Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thankful for Roadtrips Part 1

It's less than one month from the annual Thanksgiving Roadtrip.  I think this will be our 6th year in a row of selfish indulgence in climbing while ignoring our duty to faith, family and football.  Our 6th year in a row of Thanksgiving dinner in an odd, sometimes surreal setting.  Last year was Mexican just across the western border of Colorado in Utah, complete with an acrylic nail in my Thanksgiving Day Margarita.  We've done Burger King and Sonic, too.  Gone are the days of Mom's stuffing and Grandma's apple pie.  Gone are the days of the post feast coma on the couch.  Gone are the days of sitting around the fireplace with my family on Thanksgiving reflecting on all of the many things we are thankful for.  Now, my Thanksgivings consist of driving through the night fueled by Mountain Dew and gas station sandwiches, some sort of masochistic rock climbing activity in which we inevitably fail to bring nearly enough water, get horribly off route, bring the wrong gear, realize we are way too tired and/or out of shape, etc., and finally sitting around a campfire at the end of the day hopefully celebrating a successful adventure.  The essential difference between these Thanksgiving roadtrips and the traditional Thanksgiving that I grew up with is that my family doesn't come along with me on climbing trips.  Everything else is pretty much the same when you strip it down.  And while I do admit that I need to make more of an effort to spend time with my family, I'm still spending Thanksgiving with people I care about, we still eat albeit not very heartily, and what better place to be and feel thankful than in the sanctuary of my passion for climbing?

This year, Bourdo, Steph, Megan and I are off to the desert.  First stop will be Vedauwoo in Wyoming before heading into Utah for the majority of the trip and ending at the Black Canyon in Colorado.  We have never been to Vedauwoo, and while it might be a little cold when we are there, it is that perfect distance from the Twin Cities to allow us to drive through the night, arrive mid morning, climb all day, and then only have a six hour drive to Salt Lake City where the fun really begins.  And while Vedauwoo is more or less a break in the drive, the more research I do about the place, the better it looks.  It seems like the perfect place for us too, with short approaches, classic bouldering and sport climbing to warm up in the morning, and some moderate multi-pitch crack climbs to get us prepared for leading in the desert for the afternoon.

I definitely want to check out the Nautilus area for some bouldering and sport climbing.  It looks awesome as you can see.

Then maybe get on a trad route like Edward's Crack or Strawberry Jam.  So as long as we don't freeze or get snowed out, Vedauwoo is going to be a fantastic day one destination.  Then it's off to Utah.

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