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Traveling, living, loving, exploring and trying to make some semblance of sense out of this crazy world.  


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Production Mode

Following a Wednesday of loading crates and tubs and crossing mountains to set up a storage unit and run errands in Harrisonburg, Cindy and I spent Thursday dodging incredible runoff still cascading out of the hills. Tuesday's torrential overnight rains brought flashfloods throughout Pendelton and Grant Counties, washing out roads, ditches, and stripping soil from croplands and gardens. In some places, the water came up 6-8 FEET overnight, when as much as 2 inches of rain fell on already saturated ground. Even after a full day of cleanup on Wednesday, the conditions were still questionable Thursday. The morning dawned somewhat cloudy and cooler, leading us to doubt, but the sky cover gradually cleared and we headed into increasing spring sunshine.

Cindy B and I arrived to find Mr. Fisher loading pack at the car. We hiked up to the crag together, stopping briefly to eye the new project, then headed up to the main walls to see what conditions there looked like.

Fifty feet from the Reach, we cold hear water POURING over the rock. the right end of the wall looked like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, with a fine spray of mist glowing in the morning light and water falling over a 25 foot stretch of face, pooling several inches deep beneath and running off the hillside in a steady stream. Evidence revealed that flows had also poured out of several of the small "caves" in the base of the wall at a few points, but the new steps and trails stayed solid and seemed to have settled in quite nicely.

We climbed Superman, which Mike followed by "beating the crap out of (himself)" on Grain of Sand. He eventually lowered and we headed down for a run on Thieves in the Temple, and Second Rule, with Mister F using the last ascent to set a TR on the hard new project L of Cold Day in Hell. I then led Second again and Cindy followed to clean the gear. By now the skies were completely clear and warm breezes blew out of the west as we remarked n this amazing transformation in the weather.

After a short break, Miss Pinkpants wisely headed for the river and a bit of fishing, while Doc Goodwack and I set ourselves to work out the micro-crimper complexities involved in the bottom of the new project.

A steep face with now real footholds led to a wicked heel hook and a cross-over crimper to set up for the throw to the clip jug. Another cross over and fancy footwork led to powerful sidepuls and another bolt, then a grunt to the hands-free rest below the third crux and fourth bolt. Here, strength and determination finally ceded the day to pragmatism as the sun sank low in the west and the realization of draws to be retrieved from Grain of Sand sank in. Mike batmanned a section, then cranked the easier headwall and cleaned gear before lowering. An hour and a horrendous rap-and-swing session later, we were on our way down the trail.

We found Cindy in possession of no fewer than THREE proud catches, and soon inherited two more trout from a fisherman less interested in cleaning than catching. We made our good-byes, Mister Fisher heading home to prepare for work the next day and the Power Couple wending north to our increasingly empty abode.

Monday- Pyro Gets Rhythm! Desecration and Sacrilige at the Entrance Walls! Lies, Scandal, and Rumor!

And, of course, plenty of color commmentary by yours truly, The Curmudgeon.

Stay tuned....

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