Enola Hill

Enola Hill is also known as The Swine.  It is off the beaten path, and I’ve never ran into other climbing groups at this crag.  The approach is hard to see though the dense plant life.  It is in the Mt. Hood National Forest, and the closest town is Rhododendron.  The road has many pot holes and should not be attempted in a car other than an SUV or truck.  When we arrived at the top, there was a guy alone in his car, listening to AC/DC and screaming to himself.  This rando did not wave, or look our direction.  His fire pit had an empty handle of whisky.  Our climbing group was a little sketched out by this dude, he clearly was not in a good head space.  Last time I was at this spot, some rednecks were randomly shooting at trees.  So if you go, be weary of who you may meet.

We only got in 4 routes before the rain pushed us home.  The routes were so much fun.  All the routes had a high first bolt.  Loose rock, tons of moss, and some overhanging routes, but the holds were there.

Nate recently got a new Toyota Tacoma stick shift, so we had to try it out on the big puddles.  The gang got a kick out of being jumbled around in the car.

This crag was typical Oregon crag.  Some people aren’t fans, but I have nothing but love for this chaucy gnar.  The setting was secluded and peaceful.  Good times were had by all.


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East Hood River Camping

The rock climbing gang got together for Micheal’s birthday adventures.  Due do scheduling, I could only join my friends for camping.  That night, we made hot pot as a group for dinner. Smores and bananas with dark chocolate and salt for dessert.  We were close to the river, had a raging fire until (almost) midnight. After a finger injury and outpatient surgery, I’ll be back to climing next week. Eeeeeeeee!


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party with the immediate family

my parents, brother and I got together in Arizona for a party my parent’s held.  My Dad hired an amazing magician, Shawn Eric. Shawn was mesmerizing, fun and engaged with everyone around.  This pic was taken from a hard-to-believe card trick.  My gut tells me that magicians move faster than regular human’s eyes can detect.  Really not sure about magic vs. illusion, it’s all so confusing.  20180430_191055

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road trip home to Portland; West Coast Best Coast

Time as a weekend warrior came to a close and we headed home.  The journey began with some machete action in the backyard before breakfast.  Our taste buds rejoiced over dried fruit brioche french toast, bacon, sausage and pineapple mimosas.  We stopped to awe in Paul Bunyan’s immensity and check out the amazing sylings of ‘It’s a Burl’ treehouses in Kerby, OR. Arrived home safe and sound.

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Fern Gully the last Jurastic Rainforest Park

We began the day with a 30m soak in Finnish tubs at Cafe Mokka. Then we had killer oyster sliders at the farmer’s market. From there, we set off to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. I was told that some parts of the original Jurassic Park was filmed here, I didn’t check my references but after blindly following a recommendation, it seems likely.  At the ranger station we paid $5 for day use parking and were told that the roads were treacherous and not to be passed unless one had AWD or 4WD.  AWD Kia Sportage, I got this, I grew up in Colorado. We accepted this warning and continued to pass.  Pot holes galore!  The puddles made the pot holes seem deceivingly shallow.  I was going 5mph and should have been going 2mph, I hit the angle wrong, the puddle too deep, smashy smashy.  The plastic cover of my bottom ripped off.  After clearing the chasm, we pulled to the side.  In a white dress, Lady A jumped out of the car, laid flat to the ground, scooted under the car to examine the damage.  She found a loose plastic screw and grabbed it.  Two guys in raised truck pull over the side to help us but all we can manage is to tuck the plastic under the bumper and keep going. (Next week, I find out that I damaged my oil pan, but radiator was fine.  $350 later my car at a new baseline). We park at the bottom of the trailhead and start the trek.  The main hike is through the riverbed.  This is a shallow creek with VERY COLD water.  We begin by carefully placing our feet on rock by solitary rock, shimmying on the fallen logs, until one too many splashes later, you resolve to hike in wet boots. In hindsight, Chalko’s or Teva’s would be a better choice to hiking boots. It was so beautiful, we had to take a moment on a fallen tree to sit and listen to the water.  Wet, cold, and the daylight fading, we headed back to Arcata.


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Earth Day Roadtrip to Norcal

Gretchen (affectionately known at G-Dawg) and I road tripped to see Lady A (aka Amberley) in  Arcata, California.  Arcata is a sleepy, bay, beach town in Northern California, just barely south of Oregon.  It is also home to Humboldt State University.  Turns out, Humboldt is a county, not a town.  Google maps says it’s 7.5 hours from Portland, but it really was closer to 8.5 hours with bathroom breaks, gas refills and dinner at the only In and Out Burger in Oregon, Grant’s pass.  You can find references to the bible verses on the bottom of In and Out’s cups and plates.  We arrived at night in Arcata and we cracked open a bottle of cheap champagne. Then we rambled the streets.  I bought a bottle of Courvoisier. Blurry fuzzy laughter. We crashed out.

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EPC and Monterrey: Day 4

Last climbing day in Mexico.  Got in one last multi-pitch before catching a taxi into Monterrey to stay with our friend for one night.  He showed us around the riverwalk for churros and we had more yummy delicious piratas.

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EPC: Day 3

Some multi and some cragging. We were feeling a little tired and no rest days on vacation amiright.

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EPC: Day 2

The hardest, longest, best climb day of my life to date. A 30m approach, through the thicket of cactus and loose rock.  All six of us were able to find 3 routes next to one another.  My climbing partner and I tackled Excalibur.  The hardest part for me was to emotional.  Definitely found my edge, and even got frightened a little. Peaceful, majestic and awe-inspiring.  Hiking and climbing took so long that we didn’t have any lunch, so we made up for it with two dinners at this amazing food cart, Tacos Locos.  La Pirata barbacoa, mmmmmmmm, still dreaming about the tastiness.

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EPC (El Potrero Chico, Nuevo Leon, Mexico): Day 1

After using mileage points, it cost me $110 for a roundtrip flight from Portland to Monterrey, Mexico.  12 long hours of flying.  There are no direct flights to this magical land.  Myself and three friends visited our friend who is working in Monterrey.  Day one was just my climbing partner, Bill and I.  Our friends joined us on the remaining three days.  El Potrero Chico (EPC) is a National Park in Mexico.  It is beautiful but not kept up and managed like our parks in the states.  This area is a mecca for multi-pitch sport climbing.  Most multi-pitch routes are trad or trad/sport combo.  We met many travelers from around the world, and many Texan weekend warriors.

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