Monday, May 5, 2014

St. George, UT

We spent our first day back in St. George at Chuckwalla where we climbed climbs with jugs so big, fun and addictive we deemed them "the junk food of climbing." Isaac has been practicing lead-climbing in the climbing gym and here he got his chance to lead his first outdoor climbs! First he led a 5.9 followed by a 5.10a and then a 5.10c! He was so calm, cool and collected, he made it look easy. We are so proud of him. We headed back to St. George for dinner and to explore a bit. We came across a splash park which was exactly what I had hoped for since we hadn't had showers in almost two weeks. I talked Aaron into joining me in the water. It didn't take long before we were both completely soaked and giggly. Isaac and Jason kept their distance and pretended like they didn't know us. I always have mixed feelings about showers when we are on the road....on the one hand, after a certain point, I desperately want one (and I think everyone I encounter desperately wants me to have one), and on the other hand I don't want to take time out from exploration and fun to take this was the perfect compromise....although I may have gotten more than one look of disapproval from the moms in this little Utah town. After dinner we spent the evening relaxing in our campsite as we played a board game on the iPad together while scrub jays bounced around in the branches overhead. The following morning we hiked. Aaron was the leader as he led us up one steep slick-rock pinnacle after another until we were so hot, thirsty and tired we couldn't take it anymore. We rejuvenated ourselves at a Hawaiian poke bowl joint where we gobbled down way too much raw tuna dressed in delicious sauces over rice. With full bellies we took some time to digest, relax and read in the shady grass of a city park. We then headed out in search of the St. George narrows through a cool desert-y city park. After some locals pointed us in the general direction we finally located it. They aren't kidding when they call this narrow. It was hardly wide enough for us to fit in sideways. I almost declined because I have claustrophobia issues. In the end I couldn't wimp out just because I might have a panic attack once inside. So after the boys and Jason squeaked their way in, I, with chihuahua in one arm and my camera in the other, squeezed in. At times it was so narrow that if I took a deep breath my back touched on one side and my chest touched the other. It was best for me not to think about this. It was perfect size for Pika though. We all emerged into the sunshine on the other side without anyone getting stuck so we climbed back down into the tiny crevice we had crawled out of to retrace our steps. The following morning we amused ourselves once again at Chuckwalla. After a few warm-up climbs, Jason led a 5.11c which we then took turns doing laps on. Isaac was inspired and gave it an attempt. He declared beforehand that he probably wouldn't make it but he just wanted to give it a try. I am so proud to say that he managed to "pink point" it which means that he climbed the entire climb without a fall on his first try. All I have to say is "Whoa!" At this point we ran out of time and had to head back to the-armpit-of-the-world, Vegas, to return the camper van and pick up my car. As I unpacked the van and re-packed my car, on the shiny black pavement that smelled of human urine, I sweated up a storm. When we started my car we discovered that it was 96 degrees which would explain why it felt so hot. We checked into our hotel where Aaron entered a deep depression due to being in a hotel room in Vegas and the thought of leaving the desert. On the bright side of things we all got to take a shower. We then tried to decide what to do about dinner. It is a universally held opinion in our family that we all despise Vegas and the boys were dead-set against leaving the hotel for dinner. In the end there were no dinner options available in the hotel so we had to go elsewhere. Luckily we survived the half mile walk to and from the hotel and the horrible food we ingested. The next morning we bid this God-forsaken town good-bye, high-tailed it out as soon as we could and made it as far as Salt Lake City where we stayed a night in a quirky hotel. The following day we arrived home to beautiful spring weather.

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1 comment:

  1. Vegas has a really bad energetic feel to it.