Moments of Reflection: It’s Just the Simple Things…..

Me sulking nature, views...post an amazing & hard climbing day in Spain over 1.5 years ago.

Me sulking nature, views…post an amazing & hard climbing day in Spain over 1.5 years ago.

I have sucked in my attempts for tiny tid-bits moments of reflection week to week.  I am a scientific, picky, technical writer by trade, but fully expressive and fun at blogging.  I sometimes miss sight of this, and procrastinate so I can sit down and write that super long story about something super inspiring. But the truth of the matter is, something truly inspirational comes from within, there is no need for research, or thousands of words later, just tiny thoughts and lessons learned later can just be enough to write a solid inspirational piece.

Me, pre-injury, no fear, and no climbing unless its pushing beyond my limits.

Me, pre-injury, no fear, and no climbing unless its pushing beyond my limits.

So….I sat down and jotted a few (or more!) topics that have really inspired or impacted me this year.  And each week I will again, attempt to write my life, my journey, and reflect.  I will continue to interview, review and write longer articles, but the cover will continue to be reflective and short and not twice a year, but rather more!

I often talk about my finger injury I was challenged with for some time now, because I have learned so much as a result from it this year. Thus, I will continue to add a few reflection lessons learned kind of entries based on this.  One important lesson has taken me back to a simple question I have asked myself recently: What do I value in my climbing?

Prior to injury – That I finally could send some awesome, harder graded climbs.

Post injury – I am happy to climb on beautiful rock, with beautiful views, while building precious moments with heartfelt climbing friends. 

Me sulking nature, views...post injury, after a day where every climb beat me up with endless Bruce Lee karate chops.

Me sulking nature, views…post injury, after a day where every climb beat me up with endless Bruce Lee karate chops.

Even though I have never been a climbing snob, I did at some point get carried away with grade chasing and put more value in that than I really needed to.  After my injury, I started to lap 5.5 birthday laps and had to be happy with it or I could just sit it out for ½ a year and not climb at all.  Kind of like a kid who is crawling….then when they start walking, they see the same world, yet in a totally different way.  That happened to me with climbing those 5.5 birthday laps.   Having been taken back  what seems like 100 steps backwards allowed me to re-discover what I value in climbing again.

In no way am I saying there is no value in achieving a huge goal that happens to be a harder grade. But I have learned in my personal climbing journey the importance to take that 100 mental and psychological steps back and reflect on the simples things. One of the many important things I now like to reflect on is how to continuously figure out along my journey finding the perfect balance between what is really important to value while also trying to challenge myself.

Me sulking nature, views...post a stronger and new climbing me.

Me sulking nature, views…post a stronger and new climbing me.

I am committed to trying my best to take that ‘100 steps back’ from time to time, to keep grounded, keep humble and keep climbing happy. 

Moments of Reflection: Live Life In Every Moment

Live life to the fullest, enjoy every waking moment!

Live life to the fullest, enjoy every waking moment!

I am at the flybe lounge in Manchester, UK after a very precious journey to England.  I spent the weekend with John Ellison from CAC Climbers Against Cancer.   I find it very difficult at the moment to find the right words that match my emotions other than it was the most moving, fun, and touching trip I have had in a very long time.   This is a trip that I will hold dear to my heart forever.

DSC_0185Soon I will be posting on my blog an interview with John, but in the meantime, I feel like I needed to post something from my heart expressing my sincerest gratitude to John for being the ‘hostest with the mostest’ (heehee) as he accommodated having me for a weekend, following him around, asking him questions, taking random pictures at any moment, and so on.  I just want to help raise awareness like many others do as well, but I realize that having someone around in your face experiencing life with you can drain someone’s energy, but John so passionate about his life and CAC and would have it no other way, that is just who he is, an amazing person all around.

John, the most awesome friend anyone can have!

John, the most awesome friend anyone can have!

