Last night Dylan and I finally made it to The Palace, an area of climbing about 15 miles up the Poudre Canyon. We had been to The Crystal Wall, which is across the highway and the river from The Palace, but hadn't yet forded the river to try out its neighbor. Unbelievably, the only other people there were a trio of kids from Santa Cruz who were on a climbing vacation.

Although Dylan had a pretty good night, the rock kicked my ass. I'm pretty sure it was because it was much more vertical than I expected, causing me to freak out, overgrip and make too many mistakes. I kicked, struggled and spat at the damn thing, but only made it about two-thirds of the way up before my arms just gave out on me.

After Dylan finished his second route, we did a little exploratory trip through the mini-canyon and decided that it was definitely worth another trip back when we can spend more time on some of the other routes.

We drove home through the approaching nightfall in a state of bliss. Sometimes it's nice to get a little reminder of how amazing it is that I live in a place where I have the option of doing something like this after work on a weekday night.

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