After recharging in Zion for a couple of days and getting some inspiration from great friends (and editing video and photos from Yosemite) it was time to move on and get out of the searing heat of the desert. I LOVE Zion but the heat definitely sucks my will to live. I determined to head north into Idaho and then to Seattle to finally meet up with Stefanie who had her first couple days off.
My goal was to go through City of Rocks National Reserve in Almo, ID and then head to the PNW (Pacific North West) to connect with Stef. This left me with some complicated logistics in terms of climbing and meeting up with Calvin to climb. As it turned out I got some solo climbing in at the City and I got to climb one pitch with Calvin before rushing off to Seattle!
A lot of people don’t know how amazing Idaho is–and I am ok with that because one of its best qualities is how unhurried and uncrowded it is. City of Rocks is one of the most amazing places to climb in North America because the rock is AWESOME, the living is easy, the people are chill and ambience of the area is like few other places. I don’t have a rational explanation of the “energy” of various places, but City of Rocks always makes me feel welcome and like I am supposed to be there. I feel strong mentally and physically there–whereas other places (even on similar types of formations, such as Joshua Tree NP) tend to feel a bit more austere.
I spent one day bouldering–which evolved into some solo climbing. The decision to climb higher without a partner is one that I make infrequently when it feels right–and it did so off I went. I was completely alone and it felt amazing to be totally dialed in and moving unhindered over the rock. It was some of the best climbing, or most enjoyable, that I have done anywhere. I finished the day by wandering down to the camping area where I connected with Calvin and his friends.
Among this lot was a fellow named Austin Steigemeier who instantly was dialed into the artwork on the Dragon Wagon.
Turns out that he is a grad student in art school and his preferred medium is Sharpie on vinyl! We conspired to create a mural on the Dragon Wagon despite the fact that the sun was soon to go down and it was pretty damn cold out there at 5500 feet elevation! I set up the shot to capture the process in timelapse and then also captured some video. The finished work was totally awesome! I hope to add more to this!
That night I shot another timelapse of the milky way–which is my best one yet, I think!
The next morning I climbed with Calvin for the first time outside of our “home crag” of Zion. It was FUN but kind of a tease because I had to hit the road and head up to Seattle. Right now (Friday June 22), I am in Seattle–I found bouldering along the way near Snoqualmie which was a nice “snack between meals”. Sadly the weather is rainy here, and looks like it will continue to be wet till late next week–so I am going to be forced to retreat to central Washington where there is good climbing and it will be more dry. I hope to connect with Calvin again and continue climbing with him also.
This is the first issue I have had avoiding rain since Moonlight Buttress in the spring–it’s kind of nice to see rain, but it is a hassle to deal with on the road. Connecting with partners is the next priority but that is looking hopeful for the rest of June since Calvin is based out of Seattle now and the month of July looks like it may hold a reunion with Rob for a blitz through Wyoming and the Black Hills!
Hang loose and bear with me. It’s all getting stitched together, one day at a time!