How did I find CAC?  Like everyone else, I saw all these folks on Facebook wearing colorful t-shirts and then a pro-climber messaged me to check it out, like the page and get a t-shirt.  I had to find out more about this organization.  Let me tell you why.  Years ago, when I was married, my late mother-in-law was diagnosed with advanced non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  With 6 months to live or less, I deferred 2 semesters of college to help take care of her.  Now mind me, my precious sister-in-law moved back home and made the full sacrifice of taking care of her mom 24/7.  The last time I saw my late mom-in-law she asked me to take her to the beach.  We did. By that time I knew I would be working in research and she asked me if I could do anything, even if it only touched a dent in the progress of technology, how would it sound if I dedicated my life to cancer research.  At the moment I knew exactly my calling, and I agreed that that is exactly what I would do.  15 years later, my heart is in my work, not a moment goes by I do not think about the patients in my clinical trials.  It is what moves me to do my job and travel like crazy.  Anyhow, a few years after I divorced, I found this cool thing called CLIMBING!  Then a few years later I run into CAC.  Now with that background….

Fun Moments = Roman fountains closed....but not for climbers like us!

Fun Moments = Roman fountains closed….but not for climbers like us!

I emailed John just to get a little feel of what the organization was about and asking him how I could help.  Then after messages back and forth, I did the inevitable.  I asked him how he would feel if I flew all the way from the US to interview him and get to know more about him and CAC?  I think he was taken by surprised but immediately responded yes ma’am.  In chatting back and forth I got the sense of how wonderful of a guy he is, in fact I expected a really awesome weekend.  Well…..it exceeded my already high expectations. See John is quite an angel, I cannot explain it, but he really is a gem, so precious, yet so beautiful.  John has terminal cancer and he wants to spend every possible moment raising awareness and giving back by raising funds to help further cancer research.  I literally felt his passion over the internet, but in person, it is beyond radiating and his energy is so positive.  Every moment was a precious moment; I cannot explain it any other way other than precious.  You know when you climb to the top of a beautiful line and the view is breathtaking that you have no words that best express the beauty of it all because it just is breathtaking….that is how I felt the whole weekend.

Anyhow, I just needed to reflect on a few things I learned this weekend from John.  But one major tune John made sure I knew was….enjoy every waking moment of your life, and appreciate everything, the big and the small details.  And that I promised myself I would do my best to do from now on.

Friendships like these are precious!

Friendships like these are precious!

While I write up the interview, please take the time to:

  • ‘Like’ CAC Climbers Against Cancer Facebook page
  • Spread the word to your friends and family
  • Buy a T-shirt and wear it with pride (www.climbersagainstcancer.org)

Now off to Spain to Train, if I can secure a dongle (internet), then I will make sure to make several posts next week on my progress of getting back out to my Spain and after my finger injury.

Moments of Reflection – My Personal Journey, A New Perspective

Despite my frustration the past 6 months, one of many reasons the journey is worth it.

Despite my frustration the past 6 months, one of many reasons the journey is worth it.

Growing up I was an elite gymnast and was accustomed to pushing myself, working out long hours and luckily, I was a natural. I performed well and won a lot.  Climbing on the other hand, is a sport I learned much later in life. In my journey, I am finding out I have limitations and I am not ‘immortal’.

Me struggling on a climb I have sent easily in the past.

Me struggling on a climb I have sent easily in the past.

As of recent, these past 6 months, I was challenged with my finger injury and just as I am now beginning to take it to the next level, I woke up Thursday in a funky position and my knee is hurt.  Not sure how it happened, but the reality is, after cragging Saturday, I had to without choice stay home Sunday and rest it.

It definitely has been a frustrating journey these past 6 months.   The first climb I got on yesterday was an 11a, b or c (honestly can’t remember!), but in no way did I get it clean. And the toughest sequence, I was able to prove to myself I could lead into it, but backed down and went right to pass it.  The whole climb up I was focused on proving to myself how much of it could I piece together and how little could I struggle, and boy it was a struggle.   When I came down, my dear friend whom I love so very much basically told me she really did not care how well I climbed, but only cared that I was happy and that I too should just be happy I was out climbing and stop being so hard on myself.  I realized at that moment that she was right.

My rope on the climb my precious friend sent, watching her achieve her goals gave me a new perspective.

My rope on the climb my precious friend sent, watching her achieve her goals gave me a positive, and new perspective.

6 months ago I got on my first real projects at Rumney and yesterday, I battled and struggled.  That is something so hard to swallow that I am not as strong as I was 6 months ago and it is going to be a really slow process back.  This is just the harsh reality of my journey, but I came out yesterday with a fresh, new perspective.

