Favorites

Started this post and list a couple weeks before we left the country.

This may be the last night really camping in the van before we leave for NZ. I’m surprisingly sad. Drove by our old house in Lexington the other day and I barely grunted in acknowledgement. Now though sitting here in the van, in the Red River Gorge, down by the river at our friends’ place, I’m really fighting the tears. It hasn’t all been roses with me and Norman Clyde but it has been home to many cozy evenings with wine, good food and Scrabble.
Today we spent hiking in the RRG after long deliberations about trying to climb in cold, damp conditions. The hike turned into a real winner as for six miles or so we recounted highlights from our past year of travel. Reflecting was soothing; now I’m writing it out to share and to have as a reminder in days to come

Favorite Multi Pitch Climbs
Conn Diagonal, Needles, SD
Cat in the Hat, Red Rocks, NV
Soler, Devils Tower, WY
Ecstasy, Seneca Rocks, WV

Favorite Single Pitch Climb
Triple S, Seneca Rocks, WV
About anything at Squamish, BC
Moonshine Dihedral, Smith Rock, OR
Tricouni Nail, Needles, SD

Favorite Hikes
Mt. Elbert- high point of Colorado
49 Palm Oasis, Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Mount Saint Helens, WA
Mount Mansfield, VT

Favorite Eats
Korean dinner with our friend’s family in CO
La Posada restaurant El Potrero Chico, Nuevo Leon, MX
Coho Salmon in British Columbia prepared in the van

Most Fun Moments
Wedding anniversary in Napa
Biking to the pub in Squamish
Volunteering at the Leadville 100

Most Unforgettable Scenery
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, UT
Olympic Peninsula, WA
Green Mountains, VT
Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Top ‘I could Live There’ Towns
Bellingham, WA
Leadville, CO
Burlington, VT

The Hated It Then Love It Now Award
El Potrero Chico, Nuevo Leon, MX: Litter everywhere. Litter at the cliffs, litter along the road, to me the litter felt like finger nails on a chalkboard. And while that is a real problem all be it an ordinary one in developing countries, I’ve completely moved passed it. I remember the excellent, cheap fruits & veggies from Tuesday market, big beers, wonderful meals, welcoming locals and magnificent cliffs. I didn’t appreciate the mellow, climbing vibe last winter but after a year spent roaming around here and there and everywhere, I’m ready to make Potrero a winter stop for years to come.

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