Friday, April 29, 2011

Crack Addiction...Gets you high, but very expensive!

Mark in Big Bend
I am writing this blog post from a couch in the condo my dad and his 5 biking friends are renting in Moab, Utah.   Ahhhhhhhh luxury!!!!!!  This morning Siebe, Mike and I all enjoyed a hot shower, coffee and the peace of mind that comes along with feeling clean after 3 weeks of no showers.  We arrived in Moab 4 days ago around 2 am after a long drive through heavy rain, and decided to camp near the "Big Bend" bouldering area before driving all the way to Indian Creek where our friends had been for the last month.
Drive to Indian Creek
Due to rain, the time and the fact that the pay station was at a different pull off, we decided to worry about paying for the camp site in the morning.  What a mistake that was...Moab has a special place in my heart as it is one of my dads favorite places in the world, and a place that I have spent time in every year.  I was excited to wake up and enjoy all that Moab has to offer (climbing, great coffee and an amazing little town).

Unfortunately I woke up to a knock on the bus by the volunteer camp troll.  After a respectful explanation of our reasoning for not having a valid pay stub, I was told that he was not going to listen to my bull S*@#.  I was shocked at the attitude he was giving me, but kept my cool until he demanded that I come out of the bus and pay him the $8 for the site before he called the rangers on us.  I put a pile of change and a few dollar bills in the envelope and sufficiently slobbered it shut before handing it off to the troll, and was told that because of the attitude I gave him he was going to do something very "special" for us and put our license plate on the permanent list of violators...OH NO!!!!!  I was not worried considering I knew we would be staying in either Indian Creek or the luxurious condo that I am sitting in right now, BUT after meeting some friends at the climbing area right across the street from camp we agreed to stay one more night.  We paid in advance and expected a peaceful night free of the camp site nazi.  WRONG!  He showed up after noticing our van and proceeded to tell our entire group that because of the attitude he received from the young man in the bus, if we made a peep that night we would all end up in hand cuffs, for a little bit at least.  Luckily we were not bothered again...

Tape glove

Mike on his first crack climb

Thanks for the belay Siebe
We arrived in Indian Creek the next afternoon and spent 2 days climbing cracks.  What fun.  I have always deemed crack climbing as boring and repetitive, but after 2 days of trying it I am happy to say that I no longer think it lame.  It is very technical and no crack is the same.  The first day Mike and I learned how to make a tape glove to protect our knuckles, and top-roped some easy routes.  Within one day I learned so much and saw progression after each route.  In the beginning my clumsy and uncoordinated hand and foot jams left me falling off of an easy 5.9 crack, but by the end of the day I was able to get up in cleanly.

First crack climb lead
Yesterday was very eventful.  I led my first crack (5.10-), took photos of Siebe climbing a 5.13R (R for extreme danger) while suspended 100 feet off the ground, and chased Juno for 15 minutes as she went in hot pursuit after one of the thousands of free ranging cattle that speckle the valley floor.  In the end I finally caught Juno and I am hoping to sell my photos to one of Siebe's many sponsors and never have to work again.  I will let you all know how that goes...

View from my camera perch

Last night after gorging on buffet wood stove pizza and salad, Siebe played the "dumb-European" card on an unsuspecting little child who let us into the hot tub of an unnamed hotel since we "forgot our key."  Thanks little child, you made our night!  Anyways, it feels great to have a shower, TV, fridge and a warm place to stay while all the men go bike riding.  Then it is back to the bus until they leave the next morning for another ride.  I am looking forward to enjoying some good food and company in the next few days and it is really nice to see my dad, uncle and their group of hardcore biker friends.  Enjoy the pictures.  I am still waiting for my video to upload, and I am hoping to have it up after today as long as the internet connection allows.  Sorry for the delay.


Siebe on "Air Sweden" 5.13R

"Air Sweden" 5.13R

Siebe off the wall, and me on the wall


  1. TJ and Mike, whats up? This is Erich from Moes Valley and Moab! Mike said you both had a blog and after some internet sleuthing I tracked you down. Indian Creek looks like a good time. We made it back to North Carolina but I wish I was still on the road like you two. Have fun!


  2. I meant to say Tom, not TJ.