It was blue skies and golden sun when out of nowhere the wind picked up and blew in snow. On such a nice day, the white flurries looked like a team of perfectly choreographed fairies doing synchronized swimming across the desert. This lasted for maybe 5-10 minutes, and then the day returned to normal and we kept climbing.
Today Paul was able to send Resident Evil (v10) on his third go. With that highly anticipated project out of the way, we moved on to Chips (v7) and Planet of the Apes (v7). Michaela and I got super close on both, but our skin and psyche slowly wore down, just in time for the rock to get swarmed by all the kids who came out to Joe’s Valley for the weekend. We’ve noticed that brushing holds between goes and cleaning off sandy shoes is not commonplace here. Drexel had to (gently) bark at a guy who walked up and started feeling all the Resident Evil holds with his completely unchalked, greasy paws, right as Paul was getting ready to try again. It’s hard to not come off as an ass when telling people how to have standard climbing courtesy….
All in all, the past few days have been a blast. There have been countless sends and also plenty of amazingly fun training via trying lots of interesting, stout climbs at our limit. (Since anything that isn’t a send is technically “training.”) Joe’s Valley is rich in classic v7s that I hope to tick off one-by-one throughout the next month. The climbs are a good blend of mental and muscle, especially highballs like Dirty Harry (v7). I’ve been very impressed and inspired by the ladies and gents we’ve been climbing with the past few days, especially when a certain guy who was feeling under the weather still smashed the powerful Wills A Fire (v6).
I’ve been slacking on taking photos, Drexel’s been slacking with the video taping, but luckily I’ve caught a couple shots of our favorites:
The final send score of the day was boys 2 vs. girls 8. Sorry fellas.
But for reals, Joe’s Valley just won’t be the same without our friends. The wonderful, and equally sad, part of our cross-country road trip, is that we have met so many really great individuals… and then sooner or later we part, potentially never to see them again. It’s like eating at a buffet, and then going back to realize that there just isn’t any more Michaela-pie left, and you can only hope that the next pie that comes out will still be tasty. (I mean that in the least-creepy way possible.) I think it would be so rad if we could have a party at the end of this trip and invite all the New Mexicans, all the Arkansans and Chattanoogans and Knoxvillians and even the Boonies. While there will always be a couple bad apples in the bunch (the elitist glarers and egotistical gumbys), I have found that rock climbing draws some of the coolest cats around. Even if I didn’t climb, I think all my best friends would be climbers.
and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you.”