YAAAYYY - my first day out on the ice this season - super stoked! Climbed with Jeni and Ken for some stellar fun conditions at Kinsman. Thank you, Jeni and Ken for your help and support for my "Turning 60 and Climbing About It" project! With today’s climbing, I’m at 87 pitches!
I visited Moab, Utah for a rock climbing festival and to continue my bucket list and do some hiking at the Arches National Park. I flew into Moab's Canyonland Field Airport (CNY) via SkyWest/United Airlines Express with a connecting flight from Denver, CO. The flight takes less than an hour and if you fly into Moab from Denver (or vice versa), make sure to get a window seat - on a clear day the views are phenomenal! I picked up my car rental from the Enterprise window that also shares space with National and Alamo car rentals. You can also rent through Canyonlands Car Rentals at the next window. **NOTE: The car rental offices at the airport only operate during certain hours! So make sure you find out what those hours are and make some sort of arrangements (Uber or cab) to get to your hotel/campground if you arrive after the car rental office has closed. This airport is very small. There's only one check-in counter, one gate and the only commercial passenger airline that flies in and out of this airport is SkyWest/United Airlines Express. There are only two daily flights between Canyonlands Field Airport and Denver, Colorado on Thursdays thru Mondays. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there is only one round-trip flight. So plan accordingly if you decide to fly in and out of this airport.
Keep in mind that the weather in Denver can affect your flight into or out of Canyonland Field Airport as it did mine. My flight out to Denver was delayed 3 times and as a result, I missed my connecting flight from Denver to Boston. The ground crew was fabulous and kept us updated and provided water bottles and snacks while we waited. I was automatically rebooked on the next flight out of Denver to Boston.
From the airport, it's a 30-minute drive to Moab and you'll pass the Arches National Park on the way. And you can't miss it either. As you come around a bend near the park's entrance on US Hwy 191, you can see the walls of the Courthouse Towers rising above the park's winding road. It's pretty impressive and I wanted to stop to take photos but was afraid I'd get a ticket.
Flight from Moab to Denver
While in Moab I didn't eat out very much. My room was equipped with a microwave oven and a small refrigerator. And a well-stocked, all-you-can-eat breakfast was included every morning: hot and cold cereals, cheesy omelets, egg-white omelets, sausages, bacon, turkey patties, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, lots of fresh fruits and pastries, boiled eggs, yogurt, juices, water, coffee, and teas. The hotel also provided two bottles of water at check-in and they set out a large basket of free granola bars at the front desk. I picked up more bottled water and a few groceries and fruits at the local City Market grocery store to make my own sandwiches to take with me to the climbing clinic and on my hikes.
I arrived into Moab well before the hotel's check-in time so to kill some time I went shopping. My first stop was the Moab Rock Shop at600 N Main Street. This store is jammed pack with stones and fossils so give yourself plenty of time to browse. It has a wonderful history, the folks who work here are very knowledgable and its a must-stop if you're ever in Moab. Of course, I picked up some rocks!
Gorgeous sunset views, there is a window view at every seat. Outstanding and attentive waitstaff service. But the food was okay. I ordered the Wild Ahi Tuna and it was a 1.25-inch thick slab of tuna that was lightly grilled. It tasted wonderful but I didn't care for the mushroom sauce or the vegetables that accompanied the meal. I guess I will always prefer my seafood with either a Hawaiian or Asian flair. I would still eat here and when I go back, will try their other dishes.
Sunset Grill - Gorgeous sunset views, there is a window view at every seat.
I flew first class on United Airlines. First class includes breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on the flight time. On the Boston to Denver flight, I had their breakfast meal (left) and on the Denver to Boston flight, I had their dinner meal (right). Since they have two meal options to choose from, I always try to choose the meal option that contains the least-amount-of/no dairy products.
I visited Moab, Utah for a rock climbing festival and to continue my bucket list and do some hiking in the beautiful Arches National Park! I was not prepared to be so amazed when hiking and driving through the park. The colors of the rock in the morning light was vibrant and breath-taking. The park's paved road is a 36-mile round trip loop. The park entrance is only a 5-minute, 3-mile drive from the Holiday Inn Express that I was staying at in Moab. I wanted a morning start to avoid any heat and crowds, but I was prepared for a large crowd, especially on my hike to see the famed Delicate Arch. Fortunately, I started early enough and avoided large crowds on my hike up to and at the Delicate Arch. It was on my hike back down to my car that I encountered many hikers headed to the arch. Surprisingly, there were several folks on this hike that weren't prepared! They had no backpacks....not even a water bottle! I hope they didn't think there was water at the arch! It's fall but be prepared with food, water, a hat, sunglasses, layers, and sunscreen when hiking here. At the visitor center, I browsed the displays and bought an "Arches NP" t-shirt. Enjoy some photos taken on my hike through the park. Also, read about Moab Food & Shopping.
