Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Map and the Territory

 The map is not the territory.  And the only way to start getting to know a place is to interact with it directly.  Lately, I've been a bit of a flaneur, with enough time to add some randomness to my wanderings.  Exploring the countryside without specific goals, just seeing interesting places, unsure of what I'll find.
 Before I set out wandering, I put some planning time into finding cool places. Searching canyoneering guidebooks, Google Earth, or a map that Lee was kind enough to share with me.  I found some boulders, and I climbed.  But hard climbing took a back seat to seeing interesting places.  Late summer heat doesn't lend itself to hard climbing anyway.
 Ashley managed one hard line though.  On her 5th session, she sent the Bat Cave Traverse V9.  Mountain Project lists a V10 version that starts further right and forces a top out up some fragile holds.  The version Ashley did, and I'm still working on, might not be quite as difficult, but it climbs better.

We'd get a full session in the Bat Cave by 10 AM, and then I had time to figure out where in the canyons and mountains of Utah or Colorado I wanted to explore.
 Sierra and Autumn came along on some of my adventures.
 And sometimes I was on my own.
 Autumn has started climbing outside again.
 And I saw many things I never expected to find.
 Some places were added to a list of areas that I'll return to this fall.
And I saw animals in abundance where people rarely go.
 There are established boulders in unlikely places.

 Sometimes unexpected animals were in unexpected places.
 Gems appeared in canyon corridors.
 And most places were prettier than I expected.
 Sometimes the prettiest places even have rocks to climb.

 It was enjoyable to spend days wandering.  But school is starting now.
It's time to focus again.

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