Im not sure if anyone else wondered how long I could keep going making up silly titles for each blog post before I just copped out and started titling posts according to the current day in the project. Well, I know I have been wondering about that, and the answer is NOW. TODAY.
So for those of you who didnt hear, I am still marooned without the use of a vehicle because the license plates are somewhere in the ethers. I have called, harassed, bothered, bullyragged, berated, notified, begged, and cajoled every person at every possible agency responsible for the delay and the answer has universally been the same: “tough sh*t, they’ll get there when they get there!”
To be fair, I havent gotten to the inmates at the federal penitentiaries where the plates are actually made, so maybe it is my fault for being too out of the loop…
But I took the time waiting for my plates to reconnect with Nick in Vegas and to fly back east to see my wife for not nearly enough time. Climbing with so much traveling has been less than stellar, and mentally, being away from Stefanie is grinding me down majorly. So I decided to take action and get out of Vegas and back to Zion where there is decidedly more climbing within walking distance! I was super paranoid driving with an expired tag but I drive like a 90 year old, so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get hassled between Vegas and Utah.
So now I am back in Springdale and its kind of an odd feeling because its actually cooling down here and larger climbing objectives are becoming more reasonable and I am getting stoked for the fall and winter in the southwest! To whit, today I took a trip up Angels Landing for 1500 feet of gain (2:38 shuttle to shuttle, 2:07 with photo-foolery time subtracted!) to give my “pull” muscles a break.
I kept trying to get moving but then I’d see the sun setting and the light going off in the canyon…its a beautiful thing.
On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the Angels Landing outhouses. I have opined on the good, bad and ugly in the world of non-flushing sanitation. You may recall my praising those found in Idaho (still, hands down the best and cleaner than many peoples bathrooms) and the one in Smith Rock in Oregon. To balance the spectrum these are the most foul and malodorous examples I have ever encountered. My research is not complete so this is not being put forward as a final assessment…but I couldn’t get much closer than this to investigate because of concerns regarding asphyxiation.
So this is the main formation of Angels Landing. Obviously the 3rd-4th class route I took today is not technical climbing but there are some spots that can give you pause if you’re not comfortable with exposure and as an adventure it still demands attention the whole way up and down. Rob and I are discussing climbing a technical route up the formation at some point-you’ll know about that as it develops!
Approaching the ridge requires negotiating these switchbacks. There are a lot of them. Its like a big stairmaster. Eat your greens before you try this one!
Bumped into this little fellow on the way up–despite his relentless pursuit of spreading the Hanta virus, he took some time off to pose for the camera.
So that said, I am making the best of my time and am not feeling stranded. I have been shooting a lot of video and stills here in town at the Globe which is a great bouldering spot and very easy to photograph. Thats one thing that is nice about this project, when the climbing becomes less auspicious, there is always lots to shoot, once I get in the right headspace. I am to still planning to get into the Pacific NW if the plates come in time. I am learning patience in this endeavor, and I am thankful for that, if somewhat irritated by it.
I would love to have this project go according to plan and never have hitches in my itinerary. Being realistic, most of this project has been a hitch in the itinerary and I am left with a choice to focus on what I need to do to keep going or I can have a meltdown because I am not getting to climb in the venues I wanted to spend my time at. I have definitely experimented with both and the best result seems to come from not throwing fits and just climbing in the place that I am in. This helps me stay positive and that always is important when so much of the shooting requires extra legwork ON TOP OF the climbing itself to capture footage and images. It also is exciting because there is SO much I have to do beyond the scope of this particular project. Day 365 will just be the beginning!