Scott’s alarm went off at 6am. After a breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, and cereal we headed out the door at 7:45. Not having to take down the tent and cleaning with running water took off some of our getting going time. It is only 72 degrees and foggy this early, but it is expected to be another steamy day.
The ducks greeted us this morning.
Muir Valley in the Red River Gorge has some spectacular climbing. We were along the Guide Wall. There were signs to help get us to the routes and all the routes were labeled. The hike to the climb wasn’t too bad either, twenty to thirty minutes with some ups and downs both ways.
This sign nailed to a tree along the path just makes me laugh. I suppose I can’t give Scott grief for all his potty humor all the time. It makes me laugh sometimes too. They said the word Pee. Their signs to the Guide Wall were super helpful.
We walked right passed the wooden staircase we needed to get to our climb. Perhaps that is because at the bottom of the staircase is a rope and some metal brackets that we needed to use to get up to the staircase above our heads. This was the only slightly difficult part of our hike. The organization that takes care of this area, The Friends of Muir Valley, had loaner clip sticks at the trailhead. The pole helps you get in the first quick draw or carabineer so that you are actually being belayed for the first fifteen or twenty feet. It made Scott’s lead climbing a little less anxiety producing.
Brooke and Cody worked on making Irish Muck under the route Irish Mud.
The first route we climbed was called Fear of Commitment. The second route was The Archeologist. Both routes were a 5.7, but the second route had far fewer options for holds. Cody was all excited to climb and clamored up a bit, but then it became clear that he was really just excited about repelling down. He pushed himself a good seven feet off the rock and giggled as the rock came rushing at him.
Scott was giving me suggestions for foot holds when I became stuck mid-route on the second route. I managed to stretch my legs to where he suggested, but then it was quite the challenge to get them up and back together again. The best part is as we are both laughing about how I am going to get out of the stretch he suggested he says, “Don’t worry about falling right now. I need to get a picture.” Always what you want to hear from the person belaying you. He juggled the rope and camera while he said, “Smile!”
Brooke asked to climb a 5.8 Mona Lisa on someone else’s line. Mona Lisa was the first label we spotted for a route on our hike up to the climb. The crack at the bottom was wet and no where near as simple as Brooke thought it might be. She had a whole cheering section from the adults who were letting us use their rope.
We headed back to my cousin’s shortly before two o’clock. Scott had to back up in the parking lot to get enough momentum to get up the gravel drive out of the parking lot. That might be one drawback to having everything in and on your vehicle, including the kitchen sink.
Scott got a kick out of the fact that the Correctional Facility’s Road is named Road to Justice.
When we arrived back at my cousin’s the kids chased their poor cat, Mittens, around for a while and then Scott came up with putting on a movie for them. My cousin suggested Yogi Bear. It was stinking adorable. The kids became sucked into zone mode.
We took showers and chatted and laughed with my cousin and his wife until Cody climbed on my lap looking for bedtime. It was a fantastic way to end the day.
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