‘Shelf Road’ to where the cliffs sprang out of the plains and we’d dawn our safety gear to scramble up and swing down. The last time I’d driven through this place, it was cold, wet, and the clouds sang deep into the canyon we drove through, giving a visibility of about twenty-five feet…. plus I was sitting in the back of a Ford Expedition, looking out a port hole of a window. So this really was ‘New!’
The shelf was covered, like ants, with little climbers, young kids, old men, cadets getting yelled at, and even a couple of regular people where there. But once we walked past them all, remarkably, we didn’t see them any more and we felt alone. The sky was a beautiful deep blue and the trees were bright green and pasted on the beautiful white crisp cliffs. It was gorgeous. Our pals climbed and set up the routes and we went to town, up and down, we became ants too. It wasn’t so bad. When 4:30 ran around we cut loose and left the guys with the clean-up and drove to The Springs where after posing like two trick-or-treaters were were welcomed warmly home and promptly fell asleep, early again.
Sunday I dawned my jersey for yet another Colorado trail race with Christopher, Bernie, and the Pikes Peak Road Runners. This time we ran through 6.__ miles of the Springs Ute Valley Park. Somewhat mentally drained, I stood in line for a restroom as the race clock read -1:00. Then it said -0:30. Then it went to 0:00. Someone said, they don’t start until the line is empty so I kept standing. I then jogged up the hill, found Christopher (my running white rabbit), and got in line. The sounded the horn and I set my sights on Christopher’s heels and shut down my brain. After 53 minutes of up and down rocks and across creeks and over three hay bails I gave a couple of “push! push! push!” yells and slid into the finish que right behind my mark.
Arriving back home I saw the Broncos take a 23 point loss and then my body shut down and I ate a salad and went to sleep for 14 hours. My body was wrecked and displeased with some set of events that had occurred, but who knows, maybe it was weather.