Tag Archives: Bouldering

Visiting Massachusetts – Hiking the Blue Hills, followed by a North End dinner

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Saturday, 16-Nov-2019

 

As I mentioned, the main goal of this trip was to visit family and spend time together.  But that doesn’t mean we had to stay in one place now, did it?  And I’m pretty confident that if I was able to carve out some time to visit with everyone when we were back for Daniel and Erin’s wedding, we should also be able to visit with friends for a bit this time, right?

Right.

Steve unfortunately had to work on Saturday, but never the less Sarah, my Mom, and I all piled into the car on Saturday morning, and headed into Boston to meet up with Daniel and Erin (and their dog Biscuit too!) for a short hike in the Blue Hills.  We weren’t really planning on any specific hiking… just a chance to visit and walk around, you know?  Get out of the suburbs and into some woods while the weather was nice.

And let me tell you – the weather was NICE that day.  Perfectly blue skies, crisp air, and just a tiny bit of frost on the ground… the ideal New England Autumn day, in other words.  Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely cold.  But we’d planned for that, and had some nice warm clothes packed with us that we pulled out.  But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so everything seemed just that much warmed and brighter, thanks to the shining sun and bright skies.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what trail we walked on… Daniel probably knows thanks to his fancy new tracking GPS watch, or maybe some sort of implanted auto-download data feeds, but the short version was that we did a lovely short walk around the hills, passing a neat little cabin and a beautiful bridge.  A bridge which, obviously, Daniel and I climbed the side of while playing fetch with Biscuit.

 

 

After the hike, my Mom had to head out to a “friendsgiving” dinner with some of their friends in Medway – we were welcome to join, of course, but instead Sarah and I took the chance to catch up with some of our own friends in the city!  Daniel graciously offered to not only drive us into town, but also to give us a ride back to Medway afterward!

With those logistics dealt with, we messaged Dillon and Liz and headed into town to rest before dinner – nothing huge, just hanging out at Daniel and Erin’s place for a bit to drop Biscuit off and see some of the new condo accessories before driving to the North End for Italian.

See, I’m sure that Portland has a good Italian restaurant somewhere.  But truth be told, I haven’t been able to find it.  I haven’t really spent that much time looking though… since we can always just go to the North End when we’re back in Boston visiting everyone!

We hadn’t been to this restaurant before, but it absolutely lived up to our expectations of perfect Chicken Parm and a good atmosphere to catch up with everyone.  Really, that’s all I need in an Italian place – a good simple dish, and a good environment to talk in.  The massive boat of oysters (literally, check out the below photos) was just a bonus on top.

Not much else to say, honestly.  The conversation was fun, and catching up with very appreciated.  It was an amazing chance to fully unwind and relax, spending time with good friends in a comfortable place.  Huge thank-yous to everyone!

The first bouldering, outdoors, of 2015

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**I think, at least… I mean, I’ve played around on the rocks a little bit before this, but this was the first “real” trip.  You know, the first trip with the primary purpose being climbing.  So yeah**

Sunday, 19-Apr-2015

The day starts out not super early – I can’t complain, since I don’t think I actually woke up until something like 9:30.  But I had a good reason to get moving that morning!  Climbing is a great draw, especially on a beautiful Sunday morning.  Climbing after making steak and eggs with Daniel… well, that gets me moving very quickly indeed.

So we cooked steak and eggs.  We ate both steak, eggs, and salad.  It was delicious.  It took a bit of time, but made sure that we were ready for…

Lincoln Woods!  Premier bouldering of the New England area!  Excellent weather!  Convertible tops down, and music cranked up!

Yep, it was an excellent day.  We climbed, relaxed, I did some staff spinning (see the pictures… but ignore that last one where I smacked myself in the face), and enjoyed the sun.  We ate strawberries and ham, and then swung by my Mom and Stepdad’s house in the evening to have dinner with them.

More steak… there is no such thing as too much steak.  Especially when you just spent a whole day working some impressively tough climbs, after hiking through the woods with a massive crash pad on your back.

