Rumney, New Hampshire

Finally, an update. 🙂
I met up with Mike in Kelowna and sorted out the truck and set up the van. I wanted to boulder in Vancouver that weekend but, timing and rain drove us south to Seattle where we finished packing.  We were so eager to get on the road that we didn’t even stop for the night in Seattle. Instead, we continued on to Bend, Or to climb and visit with friends. 
For the first day, we went down to the north end to stretch out on some short, technical climbs.  The next day we were rained out, although during one dry spell, we managed to squeeze in 3 pitches. Well, I barely managed 1 and Mike scored 3, including sending Churning in the Ozone, a supposedly hard route for him. I say supposedly because he walked to the chains without even breaking a sweat.  The 3rd day, we putzed around on Morning glory wall, (Mike sending another such ‘hard’ route for himself (Churning in the Sky)) before heading up into the gulley. I did Highway to Hell my 2nd go, which surprised me because I remember the start being super bouldery and the upper section a tad tricky, not to mention a spooky last clip. this time, the boulder section felt really good and i sorted out the tricky section and even got my head around the spooky part. I actually found the route fun!  🙂
After climbing and packing up, we met up with local friends in Bend to dine at a pub. It was weird to not be dining at the Terrebonne Depot, which is our preferred haunt, but it made it easier to have Kristen (owner and chef of the ‘Depot’) join us and socialize for once. Since they opened the Depot, she’s rarely had a moment to get away from the kitchen and dine with friends. It was good to see that she can now get away from time to time.  After dinner, we departed straight for Wyoming where we met up with more friends to climb at a place called Ten Sleep.
Ten Sleep was waay better than I expected. I heard varying rumors of the quality of the climbing but recent development apparently is changing the scene a bit. My first climb was mixed impressions. It was still dirty and holds were crumbling, but there were sections, particiularly the top, where the pockets and ledges were just brillant. Then i tried this 12b thing called, the great white behemeth. i really enjoyed that climb. it was technical, a bit bouldery, and a tad steep. Really, really fun climbing. then everyone else set about this route called ‘Hellion’.  I had heard it was mid 13 and honestly i think i was too intimidated to even think i should be trying it. so, i belayed mike and watched our friends Kevin and Alli on it. I think Mike wrote about this climb on his blog…
We only had the one afternoon to climb before heading out to Ohio in hopes of getting there by saturday night. i wanted to have brunch with family and be there to celebrate my nieces 7th birthday that sunday. We drove 24 hours straight and made it by 11pm saturday night. Traffic in Chicago put a hamper on our timing, but otherwise, the drive was pretty uneventful. i was glad to be done driving for a day. 🙂
After visiting with family, we took off for Boston via Niagra Falls and a stop over to visit my Uncle in Ithaca, NY. We didn’t bother driving over into Canada to see the falls. mike said something about not wanting to come back through U.S. customs.  however, we did walk over the bridge towards the Canadian customs where upon return, we ended up going through U.S. customs anyway. 🙂 oh well, they let him in without much interrogation.
After the falls, we met my uncle and went for dinner to catch up. we found this delicious thai place that served crispy duck. mmmmm. After some before dinner, dinner, and after dinner drinks we were ready to settle in for the night. I tried to stay up and watch a BBC film about the Earth, but waned quickly and ended up in bed much earlier than anyone else. Mike had to work so he plugged away for a few hours before joining me.
The next morning, after breakfast, my uncle gave us the quick car tour of Cornell campus, where he teaches and does research. After departing, mike and i went on to Treman State park where mike took advantage of the hiking trails to take in some scenary and stretch out his legs. i was still exhausted and found myself sleeping through that whole bit.
From there we drove directly to Boston to meet up with Mike’s family. Mike’s brother Frank was getting married that Saturday and there were lots of wedding preparation tasks we could do to help them out. So, we got there and helped cut, tape, frost, bake, etc. whatever that needed done. The week is a real blur because we were so busy, but we did manage one day at the indoor climbing gym in Everett, MA. mike was tearing up all of the hard boulder problems. i was working my way through some of the moderate ones. most of the boulder problems were thuggy feeling, to me, but i still had fun with them because they were not in a style i was used to. they also had some really long boulder problems, which i found really good if only for the length of the problem!
