Well, what can i say. This has been the year for traveling in the good ole U.S. of A. I've had more than my share of white lines, rest stops, small town diners, and all things random. My latest trip was centered around an invitation to present my slide show at the Bent Gate Mountaineering shop in Golden Colorado.
Since my Heather is now in school, traveling partners are a bit harder to come by sometimes. Life gets in the way for a lot of people which makes it difficult to get away for more than a night or two. Not wanting to be a speed bump in anyone's life, i really enjoy providing the opportunity for someone to experience something they normally wouldn't have the chance to do. Lately Heather Hanamaikai has been the recipient of said smooth roads of opportunity. She and I have been friends for over a decade, she's married to one of my best friends, and has the desire to become a better climber. So much so that she makes the effort to jump hurdles other mothers care not to. Like my Heather, she enjoys climbing but does not do it as recreation and climbs with purpose and desire for experience.
Her parents live just outside of Denver, Colorado and since i was headed that direction she made arrangements to travel with me to see her folks. The bonus of this trip for her was meeting her long time hero, Steph Davis in Moab who is a dear friend of mine. The bonus for me was not having to camp out or get a hotel room. Between the two of us we had places to stay at each of the stops along the way.
We headed for the pocketed stone of Sinks Canyon and to stay the night with her friends in Lander. The construction on the way to Lander slowed us down and as a result only had time to boulder for an hour before dark. Mike and Tammy would be proud of me. I actually packed a crash pad AND bouldered on a road trip! I crushed some really cool V2's!
The next day we headed to Denver and then on to Golden for the slide show. Heather's mom came with us to the slide show. She even won a raffle prize which luckily got me out of making dinner that night and provided me a couch for the second night of our trip. The slide show seemed to go well. I have to admit, i was very surprised by many people who approached me before the show to say how excited they were to see the routes in Idaho I've been doing. The show focuses mostly on the trip Heather Lords and I took to Kalymnos, Greece and then show cases a few of the better alpine mixed routes I've done the last few years. Strange to see people more excited about my backyard than the exotic island of Kalymnos! Times are changing for sure. There was a great turn out and an even better collective enthusiasm during the show. It was an honor to be there. Check out this nice write up of the show: http://thejourneyishome.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/dean-lords/
The next morning HH and i headed to Moab so i could work out the rusty kinks of crack climbing in preparation for a trip to Devil's Tower next week. We got a handful of pitches in that night then headed over to Steph's house for the evening. During the course of the next few days, we climbed cracks till our hands and fingers bled. Oh and i should mention a few knees, shoulders and an elbow! I hadn't been to the desert since BP and i spent a week together in Indian Creek a few years ago and i had forgotten how magical the desert is. The climbing is good, but the ambiance is even better! I really missed having Brian Poulsen (the splitter master) hanging ropes for me so i can thrash my way up some 5.11 classic. Next time for sure!
I'm home now and playing catch up. The weather is more fall like than before i left. The trees are starting to change colors. It seems my Heather's hair got really long in just a few short days, and am happy to be home with her for the next 4 or 5 days before i leave for Devils Tower!