i'm no longer a virgin

Dylan, Ann and I decided to go visit the Ironclads this weekend, primarily to climb, but secondarily to celebrate the past 35 years I've spent on the planet. We chose the Ironclads because it was one place we knew the R-dog could join us without having too many problems getting to the base of the climbs. She hasn't joined us on too many of our climbing outings because she gets so nervous while we're on the rocks that she just throws herself at them. We've been afraid that she was going to cause herself some serious bodily harm. I don't know if it's because she's terrified that we're going to leave her, or if she's just waaaay smarter than us and is trying to tell us to come back down before we hurt ourselves. She did really well this weekend though. The first day she was still fairly crazed, but by the second day she just sat there and watched. Or slept.

Saturday dawned gray and cloudy, so when I awoke from my splendid slumber I assumed that we weren't going. However, Ann called at 8a and said, 'Are you an idiot? Of course we're going. We need to at least try because we would kick ourselves if we stayed home and the day turns out to be sunny and nice.' And, of course, she was right, so off we went.

We arrived, set up camp and started up the road to the rocks. Two minutes later it started to sprinkle. Thirty seconds after that it became somewhat of a downpour, so we turned around and headed back to the safety of our tents. During the time it took for us to each down a beer (don't look at me like that, it was after noon), the rain stopped, the sun came out and we decided to head back up. Or at least Dylan and I headed out, Ann stayed behind to take a nap.

I won't bore you with too many of the details, suffice it to say that the most exciting thing that happened was that I led my first climb. Earlier in the week I had offhandledly mentioned to Dylan that I thought I was maybe ready to do so, you know, if all the conditions were right. I guess he took me seriously because after our first climb, he asked me if I was ready. I acquiesed and we moved over to 'Shaking Hands with the Pope' a 5.7 on Mount Boner. I know. I know, but I didn't name it. For some reason the climbing world is largely inhabited by immature, juvenile delinquents and they like giving the routes dirty names. I successfully led the entire thing, only falling once, with one hanging rest and one bloody finger. I was so jazzed when I got done that I made Dylan give me a high-five. Suddenly, I feel like a bona fide climber now. Instead of just a tagalong. I also think it's highly appropriate that my first lead had a religious theme.

Later that night, while I was cooking my dinner, my stove caught on fire. Luckily, since it had rained so much, the only trauma incurred was to my stove. Otherwise I could be writing this from jail right now. Anyway, back to my stove. It melted. My trusty stove that I've had for seven years is dead. So, I guess now it's time to buy a new one. Which, in all actuality, I'm not all that bummed about. I've been wanting one for quite a while and now I have a good excuse to go get one of the new, fancy ones. Like a JetBoil®.

I slept really poorly in spite of taking the miracle drug Simply Sleep®, and I was too tired to climb much today. Ann and Dylan, however, got in some good turns and I got to traipse around in the woods with an extremely heavy pack. Fortunately, they took pity on me and we called it at 12.5p and headed back home.

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