Despite my frustration the past 6 months, one of many reasons the journey is worth it.

Despite my frustration the past 6 months, one of many reasons the journey is worth it.

Here is what aligned my perspective in the right place.  My best friend went through a super challenging year and half, so hard that my heart hurts every time I think about what she has had to battle.  Climbing is something so dear to her heart and is something that when she engages in it, it helps her heart and soul. Kind of like what climbing does for a lot of us.  She could not engage in much climbing and had to go face-to-face with some serious challenges.  She finally has been able get to a better place and started climbing again and training smart.

My bestie leading something she has had her eye on for a while.  Watching her achieve this touched my heart.

My bestie leading something she has had her eye on for a while. Watching her achieve this touched my heart.

Well yesterday she made it a goal to accomplish two things: (1) red point on TR a serious, burly 10c and (2) lead clean a 9+ that she has yearned to do for a few years.  She achieved her goals with so much grace and finesse.  It touched my heart to be there, support her, and witness it. In fact, it touched my heart so much that I forgot all about me and my performance, and so on.  Somehow, all that disappeared and my heart was filled with pure joy for my dear friend.   I realized at that moment that my perspective had to change.  I have to take 10 steps back and re-align my thinking to where my climbing is today, in order to healthily get back to where I was 6 months ago.  The rock is always there waiting for me, why rush to get there at any cost?  I realized I need to throw my ego out the window, and take my time not to send hard again, but to build a climbing journey with grace, finesse and a healthy mind, body and soul.  This is a truly big challenge for a former elite athlete who is highly competitive with herself but totally worth taking on.

The hike to this crag is steep and long, I struggled with my messed up knee, but thankful to see that I am not immortal & have limits too.

The hike to this crag is steep and long, I struggled with my messed up knee, but thankful to realize that I am not immortal & have limits too.

So there you go, a busted finger and knee and having the privilege of watching someone special transform in their journey so gracefully inspired me get a new, healthy perspective.

And here is my journey with many more journals to come along the way!

Hueco Rockin Fun

The Ranch!

The Ranch!

I just wrapped up a quick trip to Hueco Tanks and had quite a magical time.  My purpose of this trip was to compete, test my finger out, no projecting, get mileage on moderates, and just have plain fun. Compared to Joshua Tree bouldering, Hueco is much stiffer for the grade, but offers a variety of climbing from vertical, crimpy, big Huecos, slopers, over hung, high balls, and more.

Fun stuff at New Meadow area

Fun stuff at New Meadow area

At the Hueco Rock Ranch, there were a handful of booths set up. New Belgium Brewery supplied unlimited beer, and the following had booths with products: prAna, Marmot, Osprey, La Sportiva, Adidas, Five Ten, Access Fund, American Alpine Club, and Trango.  Companies like Organic Climbing, Arc’teryx, Asana, and more, sponsored prizes and more for the event.  Overall, great representation!  Daniel Woods did not make it to the Rodeo, but Paul Robinson, Paige Claassen, Angie Payne, and more awesome climbers made up for it.

Beefy Reef

Beefy Reef

It turns out I connected with one of my readers, Amy and her daughter Victoria.  We were in the recreational category so we decided to stick together.  The night prior I strategized with a guy named Al, we decided one warm up, knock off high pointers first and then the easier ones rest of day.  Not knowing the area, the 3 money high pointers were scattered and all of the problems in the score sheet were not necessarily everything I wanted to do.  After frustration of crowds and lines, we decided to put aside the scorecards and just go and climb whatever and wherever we wanted.  This was nice because I would have passed up Beefy Reef if I was chasing the scorecard, and that was my favorite problems of the weekend.

While folks had bloody hands and cuts, me....its all about X-Chalk by Zen Lizard

While folks had bloody hands and cuts, me….its all about X-Chalk by Zen Lizard

Before I get into my experience, for those that have not been to Hueco, here are some simple tips:

  • Getting There – Fly into El Paso, Hueco Tanks is a straight forward shot 30-40 minutes from there.
  • Where to Stay – No brainer, stay at the Hueco Rock Ranch (http://americanalpineclub.org/p/hueco_rock_ranch).
  • Best climbing partner ever

    Best climbing partner ever

    Food and Goods – There is a Wal-Mart on the way to the Ranch, you can stop there to stock up on goods.   There is also a Target close to the airport.

