Tuesday, April 21, 2009

4/21/09 - Vegas Baby (And Joshua Tree too)!!!

It is a potpourri post.

The last of the snow is about gone. The sump pump continues to chug away and the place is greening before our eyes. Flowers - mostly dandelions now - are poking up finally. And we have chickadees building a nest in the little wren box right next to the front porch!

A few days ago, we chopped off about 5" of my hair. Wow does it feel better!

The Cougar is out front and packed. Pente and I are waiting for Dave to get home from the office so we can blast off - destination: Vegas. We'll be climbing in the warmth then do a side trip to Joshua Tree for Roy's benefit. The parrots won't be going on this trip. Instead, they'll be here entertaining the house-sitter.

I'll post up next from Vegas -

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

04/9-13/09 - Dave and Greg Climb in the Desert

Too much office time and not enough climbing time makes for unhappy people. To head off this possibility, Dave and Greg C. (now dubbed the 'stout silverbacks') headed out to the Utah desert for some fun in the sun (and rain and wind it turns out).

(I stayed home and tiled the entryway with Mark Cartwright.)

The first goal of the trip was Fine Jade on the Rectory.

While the guys were climbing Fine Jade, Dave looked down and noticed some ravens investigating his pack. As he watched, the birds opened his pack, unzipped the lid zipper, removed everything (rope tarp [which flew away], first aid kit, food). Having secured some high dollar Pro-Bars, the birds flew away! Smart birds. Hungry Dave.

Castleton is such a striking tower (insert lightning jokes here - many have been hit by lightning here!) – one can’t help but take several photos of it. The wind starts to whip up while they were on the summit of Fine Jade. Greg, who hasn't been able to take a long weekend climbing trip for a LONG time shook the fist of anger at the incoming weather!

I did learn something new about Castleton - that is, it is not really called Castleton. It is called Castle Rock. The nearby town is called Castleton - named after the striking rock formation. Cool.

Next up was Crack Wars which is located on the west side of the Rectory.

The next day brought rain and cold temps. The guys hung around in Castle Valley in the rig. They did some hiking and reading. Forced rest day – beats a day in the office.

The following morning the rain and cold theme continued though happily it stopped raining relatively early allowing them to get some climbing in. They headed into Long Canyon where they did some routes on Maverick Buttress and other walls. In total they managed to get 4, 5.11s and 2, 5.10s climbed. Sounds like an excellent day to me!

Butt Pygmy was one route they did. Sounded like it had an interesting foot camming under-clinging crux and was quite fun.

After dinner in Moab, they headed back to Castle Valley for the night. The next morning, they climbed Jah Man on Sister Superior.

After taking in the sites, rapping, and hiking back to the Great White, they made burritos in the luxury of the Great White and headed back to civilization.

Glad they had such a great time - Enjoy the rest of the photos!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

04/12/09 - Removing and tiling the lethal entry way!

The entryway of the house is tiled with small, dark rust tiles. They are not my favorite because of the darkness. But even worse, these things are dangerous as can be! Even the tiniest amount of moisture on one's shoe and they are sure to fall violently. No way such a fall wouldn't result in serious injury or death.

We've kept a rug on this tile and warned everyone to never make contact with the tile.

With the wedding coming up, we decided to replace the tile so we didn't kill a parent in our own entryway.

I tiled in my house in Houston, but that has been almost 20 years ago! This tiling would be a bit different since it would be on plywood (versus concrete), and this floor had tile that needed to be removed (versus cheesy vinyl flooring - yuck!).

First step was to get up the old tile. That stuff was stuck on with some super human adhesive. It took us several hours and required eye protection as well as ear plugs.

After getting it up, we had to scrape the wood to get off as much debris as possible.

At this point, Dave headed for the desert and our friend Mark Cartwright came over to help with the floor.

Well, I say help, when in reality Mark really did 98% of the work! He has the coolest tile saw! And he was just fun to hang out with.

After several hours, the tile was done. Next we just needed to wait for the mortar to dry.

At this point, we haven't grouted (that comes this Saturday). When I get that done, I'll post photos of the finished product this Saturday or Sunday. Maybe this time, someone will get a phto of me demonstrating that I'm working too!


Grouting is complete. Mark came over and helped with this also (or I should say, I helped). It went quickly and the floor looks awesome.

It's crazy how awful the tile floor in the bathroom looks now. Hmmmmm... :)

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

04/11/09 - Cabin Fever and Climbing with Roy

Things have been routine around the house as we've both been working a fair amount. Dave's cabin fever finally got the best oh him so he and our friend Greg C. hopped in the pop-up camper on Thursday and sped away for four days of desert climbing in Southern Utah.

I stayed behind not willing to be thrashed by that brutal desert climbing those two enjoy.

While here, I've gotten a ton of work done, thoroughly perused the internet and developed a hideous case of cabin fever as well. I did a long bike ride but then the weather has become a bit too iffy. So now what?


Today, Roy and I met in Boulder Canyon to boulder and climb. The weather was testy all day, but it never rained or snowed. Neither of us believed that would have been the case, but we're happy it was.

We started by heading up to the Dome and bouldered around there. Roy has been dealing with some odd medical issues so he can't do too much with his arms. And he has to be very selective about what he does with them. It was fun that he was able to get out and do some not-so-arm intensive stuff today with me.

The sun came out for some time and there was little wind. The views were beautiful. I got a fun photo of Sugarloaf Moutain. Can you tell which side is north facing? Snow versus no snow at all. Pretty funny.

After several hours of bouldering around, we headed back to the car. We needed to get to town to meet Roy's wife Lisa and Phil B for some coffee along Pearl Street.

On our way down, Roy oogled a climb he wanted to do. It was difficult to tell from our stance if it was going to be reasonable or epic. We walked away leaving it for later. Right as we left, a Hairy Woodpecker landed in the snag (see above) and chiseled away. I tried but failed to get a photo of him.

In town, the coffee was good and the company fun. The sun actually came out a while making our sidewalk table really comfortable.

After a bit, Phil headed home and Roy and I headed back to Boulder Canyon.

This time we did some trad routes. Great fun as this place is granite (Mmmmm - me like granite!) and thinner cracks.

For the last climb of the day, we went back to the crack Roy had oogled earlier. It was super fun!

During the second half of the day, the wind kicked up, the sky got darker and it definitely got colder. I wasn't sure if we were going to get out of there without rain or snow, but we did. Of course, I can't remember the names of any of these climbs. All I know is that they were fun!

Before we knew it, it was 6 pm! Roy headed to town to get Lisa and I came home to a quiet house. Well quiet except for an insane cat who misses Dave!

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