Catch Up, Part One

It’s been more than six months since I’ve posted any sort of update and all kinds of things have happened since then! This is going to serve as a catch up post. Just a picture or two about what I’ve been up to and where I’ve been so that hopefully during this fall of climbing and life on the road I can keep it up to date.

Indian Creek

Ben and I drove south from Wyoming and reconvened in Moab for one more stint in The Creek. This time though we were meeting a couple ladies from Flagstaff. Kayla, Ben’s girlfriend, Megan, and her dog Juniper. Megan and I met briefly in Flagstaff while I was there in January and had stayed in contact. It was her spring break from nursing school and we arranged to meet up for a week of climbing splitters in the desert. Needless to say, we hit it off.


Ben and I hanging out in Creek Pasture waiting for Kayla and Megan.


Megan on top of the N. Six Shooter


Megan and June on the walk up to the bottom of The Rectory.

Bidding farewell to my new furry friend.

Bidding farewell to my new furry friend.

Ben, Kayla, June Dog, and Trucky all enjoying a leisurely morning.

Yet again, Indian Creek didn’t disappoint. Megan and I climbed the N. Six Shooter, one of the icons of desert sandstone and walked all the way up to Fine Jade, decided  we didn’t want to wait in line, went back to Moab and ate ice cream. I’d make the same decision again. I also managed to get my knee good and stuck in an offwidth. It was a terrifying experience and one that I’d rather not repeat, ever. Alas the week came to end all to quickly and we said our good byes and parted ways. When I turned north, headed for Washington and Megan and Kayla turned south bound for Flagstaff I was entirely unsure whether or not I’d ever see her again, I had a feeling that I would, but I couldn’t say when.

The Other Side of Field Camp

After a mournful drive back to Washington I spent a few days in Ellensburg. I celebrated my birthday with family and eeked out a day of climbing a Vantage with a high school buddy that had just recently gotten into climbing. I barely had time to unpack and repack the car before continuing north to Bellingham. I had accepted a job as a Teachers Assistant for the six week geology field camp that I had been a student on the year before. My compatriot was to be none other than Skyler Mavor who had been my TA while I was in the class!

I had a blast being back in Bellingham and seeing all my buddies and exchanging stories from my time on the road. There was a period of about a week and a half where I spent a good majority of my time in the car on the road, driving across the country.

It was fun to be back on the road with my hammer and handlense. Everything was more familiar this time around, life on the road had become normal. It was easy going to the store and thinking about what to eat because… it was the same as it had been for the majority of the year prior. It was definitely different being on the other side of questions though. It’s one thing when you answer wrong and you get points dinged for it, it’s an entirely different thing to give a wrong answer and have someone else get dinged for you. That pressure makes you pay close attention and forces you to anticipate what questions may be coming your way and where to direct their attention to help them answer their own questions.

I couldn’t have asked for a better group of very motivated individuals to share the experience with. Thank you all!


Chris in a precarious spot.


Do you think they see that thrust fault?


Case in Zion.


Dylan in J Tree.

About halfway through the six weeks Megan was able to meet up with us for one of our days off in Joshua Tree! She had spent considerable time there and played tour guide for me and led me around to climb a bunch of classic pitches that ended watching the sun set on top of Parking Lot Rock.


Megan in her spot on parking lot rock.


This is kind of how I imagine hell.


It snowed in Parowan again, imagine that. Brendan is not psyched about the snow.


Brian in the TA’s office.

Bellingham For A Minute

At the end of six weeks we returned to Bellingham. Megan’s sister was living in Bellingham at the time and invited her out to be a part of her team for the annual Sea to Ski relay race, so as luck would have it, we would be rendezvousing again, this time in my back yard! I had a wonderful time showing Megan around my old stomping grounds. We even managed to get up to Squamish for a few days and enjoy a few days of rain free climbing, something you can hardly plan on at the end of May up there.

While in Bellingham I got to watch Adrian defend his thesis and meet a new lady. I also got to meet the most recent addition to the house, Chai. After years of talking about getting a cat Aaron finally went for it and ended up with this little lady. The kritten, as she is affectionately known, has many loving uncles. Upon bidding farewell to Bellingham I may or may not have shed a tear or two knowing that the Happy House where so many great memories were made would be changing hands and the great group of people it once housed would be spreading with the wind. But I guess that just means there are more couches, in more places, where we’ll all be welcome?


Ben and Chai sharing lunch.


Suzie dog watches while a daring rescue is preformed in the front yard of the Happy House.


While in Squamish Megan and I climbed a few of my favorite pitches, including this gem.

Elemente + 1

Next up was brief stop in Ellensburg to say hello to my folks and gather up some additional things for the summer. In February, while on the road, I had managed to line up and internship through the GeoCorps America program with a Hydrologist/Geologist with the BLM in Silt, Colorado! Which meant I’d be driving across the country, AGAIN! This time though I wouldn’t be doing it alone! Megan came with me on a little road trip from Bellingham to Ellensburg to City of Rocks, ID then on to Rifle, Colorado where I would be living for the summer.

We had a great time chatting in the car and climbing somewhere new that neither of us had ever been. We shared Tecate, Brie, and Sardines on top of what can only be described as an alpine Joshua Tree.

After my first week on the job Meg and I made a dash to Flagstaff so that she could get to studying for her NCLEX nursing exam.

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On the decent after brie and beer. Definitely reminiscent of an alpine Joshua Tree.

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It was fantastic having an additional resident in the Elemente for a few weeks.

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Hard to beat early summer evenings on a tandem in Flagstaff.


Megan couldn’t be happier to have been reunited with Juniper after three weeks apart.

That brings us up to where I am now, for another… day, Rifle, Colorado! I’ll be posting another blog with photos from my summer in Colorado very shortly and then hopefully I’ll get back to writing about something a little bit more visceral than just the trip report of my life.


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