Monday, November 7, 2011

Deep thoughts...and 50+ pictures

I can't believe this trip is almost over, and the last few weeks have been full of mixed emotions.  I am having a ton of fun, meeting new people, hanging out with friends and climbing some of the best rock I have ever seen...Yet at the same time my mind is never wandering very far from reality and the need for a job and money.  I keep telling myself to enjoy the last few weeks as much as I can.  

Many of you may remember writing some kind (and not-so-kind) words in a journal at the going away party Kayla held for Mitch and I back in January.  I find that my journal is somewhat representative of the way this trip has gone.  In the beginning, I didn't know ANYONE at Hueco and the excitement of such an extremely different lifestyle made it hard to stop writing in my journal.  I actually anticipated running out of pages and bought a second journal in advance.  Last night was the first time I opened my journal, and the first thing I noticed is that my last entry was from February 20th.  The next thing I noticed is that I don't remember ANY of the people who wrote messages in my journal!  Ha kidding, this trip has gone by in the blink of an eye and I haven't forgotten any of you!  Although I wish I would have kept a detailed journal of this entire trip, I can appreciate the fact that I didn't find the time or desire to be writing it all down, and I think it is a sign of how great an experience this trip was.  The cease of journal entries in February is representative of a big change in this trip for me, and ultimately the main reason for such a trip.  I began meeting new people and seeing so many new places that it became too much to write down.  Last night Mitch and I got back to our campsite after spending the last few weeks bouncing between friends houses near Chattanooga and realized that it was the first time we would be eating alone since we left Rifle, CO in early June.  Every day since Rifle we have been surrounded by friends, both old and new.  Needless to say, it was a little awkward with just the two of us, and we didn't talk too much.  The only other group of campers invited us to join their fire that night, but I found myself quickly making an excuse for not going...The last thing I felt like doing after feeling so alone was to go socialize with a new group of people, knowing there would be no time to truly become friends with our trip ending so soon.  Both of the dogs passed out after a day of running around Rocktown and after a quick dinner of noodles and tuna, I finally picked up my journal.  I won't spill the entire contents of my thoughts for all of you to read, but it made me realize how awesome this trip has been.  I have met so many people, many whom I now consider close friends and will never forget.  The climbing has been amazing everywhere we have gone and it is cool to know I can always go back and visit those places again, but it is even more cool to know that I will know people at almost every place I decide to visit again.  I know that no matter when I return to this part of the country I will have friends close by, as it will be too hard for many to leave.  The fall here is more spectacular than anywhere else I have been, and it seems worth it to put up with the miserably hot summers and brutally cold winters for such a perfect 6-8 week window.  I cannot wait to come back!  

It will be interesting to see who is still in Colorado when I get back and who has moved on to other parts of the world.  I know when I stumble back in to my parents house with no money & no job I will immediately be envious of all of my friends who are working jobs already, but I can't imagine that I would ever trade this trip in!

"Chattenooga" climbing is made up of several main areas surrounding the border of Georgia and Tennessee with the most notable destinations being Little Rock City and Rock Town.  Thanks a lot to Tyler and Stacy for letting us crash at your place!  It takes a different set of skills to top-out many of the sloping boulders, and Mitch and I are finally getting the hang of it.  TJ has shown us several less-developed areas outside of Athens, GA.  We spent Halloween night at our friend JR's house in Athens and had the chance to attend one of the best concerts I have seen.  We paid $6 at the door to see the extremely intoxicated group Futurebirds play some truly incredible music.  With only 2 weeks left we will spend the next week climbing at Rocktown alone before one last weekend with our group of friends at Little Rock City.  From there I will head back to the Red River Gorge for one last week of climbing before getting a ride back to Colorado with my buddy Alex.  Enjoy the pictures!!!!


TJ risking his Girl friend and van on the "Orb"

Fall colors

Mitch, TJ and Steph

Tyler on "Bed Wetters"

Tj on "bed Wetters"

Me on "Creekside Dyno"

Me on "Creekside Dyno"

From the top of Yona...Don't ask me where it is...I would have to kill you

TJ on the scariest V3 ever

Me on the same climb

Me on "Megladon Project"

TJ getting scared on "Megladon Project"

TJ getting scared on "Megladon Project"

Is it a bunion?


TJ on "Megladon Project"

Me of "Megladon Project"

Me on "Megladon Project"

TJ pole dancing in Dawsonville, GA

Me on "Pow-Wow"

Me on "Pow Wow'

TJ on top of Yona

JR on "Pow-Wow"

Chooch seeing the vet

TJ on "Juggernaut" 

Jr on "Pow-Wow"

Sean on "Pow-Wow"

Sean on V7 dyno
Sean on V7 dyno 

Sean on "Trail of Tears"

TJ on "Pow-Wow"

Me on "Sherman"

Me on "Sherman"

Mitch before he dropped the snake!


TJ on "Pow-Wow"

Me on "Golden Showers"

Me on "Golden Showers"

Stephanie on "Mr. Stiffy"

TJ on "Grape Ape"

Mitch on "TJ's favorite V7"