A Spring Adventure – The Climbs


Spring Break, 2021

I don’t recall having a real Spring Break trip last year… If I’m remembering correctly, I did a short Spring Break trip down to Joshua Tree back in 2019, but 2020 didn’t quite lend itself to much traveling…

With that in mind, and looking at how much vacation time I’d accumulated over the last year or so, I realized that I really did need to take some time off to escape from work, from Wilsonville, and from getting stuck in my own head. Thankfully, most travel restrictions on the West Coast have been lifted, and my back’s been feeling a lot better… and I was able to finally make the long trek down to Sacramento to visit my friend Mike and finally meet his girlfriend Michelle!

It was a long drive, and a full week of stepping out of my usual little patch of world. I didn’t really go into it expecting anything specific, but I came out having even more appreciation for my friends, and feeling gloriously rested and recharged. I’m not quite back to my old self yet… but this trip was an amazing change to stretch back into myself, and just… explore.

Monday and Friday, 03 and 07-May-2021

I haven’t been able to climb much since the pandemic hit. Even before that, I hadn’t been climbing a huge amount… And then it had mostly been in the gym in Portland, with maybe a few outdoor routes thrown in whenever I could. Climbing… is kind of hard, rolling solo, but I’ve been getting the chance to climb more and more as pandemic restrictions have been slowly pulling back.

Years back, Daniel and I had explored quite a few climbing gyms around the Boston area. It was something I’d really enjoyed – when the weather wasn’t cooperating, we’d pick a gym that we’d never been to and drive out to try some new routes. Maybe an hours drive, maybe two… I mean, we’d be driving the same distance to the crag anyways, so why not explore a plastic crag when it’s raining, right?

We got to experience some really neat gyms that way, and got a bit better at climbing unexpected routes – every gym sets their routes slightly differently, grades them a little harder or a little softer, and uses slightly different holds or features.

Anyways, that was years ago. I hadn’t done anything similar in way too long, so visiting Sacramento was a perfect time to refresh my soul and expand my experiences… at least in regard to climbing on plastic holds on fake rock walls.

There were a few gyms in Sac, but only one of them was both nearby and allowed non-members to climb… they did use a weird app to schedule times, but it wasn’t too bad to set up, and I was able to get time slots pretty easily both days that I went. It was a bouldering gym, but that worked pretty well for little old running solo me.

I had a blast.

I climbed, focusing mostly on form and the number of climbs, instead of trying to push my limits and climb the hardest routes possible. I did start pushing a little bit on the second day, but overarchingly I took it easy and just enjoyed the motion of climbing. The new holds, the interesting surroundings, and the bright sun streaming through the huge windows… it was excellent. It was absolutely excellent.

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