  • Guidebooks – I have the guidebook by Matt Wilder and it is well laid out.  I heard there was a new book coming out, a rumor or true?
  • At Warm Up Boulders for some cooling down

    At Warm Up Boulders for some cooling down

    Recommended Problems Under V5 – Here are some problems that are very doable for those coming out of an injury and just easing back in.  There are way more, for instance, the Gymnasium, I hear they are high, but juggy and good. I like high, but not all folks do, so just something to keep in mind.  We started at the Potato Boulders and worked our way down to the Warm Up Boulders.  So basically, we were all over the mountain. You will need a guidebook or map, as these are all scattered.

    • The New Meadow – Gumby Direct (V0), Gumby Traverse (V1), Everybody Wins (V3), Lobster Claw (V5)
    • The Grenade – Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive (V2)
    • Ghetto Simulator – Ghetto Simulator (V2)
    • Mushroom Boulder – Twisted (V3), Local Flakes (V2), Left of Les (V2)
    • Sign of the Cross – Skimmer (V3), Sign of the Cross (V3)
    • Victoria Won!

      Victoria Won!

      Warm Up Boulders – do everything on Warm Up Wall and Warm Up Boulders, all fun, some sketchy top outs

    • The Big Time – Eye Gouger (V0), Spud Boy (V1), Woman of Leisure (V1)
    • Icarus – Hot Wax (V2), Hebro Sausage Variation (V4)
    • Small Potatoes – Do everything here, from V-easy to V5, all doable and good. Around the corner make sure to get on Beefy Reef (V3)

 

 

Overall my experience was magical.  The scenery was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and my climbing partners were precious, amazing, and fun.  I am very happy with my performance even though my finger did hurt some.

Organic Pads, Get Yours!

Organic Pads, Get Yours!

I learned a few things on this trip:

  • Victoria on And the Bucket of Parts

    Victoria on And the Bucket of Parts

    Never underestimate the 8-year-old dynamite – Victoria started climbing when she was 7 years old and at 8 years of age, she demonstrates great technique and sheer will to climb.  At the end of the trip, I gave her a pink journal with all kinds of cool stuff so that she can journal all of her climbing journeys, comps, trips and so forth.  She won kids division in the intermediate category and ended up in a small interview in the local news!

  • Company is Money – My trip would have been different if my finger was not hurt.  I would likely have been in a different category and not in the same area as Amy and Victoria.  Frankly, they made my trip.  For me, the memories of this trip will not be my tick list, but all of the fun memories spent with the girls!
  • Free Butterfly vs. Restriction – I obviously do not respond well to restriction.  The night prior, I had my problems planned out.  The next morning, when we got to the boulder fields, I was like a child let loose at Toys-R-Us.  There was no way in hell I was going to follow a strict list and pass up anything we passed by that we wanted to try out. The rock in Hueco is just so beautiful!  Amy and Victoria felt the same way and were ready to take off and be free. I was so relieved and happy.  We roamed North Mountain, got lost, got sends, and got lots of laughs in.  So I learned, my character and too much structure do not go well together!
  • Slabby approaches abound Hueco

    Slabby approaches abound Hueco

    Jugs Aren’t Always Best – I found that some of the huge Huecos hurt my finger when I transitioned out of them from my right hand and some crimpers I could bear so as long as I was transitioning off of them quickly.   I made it a point to get on different stuff with different holds to give me a good perspective of what I need to do to train for Spain.  I used slopers for top out handholds than some blocky jugs, weird, but that open handgrip was money this weekend.

  • My Good Ole Smelly Ketanas Rocked – Because most of what we got on was moderate with decent feet, I did not pull out my pythons.  Rather I wore my smelly, falling apart Ketanas.   I realized my footwork has improved quite a bit, and with all efforts to protect my finger, I was ultra sensitive and intentional with my toe work.  Not relying on shoes that are aggressive made me put a lot of conscious effort on my toe work.

