samedi 7 avril 2012
What an adventure already!
After a fun night with our friends celebrating Bill's semi-retirement, we started getting ready for the first part of our adventure. We packed up and left Calgary Sunday afternoon. First stop: Coaldale, AB for a nice visit with Sandra-Lee and her family (thanks for a great meal Zyna & Mark!).
We left for the States the next morning. A quick stop for gas in Great Falls turned into a 6-hour layover to repair our back brakes (but a good excuse to visit a couple of guitar shops). Despite the slow start, we still made it to Vegas the next night and got a couple of climbing days in before the annual Red Rock Rendezvous climbing festival that weekend.
The festival started with free Fat Tire beer on Friday, a full-day clinic on Saturday, more free beer and excessively high winds that evening. Despite getting slapped by the tent walls and hit on the head by the poles, we are pleased to report that our MEC tent survived the storm with only a small rip. Others did not fare as well and the garbage bin was full of torn and shredded tents the next morning. Bill's dirtbagger self was excited to partake in some dumpster diving and he managed to retrieve several good tent poles.
That afternoon we were the only participants in an aid climbing clinic: good fun! After cooking up a great meal in the parking lot, we met up with Arno Ilgner and drove out to Flagstaff together. We stopped by the side of the road and set our sleeping mattresses and bags down for the night. We had arranged for a 2-day course with Arno and spent one day on sport limestone and one day on trad basalt. What an amazing learning experience! We left Flagstaff giddy with new knowledge, new skill, and, just as importantly, a new friend.
From Flagstaff, we drove down to Phoenix and met my parents for their last night in the Mesa Regal RV park. They were happy to provide us with our first shower in 7 days (my socks were stiffer than my shoes). The next day Bill received RV 101 coaching and instruction and we all made our way back to Vegas together. We settled into the Oasis RV park and the next day we took les parents scrambling in Calico Basin in Red Rock Canyon. What good fun! That evening we shared a memorable meal and lots of laughs at Gallaghers Steakhouse at New York New York.
After some reorganizing and packing we completed the vehicle swap - my parents are now on their way back to Manitoba with our Highlander and we're living here another month with their RV and pickup truck. We sure got the good end of the deal!
Merci maman et papa!