The Routes we worked were focused on two areas – I don’t know the actual names of the routes (bouldering is kind of hard to determine route names, in my opinion), but…

  • The Pond – This was, unsurprisingly, right by a small pond!  The rock itself actually swung out over the water in some places, and there was a neat traverse over the pond that we both debated doing… but decided against, since it wasn’t warm enough to enjoy an unplanned bath.
    Instead, we stuck with the main traverses; there were some gorgeous splitter cracks that gave solid handholds for long moves… though there wasn’t too much in terms of feet.  Which made the climbs all the more fun, right?
  • The Wave – this rock was actually quite close to where we parked the car.  We walked past it originally, and then circled back for the end of the day.  Same as before, but this time the climbing was along a beautiful fin of rock that swung out from the main boulder.  The route started out awkwardly, but then moved to a much cleaner hand-over-hand section, followed by a mantle up onto the top of the rock.
    There were, of course, a few other routes on The Wave that we checked out, but most followed that same basic style.  However, I did check out the cave that runs through the main rock, and found a small GeoCache hidden in one of the nooks.  Don’t know anything about it, but that cache has been marked for NUHOC, thanks to me 😛

My birthday weekend! The fourth weekend that I’m in Hood River, Oregon, and the West Coast! — Saturday: Ribs and climbing

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My birthday weekend! The fourth weekend that I’m in Hood River, Oregon, and the West Coast!  — Saturday: Ribs and climbing

Saturday, 11-July-2015

Waking up happens! Then heading for Breakfast!

Yes, it was a capital “B” for Breakfast, since it was pretty large and definitely excellent. We hit up a not-so-small place right by my house that I’d been eyeing since I first started moving… it labeled itself as a pancake house, and I was curious exactly what that meant, in regards to delicious breakfasts…

Turns out – it means that they have excellent pancakes. I know, I know… I should have known. But I don’t like assuming things until I have empirical evidence. And that evidence took the form of three monstrous pancakes covered in bacon and strawberry jam.

That’s right. Bacon pancakes with strawberry jam. And that’s not even counting Brian’s omlette-with-three-pancakes meal.

The car’s already packed, so we roll out to Horsethief Butte, the climbing spot that I’ve been scouting out earlier in the week. And since Brian is around, we don’t need to stick to the short climbs anymore – my trad rack is on my harness and Brian is giving me a belay almost as soon as we get there, and we’re exploring the routes…

ROCK CLIMBING!

  • What I’m calling “the entrance arrete” – 5.9/5.10, trad, Ben leads… partially. I finished up the first section, but after that it got a little too committing for me – so I lowered off, and we walked around to build an anchor. Then proceeded to crush it on top rope.
  • Middle Canyon routes – 5.easy, maybe as high as 5.6? All on trad, with Ben leading. These are fun routes, though no real technical difficulty. A few spicy moves make it fun, and the gear placements are definitely enjoyable. It sort of reminds me of Hammond Pond, back in Boston. The climbs are clean and solid, and there’s a ton of variants that can be done.

We climb ’till a little after noon hits, and then head back toward Hood to start the ribs cooking. We stick to my old-school recipe, and sauce them up before tossing them into the oven.

And now… we wait. But waiting is boring, so we head into town and explore a bit. Checking out the wind surfers and kite boarders, jumping in the water… you know, the usual. Because everywhere has huge populations of kite boarders, right?

The goal of the evening is hosting a dinner party – not a big one, but a small one for myself, Brian, and the folks who’d hosted me at the Airbnb rental when I first came to Hood River. We’d gotten along quite well, and so they’d made me promise to keep in touch as I got settled into town. I figured that a birthday dinner party would be ideal, and an especially good chance to show off my cooking skills!

So… I show off my cooking skillz. Everyone shows up around 7:00, and we relax and eat and chat and have a good time. The drink of the night is a Moscow Mule, which somehow goes super well with Ribs and cornbread and veggies. And Alexandra brings along raspberry tart, which is completely amazing and disappears quite quickly.

The rest of the night is chilling – chatting some more ’till they head out, then Brian and I light a fire out in the pit out back, and sip beers and poke fires ’till we get bored.