I learned a lot and my #1 goal is to keep healing my finger and start working in getting my grip/finger strength in line with my climbing so that I can get good leads in Spain in late March.  Wish me luck!

Where climbing takes us, beautiful views

Where climbing takes us, beautiful views

What is up next?  Late March, as mentioned, is all about Southern Spain.  Up until that point, I will likely hit local crags, get in indoor gym training, and get my finger in better shape.

When are you and your family going to Hueco??!!??

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Moments of Reflection: Chasing Sunsets!

DSC_0112I recently did a fun/climbing combo road trip to California and with me recuperating from a finger injury one thing that was important to us was chasing sunsets.  We would get in the car, and let it take us to our next adventure with no real plans, but there was one thing that was set on the calendar every day, and that was watching the sunset, especially with the ocean.

DSC_0355The first time we did it I was anxious to get moving, and was thinking about climbing, or what’s next, etc.  But after a few days, it became my moment of truths for the day, the trip, me, and just a time to enjoy nature.  The hype and stress of ‘oh my, the sun will set soon, oh my lets find the right spot!’ became so important to us.

I have to say, that trip changed me a little, for the good. I went to the gym with one of my good ole climbing buddies who just had twins, she has a toddler plus a house to take care of. She and her awesome hubby are finding their way with their growing family and getting DSC_0158their climbing workout. She was just so happy to climb with a human belayer vs. jumping on auto belay in between feeding or changing or playing with the boys.  And I was totally fine with going in the gym and getting in a climbing session that was not about leading or bouldering hard stuff, we were happy to get on anything or everything and focus on getting stronger, refining our technique, and footwork.  This time last year I would have measured my success on how hard I climbed and did I lead strong and so on. Now, it is more of am I happy with my pDSC_0083erformance?  What are my objectives?  Did I meet them?  Talking about spectator (partner) and personal highlights after our climbing session.  It is more of an all encompassing journey for me now.  In fact, I just chatted with my Spain mentor and normally I am like “I want to climb the whole time, hard, ok?”  This time I was like, I need a day of coaching, a day of sending, a day for you to have your project and I will belay you and a day where I will help you with your clients and be a rope gun and so on.  I think she was shocked I am not proposing Doris send fests but rather a trip that will make me stronger inside and out as a climber.

DSC_0183Even though I am determined to get back where I was or even better, its not to be picked up by a company to be sponsored or write in a major magazine, but just so I can have plenty of climbing options and continue climbing around the world and chasing those sunsets.  Yes, when I send some of my projects, it will be a happy moment, but what I experienced in California was beyond happy, it balanced me out and made me more grounded of a climber.

SDSC_0094o the point to all this other that seeing these nice sunset pictures?  I realized climbing is a very important part of my life partly because of the challenge it presents and the feeling I get reminds me sometimes when I was an athlete growing up. But more important is the journey and places it takes me.  I had some pretty darn big goals last year, but it was wiped out from a finger injury….and I am still here, climbing. I realize that as years pass I will set all kinds of climbing goals, but I should never forget to ‘chase those sunsets’, I want to continue growing in my journey as a climber.  Where do I want to be in 10 years as a climber?  Not a pro-climber, not a 5.20 climber, but a happy and strong climber who has climbed and is climbing in pretty cool spots all over the world…and if in that journey I accomplish a hard grade or boulder problem, kudos to me, but if not, kudos to me, because I am still climbing strong!

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Moments of Reflection: Getting my Game Back On!

the consequences of working hard on the Asheboro rock

the consequences of working hard on the Asheboro rock

I got 2012 started with a bang with lots of really cool goals and climbing trips.  A few finger injuries later, I would heal just enough to get psyched training again and then another injury.  I never had enough time in-between injuries to get all the trips and climbs I wanted to journey through in 2012.   Rather, I have spent the last 6 months climbing more moderates than I ever have before.

yeay got her done

yeay got her done

Why?  Because I could technically still climb (just not very hard), a really sweet and resourceful climber and mentor told me to work on the below while I let my finger heal and get stronger:

  • Get that fancy footwork (specifically climbing using toe frame of reference, soft and intentional placements, etc.).
  • Overemphasize climbing moves and engage that core, even with moderates (in every easy climb, rather than walk up straight up, use every technical move you normally need in advance climbs).
  • Get lots of mileage in, any climbing is better than no climbing (if you risk injuring yourself at a higher grade, climb lots and lots of easier grades while your finger heals).
  • Start cross-training to just stay healthy and strong (for me, I chose training hikes, running, yoga & light weights/higher reps exercises)
  • what do you see funny in this pic....look by the tree, to the right....

    what do you see funny in this pic….look by the tree, to the right….

