Saturday, October 8, 2011

Red River Gorge

Non-stop rain in the New River Gorge brought us to the Red River Gorge a few days early, and we have been here almost a week.  It is hard to believe how the weather here can be so much better than the New which is only a few hours away.  People keep asking us which of the two locations we prefer; the New or the Red.  The first thing I usually say is that the camping situation here is a million times better.  We are staying at Miguel's Pizza Shop which is where the majority of climbers in the Red stay.  The pizza is incredible and the camping is cheap at only $2 a night, a lot cheaper than Rogers because of the incredibly high demand.  Camping here is luxurious with functioning bathrooms, a gear shop IN the pizza shop, a kitchen and tons of great places to relax.  There are A LOT of climbers here, and with events such as "Rocktoberfest" this weekend it is common to have over 200 campers a night.

Climbing at the Red is often described as being all mindless jug-hauls (huge bucket holds), but we have found a fair amount of technical face climbs.  With the amount of climbing we have done since we got here it feels like we have been here a long time and  I am really excited for the next couple of weeks.  The weather seems to be consistently better than the New and the camping situation is a lot more comfortable.  We have over 2 more weeks here and I feel pretty strong after a rest day or two, so I am hoping to project some tougher routes.  Even though a month seems like a long time to spend at one place, I have noticed it is really hard to actually project something (spend more than a few days on one climb) in destinations like the New and Red where there is always somewhere new to climb.  Every person we talk to is telling us about an amazing are or climb that we haven't been to yet.

The Red is iconic of American sport climbing and when Mitch and I started "planning" this trip at that disgusting red house on Walnut, the Red held the most allure and despite the beauty we found in all the other destinations it was hard to suppress the excitement we felt for this final portion of the trip.  It seems like the saying "time flies when your having fun" is true, as this trip has gone by in the blink of an eye.  My dad always told me that only a boring person gets bored, and boredom is the last word I would use to describe this trip.  It is hard to believe that the vantasy is almost done, but looking back on it I am extremely grateful for the experiences it provided me.  I have been to 19 states since January and met countless people from all over the world.  We still have over a month but the signs pointing to what many call the "real world" are all around us with job searching being one of the main ways to spend free time.  Some of my favorite experiences from this trip have been the ones that resulted from spontaneity, and I am trying to plan out my future with that in the back of my mind.  So, if anyone has a job they want to offer me, don't be scared to ask!!!!  Ha.


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