As we all know, life can "get in the way" of true happiness. I invite you to follow my posts as I try to reconnect with nature as often as life allows. Then,
if so inspired, pick up a paddle or pack and join me on an adventure that makes everything else fade away. -

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grand River Trip

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This year's Sierra Club trip was a joint trip between both Kansas City and St. Louis.  We had 13 people spend Memorial Day weekend on the Grand River.  Everyone headed up Friday night, but I was unable to get away early and being that it was only two hours away I left Saturday morning.  It is a good thing I had everything loaded the night before though because it was pouring!  As I drove through the driving rain toward Chillicothe I was really hoping it would quit.  Luckily by the time I got to the boat ramp it had stopped and we would have great weather the rest of the weekend!

I pulled in around 9:00 and was to meet everyone at 9:30.  As I was checking out the boat ramp everyone showed up from the nearby campground just a few minutes later...great timing!  I knew Terry, Mike, and Darla from the previous years trip, and I had emailed Bill before, but everyone else was a new face.  We quickly unloaded the gear and then those of us with cars shuttled down to Bosworth where we would end our trip over 35 miles later (this estimate was low).  Upon our return we launched and put in about 12 miles before stopping to camp.

This river was completely different from any I had been on before!  Being a plains river, there is virtually no rock.  Just sand and mud!  The river had a beauty of it's own, but I still prefer the rocky streams of the Ozarks.

As everyone got their camp set up we snacked on the items people brought for "grumpy hour" as Terry likes to call it.  Once set up we all cooked dinner and then spent a wonderful evening sitting around the campfire talking.

Sunday we packed up camp and hit the river for a big day!  By the time we stopped we would paddle 22 miles!  Of course we took some stops for rest, and one for lunch, but there was a lot of paddling.  I was pleased with how relatively easy it was for me.  The only time I fell behind was when I needed a moment by myself to pout.  I had clipped my GPS to my life jacket quickly in order to paddle around some debris.  A short while late my paddle leash had caught and threw my GPS into the river!  The water was way too deep and mud to even think about going after it :(  The map above is a re-creation based on the notes I took.

By the time we stopped to camp everyone was worn out.  We got setup and ate dinner, but went without a fire as no one was going to stay up long enough to make it worth it.  We did have enough daylight to sit around and talk for a while though, which was nice.

As I was turning in for the night I remembered that REI was having their big sale that weekend and they had the top of the line Garmin GPS on sale for half I ordered it from my tent ;)

When we woke up on Monday a couple of the guys discovered Mountain Lion tracks near one of the tents.  That was pretty cool to see!

We only had to paddle around 5 miles, so before we knew it we were back to our cars and loaded up. Though it was a longer trip it still felt too short!  I am looking forward to the trip next year wherever it may be :)

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(2014-05-24) - 0021 (2014-05-25) - 0026 (2014-05-25) - 0015
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Monday, May 5, 2014

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Climbing Trip

I headed down on Friday and met up with Chris and his friend Jessica.  They were on the East Side on the Roman Wall and were working on Commodus to no avail.  We headed North to climb a couple of routes I hadn't done.  Chris and I both had trouble finishing on slopers so Jessica finished for us.  We headed back to camp and had a great evening sitting around the campfire!

Oakie Dokie (5.8) - 1 | Megatron (5.9)

Saturday morning Katie, Jenna, Ryan, and Adler showed up.  I spent the day climbing with them and we put up a couple of classics (I didn't climb everything they did in the interest of time).  I tackled a couple of 5.9's that were on my list and they were glad to have me lead them.  I think they were an easier lead than a couple of the 5.8's would be...ha!  Towards the end of the day I got my chance to practice multi pitch belaying by belaying Ryan up from he top.  Lots of fun!  We finished out the day climbing with Hunter and his friends.  He led Yo Momma for us, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Greatest Show on Earth (5.8) | Mefloquine Dreams (5.9) - L, 2 | Smooth Criminal (5.9) - 3 | Lamb Chops (5.9) - 4 | Leonid (5.9+) | Local Hebrew (5.9-) | Girth Hitch (5.7+) | Emma's Got a Mullet (5.6) - 5 | Yo Momma (5.10b)

Sunday, Bob joined us!  We headed to the East side and did a couple of easy routes.  After that, Bob led First Time Up on gear and we all top roped it.  I got it clean this time!  We were going to get Orange Crush in, but there was a huge line.  We finally ended up just heading out.

Fesic (5.6) | Arizona Bay (5.8) | Fireworks in February (5.8) | First time Up (5.8+) - 6

[A = Attempted | L = Lead | # = Note]

1. Lead to the  last bolt and then got freaked out by the sloper finish.  Top topped it clean.
2. Lead with takes and top topped clean after climbing smooth criminal.
3. Lead with takes.
4. Top roped to transition.
5. Belayed Ryan up from the top and then we each rapped.  My first belay from an anchor!
6. Top topped afte Bob lead on gear!