Saturday, February 26, 2011

Since we last made a post our itinerary has changed a bit for the short term.  On our way to Vegas we stopped to meet some friends in Phoenix, AZ.  We were planning on leaving the next morning for Vegas but instead ended up staying the day climbing South Mountain Pima Canyon.  The climbing here was fun and lent itself to really strange movements.  I will post pictures from my other camera next time.  We met some climbers who worked at the local rock gym and were willing to show us around the town that night.

For anyone who finds themselves in the Phoenix area, Four Peaks Brewery is an awesome local brewery with awesome food and beer!  I would suggest their bleu cheese burger with the kilt-lifter amber ale.  To top it off they were kind enough to provide Mike and I with a complimentary 12 pack and some stickers!  The Phoenix Rock Gym is HUGE and is definitely worth checking out!  They pride themselves on setting problems that actually climb at the stated lever (V4 really does climb like a V4).  We had the chance to climb after hours which was great until Juno disappeared in the gym to relieve herself all over the floor...

We spent our mornings at Cartel Coffee Lab in Tempe, AZ.  This is the best coffee shop I have ever been to.  They roast their beans right in the shop in a vintage roaster.  The beans are expensive, but totally worth the money.  

Our friend Jeff was kind enough to let Mike and I use his shower and convinced us (it didn't take much) to make a weekend trip to Joshua Tree, California.  Right now we are sitting at a Starbucks due to bad weather, but other than that Joshua Tree is amazing.  We drove in at night and somehow were able to drive over 60 miles on empty.  Getting in at night always makes the mornings a fun surprise.  Joshua trees cover the valley floor and giant piles of boulders rise up all over the place (nearly 800,000 acres)!  The Joshua tree was named by Mormon travelers who felt that the tree resembled their biblical figure Joshua.  It only grows in 2 places in the world!  We are camping in the Hidden Valley Campground and are within feet from some of the best bouldering in the entire park.  Yesterday we climbed until the sun went down and saw some really unique problems.  The rock here is granite and completely featureless.  The most popular problems are made up of finger cracks and slopers.  The rock is really spread out and after climbing crowded crimp lines and juggy roofs in Hueco for a month, this was a great change.  

Jeff warming up

"Pinhead Crack"

We will be leaving tomorrow afternoon for Vegas (this time for real).  We are hoping to meet up with Kayla and some other friends the first week in March.  Mike and I have been doing our research and can't wait to see Red Rocks.  


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