Monthly Archives: March 2014

First outdoor climbing of the year: Redrock in Gloucester


Sunday, 23-Mar-14


You’d think I would have learned by now, that when Daniel agrees to show up an hour earlier than he planned, that he’s actually going to arrive roughly half an hour late.

But in this case, it wasn’t at all a problem – see, the plan was to leave my house at 9:00 on Sunday morning, so that we could get Breakfast in Gloucester before climbing at Redrock.  But of the 12 people that I invited, only two replied… And one only replied to say she couldn’t come.  The other reply?  Saying that they couldn’t make it until 3:30 at the earliest… likely after we were going to be headed home.

So, Daniel and I got a slow start.  But it’s ok, because part of that slow start was… Breakfast!  I love breakfast, it’s basically the best part of the weekend for me.  We hit up Georges Coffee shop in Gloucester, the same one that we had hit when exploring Dogtown, and had an excellent-but-huge amount of pancakes and bacon and eggs.  The waitress even remembered us, and we chatted about trips to Europe, of all places.


Once we were fed though, we moved on toward the actual climbing.  Driving out, parking, and hiking in were exactly what one would expect them to be.  Yep.

The area though… the area was cold.  Wet.  Covered in snow.  A lot worse than we expected, to be honest, though all of the walls were some semblance of dry.  The problem was the the dry walls were at the far ends of the spectrum – either super easy, or super hard.  the 5.11b slab route was dry… but yeah.  That’s not happening.

Before unpacking and starting up, we did a quick bit of exploring too; nothing too much, but enough to give us an idea of some other climbing spots, as well as at least two new routes that we’ll definitely try when we come back.

So what did we hit?

  • Climb #1 – Trad route, a small hand-crack on the far right on the main wall.  My first trad lead of the season, so that was kind of nice.  It was pretty straight forward, but it’s always good to have a quick and easy climb to remind me that I do know what I’m doing.
  • Climb #2 – This was a combination of two routes, an easy layback flake, and the insane 5.11b slab.  We took the flake up about halfway, then traversed right to another crack system.  Daniel was able to get most of the traverse, but the cold took me down before I was able to finish it up myself.


The rest of the night was spent teaching Daniel how to drive a standard-transmission car (a bad decision… my poor transmission!) and getting dinner at John Harvard.  An excellent day!

Roommate date night, complete with Chinese and Anime!


Friday, 21-Mar-14


So, Harvey House has a tradition of ordering in Chinese food, buying a bottle of Sake, and putting something Asian-inspires on the TV.  Last time it was Kung Fu Hustle, this time it was FLCL.

If you haven’t seen it, FLCL is a messed up show.  It’s a mini-series of sorts, very anime style, but with sometimes conflicting forms of animation / artistic design.  Its… unique.  But it’s focused strongly around the music and soundtrack… so when you’re tired after a week of insanity, and you’ve got good food and better drink in front of you.  Well, then it’s perfect.  I just set my brain to “go mode”, sat back, and relaxed as we watched it and got more and more confused as to what the hell was actually happening.

The Old House and Barn expo, in Manchester NH


Saturday, 15-Mar-2014


My Aunt is a gardener, and a lecturer.  I’m sure that I’ve mentioned that in this blog before, but it can’t be overstated – she’s an excellent lecturer.

So when I get a chance to sit in?  I make sure to attend; this time that meant driving up to Manchester NH on a perfectly clear and warm Saturday morning.  At least, it started out clear, though by the time I arrived at the parking garage I was kind of wishing that I’d worn an extra layer or two… it had been 55 Deg.F in Boston when I put the top down and headed onto the highway… but it was down to 35 when I arrived at my destination… climate does change as you go North.

A quick fun story from the drive up – I chased a gorgeous 2014 Shelby Mustang for a few exits, before it headed off on its own route.  Was fun, getting to follow behind and taking the effort to keep up with him.

Anyways, the lecture was at a semi-small expo called the Old House and Barn Expo.  An expo named very similarly to the title of this post, it was focused on heritage and restoration of historic buildings and lands – a perfect place for a lecture on garden conservation.  So here’s the bullet points:

  • Fun drive up, especially due to chasing the Shelby
  • I got to meet a whole group of my Aunt’s friends who live in the area – very cool people, and we chatted and I listened to stories and it was excellent
  • Walked around the expo a bit before the lecture started – it was really cool, though the vendors were impressively diverse: there was a solar power company literally right next to a whole group of Amish folk building the framing for a barn.  Old and New, I guess.
  • I’ve actually heard this lecture before, but it was quite nice to hear it again.  Especially since this time was for a much more technically-inclined audience, so I got to hear more specific advice and scientific terminology.  It really got me excited about the possibility of playing in my own garden this year.
  • Fully exploring the show with my Aunt afterward, we got to see the rest of the vendors.
  • Dinner was had just the two of us at the hotel restaurant – they had an extremely good Reuben with Clam Chowder… which was extremely good.  So good I had to say that twice.  And now I want another Reuben.
  • The drive back was simple and easy… with the exception of a highlander which kept trying to cut in front of me when there clearly wasn’t enough room for him to cut in front of me.