Seventeen years ago, Jason and I took off in his 1985 brown Subaru wagon for months of climbing adventures. Our first stop was Hueco Tanks, a world-class bouldering mecca where we spent two months running free in this bouldering wonderland, climbing, eating horribly, and getting stronger while living as cheaply as possible in the back of "Old Brown." We loved living the dirtbag life. Understandably, Hueco Tanks holds a very special place in our hearts and memories, so naturally we wanted to share this place with the boys. Unfortunately things have drastically changed. Hueco Tanks is also a sacred place to the Native Americans whose ancestors left behind a huge collection of petroglyphs. For reasons nobody can understand some locals began spray painting over these priceless artifacts and, as a result two-thirds of the park has been closed and only seventy people at a time can enter the remaining portion. In addition you must obtain and carry a permit with you at all times. The atmosphere was oppressive and many of the rules ridiculous. Jason and Aaron got in trouble for playing on the boulders in our campsite, we all got in trouble for staying in the park after six, and we lived in fear of breaking arbitrary, unknown rules. Needless to say, we were disappointed that things had become so strict and authoritarian. When we did get our hands on a permit, we had a great time showing the boys around, visiting old climbs that we loved. In the old days, Ghetto Simulator was a climb that took months for me to complete. We would start and end our day on it, climbing it as many as ten times a day as I gave it my blood, sweat, and tears trying to complete it. During this trip, we spent an afternoon playing on it and then sunned ourselves and stretched in my favorite spot while the boys played a game in the dirt at the base of the climb.
The next morning we got an early start on Easter when Aaron started throwing up just after midnight. I am very thankful that we had a garbage can in our campsite and that I am very quick with our titanium pot. The easter bunny must have been very sneaky to get his job done between crucking sessions. Once the sun came up, my little Aaron's head appeared from the pop-top and let out a little, tired "Happy Easter" before climbing down to snuggle and see what the easter bunny had brought him. Then he and Isaac searched through the camper van to find the hidden eggs. Isaac discovered later that the easter bunny had also hidden eggs outside so the hunt continued after Aaron emptied himself again. With a sick Aaron, we decided that a driving day was in order so we packed up and headed to our next destination.
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