Once again I made it to the Gorge for Rocktoberfest, but this time, I was a little late due to flat encountered with the van on the way down. I lost a day, arrived later than I’d expected and ended up missing the Reel Rock film, again. Hopefully I can catch it at some point so I can be on the same wavelength as everyone else. JI did, however, make it in time for my clinic “Burl like a girl.”
I’ve wanted to host this type of clinic for a long time and I was excited to see Josephine take on the challenge to offer it and equally excited for the interest it drummed up. I had a good group to work with and we had a lot of fun! The temps were cold and although we learned how to use hand warmers, it didn’t stop us from climbing a ton. This was a great way to kick start my time here in the Red!
After Rocktoberfest, I settled into my new housing. William Owens, Chairman of the School Board, has hooked me up with a wonderful little place just past Lago Linda’s. It’s 2 bedroom, 2 bath, has central heat, and with my own investment, Satellite internet. I’m very lucky! I live about 15 minutes from the school and 10 minutes from the Motherlode (Bald Rock area). The first week, I had a small house warming where a few friends gathered and I was introduced to this Horribly fun game called Cards against Humanity. The following week, another local climbing resident hosted a small gathering with a HUGE bonfire. This week was a small gathering at Miguel’s, thanks to Petzl. Next week, well, something will be in the works, for sure!
The first week had some major struggles and setbacks with getting situated but I managed to pull through and even squeezed in some climbing. The weather was not cooperating around my climbing scheduled and I started to resent my limitations. This happens from time to time and I just have to deal with it. My time here is about living here with a fulltime job rather than here on vacation. This keeps me isolated and a bit less flexible on my climbing times and choice of climbing partners. Thankfully, when out at the rock, and there are others there, it’s not been hard to catch a ride on a climb or two, which enables me to meet a wide variety of people. For instance, while out at the ‘Lode one day I managed to get a catch from two guys from Australia. This was perfect! And, I was humored to meet them since I had other friends from Australia in town and naturally considered all Aussies to be in the know about one another. JTurns out one of the guys, Will, knows another Aussie friend of mine and we had a lot to talk about.
By the end of the week, a friend from Washington arrived for
his first visit to the Gorge. Richard is from Tacoma, which naturally means he’s from Seattle. J He climbed every day he was here until his skin and body was too trashed to climb anymore. Then, on the last day, instead of climbing, we opted for a Bourbon tour at Woodford Reserve Distillery. This was my first bourbon tour and it turned out to be quite interesting. Later that night, my housemate, Nick, and I sampled my favorite bourbon, Basil Hayden, against the Woodford Reserve double oaked bourbon. It was close, but I think Basil is an easier drinking, smoother Bourbon than the Woodford, though I enjoyed both the double oaked and the regular small batch that Woodford Reserve makes.
While in town, I managed to finally get some maintenance work done on the van. Thankfully, my trusted ‘local’ mechanic at Auto Gallery in Lexington was still in operation. I made an appointment for next week to get the van serviced and check into my power steering problem, but Ed, the manager of the shop, said since I was coming to town that day I could just drop it by and he would top off any fluids to tide me over until my appointment. I asked to leave the van for a bit while I went off on the Bourbon tour and a few hours later, he calls to tell me he managed to make time for the oil change and fix the power steering problem (a clamp had broken and was leaking power steering fluid). There was no need for me to make the trip back to town next week. I love these guys!!!
Before Richard left, he had to experience everything Ky had to offer and that included a stop at the Waffle House for lunch, er breakfast. This is the kind of place you will either love or hate. It’s a dive, the food is simple, but greasy, and the waitstaff questionable (in terms of service). However, the food is tasty and the atmosphere unique. It’s definitely worth the stop if you’ve never been.
With Rocktoberfest wrapped up, athletes who came to participate are also wrapping up their time with a few hanging around for a bit and a new round of athletes arriving. This year, a really strong turn out of high profile climbers are descending upon the place. Nick Duttle, Whitney Boland, Jon Caldwell, Chelsea Rude, Emily Harrington, Matt Segal, Daniel and Courtney Woods to name only a few. Sunday Ashima arrives and rumor has it the Wizard, himself, soon after (aka Adam Ondra). This place is about to get rocked!
Stay tuned for more…
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