Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nutten’ Like Da Mornin’ Thunda

The farm is roaring along like a locomotive steam engine at full speed. The days are getting shorter, the mornings colder, and harvests of plenty. Our team is dwindling but at the same time we are receiving outside help from friends and family.

The Rim Rock Region


Our team of 7 is now a team of 4. Avana has moved out of the Gabes and onto her next adventure. Currently in Milwaukee, headed further east in a couple days for a sailing adventure, then onto her last semester at CSU. It’s not the same with out her here though. I can see a parallel between my relationship with Avana and the movie Brokeback Mountain… minus the sexual intimacy, but filled with love, great memories, wild, beautiful country and years of friendship to come. I think it’s a mile marker in our relationship that we make light talk of the baby egg we will have together one day. Avana has made my experience here at Sunrise what it is. Thank you Avana for the smiles, laughs, whip crackens and conversations. Watch out Jackson’s Thriller, here comes the Roto-tiller!




With out Avana here, the mornings are a little harder. No one to make me eggs or brew me coffee or to sit and chat with. However, the only thing that has been pulling me through, which still doesn’t hold a candle to Avana, is da mornin’ thunda (insert Old Greg voice). You know, that delicious black tea infused with mate for Celestial Seasonings? If you don’t, oh your world will be turned upside down.

Well this last weekend I had a double dose of the mornin’ thunda.

It started with another early morning farmers market with Kate then off to Shelf Road with Bligh and Hans. The double dose consisted of the mornin’ thunda and actual morning thunder.



Shelf Road is one of my all time favorite climbing areas. For a few reasons actually, there is amazing limestone climbing, beautiful vertical crimpy routes, easy approaches, thousands of climbs, a feeling of familiarity, sense of place, and the fact that every time I have gone it has been with stellar folks and has created a deep love and connection to the land.



I was particularly excited about this trip for two reasons: 1.) Bligh and 2.) The raw and the roasted. I promised myself I would lead this route since it has been on my mind for the last 3 months.



After a successful market, filled with many friendly faces, (Lara stopped in, Jake Whipple came by and bought an arm roast, Professor Rick Knight, and fellow bike co-op’er Rick Price) we packed up and headed south.



It was already getting dark on our arrival but we hopped on a 9 anyway. I couldn’t help but to think back when Mer and I first climbed at Shelf and got horribly lost. We were just so excited about climbing at this new spot that when we were hiking back to the car we completely missed the cairn and walked a good 45 minutes into the middle of nowhere. Some 3 hours later and a conversation that consisted of “If I had to be lost with anyone, I’m glad it’s you” we made it back to the car.




Sunday was the day for climbing however. No nighttime climbing escapades or getting lost. A day filled with simply great temps, perfect rock and wonderful company.

Last time I was in Shelf, with some random from Mountain Project, Mike, we top roped the raw and the roasted. After climbing it he said next time I’m in Shelf I have to lead it, promise. Even though I haven’t talked to this rando since then, I felt an immense obligation to stay true to my word. Besides that, it’s a beautiful route, exactly my style and I just plain wanted to get on it again. I haven’t led many routes of this grade before, but I have been wanting to push my climbing, so here we go:

Some of my greatest sends have come out of a lackadaisical stupor, and this was exactly that. Some how, those little catnaps give me the energy and strength I need. I put my shoes on, chalked up, tied in and mentally ran through the crux(s). Hans said not to get to confident, after all I just had been passed out on some rock moments before. I though, yeah just give it your best shot.

Then I thought of Mer. Her climbing out in Europe, hopping on 11’s off the couch, and thought, I’m going to do this one for Mer.



I really miss climbing with her. Our styles and attitudes really compliment each other. Never competitive, always supportive and encouraging. I miss her. I can’t wait for her to be back in the states. Anyway.



That route got crushed with the same intention, discipline and confidence that Mer has when she so gracefully sends hard routes without a glimpse of fear or hesitancy. Thanks Mer, I just wish you could have been here with me. Redpoint 5.11c, check matey!



At Shelf we didn’t have any unexpected detours like Mer and I did our sophomore year, but we have a pleasant little detour on the way home.



Sunday was spent hiding from rain and the morning thunder and moving slowly, so when it was getting toward the end of the day, we were deciding if we wanted to climb one more route…. OR go to the World’s Largest and Greatest (Top to Bottom) Tropical Insect Museum. It was a toss up. Hans and I were voting insects, but Bligh wanted to climb. We thought maybe we could do both, but Hans said “If I miss those f-ing bugs, I’m gunna be pissed.” I mean really, once in a lifetime opportunity. We went with the bugs. After all, this was Hans’ last day of summer. And Shelf is great climbing and all but it ISN’T the World’s Greatest, like the Tropical Insect Museum.




Bligh WAS a little stick in the mud, those aren’t my words, they are Avana’s. But Bligh really bit the bullet on this one and decided to come in. However, as soon as we stepped in the museum chateau we were all in bug euphoria, even Bligh.







What a beautiful weekend. Thanks for sharing in my adventures.

4 Comments:

At August 18, 2010 at 1:10 PM , Blogger Avana said...

Good pics, good story matey! I miss you. Backpack soon? I will call you from rhode island.

 
At August 18, 2010 at 6:54 PM , Blogger RedFreckles said...

Fun trip! Especially seeing Rick! LOL. What was he doing? Herding his head of cows? Or is it goats? Sheep?

 
At August 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM , Blogger My Velvet Bumper said...

He was just paroozing the farmers market, hes going to have Anita & Sara from Sunrise come talk to his environmental conservation 100 class about grassfed beef :D

 
At August 21, 2010 at 10:44 AM , Blogger Acey said...

Boo ya shaka sister, I really want you to right another blog of your adventures to my newly refurbished mini farm, equipped with a salvaged bot belly stove.

 

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