[This is part of my vanlife series. I've spent 7 months and 25kmiles on the road in 2 years, exploring and rock climbing around the US]

A couple 'merican-isms: ever notice how people from Pennsylvania say " 'P' 'A' " when referring to their state, and folks from Wisconsin say 'sconsin?

US roadtrip map

We certainly haven't taken the the most efficient path across country--family and friend obligations made for a rather roundabout journey. After the Red, we headed to Pittsburgh for Halloween to visit my uncle and cousin, who live in the family farm where my mom grew up. It was my first visit back to the farm in over 15 years. We may have auto-piloting Teslas in the Bay area, but we got to drive auto-piloting tractors!

Pittsburgh, PA farm Pittsburgh, PA farm Pittsburgh, PA farm Pittsburgh, PA farm Pittsburgh, PA farm Pittsburgh, PA farm Pittsburgh, PA farm

From there we headed backward to 'sconsin to visit Jeremy's dad and stepmom, and to meet up with the guys we climbed with in Ten Sleep for some bouldering action at Governor Dodge State Park.

Wisconsin family Wisconsin family

These guys were slightly more comfortable bouldering than I am on ropes. Audio reel: "goddamnit, where's the bolt? This is really run out. Shit. Take!"

Wisconsin Governor Dodge State park bouldering

We convinced Rolf that it was a safe dyno into Jeremy's strong loving hands. So he went for it...more 45 degrees than up (he stuck it later). Like his Bruce Lee shirt, Jeremy kung fu'd Rolf onto the pad, with Rolf's legs scissored around Jeremy's face. Everyone emerged unscathed.

Wisconsin Governor Dodge State park bouldering

I was even able to do a couple butt-scraper powerful roof problems, falling right back into the swing of bouldering. Nothing had changed, like meeting a long-lost friend again with warm fuzzies. I think I can concentrate more on climbing without the fear of losing bouldering power and skills--there's still longing, but it'll be there when I'm ready.