    Boulder easy problems (V0-V2) over and over again.  Make bouldering 50% of my climbing workout, by default, it should help enhance my footwork and help maintain some of my strength while I take a step back from harder climbing.

  • When you are healed up, start hang boarding. Meanwhile, for the time being, go to the hang board and hang on the top part with jugs.  If you can, do a pull up or two.

I have done just that even though I sometimes feel frustrated I am not being challenged enough.  I am sure everyone going through or having gone through some sort of injury can totally relate to this scenario.

Well, I am slowly but surely getting better and that finger is healing.  And even though I have been working hard, I have noticed I am stronger, footwork is better, I can make all kinds of climbing moves with confidence.  I have noticed my fingers are weaker and have a harder time keeping up especially if I try to get on a harder, longer top rope or lead route.

Lanisha taking Darth Vader on

Lanisha taking Darth Vader on

With still much work ahead of me, I felt like it was time to get out again.  I started with a California road trip and bouldered at Joshua Tree in December.  I got in my first high balls ever, did various lower boulders up to V4s.  That is all my finger could handle, but all were on sights, which felt awesome.

Next, I decided to accompany some super awesome friends to the Asheboro, NC boulder fields, no guidebook, just a cool place to boulder under 2 hours drive.  Contrary to California, the bouldering at Asheboro is stiff, rock is solid, problems are super committing and top outs sometimes can be a little quivery.

I have bouldered in Asheboro before, but had little climbing experience and no bouldering confidence.  My goal on this trip was to go for anything V0 to V4, work on getting my head game back and see what my finger could handle.

A happy sender

A happy sender

Here is the positive low down on the trip:

  • I accomplished everything I had planned to get done and most of all, I feel like I got a good start towards getting my game back on.
  • I started quivery and not so confident, but was able to find my way through.  Overall I felt very good about my performance.
  • Nothing felt hard, so that means that my biggest obstacles was my head game and getting my finger back on track.
  • Everyone crushed, and one of our partners who had very few outdoor climbing experiences sent almost every problem she tried.
  • The day was full of super positive and encouraging energy.
  • Our skin was raw at the end of the day, which is a sign we worked it hard at Asheboro boulders!
  • I have a return trip to get clean Darth Vader.  Also, I did not get a chance to get on Jonny Quest, Alien Head, and Lighting Bolt Crack, so want to get on these.  And who knows, there might be more to get on!
After a handful of quivery boulder problems, I finally got my head on when I sent The Seam...here I am a happy camper!

After a handful of quivery boulder problems, I finally got my head on when I sent The Seam…here I am a happy camper!

Now that I have this trip said and done with, I have a few more bouldering trips in North Carolina (including Asheboro!), a session in Bishop in the spring and at Hueco in the winter.

In between I have lots of sport trips planned and a few trad-climbing adventures.

As I achieve goals and meet challenges, I will share pictures and even more important, lessons learned for all of us to draw from.

Happy 2013 and join me in getting your game on, start planning your adventures, know matter where or the grade, go get it!

hard working crew ready to go get sushi!

hard working crew ready to go get sushi!

Organic Climbing – Get Yours!

Just a quick note, I give my custom made full and suitcase Organic Climbing pad a Perfect 10.  Get yours with a matching chalk bag too!

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Moments of Reflection: Road Trippin’ Part I

road trip partners

road trip partners

I just recently posted how climbing isn’t everything.  I hate to say this, but its true.  If I could climb 150% of the time, I would, but in reality, there are so many beautiful things we really need to fit in our lives.  If we plan to climb a long time on through retirement…when we are  contemplating dentures, we want to be planning climbing instead!  To do this, we need to expand that long-lived beautiful climbing journey.

