Alright, so I feel like I’m bragging and I’m really trying to stay humble. It’s not bragging in the sense of “HEY LOOK WHAT I DID – PRAISE ME!” It’s more like, “I’m really stoked about this accomplishment and I am excited to share it with others. Let’s back up a few months. My best friend, Sunshine has been asking me to go climbing with her for months. I’m a busy lass, so I kept putting it off. I always had an excuse. A few weeks ago, I met my friend, Neil, at a benefit concert. He just got into climbing, so we exchanged numbers and decided to go together some time. An opportunity finally came to go climbing with Sunshine and Neil and I was half tempted to call it off. I had orders to pack, videos to edit and a thousand other usual things. Sunshine and I have coined a phrase – “RESPONSIBILITIES ARE FOR LATERS” and we use it quite often. Shortly and obviously put, responsibilities can wait. Fun can happen now. So, I talked my roommate, Dan, into going and we went to Stone Gardens and gave it a go. I feel like I did pretty great for my first time, although I quickly realize how little forearm strength I had. Needless to say, I left wanting to go back. However, I haven’t been back since.
Sunshine and I have been going on adventures every week. Since we share the same schedule, we have off during the week and we are able to take short camping trips. Last week was Bellingham and the week prior was North Bend and Tinkham Road. I’ve seen more of this state in the past month than I have since I moved here in September, and I’m so grateful to have someone like Sunshine in my life to share these experiences with. I’ve hiked mountains, held sea stars, seen Snoqualmie falls, camped out in the rain, etc., etc., and the experiences keep growing.
Vantage, WA was next on our destination list. We didn’t have many expectations (We rarely do). We just wanted to get out in the desert. Long story short, Sunshine ended up talking to some strangers while I let my feet rest (Pro Tip – Don’t hike in Dr. Martens). I later joined the crowd (Justin, Chris, Lars, Yon, Emily and later Katie, Brooke, Jenny and Kelly). Four groups basically merged into one big group and everyone was helping everyone, shouting out words of encouragement, lending belaying devices, sharing lunch and just having a great time. Sunshine only had a harness and shoes and I had nothing. One of the guys offered Sunshine to climb and she took him up on the offer. Since I didn’t have any gear, Lars let me borrow his shoes and Sunshine her harness. What kind of person lets a dirty stranger borrow their climbing shoes without question? People who climb are a different kind of people. After Sunshine, I gave it a go. I was hooked. We ended up taking turns, switching harnesses and shoes and spending a few hours. Later in the evening, numbers were exchanged and we called it a night. Sunshine and I had a delightful meal of tacos and no utensils. Her and I have no problem using our dirty fingers to scoop out refried beans, so it works. I can’t imagine being high strung and going camping. I’m happy to be mellow and have an equally mellow traveling buddy. (:
The next day, we woke up early and got lost heading to Sunshine Wall. When we got turned around, we ran into Brooke and Kelly and they led the way. Brooke had an extra pair of shoes and harness and let me use them all day, even after she left. As we hugged goodbye, she said, “Just keep them for the day. I trust you for some reason.” More climbing, climbing and sunscreen. The photos hardly do this trip justice, and words fail to paint the pictures properly. There just aren’t enough pigments. You can view the entire Frenchman Coulee / Vantage trip on my Flickr, along with my other adventures.
I’m going to cut this short, but just know that I still can’t stop smiling and I learned a lot from this trip, which I will be sharing at The Radical Uprise. Life is grand, eh?