Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 10 Managing Expectations Part 2: September 5th-7th

Sometimes I get an idea in my head... and that idea becomes hard to remove. Sometimes that idea (and here is my error) becomes temporally based. This is the two year old in me speaking. I want my cake and i want it now! But as it ends up often when you have to friendly and motivated people... the lost cake turns into a pumpkin pie. Now i absolutely love pumpkin pie... the question is can i quit thinking about the cake long enough ton enjoy the tasty treats right in front of me.

This weeks distraction... a plan to hike all of the Maryland AT in a day.

This is by most measures a worthy adventure for me. It is rather long at 42 miles, but mostly flat hiking all a ridge with only a few ups and downs along the way. Hard... likely a 20 hour day... but doable.

Eliza was going to be away this weekend, but at the last moment decides to stay in town. Plans change. We cant leave till sat nite, we have some errands to run, we make 2 stops in annapolis. I can feel the anger rising.

But i quickly realize that alongside my point of view of expectation, are elizas expectations of a more chill weekend with me. It is amazing the effect of taking into account someone else position can have. My anger dissipates quickly, as we have adventuring to do.

My saturday I spent combing the local cliffs.

10 ascents of blue rose as a warm up, then over to friction wall.

My rope matches the car!

I manage to climb the slab route (10ish) without falls for the first time in ages. P90x must really be working! I spend the rest of the day cleaning a route that has never been done. and working on the crux opening moves.

Been a long time since i worked on a new route.... and i had forgotten how fulfilling it can be. Ill keep you posted if i manage to haul my butt up there.

Eliza and I head down to VA for a little cragging. We first go to a sport area near Front Royal called Elizabeth Furnace. Do a fun sport route and then practice our self rescue techniques.

In climbing carrying a cell phone is not a rescue plan. If climbing is about self reliance (and it is for me) than that is the antithesis of my desire to be out there. So the best real option is to have the knowledge and skills to deal with most situations yourself. Besides being quicker than relying on outside rescue you minimize the number of people in harms way.

Specifically today we practiced escaping the belay. A technique where the belayer... usually tied to the rope with the climber, can safely remove herself form the system. It is the first step in a number of more advanced techniques.

Later we go to hidden rocks near harrisonburg. One of my favorite small little cliffs in the area. Short climbs but great moves over nice rock.

Playing around at the base.

Sunday I manage to get back to friction for some more work on the new line. Ive figured out the crux but for one move... getting closer!

Looking back I managed to get to 5 climbing spots in one weekend. And I get to spend most of it with my favorite person. Ill still go out and do that hike in the woods soon, but this weekend was by no means a bust.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Week 9: An eclectic Birthday August 30th

Oh how to write a blog and have no pretty pictures?! Now clearly the few people that read this enjoy my pictures more than my writing... and dont worry... I agree with you! However with so much going on and so many people around... even I couldnt hide behind my lens. Ill do my best not to bore anyone and keep it short and simple.

So Eliza turned 25 this weekend, a place from where she can contemplate either her effortless moves into the working world... living with a crazy man (me)... and general where-with-all..... or... she can have a quarter life crisis. Certainly planning on having a party with 35 people... in our tiny house... from a wide cross section of the people we know... and have our moms meet for the first time would push towards the later. Luckily we had access to Ellie.

Of her many talents, perhaps prepping for a party is her most astonishing. Our house while lovely is shall we say... well lived in. In nigh on 4 hours Ellie had transformed it with flowers, furniture rearrangement, several cheese plates, more dip than you can shake a stick at and beer and wine to intoxicate a roving band of sailors.

With the stage set our guests descended. In an amazing stroke of luck we managed to bring in people from virtually every aspect of our lives. Elizas family friends from when she were young were chatting up friends of mine from elementary school! By some serendipity we managed to bring a group of amazing individuals together by just their connection to ourselves. And it worked!

From Russ' perfect ribs... to every girl cooing over Mark cooing over the baby of the evening.. Otto.... to Harry's eerily good Meatloaf cover. I cant imagine a better celebration or a better bunch of people for Elizas big day. Thanks so much for everyone who attended and made it possible.

Now ill have a month of reprieve until she starts reminding me about her next years birthday!