Ok, it has been a while since I posted and I apologise. I started writing one when I was in LA and never got it finished or posted, so the start of this one is from there and I am just going to add on to the end of it. I will probably not get pictures on but will try my best to get some on as soon as possible.
Well my few days in Boulder were chilly ones, the above picture of my car is what I woke up to on Saturday morning, the temp was down to -8c. The highs and lows for that day were record temps for October in Boulder.
After taking about half an hour to defrost my car, I slowly drove it back to the car hire company, praying that I would not slip and slide on my last day and cause expensive damage. Thankfully I made it in one piece as it would appear that although very cold the roads seemed to be very clear and non icy for the most part. I had traveled over 2500 miles in the Hyundia by the time I handed it back, the guys in the rental shop were very impressed and asked where on earth I had been and they were just glad that they gave me a new car.
In my attempts at trying to be more frugal with my money I managed to blag a free ride into Denver in order to catch my train and was then just going to hang out in the train station till the early hours on Sunday morning. As it turned out Union Station in Denver is not owned by Amtrak but owned by Denver city itself and so do not allow you to crash in the staion after 9 at night. So in the end I had to get a room in a motel and a cab to get there and back which was extremely annoying.
In order to get the train I firstly had to take the connecting bus to Raton in New Mexico where the South Western line is. This was quite an epic journey in it's own right as the freezing weather conditions made it quite exciting, especially since the bus driver, although nice was clearly quite insane. Anyway we made it the train and my 26 hour people watching festival began. Very amusing and much fun. A couple of interesting moments include a Boyz in the hood style white dude getting jumped by the police as he got off the train for a smoke. He had been drinking and giving verbal abuse to the staff. Then one of the conductors who seemed to be doing a mega 48 hour shift was accidentally left on a platform somewhere in California. Hours and hours of full on entertainment, much better than the TV.
I have not really done much since arriving in LA but the weather has been very Scottish, clouds and rain. I think the whole sunshine and blue sky thing is just a fallacy. However the rain is very warm, so it is just a bit like having a shower. I will maybe come back and check the place out later on. I am more looking forward to going back to Utah and getting in some climbing. We are heading off in that direction tomorrow. Exciting.
The drive from LA to Utah was long but thankfully uneventful. I travelled with my new friend Wes in his lovely VW Jetta, that reminds me of my car, except for the fact that the steering wheel and gear stick, yes no automatic, are on the wrong side. I even took turns of driving and managed fairly successfully to change gear with my right hand. Awesome.
We have been in Joes Valley since the 16th October and have had many good climbing days. I have managed to stay uninjured apart from a few cuts and scrapes on my hands so am pretty pleased. There has been a fairly constant stream of people coming and going from the Valley. There seems to be a never ending stream of people living out of cars and vans and meandering through life at a fairly slow but enjoyable pace. I am beginning to feel quite at home and very much like a climbing bum, but kind of wish I was maybe a few years younger, but hey, I have never exactly stuck to lifes rules. That being said I was asked for ID when buying wine in LA on my 38th birthday. Very awesome. made my day!
For those that want to know I have managed to climb a few V4's and a V5, and even put up a First ascent, not sure what grade it was but it was fun. I went for a hike across the other side of the river on the left fork of the canyon one day with a local climber and we hiked a long way looking for new boulder problems, there were hundreds of boulders but not many were climbable. Steven found a couple and made me try the first ascents, one of which I did, he made me call it Braveheart! It was an extremely fun day even the river crossing in bare feet made me smile despite the freezing temperature.
The weather has changed just now and it is actually starting to snow while I sit in the warmth of Orangeville library and type this post. It hopefully is supposed to warm up over the next couple of days. Fingers crossed, because it gets a bit dull when you can not climb and the cold makes everything so much harder eg getting out of your warm sleeping bag, making a cup of tea and cooking dinner especially. We have been making campfires at night but even they are not much good when the wind picks up.
Many of you will be horrified or delighted by my complete and utter tinkyness. I finally washed my hair in the sink of the garage/food ranch bathroom the other day. It had been about 10 days since it's last look at some clean water. I will leave it to your imagination at the colour of the water that I washed out. I am not sure how long I will be here in total but am looking forward to a very long shower at some point, rather than my spit and polish washes in a sink. Grim maybe, but to be honest I am quite enjoying it, at one with nature and all that jazz. It makes me smile just knowing that some of my close friends would be apalled by my smelly ways. Hee Hee.
Not really too much else to report mostly just climbing, eating, staying warm and constantly trying to get dust out of my stupid tent. When I buy a new tent I will definitely buy a four season one that does not have mesh walls. Mesh is not a good idea for desert living, every time the wind blows my tent fills with endless amounts of fine dust covering everything including me if I am trying to sleep. Not so awesome and the only thing that is really getting on my nerves.
On an up note I found 2 really tasty bottles of wine when I was in LA. I chose them purely for their names and designs on the bottles. I think you would agree they are very cool if only they would upload, so will post them later. All you need to know was that one was called Happiness and the other Evil. Both were very good.
Thats all from a very cold Utah for today and sorry for the lack of photos.