Sunday, August 31, 2008

In desperate need of project patience...

I was starting to get irritated. See, I suck at projecting routes. I've only climbed 13a, and the longest I've worked on one is 5 tries. Beer Belly, a sweet Mike Doyle route in Red River, looked like it was gonna go fast. I fell at the last move on my 2nd go. And my 3rd. And my 4th. And my 5th.

Now I was in new territory. Was it in my head? Was it the humidity? Was it my tweaked shoulder? Do I suck? Should I take up badminton?

6th go... not even close. Fell all over it.

7th go... last move... again. Shit.

Finally, on the 8th go, I stick the damned move. Finally.


Setting up for the crux...

The crux, just before the big throw...

NOT sending, but at least I look good doing it...

After Beer Belly, I began work on its neighbors, Spank (13a), and Dirty Smelly Hippie (13b). Spank wasn't bad... a 12a to the worlds greatest jug, followed by 18 feet of STEEP "I can't clip from these holds sloper slappin". After a couple of big falls off the last few moves, it went down on go #4. Back to normal.

Dirty Smelly is similiar to Spank... except the crux is much harder. That is, till I found the kneebar right in the middle of it on go #2. I think it'll go within 5. Problem is, those last moves are hard. Guess I'd better learn, huh? The cooler weather is comin fast, and I've got 13b's to send.

Monday, August 11, 2008

JATD 2008... a time for work, fun, and reflection

JATD. Johnny and Alex Trail Day.
Several years ago, two friends of mine passed away within a few months of each other. John Bronaugh and his son, Alex Yeakley both embodied the Red River Spirit. This trail day, as John organized the first one, is their annual memorial. I'd been asked to speak at the afterparty, and Kaitlynn and I were excited about attending to put some labor back into the trails we use every weekend.
Katy and I got up EARLY. 5a.m. ish early... We rolled into the Red right on time, and met up with friends to get to work out at the PMRP. Kaitlynn, my friend Melissa, and I set to work at The Shire, rebuilding the eroding ground at the base of the wall with a motivated crew of people, many of whom we knew... Jon, Jordan, Dr. Bob, and some others.
It was a hot day, but everybody toughed it out and got an amazing amount of work done. Kudos to all who slaved away in the KY humidity!
Kaitlynn after a hard days work.

After the work, we headed to the lake at Lago Lindas. Here we met up with Tina Bronaugh and Johns youngest son, Jesse. Melissa and I hit the lake while Jesse and Kaitlynn canoed around. Now, I'm no Michael Phelps. Fact is, the water is just not my comfort zone. However, when we decided to head across the lake to the slip-n-slide, I decided to shelf my fears, and swim the distance. I just focused on relaxing, and it wasn't so bad. Maybe the 2012 Olympics and I'll give Phelps a run for his money...
The slip-n-slide was great fun. Kaitlynn finally got on, and once she did, there was no stoppin her. Apparently, the slip-n-slide isn't my forte either. Some of those guys were pros...

Melissa, Katy, and I... crushin the slip-n-slide.

Next up: Dinner. Great food, beer, and chatting with friends. I got to chat with Melissa some more, which was nice. Shes excited about climbing, and wants to sponge whatever info she can... and since I love to spray my philosophies around, its a great match! An amazing bluegrass band played, and during their break, several people spoke about John and Alex. Matt Tackett got pretty emotional... which led to the rest of us being emotional. Funny how that happens. The band started back up, picking up spirits, everybody danced, and of course, the beer was still flowin. I'm gettin old, but I think I held out till most were headed for bed. So did Kaitlynn... crankin pullups on the ceiling beams till the wee hours. Pullups?? Where did those come from? She'll be crushin everybody before long...

In a few days its off to Salt Lake. First to Maple Canyon for Cobblefest, then to the OR. More shows with Misty, more climbing, and more beer, I'm sure. Can't wait!

Special Thanks to Wes Allen for the JATD photos. See his more of his incredible camera wizardry at