October 01, 2008

Christine and Dean meet the Devil

I was shocked to find out that there is not an alien landing strip on top of Devils Tower! Only rocks, sagebrush, hundreds of flying ants, Nathan, Christine, and myself. I was hoping to have some sort of Close Encounters experience but instead we did some high jumping heel click high fives!
We've been at Devils Tower for several days now. I paired up with Christine Balaz of Salt Lake City. Christine and I seem to share the similar multiple personality quirks and we find ourselves laughing, teasing, and taunting each other almost every minute of the day. Nathan fits right in too. And as a result, i am having one of the best road trips with friends I've had in many, many years.
As for the climbing, well, it's not the rhythmic movement of desert sandstone i know and love. The climbing is technical, sustained, and very difficult for me. I have not unlocked the "power of the tower" as several of the locals say. The gear is good. Really good. But I'm having a difficult time with the slick feet and stemming. Although I've been in climbing shoes all summer, my feet are not conditioned for such sustained stemming and the result is frustration when my feet reach the maximum pain threshold and feel as if they are going to explode right out of my shoes. It's a pain similar to the screaming barfies you're fingers get when ice climbing and that pain makes you want to throw up. I could come up with dozens of other excuses for my poor climbing here, but I'll reduce it to what it really is... I'm just not so good at Devils Tower crack climbing yet. "Yet" being the key word. I'll get it figured out!
We're only here for a few more days. Nathan has been able to capture some amazing photos. The Tower glows in the early morning and late evening sun. It's quite spectacular and the images reflect the sheer power of the Tower! We were planning to camp out while here, but we got the ultimate hook up at the local Bed and Breakfast for the duration of our stay. Hot meals, hot showers, and my favorite, the hot tub! We are less than five minutes from the parking lot and the view from the deck is amazing. We are very fortunate for our accommodations and the great staff at the B&B. Check it out if you're in the area.