During the trip we had our fair share of memorable moments. Of course a lot of them came from the various routes and problems we climbed, but I'm sure just as many came from the many entertaining people we met.
One of the funniest moments, at least for us, came when we were at Lake Louise,in Alberta, when some other climbers walked past us. One of them stopped, looked at Kristal and I, and excitedly said, 'I know you guys!" It's actually not that uncommon to run into the same climbers in multiple places, so for the next split second I was desperately trying to remember where we had met this guy before. He finally said, "From the boulder video of Hazlet!" It turns out this guy had not only seen our video of bouldering in Saskatchewan (probably one of only a few hundred people), but he actually went to climb the Hazlet boulder after watching it. And to top it off he actually recognized us! We were laughing about it the entire rest of the day.
When we met Smiling Wes the first time, it was an unforgettable moment in its own right. He came rolling in to Horse Pens 40, Alabama, at about 11pm, set up beside us, cooked himself some supper and headed into the woods to work on his project by lamplight. Naturally we joined him, and were thoroughly entertained for the next few hours. Then we met him again, 7 months later, in the exact same spot, still working on the same problem, and neither of us had been back to Horse Pens since the first time we met there!
In addition to surprising coincidences, we often got interesting reactions from Americans when they found out we were from Canada. Like the over the top climbing guide we met in Joshua Tree, who proceeded to tell his client all about how awesome the Tragically Hip were. Or the hippie we met in Tuolumne Meadows who said, "Right On!! You must own, like, every Rush album!"
Then there was this guy we met in Lake Tahoe, who related his story of planning a road trip to Alaska. He was thoroughly confused about why the mileage wasn't adding up, until he finally realized there was an ENORMOUS COUNTRY between Alaska and the continental United States. I felt a little sorry for his kids.
Some memorable moments fell into the 'tents are not soundproof' category. One evening in Arkansas we shared a campfire with the couple camping next to us, and were entertained by what we thought was some fun witty banter between them. Later that night, as we were trying to sleep, we had to listen to them arguing about it: "Why do you always make fun of me in front of other people!?".
But of course, nothing quite beats the countless moments like the one below, enjoying the company of new friends at some amazing climbing destination. I hope those moments never end.
|Kristal hanging out with Max, Dan, Laura and Chelsea.|