David came back this weekend, from Baton Rouge, with his girlfriend Selena and his mechanic-friend, Matt. We really enjoyed meeting Selena and had a good time climbing together. Late in the day, Mandy took off her too-small climbing shoes, set them on the ground next to her, and declared that she would never ever put them on again for any reason. (I guess it’s time for an upgrade.)
The Speleobox at HCR is top-notch, and we nearly always visit the barn to climb through it before heading to supper. This is one is fairly new and very well made and nearly perfectly sized for adults (that’s Selena’s feet as she enters the box).
Matt’s from Colorado, having only recently moved to south Louisiana. He’s a better climber than we are, at least currently. He and Bryan had a great time talking about trad climbing near Boulder and RMNP. We made them ride by themselves in one car, and the rest of us talked about books in the other car. Apparently their conversation veered into other subjects, though, because when we got home at 10:30pm they jumped out of the car and grabbed our unicycle from the garage; Matt says he can ride.
For Denise’s 35th 19th birthday, she and David drove up for a fun weekend in Arkansas. On Saturday, we did the Fancy Pants cave trip and on Sunday she recovered visited with her Dad (and played golf). On Monday though, we packed up the car and headed north to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch for a day of climbing.
David led seven routes (mostly 5.7’s) that day and Bryan cleaned them for him. Mandy managed to climb all seven routes while Aly and Denise fell short of a clean sweep.
The day was finished off with dinner at the Ozark Cafe in Jasper and a long drive back to the house. David and Denise headed south again on Tuesday while the rest of us marched off to school and work.
We’re so glad we climbed last weekend! Early this week, David called me at work: he wants to come up. We spend Saturday happily climbing up and down at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, at Cliffs of Insanity and the North Forty.
Mandy’s proud moment of the day was climbing the first part of Man in Black, a 5.7 that even Bryan couldn’t start without help. (She immediately fizzled and came down, but the first fifteen feet were impressive.) I was glad to find that one route I’d struggled to finish last week (Summer Rain, a 5.7 in the North Forty) was much easier this week. More importantly, the day included Denise’s first outside route (Little Sprout, a 5.6 at Cliffs of Insanity), and David’s first outside lead (Fesic, the 5.6 next to it). We stopped by the barn on the way out to try HCR’s new speleobox, which is INCREDIBLY fun; Bryan couldn’t stop giggling for the first half of the crawl.
We ate a late supper at the new pizza place in Jasper, which was followed immediately by projectile vomit from Bryan. (He’s fine now.) We left Jasper around nine and were home and in bed shortly after midnight.
David and Denise are coming up at the end of September to climb at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch!
I’ve never climbed a lot, and Bryan’s been off the rock for three years and we think we should refresh our memories before they arrive, so we make plans to go climb in Newton County at least once before their visit.
At the last minute, Bryan emails some old climbing friends and Jay decides to join us. It’s a good day: the weather’s beautiful and we enjoy the company and the rock.