On June 6th, I got a very exciting email. I was chosen out of a very large group of women to go on a climbing trip to The City of Rocks in Idaho. It was a total dream true. I had forgotten about entering, and didn't think I would win at any rate. But much to my surprise, the ladies at Chicks Rock! and the Subaru Adventure Team chose me. So with only a couple weeks notice, I joyfully accepted the trip (DUH!) and started planning.
I love climbing and have been very passionate about it for over a year- which makes me an extremely new climber, but super enthusiastic and willing to try everything. I absolutely cannot wait to learn new skills, climb on some of the best rock in this country and meet like minded women who do rad shit. This trip alone would have been a dream vacation. But when driving out to Idaho was factored in, it only made sense to see what I couldget away with. And how many beautiful sights could be seen and photographed and explored.
It was also hard for me to imagine not seeing these things without Jon. He loves all of this as much as I do, and seeing things together is so much more special. So: ROAD TRIP! We began feverishly planning how we could see as much as possible along the way to The City and on our way home. A tiny taste of what our future of dirtbagging will be like. I was unbelievably lucky, because without hesitation my job gave me the time I asked for off. We already had most of the food we would need for camping and travel. And we have cool people around us to help out with the dog.
With responsibilities taken care of, we were all set to make up a plan. And it kept growing and growing. Because we want to do it all and we want to experience everything we possibly can. So I think we finally have it nailed down. While the vacation needs to be quite scheduled and regimented, we are playing a couple details by ear. While I am climbing for a few days in The City, Jon will be bikepacking a section of The Idaho Hot Springs Route. But before that and after that, we will be road tripping together. Here's a very brief summary of our plan:
-Theodore Roosevelt National Park
-Bighorn National Forest
-Yellowstone National Park
-Grand Teton National Park
-City of Rocks/Idaho Hot Springs (separately)
-Great Salt Lake & Salt Lake City
-Medicine Bow National Forest
-Badlands National Park
Whew! I do believe we are never going to want to come back home. This is going to be a twelve day adventure of photography, climbing, biking, hiking, trail running and camping. We are doing it on a micro-budget and as much planning that can be done in a 10 days (we leave in 8 days from now!)
The breakdown of our food goes something like this: water and coffee, fish packets, rice, oatmeal, nut butter and bars of various variety. We plan to get food at a restaurant in Salt Lake City to reconnect and discuss our time apart. We are both doing such epic things during those few days- it's going to be great to hear about what happened and how we pushed our personal limits both mentally and athletically. Other than that one meal, it will be the same old stuff. I am very dedicated to keeping a healthy diet. On the road and while backpacking, this is about the best we can do- and really, it's not too shabby :) The main issue we bump into is that we are both extremely active, with very high caloric needs. While we try to stay away from grain at home, when travel is involved, we must acquiesce, both for budget and practicality.
The gear we are bringing is quite typical of what we would normally use, only for this trip, we have the car to keep everything in, which allows us to bring more things to use for specific places. Everywhere we will be camping is unique, with varied weather and climate. We expect to sleep in ranges from 30 degrees to 75 degrees. With daily highs that will vary from 50 degrees to 105 degrees. Clothing is going to take up a lot of space, but will be chosen for each location and packed into our backpacks- leaving the rest in the car.
So that's what I know for now! Very thankful for everything we've been given; the gift from Chicks Climbing! and Subaru Adventure Team. The time off of work. The ability to do these adventures. All of it. We never expected such a cool summer trip. I cannot wait to share it with all of you.
"The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it." -Michael Josephson