Spent the weekend in Moab for the Moab Craggin’ Classic!! Wow, what a fun day of climbing. We climbed 5.6 Corner (5.6), Brush Your Teeth (5.9) and Critical Mass (5.8.) at the Ice Cream Parlor crag in the Kane Springs Canyon. Honestly, that was the hardest 5.6 I ever climbed! That particular route is very technique dependent. There was only a small section of it that has good hand and feet jams. Brush Your Teeth was mostly face climbing. But Critical Mass was super fun finger cracks - wished it went all the way to the anchors! And it was so much easier to climb than the 5.6 Corner, because my hand and toe jams fit perfectly in the cracks. I love the desert! Our pros for the day were Rob Pizem and Amity Warme, and our local guide was Heidi Stanke of Moab Cliffs & Canyons. I signed up for the Intro To Crack Climbing clinic. We covered gear, placements, anchors, communication techniques, jamming techniques, and essentials. Even though this was an intro to crack climbing clinic, everyone in the group had already done some crack climbing. There were top ropes set up on 3 routes and there was lots of jamming going on. And I learned two awesome crack climbing techniques from Heidi Stanke. The newly learned techniques helped me to get through the off-width section of 5.6 Corner and to rest while in the corner of Brush Your Teeth. Wished I had known I could bring my trad rack, I would have loved to place my gear in sandstone cracks. Overall, it was an amazing experience climbing cracks in Moab and I'm definitely planning to return next year! Read about my hiking in the Arches National Park as well as Moab Utah Food and Shopping.
Farley Ledge Met up with Iskuhi, Danica, and Jen at Farley Ledge. A bit crowded (a group of 13 at one area!) and managed to get in a lead and some climbs. Also met a bunch of really nice climbers (and dogs) as well. Super fun day!
Thin Air, Cathedral Ledge Jackie and I met up in the Cathedral Ledge parking lot. At the base of Thin Air. Jackie lead the first pitch and brought me up. I hemmed and hawed and finally decided to lead the second pitch. Everything was going great until I reached a really sketchy section and realized I didn't have the cam I needed. I knew right off the bat..." that crack was a #2 because that's my hand jam size." The feet at this particular section was sketchy, but I had to make sure. So I tried a #0.75 and #1, but both were too small. And the #3 and it was too big. I came back down to the little ledge and looked back at Jackie at the belay. I had both number 2's already placed. And why the hell did I place that #1 so closely to the second #2.......WTF Lovena? With no #2 to place, I had two choices. Climb through the section that sketched me out or bail. I bailed and back climbed to Jackie at the belay and she finished up leading the traverse. We rapped after the second pitch. Back down on the ground, I had a really good cry to get it out of my system. I don't know why, but I was really off today and crying was out of frustration and to vent. It felt good - time to move on!
Today Nuno and I checked out the climbing crag at the Burns McIntire Forest area in Marlow, NH. There were only two other climbers when we got there and they were super helpful with the local beta. I hadn't climbed here in years but the place pretty much is the same as I remembered it. I lead the Sunny Slab Left (5.7) first with no problems, then it was Nuno's turn. Everything was fine until he got above the last clip and placed his hand in the small horizontal crack. Long story short - our climbing was cut short by some pretty aggressive locals!! Thank you, Nuno, for your photos and your help and support for my "Turning 60 and Climbing About It" project! With today’s climbing, I’m at 29 leads of 76 pitches! Enjoy some photos taken of our day.
Another mellow day of climbing! So nice to be climbing without the humidity, but the place was a bit crowded! :) Iskuhi, Nuno and I headed out to Rumney for a quick climbing day. Also bumped into Kyle who was there climbing with James. And we met Pia, the cutest little crag dog ever! Thank you Iskuhi and Nuno, for your photos and your help and support for my "Turning 60 and Climbing About It" project! With today’s climbing, I’m at 28 leads of 75 pitches! Enjoy some photos taken of our day.
Ted's Montana Grill https://www.tedsmontanagrill.com/ I don't usually eat burgers, but I wanted to taste Bison so I ordered the Bison Burger! First time tasting bison and it was delicious! It wasn't as greasy as hamburgers.
Copper Whiskey Bar & Grill https://www.coppermontana.com/ Wow, this place rocks! The ambiance is very rustic, the waitstaff is friendly and the food is amazing! Located in downtown, the entire restaurant is in the basement below an Asian restaurant. Ribeye (left) and Whiskey Glazed Roast Chicken (right).
Dave's Sushi (off Main Street) https://daves-sushi.com/ Ahi Sashimi from Hawaii! Just a bit of warning, they don't serve any beef, pork or chicken or any meat. Just seafood.
Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse http://www.wasabibozemanmt.com Light sushi meal for me, steak and shrimp for my groom. Good prices, friendly waitstaff, and fast service!
United Airlines Flew first class on the Chicago-to-Boston leg and was served dinner. The food was delicious but then again I was very hungry. We were late getting out of Chicago and sat on the tarmac for 2.5 hours waiting for the ground-stay in Boston to be lifted. Attentive service and comfy seats.
Three Rivers Restaurant - Holiday Inn Bozeman We stayed here during our entire visit and ate breakfast every morning here. I loved the scrambled eggs, bacon and the cup of fresh fruit slices!
Today my groom and I headed out to the Custer Gallatin National Forest. On our way, we stopped at REI to pick up a Hyalite Canyon trail map ($5). The drive from Bozeman was only 20 minutes and the ride through the canyon was beautiful! We passed several campgrounds and at the pull-offs, several folks fishing at the creek. At the reservoir, there were many people taking advantage of the mild temperatures. Many were camping along the east shore of the reservoir. Many were enjoying the water in kayaks, canoes, or tubes. On our way out we stopped by Practice Rock to watch some climbers. Such a mellow day! Enjoy some photos taken of our day.
My groom and I had a wonderful vacation in Montana. We got to golf and visit both a national park and a national forest. Since we stayed at the Holiday Inn Bozeman in Bozeman, Montana, we entered the North entrance of the Yellowstone National Park via I90 & US89, coming through the town of Gardiner, MT. From the North entrance, the Albright Visitor Center is 5 miles and Old Faithful Geyser is approximately 56 miles. If you drive the speed limit and there's no traffic (ha!) and you don't stop (ha! again), it should take about an hour and a half. We entered the park at 8:16am, made several stops along the way, and watched the Old Faithful Geyser erupt at 1:20pm. And yes, even on a weekday, there is a lot of traffic!
The drive from the North entrance was simply amazing. Traveling southbound along the Grand Loop Road, the Washburn Range was to the east and the Gallatin Range to the west. Ronnie and I drove in silence, taking in the grand views of the peaks of the ranges. Some had snowy tops and I wondered if anyone had climbed them. I took it all in as we drove. Flanked by those glorious mountains, I felt blessed. Our first stop, from the North entrance, was the Albright Visitor Center and the General Store. At the General Store, I picked up a Yellowstone t-shirt and baseball cap. Visiting the different national and state parks, I like to pick up a t-shirt and/or baseball cap as a souvenir and to also use for climbing and golfing. Our next stop was the Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace.
Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace From the visitor center, you can see the Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace. Mammoth is one of two major geothermal areas within Yellowstone, characterized by hot springs bubbling and steaming down a hill of travertine terraces. There are several parking lots for the terraces and Ronnie and I parked in the lower lot, then walked the boardwalk over the hot springs.
Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace Such a beautiful and fascinating area! There are several sets of steps along the boardwalk, but a lot of it is flat and wheelchair accessible. There are also benches along the boardwalk so you can sit and enjoy the different springs along the boardwalk.
Beryl Spring Pronounced "Burl" - this is a little beautiful roadside spring on the way to or from the Norris Geyser Basin. There is a small parking lot on the west side of the road, giving easy and short access to the spring. We were lucky that it wasn't crowded at all when we viewed it.
The parking lot was a nightmare, so many cars, RV's and motorcycles entering and exiting the two entrances of the parking lot. But it's such an easy and gorgeous waterfall to experience! I can just imagine what it looks like, totally frozen in the winter!
Old Faithful Geyser We finally pulled into the Old Faithful Visitor Center at about 12:15pm and we had just enough time to grab some lunch at the cafeteria, the Veggie Hummus sandwich was delicious as was the Chili!! The next eruption was predicted to be at 1:20pm, so Ronnie and I quickly ate our lunches, then headed over to the boardwalk to grab us a seat. I've never seen a geyser in person, so I was anxious to watch Old Faithful. When Old Faithful finally erupted, it was such an impressive sight and an amazing experience!
Wildlife We exited the park via the West entrance into the town of West Yellowstone, MT. Just past the Madison Campground, we encountered traffic and it was at a standstill. I told Ronnie there's probably wildlife and sure enough, there was a herd of Buffalo on the north side of the road. This gave me a good vantage point for videotaping and taking photos without having to get out of the car. Yeehaw!
We only spent one day visiting the park and saw just a tiny bit of it. There is so, so much more to see and experience. It would probably take several days to see it all!
Bridgers Creek Golf Course is a quiet, 18 hole golf course at the base of the Bridger Mountains Range. My groom and I got an afternoon tee time and the weather was phenomenal! The course is in really good condition and the greens were fast, and the course layout plays well. Enjoy some photos taken of our round!