Well, as it turns out I can't go without climbing for very long. I rang up an old friend Paul, who evidently is related to me very distantly, and told him "Red Wing." Paul, who lives in Fargo, got a crew together and we all rendezvous at a nice little camping area on the banks of the Mississippi. If I thought coming back to the states was a culture shock, then this was a climbing culture shock. The median age of these 10 or so climbers was 19 years old.........jesus its been awhile since I interacted with this age group in a non-work setting.
Their enthusiasm to climb was very inspirational, some of these guys drove over 6 hours to get in one morning of climbing.......ridiculous!? They also happened to be extremely strong in a sort of naive way, and were crushing 5.12 on the daily. Being around a group of young American climbers really got the old stoke going. The down side was that these guys could talk ONLY about climbing. It was like a giant pissing contest about who had done what, how hard they were climbing, etc etc. Had a few great conversations with a Serbian named Ivan and a guy that sort of resembled Kai the axe wielding hitch hiker.
Red Wing itself is well known for the boots of the same namesake, with the motto "Your work is our work." Such a badass classic American brand, in fact they are the only work boots I have ever owned, and will ever. Evidently they also used to have a large limestone quarry, which created the climbing area Barn Bluff. There are still drill bit runnels on the face of the rock and old rusty pieces of industry strewn about. Prehistorically this area had numerous Native American mounds and carin features, some of which were 6 ft x 12 ft (crazy!), but like all indigenous things they were destroyed by white dudes.
: Semi-technical on pockets and slippery slopers
: Large pieces of choss are knocked off by hikers and birds very regularly. Wear a helmet! Also, many of the expansion bolts are super rusty and do not instill confidence. Some glue ins are present and are bomber.
: Bay City Campground or Island Park Campground
|camping on the Mississippi|
|Ivan the Serbian crusher|
To all of you allergic to bee's, just hope you don't get stung on the lip. It takes days to go away. However if you choose to go ahead with it, you can always tell people you got in a fight with some cowboy that was dissing your hair.
It has been nearly 2 years since I have seen my old friends the Kranda's and about a year since I met up with Andy "AK-47." So, I decided to cruise on down to Madison to see them all. Only had about a day and a half so we promptly started eating cheese and drinking good beer. Got to meet the new member of the Kranda household, Abram, or as we have taken to calling him Lil' AK-47. Andy is also going to be a father....sort of. Haha evidently he is hosting a Finish exchange student for the year. Overall it was a pretty ok trip.
|duck facin' it|