Monday, October 31, 2011


With Fall comes the cool air and bright colors. I’m reminded of my roots; climbing rocks and living outside, taking it all in. This weekend I took the family down to Arkansas to enjoy a weekend of hiking, rock climbing and camping with some friends. It was nice to take a few days off from riding and enjoy some slow moving fresh air, and to see my boys running around getting dirty.
Five hours in the car is a long time when you have two little dudes always craving attention, but my wife and I managed to make it happen with minimal damage. In true Pirate fashion, the little guys have the road-trip-pee-bottle technique down to a science; no stopping. We brought more than enough gear to make a comfortable campsite with all the luxuries you’d expect with the V-dub so close. Our destination was HCR (Horseshoe Canyon Ranch), a great little Dude Ranch in the heart of the Ozarks that houses some of the best sandstone cragging in the state.
We had some good friends to share our adventure; The Dory clan, The Manimal & Bit and Ranski & son. We’d wake up to the bitter cold mornings, make some coffee and breakfast, then hike up to the crag. The sun felt o-so-good beating down on the orange and gray rock as we climbed from route to route. The little fellas climbed and played in the dirt. Life is good.
Our evenings went fast as the sun dropped beneath the forested landscape around 7:30, and we’d crank out a group dinner then relax around the fire. Smore’s were made over the hot coals, and fishing stories told. We even made a trip over to the Barn where inside you can find an indoor climbing wall, Slackline and Speleobox. The Speleobox was a hit with the kids, but It took me a little bit of time to get past a fear of small, cramped dark places. You see, the S-box is a Cavers delight. A multi-level, crawl-through caving practice; you go in one hole about 18” x 24”, wiggle around in the dark through a maze of drops, squeezes and unrelenting corners until you pop out the other side, some 15 minutes later. Spooky to say the least. HERE is a video of a Speleobox in use in the daylight. True form is to do it in pitch black.
So to keep this short and sweet; we had a great time, climbed some rocks, saw some wildlife, traveled, ate at Andy’s Frozen Custard, Drank Beer, Hiked, camped and had a great time.
Now I’m ready to get back on the bike for some good cold weather, fixed gear mountain bike madness!!!

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