Friday, November 7, 2014

Joe's Valley Perfection

Brian has been talking about it for some time now, but it seemed that plans to get me to Joe's Valley, UT never quite worked out.  Last weekend finally put an end to that.  Thanks to a much needed long weekend, I was able to travel west on Thursday evening after work and met my favorite climbing partner at DIA.  We did part of the driving that night and planned to finish the drive to Utah in the morning.  Okay "we" isn't entirely fair when it comes to saying we were driving.  Let's be honest, I'm a terrible driving buddy.  Between making sad faces because of my car sick wooziness and never failing to fall asleep on a drive longer than an hour, I'm not great company in the car.  Regardless, we arrived in Joe's by lunchtime on Friday and I was all smiles.  There definitely is plenty of climbing everywhere, and Brian promised me a climbing day focused on me, so we got to work quickly.  Only a few boulders in, Brian asked what I thought.  He wasn't surprised to hear me say that I loved Joe's Valley. 

Brian and I were joined by another couple not long after we arrived.  We chatted for a bit and made plans to check out a few bouldering areas laster that afternoon.  Being that Brian's plan was to ensure I climbed until I couldn't that day, he and I stuck together and went on a little tour of the climbing, and before I knew it, my fingers were burning and my muscles were tired.  When climbing ended that day, we headed back to town to check into our cabin.  Once settled into our abode, basically a hotel room in its own building, it was time to eat.  We embraced the camping mentality, busted out our camp stove and made dinner on our porch.  It was simple and fun.  Having extended time with Brian doing what we like to do and talking about the grand dreams we have for our future made for one of the best days I have had in a good long while. 

By Saturday our crew had expanded.  Some of my favorite Boulderites joined us that morning, and we became a group of seven.  We climbed until we couldn't -- literally, we couldn't climb any longer because it was raining -- we are talking the kind of rain that looks like a thin yet solid sheet of water coming down.  The change in weather and our exhausted bodies gave us the perfect excuse to check out a local establishment, Chick's Bar.  Being that I'm still on a pre-race drinking ban, I did not partake in the 'Utah beer,' but I did cave and enjoy pizza at our next stop, a restaurant that looked, from the exterior, like an abandoned gas station -- the aesthetic does not lie; certainly it had to be a gas station at one time.  Our pizza was good and we all told stories and laughed extensively.  It was another simple yet wonderful night, giant blister on my toe not withstanding.  

Not wanting to chance it, we decided we would not climb on Sunday morning and headed back to Denver once we got packed up and had breakfast.  Our drive gave us the chance to chat more about life, and before we knew it, we were back in the big city with time to kill.  Impromptu Sunday Date Day it was.  We walked around REI (I do have a birthday to plan for), strolled the streets of Denver, and sat down to a nice dinner before heading back to airport.  

By the time I got home back to Wisconsin and crawled into bed, I couldn't believe how tired my body was and how content I felt.  I took that as a sign that 1. my weekend was nothing short of amazing and 2. I must go back to Joe's Valley ASAP!

Our weekend in pictures - I was so wrapped up in exploring, I forgot to take more pictures:

Headed to Joe's 
Utah is lovely 


my climbing inspiration 
the best dinner date I've had in a while
indoor camping 

lovin' Joe's 

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