it’s strange for me to not take time away from people and events to write. working on the road makes my time pretty polarized. when i am not climbing, i am working. when i am not working, i am climbing. and in those moments where the internet is too slow to work due to the influx of weekend warrior climbers streaming unnecessary videos in the basement of miguel’s, i socialize and take it all in. but i haven’t put it down in writing like you’re used to. and i am pretty sure my mom is getting worried.
not very many facebook updates and no blog posts. geez is sara all right?!? she has already sent me two emails in the past week to check in.
yes, mom, all is well. we are just having french braiding parties in the woods…
it is starting to get colder here in kentucky. fall always hits fast in the midwest. it is summer and then, bam, it is fall. and we all know what happens next. weather.com tells me it’s supposed to get into the low 20s at night this week. but my sleeping bag is warm and so is the aussie bloke by my side.
i thought i would get really psyched on writing my character profiles, but it turns out that it is hard to write about the people i meet along the way when i am still surrounded by their smiling faces. so for now, they will have to wait. the only person that i can properly write about right now is kyle the canadian. so that will happen soon.
for now, you get an introduction to the family and a long overdue storytime.
meet my kentucky climbing family:
colby – dad/my lil’ bro (you heard about him already)
ben – grandpa ben or grandpa babe (aussie we met in maple canyon)
ryan – um, ryan (other aussie we met in maple canyon and official tent-warmer)
lauren and mark – lmo&mk (knew aussies, became part of family)
simeon – my college peer chippewa
nick – most tattooed climber and amazing tattoo artist
haley – my top rope princess and smiler
steph and aaron – rave souls who knew aussie ryan
jennifer – badass firefighter
emily – arm wrestling runner up
elodie – she’s french, and photographs
benjamin – tarzan from st. charles
mikael – tall blondie who hugs big and dresses bright
adrian – young dirtbag and sundance’s dad (dog)
sam – our tent neighbor and small fry’s dad (dog)
cam – our tent neighbor that ryan can never remember his name
okay, so now the story can begin. the cast of characters is complete. until someone else comes along. transience.
we live in “the shanteen”. commandeer a picnic table, pop open your tents, and add a few tarps overhead. hang a $1 painting of a chair on a tree and place a welcome mat at the opening in the tarps and you are home.
this has been my home since the beginning of october. everyone in camp is jealous.
every morning i wake up next to a very cute aussie boy who let me crash in his tent to give colby a break from his big sis’ snuggles. we wake up to the sizzle of bacon. it is better than an alarm clock. colby’s tent unzips, bacon sizzles. our tent unzips, the day begins.
we pow wow around the picnic table at the shanteen. away from the masses that overtake miguel’s campground. we are locals now. we are not the climbers that come up for a quick weekend. we have a home. we have a family.
we decide where we want to climb that day. should it be a rest day? is mark still sick? can ryan climb on his broken ribs? do i have to work? is it going to rain?
there are so many factors to consider, but in the end, the decision is always perfect.
we pack our bags full of gear and snacks, and then pack ourselves into the car. drive about twenty miles to dirt roads not suitable for nice cars. unload and groan about how many cars are already in the parking lot. swing on our packs and hike to the rock.
the beautiful rock.
what a beautiful sport.
what a crazy sport.
sometimes we warm up properly on some easy climbs. sometimes we get too excited and jump on the hard stuff right away. we collect projects or climbs that we need to come back to in order to climb them clean. add them to my crushfest log, the spreadsheet full of the climbs i have crushed or not so much…
i laugh hysterically when i fall. five feet or twenty-five feet. i cannot help but crack up. it is so fun to fly through the air. to push yourself to your absolute limit and then enjoy the giving up. sometimes it is scary. sometimes it is silly.
a lot of climbers hate falling. there are numerous books on how to mentally prep for falling. it is just a part of climbing.
“i don’t know if you’re fearless or just don’t understand the dangers of falling,” ryan said to me one day after taking an almost choreographed spill.
hm. it’s probably both.
but why have fear?
we are safe here in our home. here in nature. here in kentucky.