I am absolutely enamored with the people and animals of Fletcher, NC. Jesse (and Jen) are the best hosts a girl could ask for. It was Drexel’s first visit to the farm, so he got a full tour of the lake, gardens, and chicken + rabbit hutches. Although I was raised vegetarian, I am supportive of people who have the courage and means to humanely raise and kill their own meat.
When Jesse wasn’t looking, I snunk one of the baby bunnies out and brought it up into the house. And thus began the game of devising as many cute uses of a baby bunny as possible. We put it in pockets, in socks, pretended it was a christmas stocking stuffer, cuddled it, squished it, hopped with it….
If you can think of something cute that you could do with a baby bunny, we probably did it. But finally, the voice of reason erupted from Jesse’s mouth: “Guys, if you don’t bring the bunny back to it’s mom soon, it’s probably going to die.”
What a killjoy.
I consoled myself by falling asleep on top of Oso, an adorable beagle mutt that I might kidnap and take with us on our climbing trip. And then we slept on a real, warm bed. And it was good.
In the morning, we drank coffee and pulled ourselves away from our dear friends. For thirty minutes we wound through adorable mountain towns, past creeks full of boulders, and finally met up with our friends at Rumbling Bald. The parking lot was full by 11am and we had to hike a good bit. (Note to self and others: get there sooner.) But it was gorgeous out, sunny with a light refreshing wind, so we were nice and warmed up from the hike to start climbing.
We played around the Cave Boulder area for a while, got on Rotater Cuff (v5/6) for a good while, overheard some hilariously offensive Jew jokes, petted oodles of puppy dogs, and moved on to the Washing Machine boulder. After a couple tries, finally got 11:11 (v7)!!!! I remember trying this climb ages ago and thinking that the first move was impossible. It seems Rocktown really has been good training (the climbing is so thuggy comparatively), but it’s also spoiled me – the rock quality isn’t as good, or maybe just the feel of granite has become so alien to me after a month of sandstone. I became so used to the friction that a return to granite was a bit off-putting. It felt so polished. I couldn’t trust the rock, which made the top of 11:11 all the more terrifying. As I leaned forward and smeared desperately with my rubber, I cried, “I’m scared, I’m scared!” and envisioned my legs slipping out from under me, slamming my chin into the rock and cracking my jaw, or at least losing a tooth. Luckily, my vivid imagination is rarely paralleled by reality.
So that was that. We moved on to Reservoir Dogs (v10). Drexel got a send train going, with Brennen hopping on and cruising through the tensiony difficult lay-back move. I took a video, so that should be up soon. (EDIT: Once I learn how to convert .mts files into something more readable… help!?)
It was so great to see Hailey, B-bull, and Rose again. We are back in Fletcher now, basking in the magical heat of a fireplace. Tomorrow we’re heading to Dayton so Drexel can finish off Capoeira (v10), and from there it’s probably HP 40 in Steele, AL to check out another beautiful sandstone area of the South. I’m itching to head out West, but there’s still so much to be done here. Two weekends from now, I believe another Boone crew will be back to Rocktown. I’ve never climbed so much in my life. This is great.
And now, it’s time to cuddle back up with Oso and hang out with Jesse, who somehow managed to fall and break her butt.