Otherwise, while in Boston, we stayed in the van at the hotel where mike’s parents were staying. we made it to the athletic center several times. with my knee and whatever in bad shape, i had to resort to the pool.  i can honestly say i have never been more thankful that i learned how to swim. without that, i would have been going crazy! since i can’t run or bike, or well, i shouldn’t do much right now, i figured water is always the thing physio encourages because it’s easier on the joints. so, i took to the water. i couldn’t really run in the water, so idid 10 minutes of knee lifts and 10 minutes of butt kicks. my hamstring and quads were hurting so i figured it must be doing something good for me. 🙂  after my warmup and easy cardio session, i did some laps in the 15 m pool.  after the swim, i would do my physio set and some weights. the  gym was not well equipped, but i made do with what they had. at least i wasn’t just sitting around eating all of the leftover sugar cookies…  🙂
By the time the wedding came around, there was so much happening that time seemed to pass without notice. Before I knew it, we were preparing to head to the ceremony that Saturday. Despite my not being directly involved in the wedding, it seemed like I was preoccupied from morning to night and sometimes into the night. i can only imagine how it was for mike and his family, who were all involved.
The wedding, itself, was beautiful. after a scary, rainy, cold nmorning the sun came out and the ground dried up. it didn’t get any warmer, which is probably how i set off this terrible cold i have at the moment, but it was good enough weather for an outdoor ceremony.  Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and Becca and Frank had smiles the whole night. people danced until the hall closed and then a gathering took place at a pub nearby.  clearly, Frank and Becca are socialites and their crowd reflected that.
The next day, they held a brunch and tree planting at their home. there was an attempt at pickup ultimate, but many people were departing rather than hanging out longer. a frisbee was thrown for a bit, and i tried to hang out and watch, but feeling run down and the onset of a cold, i tried to nap instead. the nap never transpired, but we did head out for a walk around town just to take in the sites a bit more. we found the Freedom Trail that starts downtown Boston and followed it from one end to the other.  A 2.5 mi walk that takes about 3.5 hours. I had my down jacket on me so I survived the chill and the length of the walk while others were freezing and possibly hurrying.
I’d been to Boston once before for a conference with the Microsoft Exchange Server team. Ah, memories. The stories I could tell and the pictures i have as proof. 🙂  anyway, i remember viewing the U.S.S. Constitution before and was excited to see it again. This time, I got to see more historical monuments than just the warship, but I couldn’t board the ship because we’d arrived too late. indeed our entire walk was just 15 – 45 minutes too late for all of the attractions. i did manage to see Samuel Adams grave, Paul Revere’s home, Bunker Hill, etc.
By the next day, i was full-on, undeniably sick. this was, of course, the day we were setting off for New Hampshire. We packed up the van, ran the last of the post wedding errands and met the last of Mike’s family (who remained in Boston post the wedding) in Portsmouth, NH for a late lunch. We ate at a restaurant called the ‘The Friendly Toast.’  It reminded me of ‘The 5 Spot’ on Queen Anne (mostly for it’s character, not it’s menu).  They serve brunch all day, every day. I wasn’t feeling too hungry so i snacked on some toast and coffee. mike ordered the chorizo burrito and sweet potato fries. mmm, mmmm.  the dish that looked best and i wish i’d order was one of the specials: open egg omlet with basil, portobello mushroom caps, and a goat cheese. it came with toast and hashbrowns. mmmm, mmmm
After brunch, we went up to North Conway and stayed in a friend of the family’s cabin. Frank, Becca, Matt, Diane and martin were all there with us (that would be 2 brothers, 1 daughter in law, and his mum and dad). we stayed up late into the night playing cards. i had a favorable streak of luck at cards, though my cold was still keeping me down.  mike and i slept inside, this time, and i woke early to make mike’s birthday breakfast of french toast (with two pieces of toast spelling out ‘3-0.’)
After breakfast, Mike took his mum and Matt climbing while Becca and Frank headed back to Boston to prepare for returning to work on Weds. i took advantage of this sick time to do laundry and run some errands, particularly to try to find an XM radio for Mike for his birthday. martin came in handy for that part of everything since diane bought him one for xmas last year or the year before. anyway, with mike’s dad’s help, we bought the radio and subscribed him to 1 year of service. Now, Mike doesn’t have to miss another hockey game unless he wants to. 🙂 
today, the family packed up and headed back to boston to take matt to the airport. i am still sick and sore after attempting to climb a pitch yesterday. we drove to rumney, where i am excited to try some climbs, but instead i’m in the van typing up this blog entry trying to prevent myself from getting injured by working out prematurely. getting old sucks. 🙂 I’ll add some photos next chance i get.

About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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