[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]
The days run together, hazy on what wall we climbed on or which days we rested. I remember the chunks of the last two weeks we spent in the Red with different climbing friends from the Bay, the new people we met, the post-climbing campfire and bourbon conversations, the growth of my confidence in climbing, and the rest days spent with one of Jeremy's best friends.
I wish we had a bit more time in the Red to really climb, now that I'm cresting the mental hill where I can focus on movement rather than nerves. Everyone's support has been awesome! I can't honestly say it's my favorite rock, but there's so much and so varied. The sheer size of a single wall alone takes your breath away. I'm not a huge fan of the crowds, which we hear is actually on the light side this year--we're out for 7 hours and sometimes only get in 3-4 routes. We never visited a wall twice, instead opting for quantity and novelty. But half of what I really love is just being out, seeing friends, and meeting new people. The Red is gorgeous and type of forest that I absolutely love, more than the Sierras.
Like paw prints:
One of the coolest climbs at the entrance to Midnight Surf:
Like an amphitheater for the gods. Spot Jeremy:
Iron Maiden spotting Beast. I made it up this bouldery 12c bolt to bolt!
photo credit David Deliz:
Rainy rest days were spent with one of Jeremy's best friends, Barney, who lives in Louisville. The dogs and babies have changed over the years, but he's one of those friends you meet and it's like no time has passed at all.
The Woodford and Buffalo Trace distillery tours were both great and very different. Woodford is the only label distilled there, and pride themselves on the family and local atmosphere. Buffalo Trace has a ton of labels with huge range in quality and price. We got right up and personal with the Blanton's bottling line. Highly recommend Bourbon on Main in Frankfurt as a post-distillery fill-up.