May 04, 2008

in review

Last week at the gym i made an open invitation to the gang for someone to travel with me back to Bend to pick up my van. Heather was not able to take time off from teaching, so I said the first one to call me would win a free trip to Smith Rocks. Since i had to pick up my van, i might as well stay and climb for a few days, right?? Plus i would be guaranteed a partner too! Well, to make a long story a bit shorter, Heather Hanamaikai beat everyone for the opportunity to go. We had a great time, spent six days on the road, climbed at Smith Rocks, and hung out with several friends along the way.

Our first stop was in Moscow, ID where i gave a slide show for the Palouse Climbing Festival. It was a blast. Hanamaikai and I stayed with our friends Britt and Andy. We had dinner with Ken and Mandala and i was able to get reacquainted with Mike McClure and his girlfriend, Tammy.

We left early in the morning for Bend so we could pick up the van and still have time to get a handful of routes in before dark. Which we did. I ran into Mike Stoger on the trail and again the following day on their way to go bouldering. Later Hanamaikai and I would have dinner with the Stoger family and a few of their friends. Heather was also introduced to the legendary Fred Beckey while walking past the Dihedral area. That was fun for her! We also hung out with my new found friend, Dana Yaniro (daughter of Tony Yaniro) at Redpoint Climbers Supply. She and her man work/manage the shop. Dana is a sweetheart and an absolute riot! It was Heather's first time to Smith so it was fun to show her some of the routes i did on my first trip to Smith Rocks. She definitely fell in love with the place and it was motivating to see her catch the vision.

Our last stop before leaving Bend was to stop by the Metolius factory and watch Stoger break cams and biners. That was pretty cool. I know I'll never trust any other cam as much as i do Metolius after seeing things break. I'm totally sold.
On our way home the new transmission blew up in Meridian and left us stranded for another day until i could get things worked out and acquire a rental car to get home since the van won't be done until mid week.
Despite the continuing car trouble, we had a great time. It's been a long time since Hanamaikai and I have spent time climbing together and it was apparent once again that climbing does not discriminate. Hanamaikia and I have different lives and different families, yet climbing creates that common thread and source of direction for all of us who share in the passion....Climb on.