I have found myself with eight hours to kill in an airport. I am on my way to Patagonia, Argentina to meet up and climb with my friends Kate Rutherford and Mikey Schaefer. While in many ways, the adventure of this trip has already begun - complete with a cross-provincial odyssey on treacherous winter roads, an alpine start to get to the airport, comical shenanigans in airport lineups (hidden cans of salmon stashed in the kiddy luggage of a family of 5), it's hardly these details I want to focus on. There will be better stories to tell by the end of the trip!
I realize, however, that I haven't written anything in a long time, and as usual, it hasn't been for lack of travel and adventure. I will share some of my favourite iPhone pics to tell the story of my fall road trip.
Our autumn road trip began with a cross-continent drive from Squamish to New York. It was a long drive, as expected, but I loved the golden serenity of these prairie landscapes late in the afternoon.
Day 1 in NYC - our view of the Occupy Wall St. protest. We were downtown for the Light the Night cancer fundraiser, but it was cool to see the civil disobedience event of the year first hand. I must admit I was a bit tempted to join the march...
We spent 10 days climbing on the brilliant, bold trad routes in the Gunks. I finally got the hang of the climbing style enough to push myself a bit on some harder routes. The Gunks combines the ultimate in trad gear fiddling and amazing technical movement. This is single-pitch climbing that doesn't let you get your guard down for a second!
Although BC's mountainscape is definitely my happy place, the beauty of the East-Coast autumn is lovely.
Everytime I visit NYC, there are new wonders to experience. This billboard-sized photo of a rugged rocky canyon dusted in snow is part of a public art exhibit. It certainly makes me feel more at home among the concrete and cars and consumption.
After the Gunks, next stop was the Red River Gorge, Kentucky where we teamed up with a whole slew of Canucks to sample the famed sandstone sport climbing. This is Mandoline getting limbered up for a shopping spree. We had to stock up on wine in Lexington because the regions surrounding the climbing prohibit the sale of alcohol other than beer (but chain smoking cigarettes inside your place of business is TOTALLY OK).
Jer lookin' mighty suspicious
The climbing in the Red River Gorge is really good and relentless. I have never so desperately needed rest days and a hot tub to soak my aching muscles in.
Patterns in the sandstone
At the crag, I befriended these locals: Kermit and Sparky.
Cool windfarm on our cross-country return journey.
Sometimes really long drives make your head explode