Tuesday, July 21, 2009

good weekends and great friends!

Since we have returned, life has abruptly returned to “normal”. The lawn is growing richly and densely… the food is flowing from the CSA (veggies and eggs and chickens, oh my!), curt has been grocery shopping… I have been working in Indianapolis and Louisville quite a bit.

It has been good.

The current work schedule has me off for 3 weekends this summer (but with many, many Sundays in addition to that). One of them was this past weekend. So curt and I had to make the most of it: imagine… 2 days off with the hubby! WHOOPIE! Curt pulled some major strings at work, gave up his 3 day weekend to move the call schedule, and vwalah! Suddenly the future was wide open!

We took off on a 3.5 hr cruise south into the middle of Tennessee. The Obed is a lovely river with some nice cliffs on it. We got in after midnight Friday night (there’s a homestead there that lets you camp on their property. It is really quite nice there . On Saturday we climbed some of the easier sport routes; it is all nice sandstone like the red river gorge. Ever since I started getting ready for the Slovakia trip I have been leading more sport routes (instead of just cleaning up after curt). I’m getting my lead head back and it feels good.

The nice thing about the Obed is that when you’re done climbing you can jump into the river at this awesome swimming hole. About a year and a half ago we were there and got Leeloo to jump into the water with us, and ever since then she has not liked the water…. Wonder why, it was only October when she jumped in! so she found some other dogs to play with on the shore while we cleaned up with the fishes.

Sunday we were really sore (really, really sore), so we decided to try our hands at the trad climbing there. I lead an infrequently climbed 5.6 (soft and fuzzy route!) in my new shoes and had a blast (before my new shoes, my previous view of trad climbing was closer to “yelch!” ). We walked a little further down the trail and found a famous trad route called alpine dihedral. It is 2 pitches (it is so tall that the rope isn’t long enough to go to the top and get back down, so you have to stop halfway, have the other climber join you, and then continue up the wall to the top.) This is a 5.8 climb which is at the edge of Curt’s comfort zone for trad… and he climbed it like a pro! It lived up to the fame… it was a wonderful, open climb… just a joy the whole way up… and the VIEWS! YOWZA!

And when we got down, Leeloo and tipsy (one of the dogs who lives at the campground and likes to tag along to the crag…. He made a good choice with us, as he got cookies whenever Leeloo did, which happens frequently enough to be worthwhile on these trips) were very happy to see us. Took another quick dip and headed home… and slept like the dead… I love my bed. I LOVE sleeping in my bed. It is so comfy 

After a couple more days in Indianapolis, I came home excited to see LORI AND BRIAN!!!!!! WOOT! They were driving by on their way from one family to another and we haven’t seen them in YEARS! I miss having them in my life. They are a breath of fresh air and just a joy to talk to… and play Euker with! No one knows how to play in Kentucky. No one. We have only played once since we left Lansing. It was great night and Lori and I beat the pants off Curt and Brian twice! Hehehe he *snort* hehe… No, really, Lori beat the pants off them and I happily went along for the ride. They are great friends that remind me about what is important in life. They are good for my soul, and live entirely too far away.

The other thing that happened last month was that Carrie came to visit!!! We did EVERYTHING while she was here: pet expensive racehorses at the track, hike in the gorge with the dogs, found a poisonous snake when both dogs were off-leash… went to the bars and danced all night at pride… made fun of the saddlebred horse museum, ate out a whole heaping lot and saw a vineyard… and of course introduced carrie to the look of disgust when she tasted bourbon at a tour! Hehehe. We even found the Kentucky ren fest and listened to baudy stories of seafaring weenies while drinking hard cider. I need more weekends like this!

Since then, I have been up in Indianapolis almost non-stop and we got a third weekend away in Tennessee. This time we headed down to the Devil’s racetrack which is right off of 75. we had to stay in a campground, but it was a nice one with trees and shade and grass. Saturday we put on our packs and hiked out to the wall… and missed the turn-off and had to bushwack back down the mountain… and found the stream… and spent about another hour looking for the turn-off… and then found it around 3pm that day! We did a multi-pitch climb and called it a day as all 3 of us were exhausted! After some really good food we were out for the night… we went back and climbed a few routes the next day, drove home, and I took off for Indianapolis again.

In other news, we did get to see harry potter this week!