Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Word of the Day...

**edit @ 9:45a Sunday morning; photo of Seneca with Gunsight direct highlighted added** clusterf*ck.  Sorry for my vulgarity, but its the only thing that describes today other than awesome.

Matt arrived yesterday morning and we went on a 2.5 hour trail ride just hanging out and talking about life.  Afterwards I snagged a shower then we set off on a three hour motorcycle ride on his bike around some of the prettiest areas of WV.  Slow going, ignoring the speed limit, and just enjoying the ride and the beauty around us.  I really had a great time.

I don't care what America says about its pastime being baseball - its not.  America's pastime is fishing.  Old and the youngest of young participate and teach one another.  Its almost a right-of-passage for some.  I don't have the patience for it at all, but its so picture-esque to watch grandfathers teach their grandsons to fish and enjoy the time together.  One area we rode past yesterday I was able to look down the embankment and see a young boy with his pole, sitting atop a flat rock just out of reach of the sunlight.  He was below trees on the edge of a beautiful farmstead property.  Absolutely gorgeous.  An hour or so later as we drove down a mountain outside Parsons I watched (briefly) as grandfathers in red and black flannel with old straw hats and old ball caps patiently awaited a bite on their lines around a small pond beside their homestead.  Picture-esque to a T. 

I went to Seneca Rocks today for my third time with my third different group of climbers - and today was the best yet.  Jeremy & Matt were awesomely positive, humorous, and encouraging the entire way.  I really don't have words for how awesome it was.

The first pitch of the day (Banana a 5.6+) was the hardest for me.  I was miserable, had an incredibly difficult time and was very upset and ashamed of myself for my poor performance.  I recognized that it was entirely my fault because I really hadn't climbed in 6 or 7 months, but still, it was frustrating.  Matt took my backpack from me for the rest of the trip and things went much better.  The second pitch (Debbie a 5.7) was short and smooth going for me.  Just what I needed to boost my confidence and calm me down.

 I rock climb, yes.  I love rock climbing, this is a fact.  But I still get nervous - especially at Seneca because it is so chossy and exposed.  Not today.  The first pitch I was upset, exhausted and frustrated with myself.  I was ready to quit, rappel down and just hang out in the shade.  But I pushed on.  I got through the second pitch smoothly, and then an incredible calm overwhelmed me for the rest of our time up there.  I don't know what caused it, I don't know where it came from.  It was very uncharacteristic for me - it was amazing.  I was focused on what I was doing and appreciative of the views around me.  The third pitch was the most amazing climb I've ever done (Gunsight Direct 5.5.).  It was incredible exposed with sheer drops off both sides.

Click photo to enlarge

Absolutely gorgeous.  Jeremy was a great leader taking us up that one, big thank you to him.

We had a fourth traverse pitch across the top to reach a belay station (or two).  Easy and enjoyable with the views on either side.

Now, the word of the day, clusterf*ck, comes about because:
a. It's Memorial Day weekend and there were a butt-load of people at Seneca.
b. People were there that didn't know their shit and kept effing everything up.
c. Ropes were tangled and caught and other more experienced climbers had to fix them while people piled up behind them in the process.
d. Our time on the summit was shared with three other groups of climbers for a sum total of eleven other people - not enjoyable.
e. Our first belay ledge was veryyyy busy with multiple groups climbing up to it and rapping down off it - agh!
f. While I was thinking the word all day, other were saying it aloud.  Amusing.

After we'd finally rapped and hiked down we promptly bought a cold six-pack and headed to an amazing swimming hole.  Seneca is just one - and the most outstanding - fin in the area.  The swimming hole we went to was one I've wanted to swim at since I saw it when I was little.  Its an area where one rock fin comes down to the rivers edge to form a small triangular cave at the water's edge.  You can even climb above the cave and jump into the water (which we did).  We drank beer, cooled off, and threw rocks - well the guys did, I didn't have to prove my manliness as I'm a woman and all.

Such a great day!

Such a great weekend, really.  Big thanks to my amazing friends for making it so.  Tomorrow brings the promise of more as I go zip-lining with my Mom across an area very similar to Seneca.

1 comment:

  1. I read this over the weekend and thought it looked like so much fun! My sister-in-law climbs at a local place in OKC but I'm sure she'd love to actually climb. I would too, but I would need to not be pregnant and get into some serious shape for first!!! Anyway, it looks like so much fun and I hope you and your Mom had a good time zip-lining! That sounds even more fun! Fun, adventurous Memorial weekend indeed!