Climbing at Vantage, with Daniel!

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Thursday, 11-Oct-2018 through Monday, 15-Oct-2018

 

Quotes from the weekend (overheard from others):

“well, we’ve got straight vodka!”

  • A group climbing, debating what they have to eat/drink at the cliff.

“Yeah, I know how to belay… You just pull it through right?”

  • A person nearby, who we later learned hadn’t ever been outside before

“Ohh it’ll be fine! What’s the worst that can happen?”

  • The worst thing you can ever hear. We kept an eye on them…

 

Daniel came out to visit! Yay Daniel!

It’d been a while since we’d hosted guests, so we were pretty excited for this chance to show off, adventure, and be a bit more sociable.  Our plans were pretty simple – meet Daniel at the airport, cook a fancy dinner, climb in Washington, and then explore Portland.  Those can be the best plans, honestly… simple, straightforward, and clean.

So we stuck with the plans!

 

Thursday

Picked up Daniel, ate stuffed acorn squash.  It was glorious. Tried to scare him with an animatronic Santa, but unfortunately that didn’t quite work… I think he expected something, and so wasn’t surprised when he found out what that something was. Went to bed early, so that we’d be ready for the weekend of adventure coming up.

 

Friday

Packed up the car, drove to Vantage. It was a surprisingly long drive… though the technical duration of the drive was exactly what we’d expected, it somehow seemed to take way longer… It wasn’t a bad drive, by far, but it definitely wasn’t a super fun one. I think it was tough because we were all so excited, honestly.

Once we arrived, we did a quick unpacking and then headed in to climb a bit, specifically at the feathers, where Sarah got in her first post-injury rock climb! We didn’t do a ton of climbing, thanks to the sun setting on us, but what we did get to was quite excellent – I actually ended up working a 5.10 by accident! I didn’t quite finish it on lead, but then Sarah came in and wrapped up her post-recovery climbing by crushing it – on top rope, since she wasn’t quite cleared for taking falls yet, but still. No issue, clean movements… she cruised up the route that had just thrown me off.

 

After climbing, we headed back to camp to finish setting up. Once done, we cooked (and then ate, of course) a delicious steak and zucchini dinner, around a fire, with whiskey!  It was glorious!

 

Saturday

Had a relaxed morning, ate breakfast, and hiked out to the Sunshine wall once it was warm enough out.  Before we left though, Sarah did a bit of exploring and scavenging, and found us a rather impressive amount of firewood for the evening… we’d brought some of our own, but you know how it is. There’s never enough firewood, and having that little bit extra can be the difference between a pleasant evening, and going to bed before the conversation gets really good. Once it was warm enough though, we headed to the Sunshine wall to get in some serious climbing.

Climbing was excellent – it was somehow almost too warm, at times, and beautifully sunny. There were a lot of people around, but thankfully we were able to work around most of them and get in a quite legitimate number of routes. See below for specifics:

  • Ride ’em cowboy
  • short trad line
  • cool arrete
  • other climb
  • trad version of other climb
  • boshido

Honestly, we should have brought more water though. As the day went on, we snacked and sipped, but the sipping ended far before the snacking did… and thanks to that bright sun (hence: “sunshine wall”) we were quite dehydrated by the afternoon. Instead of trying to push for more routes, we took the better part of valor and headed back to camp for some well-earned rest.

At camp, we enjoyed the rest of the evening – chopping firewood, cooking dinner, stargazing, all of those good things.

 

Sunday

Vantage is pretty awesome and all, but there’s a lot to do in Portland too. As such, we packed up fairly early and headed out, after grabbing a few small branches of sage to bring home.

On the way we did stop for a quick snack in The Dalles, but aside from that it was pretty much a straight burn home… quicker driving this time, but it’s still an impressively long drive. That drive makes me miss the comparatively short ride out the North Conway.

At home, we didn’t stay for long. We did a quick unpack, set Ollie up with a nice place to relax and unwind from the drive, and headed back out for a bit of adventure!

We:

Ate Apple Cider Donuts!

Went to the Pendleton store!

Walked around downtown a bit!

Ate conveyor belt sushi!

After sushi was done, we were all pretty well worn down… but Daniel was visiting! And I wasn’t going to give up on bro-time just yet! We dropped Sarah off at the house, since she was crashing pretty hard, and went out on the town, finally settling into a small basement bar called “The Caves”.

Spooky, right?

Well, it wasn’t that spooky. In fact, it was really cool – I learned about yellow wine, and orange wine, and we got to sit in a tiny little alcove beside the bar. It was lovely, and honestly a perfect bro-down time. Which is a little strange, honestly. I guess Daniel’s finally corrupted me into accepting that sometimes it’s acceptable to just sit down, relax, and sip a fancy wine.

It’s very acceptable, as a note. An extremely good cap to an excellent visit full of excellent adventures!

 

Fall exploration around Portland!

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Various times in the fall – 2018

 

Portland is a beautiful city; the sheer number of trees that line the streets and sidewalks, the beautiful foliage of Forest Park across the river, and the little shops all around our neighborhood.  It’s lovely – without getting into details on the tons of little trips we’ve went on, please enjoy a few pictures from the beauty!

 

Hiking Cape Horn. In the rain. Hiking stupid cape stupid.

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Sunday, 07-October-2018

I didn’t like Cape Horn. Sarah didn’t like Cape Horn. Ollie loved Cape Horn, but also hated Cape Horn.

It was long, not super pretty, near the highway, it was raining, and Ben and Sarah wouldn’t let Ollie jump off the 100+ft cliff. Jerks. There was a Snickers bar halfway down. Ollie’s confident she could have gotten it.

Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. I think we were just kind of worn down from the week before, and we definitely weren’t super energetic about the whole situation. Also, we ate Burger King for breakfast. Also Starbucks. We ate two fast food breakfasts. Around 10:00. So… Brunch. We made poor life decisions.

Those decisions, regarding food, definitely didn’t help us power through the hike. But power through we did, crushing the miles and switchbacks. We went fairly slowly, to be fair, but we did keep going. That’s the key, right? Showing up and giving it your best, day in and day out?

Ollie… Ollie didn’t go slowly. She zoomed. Nonstop.

The viewpoint came, and the viewpoint went. The views were honestly lovely and amazing, but they weren’t quite enough to redeem the hike for us. They were great, yeah, but we’d lived in Hood River for a year, two for me. I’d somehow gotten almost immune to the views? Or the rainy mist was getting to me, one or the other.

Something that was amazing?

Sandwiches while watching a barge maneuver around the shallows. We’ve been rocking the baguette sandwiches recently – prosciutto, brie, and apple slices on a fresh sea salt and rosemary baguette. No mist or slimy trail could beat that kind of sandwich!

We hiked it. A little over seven miles. Up and down and around. Some good views, some good food, lots of switchbacks. Ehh. I know we’ll appreciate it later in the week, when we’re all strong, but for now… Ehh. We got out of the house and got moving.

And sometimes that’s enough of a victory in itself.