What do I mean?  Is Climbingjourney crazy? Well of course Climbingjourney is crazy, I travel everywhere to chase climbs no matter what the grade!  But I also learn along the way and want to share that all encompassing journey.

don't do what I do

don’t do what I do

Once upon a time, DorisTheExploris planned a bad ass climbing 100% of the time trip to El Potrero Chico, Mexico.  Then one day I was so excited, ran to answer my phone, and ran into the doorframe and my finger did a gymnastic split.  With that split came a yucky finger injury and that bad ass-climbing trip got cancelled and replaced with a road trip going from Southern California to San Francisco.

I initially planned some climbing and well….it rained just around where I wanted to rope up and lead and my partner bailed last minute due to a minor accident.  I did get to do some bouldering and to note I got in my very first high balls and got on a much harder boulder problem for the first time since like 6 months right at Joshua Tree, and that was before we ran into a ginormous coyote, no mountain lions so I am grateful baby!  So…..20% of the trip ended up being climbing and the rest was everything you can imagine….well that two gals would run into a true road trip.

ready to boulder!

ready to boulder!

I will be doing a couple pieces on shared learning’s from my trip rather than do an official trip report.    We all climb and we all send, but who all road trips with a funny photographer just because? Do you want to hear how and what I sent or what I did and how you can live vicariously through it AND plan your very own road trip?  I choose the latter because it’s not about all I send, but what we all send!

some of my random folks

some of my random folks

Here are 15 things you need to do when YOU take the California road trip!

  1. When you land, go to the dollar tree, and decorate your car with a theme and have a mascot.  Ours was Pokie and Chillax Santa.
  2. Make it a priority to chase sunsets, every single freaking day of the road trip likes it’s the highest paying job in the world.
  3. Hike one of those forests with big big ass trees.
  4. Climb up a big ass sand dune, sit at the top, and watch the sun set.
  5. Go at night and sit at one of the lifeguard stands, drink bubbles and reflect and meditate.
  6. Find a friendly animal farm of some sort and enjoy them and give them love, we went to the miniature horse farm in Solvang.

    find a state park of some sort and get these views, boulder and climb

    find a state park of some sort and get these views, boulder and climb

  7. Make sure the trip is mostly on the coast, and if inland any, chase beautiful windy roads with rolling hills, or anything scenic, avoid anything that will not inspire your road trippin’ (yes I am highly educated but I keep misspelling that on purpose)!
  8. Use Yelp and eat at every healthy hole in the wall place that is unique and has good reviews, make sure to try at least one thing outside of your comfort zone (in other words, avoid chains, yes even Starbucks).
  9. oh my, a big ass tree

    oh my, a big ass tree

    Get a picture of a each sunset, a unique tree, a surfer, an elephant seal, a bird, a random person, a random thing (mine was Lobsta Truck!), and so on….get pics that help you reflect back to appreciate all the memories of the trip, from the simplest to the most memorable moments.

  10. Make it a point to meet 5 strangers along the way, that does not mean pick up 5 strangers, or exchange personal information, that is 5 people you went out of your way to exchange conversation with in passing just because. Write each exchange down for you to later reflect on.  On my next piece, I will share with you my 5 people.
  11. Climb at least two things that are not climbable (I climbed a tree and a window with no spotters, hahaha!), because whether we like it or not, we are climbers and we need to let people know who we are.
  12. Buy one cool item you will leave in the rental car for the rental car agent that takes your car, something that is worth leaving like a souvenir or gift as a random act of kindness.

    chasing yet more sunsets

    chasing yet more sunsets

  13. Make sure every morning you are kind to your body and do 3 yoga stretches.
  14. Don’t go to bed at night without sharing highlights of the day with your road trip partner.  Make them share their highlights too!
  15. Drive Big Sur in the damn day, it is too beautiful to miss if you drive at night and gas your car up way before, its too expensive at those little towns along the way.

And this story is to be continued….as Sophia’s and Doris’ Californication Excursion turns (get it As the World Turns soap opera?)…..now you should laugh out loud (LOL), just to show I know APA. Meanwhile, enjoy the slide show below of just a couple of many photos I will share over the next week or so with each post.  

meditation is healing

meditation is healing

Hope you enjoy and are planning your very own combination climbing/fun road trip, and if you do, I would love to highlight it in my blog!

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