Toward the end of October, Paul, Clayton and I piled into my car early one morning, and started the road trip we had been talking about for forever. We were headed to Colorado! Spending time on the road with Clay and Paul was a blast, we listened to great music, took turns driving and had fun. Paul, the natural-born food aficionado that he is, found us some great pizza in Boise, Idaho as we trekked on. We eventually made our way to an area near Malta, Idaho where we made dinner, enjoyed the beautiful and breathtaking fall colors and eventually bunkered down in our tents for the rainy night:
The trusty steed that carried us 2500 miles to Colorado and back:
In the morning, we made some quick coffee and a light breakfast because we were headed to Salt Lake City for Brunch!
As we made our way through Utah, the friends we were visiting in Colorado were actually in Moab, Utah at the time. So we stopped there for some dinner at an old burger place that could have been out of a movie, and talked with them about our options.. They suggested that we all stayed in Moab for a night before heading the last few hours to Telluride. And even with the fall darkness coming upon us, we got out our headlamps and headed into the canyon to do some night bouldering!
Bouldering is a super fun aspect of climbing, it doesn't involve ropes but just crash pads to prevent a broken ankle or hard hit to the head.
We worked on a bunch of really cool problems, including the one in the picture below, using mostly just your feet and back as contact points to move through the little A-frame tunnel and then up and around to the top!
We even came across this Black Widow Spider and its little baby that were waiting for its prey, pretty cool stuff!
Then we drove off on some road and camped on that red desert dirt..
In the morning, we woke up to beautiful scenery, the cliffs and colors and rock formations were out of this world, it was something I had never really experienced before on that magnitude.
We explored a little bit that morning but it had rained pretty hard over night and climbers abide by a pretty strict policy not to climb on the fragile sandstone rocks that are very prevalent in this area for atlas 24-hours after rain, because it can be both unsafe and very damaging to the routes.
The weather reports for Telluride and most of Colorado was looking pretty stormy for the week, and the sky was nice, with the sun was peaking out, so we decided to take advantage of it and stay in Moab for a few more hours.
We went to the local slacklining park and set up a line..
After all, this is why slack-lining came into existence; climbers who were looking for entertainment on rainy days in Yosemite.
Eventually, we headed on our way, with a small detour to Indian Creek.
This place is a mecca for trad. climbing, and although we wouldn't climb any routes, it was still amazing to see it and be in the place that I had heard about and seen in countless climbing videos and films.
It was such a beautiful day in the canyon...
...that we decided to break down and spend a few hours on the side of the road waiting for a tow! Fortunately, it wasn't our car that had issues, but a few of us hung out with the broken car while the other drove up the road a few miles to get cell service and call AAA. Some one even stopped and gave us a twizler pull-apart licorice candy.. But thanks to our bouldering crash-pads, we had two little couches to lounge on all afternoon!
After an afternoon tow to the closest town, the three friends from colorado had to wait the night in that town on AAA's budget, so the three of us continued our road trip and drove the dark rainy windy road to Telluride and then the several mile long gravel road to the small town (if you can even call it a town) of Ophir. Where we made ourselves comfortable in the unlocked cabin that our friends had called home. Although cold, we stoked the (electric pellet) stove and snuggled up for the night, only to wake up in to this fairytale like place:
Ophir is a pretty cool place, less than 50 homes and about 150 people make up this old mining town. Most of the old town was destroyed by an avalanche, leaving the current homes split into two pods, both on either side of a few major slide zones. Ophir has one post office (hut) and a garage that holds the towns garbage cans (Bears) and an avalanche closet, which holds an AED and other safety/rescue gear.
We spent the rest of our couple of days exploring the local town of Telluride, bouldering at the local spots, and enjoying the cabin life while it stormed. Here are a bunch of pictures from climbing:
The area consists of lots of old mining towns and structures that are both renovated into homes like most of Ophir's building, but many have been left to the forces of the elements:
Lots of fun exploring these places, along with the great views.
All in all, I wish I would have gotten more pictures of the Moab rocky cliffs and canyons, as well as the colorado mountains, but sometimes the rain wins the battle and I decide to hold out and just enjoy the scenery in the moment without snapping any shots.
We eventually headed back toward portland, stopping one night to stay with our dear friends Kelly and her new husband Brenden in Salt Lake City! Their hospitality was too much, such great food for dinner and then a fun hike up to a view of all of Salt Lake City and even the lake itself. Then we were off the next morning, home to Portland after such a fun trip.
A trip that I will never forget, thanks boys!