Friday, September 19, 2008

Chicago



Well Lin and I just got back from Chicago on Wednesday night, sort of the fancy part of our honeymoon. Wayne and Darlene put us up at The Sofitel at Water Tower, Google it if you have a minute. We checked out some amazing food, crazy people, and a monstrous city (it's like the third largest in the US). We saw the Art Institute which was VERY cool for me since it houses many of the paintings I studied in college art courses. We also hit up the Field Museum, amazing to say the least. I finally got to see the lions from the movie The Ghost & The Darkness. They're featured in the African Mammals section, they killed over 140 railroad workers trying to push the iron horse through Africa. They're big and kinda scary looking, way cool.

We party down this weekend at our reception here in Wisconsin, then next week, we gear up for destination #1. We're not sure if it's going to be Southern Illinois or The Red, weather dependant, and apparently it's a booger to try and navigate a river crossing to check out the So Ill stuff. We've been trying to "train" here in the gym, what a struggle! I'm sure you can imagine what it must be like trying to climb on plastic, with 80% humidity outside, 68 degrees, and not a lot of air flow. Good training. We certainly don't feel like we're getting much stronger but it's better than not climbing for a month. In Chicago, a man in a wheel chair rolled by us and said "keep smiling, you got a Charlies Angel right there, yeah, keep smiling"... Sweet...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Hillary Step...

So for all the climbers, you guys know that famous photo of the two guys roped up climbing the Hillary step on Everest and the rope is blowing out straight sideways....that's what the first belay on Hollywood & Vine was like yesterday. To start the day off, we got really BAD beta on route finding from Rockclimbing.com. The route they said existed and was awesome was only a couple of old 1/4 inch button heads and not good at all. Finally we got to the belay, and the wind was pushing Lindsay off her stance. The 10c pitch looked glorious but we would have finished the day divorced if I had gone on to lead the 166 foot monster. We retreated around the corner to the more sheltered Soler.
For those of you who haven't done Soler or haven't climbed at Devils Tower, let me let you in on a little secret....that shit is sandbagged! By far the most exhausting and trying lead of my life. I was laughing the whole way up but I was gripped and tired to the point of puking by the time I got to the hanging belay. I am not a trad master, I fancy myself one as I sit in the chair looking at pictures of heinously thin finger cracks. When it comes down to the off fingers and off hands cracks and smeary feet for 160 feet, I kinda suck. I did it clean and it TOTALLY went on my 8a card but DAMN! We bailed after that and hit the road, we're currently kicking it at Al's Oasis in Chamberlain SD. We may hit up La Crosse this afternoon for some midwest sandstone if it's not raining, otherwise, we plan to sit in the car for 6-9 hours. I hate driving in the midwest, it's flat, there's lots of trucks, and not a damn thing to look at. But beyond the midwest lies...The Southeast....

Monday, September 1, 2008

Getting Ready



Hello and welcome to Lin and I's blog spot. We're trying this out so that we can keep everyone updated on where we're at and what we're doing. Check back often for updates on current and future destinations. To get things started, we rocked BJ and Emily's wedding this weekend, had a BLAST! Today it's rainy, kinda gloomy, overcast, perfect...fall's in the air! On the agenda today is our final packing, getting the camper set up just so, double checking we have enough gear and decks of cards. Tomorrow we head east, most likely to Devils Tower to plug some gear. A day or two there at most, Dad may come over and hang out for a bit which would be awesome. We are so excited to finally be on the open road. We'll try and post as often as possible, a.k.a. wherever we get a wireless signal (can you still park in Holiday Inn lots and get service)? We'll see you soon... Adios!
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