Tag Archives: Roadtrip

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!

 

Spring Break 2018 – West Virginian adventures, Other Galleries

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Epilogue

Interestingly enough, I wasn’t the only one on this adventure.

And, thankfully for everyone, some of the other adventurers are excellent photographers.  You may have noticed that, while leafing through the various pictures that I posted, I don’t feature in a whole lot of them.  Funny, that.  Turns out that being behind the camera (or cell phone, in this case) is pretty non-conducive to being in the photos themselves.  I tried for some selfies… but let’s be honest.  The front-facing camera isn’t really doing my beautiful face justice.

Thankfully, those other excellent photographers also had cameras.  And some of those cameras are really good!

 

So please.  Sit back, relax, forgive us for any repetitions that you might see, and enjoy Daniel’s rather massive photo gallery.

 

Link:  https://photos.danielbostwick.com/Public/New-River-Gorge-2018/

Spring Break 2018 – West Virginian adventures, Saturday, 02-June

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Spring Break 2018 – West Virginian adventures, Saturday, 02-June

A West Virginia adventure – Spring Break in the New River Gorge, 2018

Saturday, 26-May, through Saturday, 02-June, 2018

Life is old there, older than the trees. Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze. Country roads, take me home… to the place, I belong! West Virginia, Mountain momma… take me home, country roads.”

I’m pretty sure that the first real spring break I ever had was with Daniel, years ago, when we drove down to the New River Gorge to climb, and attend the New River Rendezvous. Since that year, we’ve done our best to always link up and go on some glorious climbing trip on or around Memorial Day. This year was a tough one, with Sarah breaking her leg, but she insisted that I go anyways, and let her live vicariously through me as she convalesed at home. I’d already cleared the week as vacation with my boss, even before I was hired for the project, so I was free and clear for a throwback adventure…

 

 

Saturday

Our last day dawned, and was greeted with Eggs and a rather impressive pile of leftovers from the BBQ the night before.

When I say “a rather impressive pile”, I don’t know if you quite understand… I’m talking about a to-go box weighing a few pounds. We’re talking nearly an entire chicken. And that’s the leftovers from us all gorging ourselves till we were overfull the night before. Firecreek doesn’t mess around with portion sizes, I tell you what.

But anyways, it was a short breakfast. We had a lot to do – cleaning up, clearing out track and recycling, basically all those things that one would normally leave to housecleaning at a hotel. It’s a downside of an AirBnB, but I’m pretty okay with it – I mean, we used those dishes and generated that trash, right? It’s only fair that we spend an hour at the end of the week cleaning it all up.

After that were our sad goodbyes, and then a long road ahead for me and the rented Kia.

 

I honestly don’t mind driving. It’s pleasant, I can half-zone out, and I get to see beautiful scenery.

The mountains of West Virginia are absolutely one of those places that I wouldn’t mind driving through, just spending hours cruising through small towns and around bendy mountain roads.

And what an unexpected coincidence, that’s exactly what I had to do in order to get back to DC!

 

Since the rest of the trip is kind of boring (going home usually is), I’m just going to give a few quick bullet points below:

    • Get gas, then blast my way through the mountain towns to the main highways. It goes quickly – I’m more awake and energetic than I was on the drive in, and I’ve got better music queued up too. Awww yeah techno!
    • Get to the highways, and spend some time chatting with people on the phone. Catch up, and get some solid family time. Is good. Then, back to rocking the techno!
    • One last stop for gas and “chicken” nuggets, and I’m at the airport
    • Return car, get bags checked… ohh lord the check process is insane. Too many people, not enough kiosks, no line control. Then security… with way too much line control! Line markers everywhere, keep us walking in random loops just to waste time and energy… which is honestly really smart. Go you, Dulles. Go you.
    • Once I’m through, it only takes a bit of time to get to the gate, and then… I get to chill! Yay youtube! So many movie clips!
    • I get extra movie clips, because the flight is delayed! Boo!
    • Holy wow, so delayed. And then, once we’re on… we sit on the tarmac! Sweeeeet.

The last bit of the trip was the sweetest part of the day, even including that delicious leftover BBQ that I had for dessert: When I got out of security at the airport.

I was planning on just heading down to get my bag, and then getting a Lyft home. Probably cook something up quick once I got there?

But instead, there was a Sarah waiting for me with snacks and kisses!

An excellent end to an amazing trip.