4th of July in Ten Sleep!

The 4th was awesome! I hope everyone enjoys the photos. We went to the rodeo, the street dance, and the climber’s party, and did a lot of climbing to boot. It was a great week.

Great form from a cowboy on a bucking bronco. I think this gentleman won.

Watching the action from a fence near the chutes.

A cowboy in the process of getting thrown. No one managed to stay on a bull for the full 8 seconds. The crew on the ground did a great job of keeping the guys safe!

Liftoff!

At the climbers’ party on the 4th. Keg provided by the American Alpine Club–sweet! It was incredibly frothy, but there was a lot of keg-side bonding over foam-reduction strategies! :)

Aaron Huey’s incredibly rockin’ pink boom box.

A proclamation from on high: In the beginning, there were no bolts, and the earth was dark. On the 8th day, God created Bighorn Dolomite and expansion bolts, and the heavens rejoiced! He shaped a hammer drill from clay and said, “Behold the Bosch. Redeemer of man!” (Proclamation (c) Aaron Huey)

Dispatch from Ten Sleep, WY

Along 16 West, in Ten Sleep Canyon (not my photo)

After a few days of rest in Montana, I’ve landed in Ten Sleep, WY. It’s hot here! Today’s high is 93, and the next 10 days are supposed to be hot as well. I’ve met up with some other friends from the road, and we went out climbing yesterday. The rock here is amazing! We went to the French Cattle Ranch area yesterday, and are resting today. It’s easy not to complain about all the resting–the heat is making me lazy.

Smith Week #1

A view of the park from the path near the Phoenix Buttress.

Smith is a gorgeous climber’s playground! I’ve been having a great time so far. Today’s highlight was a flash of Caffeine Free, 5.10b, my first flash at that grade, and the hardest climb I’ve sent. I’ve also done three multipitch routes in the park now–it’s really fun to top out high up. More words and pictures to come soon!

Dispatch #6: Hello, Bend!

I’m writing this from the Strictly Organic coffee shop in Bend, OR, where I’m currently enjoying a nice mate. In a few minutes I’m going to have to mosey on out of here, so it’s just pictures today. :)

Pretty river near U.S. 20 westbound in Oregon

I stopped to take a picture of these beautiful flowers and caught a bird by accident.

There was no one coming, so I took a picture standing in the middle of the road. In this section it was perfectly straight and level for over 25 miles.

Dispatch #5: The Mountain West

Guys, I am finally out of the midwest. Woo-hoo! I woke up this morning to this:

View of a mountain from a rest stop in WY, between Laramie and Rawlins.

I think the wooden structure in the foreground is designed to shelter the rest stop from the winds. I saw them all along roads and fields while I was driving through Wyoming. As you might expect, it’s a good place to build a wind farm.

Wind turbines all along the ridge.

I was all ready to motor through WY to Ogden, UT, where I’m currently stopped for a bit. I pulled off at a rest stop on a whim, and I’m so glad I did! There was a whole colony of small mammals near the picnic area. So cute!

Anyone know what this little guy is? Let me know in the comments!

I popped off on an exit to snap this picture. Utah has much more interesting scenery than NE!

I should make it to Smith tomorrow night. My body is definitely protesting all the driving–my back and my right knee complain now if I drive for more than two hours straight at a time.  I have about 11.5 hours of driving time to go–the end is in sight!

Dispatch #4: Conversations in Nebraska

This morning I had a great conversation with a nice elderly couple as I was eating breakfast on my tailgate at wall mart. The husband looked at my license plate, then joked around with me about whether or not Virginia was in the U.S. I told him that I’d never been to Nebraska before, and that it was HUGE! His wife rolled her eyes, then said in a great deadpan, “Montana’s bigger.” Then she whisked him off.

Oooold wood! An original pony express station in Gotenburg, NE.

Then I drove. A lot. I’m finally out of Nebraska now, hanging out in a coffee shop in Cheyenne, WY. It seems like forever ago that I was in Boston, but it was just Tuesday.

A is Boston, B was my first overnight stop in Toledo, OH. C is where I got the cap door replaced on Wednesday, D is where I slept on Wednesday night. On Thursday night, I slept at E, and now I’m near F!

I have driven over 2,000 miles so far. Whoa. The immensity of the U.S. is staggering.

This train was stopped under a bridge on I-80. It moved just as I was starting to take pictures, disappearing into the distance.

Dispatch #3: We’ll Call Her Shaun

Dear Mom: I hope you notice joke in the title, since it was just for you. I don’t think anyone else will get it. ;) 

Today, I drove some more. I got the rest of the way through IA and am currently somewhere in the middle of Nebraska.

The windmill-themed Iowa rest stop is awesome. So clean it feels like the future and it has free wifi!

I finally got my camera set up, which is nice. It’s a bit frustrating to see interesting things on the road all the time and not have anyone to point them out to. I wish I could take pictures, but I’m always driving, sometimes it’s on another car, and other times I’m just not in the mood to stop.

As far as I can tell, most of the midwest looks like this. Nebraska has hills, Iowa has trees and hills, and Ohio has neither.

Today, I cut off all my hair in Omaha, Nebraska. I knew I wanted to cut my hair short, but I was planning to do it before I left Boston. I was going to do it in Des Moines, but all the salons were busy for weeks->months. So I did some browsing on my phone while my tank filled up, and picked the first salon that looked good. The stylist seemed alright, so I let her cut all my hair off. Sometimes these things just work out.

Hey guys, I left all my hair in Omaha! :o

Also, guys, did you know that Nebraska is huge? It’s enormous!