Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Stateside

We closed out our time in Squamish with more of what had become our norm - quiet days working (B), and running and reading (A), and evenings spent climbing or meandering about the town.  It was fantastic and neither of us wanted to leave.  Luckily, we had a lot planned in the days following our departure from Canada, and we were soon wrapped up in other fun.

Our first post-BC stop was in Seattle, where our pals Ryan and Todd were nice enough to house us.  They have an amazing home and they give amazing tours of Seattle.  We took the Future of Flight Boeing Tour, visited the Public Market, walked past the Space Needle, went to the Experience Music Project (including the Star Wars exhibit), sampled locally-made bourbon, and went wine tasting. And that was only day one.  On day two, we visited Mt. Rainier National Park.  The weather wasn't terribly favorable - cloudy (and cool at first), but we were able to stretch our legs some and take in the majesty that is Mt. Rainier.  We returned to Ryan and Todd's that evening, and again we enjoyed a fantastic meal and entertainment courtesy of Watson the Boxer (and a group tasting of lavender ice cream).

we stopped here on our way to Seattle  

not a bad view

obligatory Public Market photo


Space Needle

YODA greeted me at the EMP 

Wookie 



taking a break after an uphill slog 

Mt. Rainier 

The next day, Tuesday, we were back on the road, this time on our way to Idaho, our stopping point on our grand venture to Park City, Utah for the Psicobloc Masters Comp., for which Brian would be commentating.  We had plans to climb in the morning, but our outing was thwarted by rain and we instead drove to Salt Lake City to walk around at the Outdoor Retailer (OR) Trade Show.  We ran into a number of familiar faces - including Ryan - and I walked away with a new hair tie (not quite as cool as my Whisper the dog sighting of last OR).  Then we headed to the climbing gym, where Brian and I were reminded of how accustomed to Squamish climbing we had become.  We took our sore hands and tired selves to dinner with our pal Jon that evening (the first time having Mexican food in a long time and it was good!) and then made our way to the condo we would be calling home for the next few nights.  We got to meet up with our other LT11 pals, Jordan, Josh, and Mike, and between lots of prep work for the comp and actually broadcasting it, spent plenty of time goofing around and laughing uncontrollably.

The comp itself was an experience. The weather was heinous, and storms swirled about the area leading to delays in the climbing and an ultimate early end to the event.  It really was quite the event for Brian and Chris as broadcasters, who had a lot of time to fill with commentary thanks to those rain delays, and who looked like they'd been tossed in the pool by the time they came indoors at the end of the evening. As always, I was impressed with Brian's work.  He seems to have found his niche; he's a real pro when it comes to broadcasting - talking about climbing surely is his thing.  Maybe one of these days I'll get to be his co-anchor.  That could be fun!

the Psicobloc Masters wall 

Rain Delay #1 - Brian's onscreen weather report ("yep, it's definitely raining") 


Our original plan was to remain in Park City until Sunday, but thanks to our Boulder friends, Kynan and Ashely, we had a place to stay in town Saturday evening.  We also had great company for our Sunday Funday in the mountains.  The four of us, and my favorite dog in all of the west, Wally, went to Mount Evans, where I finally took on the hike to Area A, a climbing area that requires you to walk uphill both ways.  It was a gorgeous day and I survived the hike, which didn't seem as horrible as I had imagined it to be (though I'm not volunteering to go back any time soon).  

We're now settled into Boulder for the next several days.  It almost feels like a normal summer now, what with having spent the previous two here in The Bubble. We have so many great friends here, as we do at home, thanks to the climbing community; everyone we crossed paths with from BC to Boulder have become friends of our via climbing.  And thanks to climbing, we have had some really great adventures -- just take a look at this summer!

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