Late one morning Megan, Cameron, and I were having breakfast out in the courtyard at Tourist Home (breakfast burritos and french doughnuts, oh my). I was texting with Octavian when something I had half jokingly suggested to him became a real thing. I jumped up and exclaimed to Megan:
Holy crap, Octavian just bought a flight into Flagstaff. He'll be here tomorrow night.
The next day we three went and climbed in Winslow and were perhaps a bit late picking up Octavian from the airport. In fact, we did not pick him up from the airport at all. Whoops!
With OG in town - he made it there on his own, like the grownedup he is - life was the same as always.
Except more fun.
Going to work! Except more fun.
OG was there for trips to the Peaks, Volunteer Canyon, Priest's Draw, and deepwater soloing out on East Clear Creek. Very luckily/happily for me, he was also there for the whole drive back from Flag to Boulder at the end of May.
The first OG climbing mission was to Volunteer Canyon. He and I had learned about the place from Chris, a ski partner we met in Roger's Pass four months earlier. Volunteer was out-of-the-way enough that even Megan, local that she is, hadn't never been.
The drive started the same as for the well known Paradise Forks, but kept going for a good while after that. An hour and more over vaguely marked dirt roads and through thinly treed ponderosa pine forests in a van with two seats and a queen sized bed.
When we came to the canyon, Megan and I walked to the opposite side so we could try to scout where the routes we wanted were.
A bit more reconnaissance at the rim convinced us we knew where we were - or more precisely, which routes we were over.
We rapped in and committed ourselves to some rock climbings.
I don't know if we were tired from previous days of climbing, or if the heat got to us, or if it was just too mentally exhausting to be climbing rap-in wide cracks after months of sport climbing, but we didn't set a record for pitch counts that day. Not that that diminishes how much we enjoyed ourselves in any way.
Megan and Cam did a classic crack before we left. While OG chilled I got to go full cameraman like I like.
Staring down a 4s exit with fists the size of 3s
Topped out and psyched
On the drive out ...
Post adventure climb, from the back of the van: "I wish you had a soccer mom chair to put back here." Van halts, back doors open, expletives and laughter ensue....disaster turns into an impromptu roadside watermelon session...and the chair even said "soccer mom" on it. Good crew, Arizona. #chairsandmelons
OG is, perhaps, at his heart a boulderer. I don't think he'd be offended if I said so. Flagstaff has a famous bouldering area that I hadnt' been to, since, y'know, that's not what I do, but for my baby OG I thought we should check it out!
My internet friends James and Savannah were also in town, so that was sweet.
Oh. And OG and I brought that watermelon from the day before and shared it with everyone we met along the way.
Vacation buttoning in full effect
Psyched on a kneebar
Clear Creek DWS
On Memorial Day, OG and my's last full day in Arizona, we borrowed and rented paddleboards enough to float and deep water solo on East Clear Creek. The crew was OG and I, Megs, her friend Joy (whose wedding I'd attend a month later) and the furball June.
A mile of paddling got us past all the revellers to something a bit more solitary. We grabbed likely looking rocks and tried going up them. One of either fear or difficulty would put us back into the cool blue waters.
(All photos from Joy's iPhone)
Megan and June paddling out
Megan, myself, OG
Megan and June
Convincing June to switch boards
Convincing June to switch boards, pt 2
Abusing old shoes
I didn't know I had it in me
Octavian drove just about the whole way to Boulder in one go, while I worked (... and then slept). He is a hero.