Thursday, October 27, 2011

Red River Gorge

I've been in Kentucky for just over one week now, and the trip is going well so far. I'm staying in a cottage near the gorge with a few friends, and am enjoying socializing with them and climbing, of course. The rock here is very abrasive, so I'm taking lots of rest days, but that's good both for my shoulder health and for my latest guidebook project (I can do a lot of work when I'm resting).

The fall colours are beautiful right now, and I'm enjoying being out east and hiking in the fresh, fall air. This area is extremely crowded right now, but on the plus side it's nice to meet new people and have others to talk to when at the cliffs. We met a nice couple from the Canary Islands yesterday who recommended it highly for a future Christmas trip.

Health-wise, my shoulder is doing well (knock on wood). I'm climbing reasonably well and managed to complete one route I was happy with (Angry Birds, 5.13c). Hopefully the trend will continue for the next couple of weeks.

I miss Pam and Elise a lot, but am having regular phone and video-call conversations with them to stay abreast of what they are doing back home. We are all looking forward to a winter of skiing and our Christmas trip to Italy!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


We travelled to Penticton for the Thanksgiving weekend. It was a last-minute decision, but the rainy forecast in Squamish pushed us in that direction. After three weeks of storms, it was nice to dry out in the pine forests surrounding the Skaha bluffs. We stayed with Casey and Brenda and enjoyed their company and hospitality. It was a relaxing weekend. Pictures...

In the new parking lot for the Skaha bluffs. This new parking area has really made climbing here more pleasant. The approaches to the cliffs are much nicer, allowing for shorter days and hikes with kids. The old approach was arduous and involved a serious climb up a never-ending set of stairs.

Casey, Pam and Elise after a nice day out at "Flake Cliff". Elise is holding up a bag of rocks. More about that later...

Elise climbed a number of routes over the weekend. Here she is climbing at the right-hand end of Red Tail wall. She also climbed two good routes on the Daycare cliff. Her climbing skills are definitely improving, and she absolutely loved climbing on the steep indoor wall at Casey and Brenda's house!

In the parking lot. She made up this photo on her own with no suggestions from me.

On Saturday, we toured around and did a few different activities, including visiting the new swimming pool in Penticton which is amazing! The waterslide is huge! This photo was taken on a nature hike at the north end of Vaseaux Lake, which we enjoyed on a sunny morning.

Elise on the boardwalk.

Poison Ivy! We taught Elise the phrase "leaves of three, let them be" and she repeated it all weekend.

That's definitely not a photograph of the Coast!

Elise has taken quite an interest in geology now. We found an old rock collection in the basement and gave it to her, and now she's obsessed with them and with collecting rocks when we climb. Casey pointed us to this road cut near his house that had some very interesting rock types and intrusions. We spent some time on Saturday morning collecting rocks. I asked her what her plans are now for the future - marine biology or geology? She's now leaning toward geology!

Casey and Brenda have a new cat, Coal. He's a rescue and he's a wonderful cat - very friendly. We all enjoyed his company over the weekend. This cat has it made!

It's back to school and work now. I leave for Kentucky next Saturday and Grandma Bourdon will be visiting over Halloween while I'm gone. After that, skiing and then Italy! I read a news item last night predicting that this will be the coldest winter on record for Vancouver! Hopefully that means lots of snow, and not just cold weather!