One month officially has flown by and we’ve been very remiss in typing up trip reports.
All I can say is, sorry.

So, to recap our recent mad adventures…in brief:
After leaving Vedauwoo we headed towards Lander, WY where we climbed in both Wild Iris (Bill, you were right, it is nice) and the Sinks Canyon. We were able to find shade in WI but in the Sinks we didn’t use the noggin’s on our shoulders and started to climb around noon, in the very very hot WY sun. It must have been around 105 degrees and we quickly depleted our water but left with the desire to return for another day.

Hit up Yellowstone after Lander because I had never been and when you are so close, to miss out on such a national gem would be like throwing away all those lessons you’ve learned about Yellowstone in elementary and high school. We learned that Yellowstone is a zoo where the fences are for the humans and sometimes even humans need leashes for their own good. Buffalo are huge creatures and sometimes like to take in the sites too! (See the photo album.) And if you arein need for stinky water, there is plenty there to absorb.

Actually, we camped in the Grand Tetons before we hit Yellowstone and had a near miss with a bear. Apparently it ran through our camp loop while we were out hiking on a trail by the lake, the rangers were on its tail shooing it away from people areas only to have them direct the bear to the trail we were hiking on not 10 minutes earlier. Doh! Fortunately we did get to see a grizzly in Yellowstone through some very nice people’s scoping binoculars.

After Yellowstone we headed south to SLC, UT, so that we could return to Lexington for Ryan’s little sister’s wedding. We had originally planned on camping just outside of SLC before depositing ourselves on Joyce Phelps doorstep, whom we had never met before and only knew of through “The Manimal” who assured us she wouldn’t mind babysitting our home while we were away. As luck would direct us, we couldn’t find/kept missing all the possible campsites and ended up at 2am sleeping on the street in front of Joyce’s house. Come 7 am there was a knock on our window, “Guys? Are you in there?” Thankfully Joyce could see through our near incoherentness and let us in to sleep inside. An extraordinarily nice woman who I hope will catch up with us later on during this trip. And thus began the start of a great new friendship.

The wedding was quite nice. Held at a local winery the weather barely held to finish the ceremony and photos, got all the guests inside and a deluge ensued, lightening and buckets of rain. The bride was beautiful, the party fun and seeing/meeting family not as trying as you might think. My parent’s (thank you Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Adams) were invited and able to attend. As Ryan and I weren’t able to see them before we left on our trip, it gave us time to talk and catch up. (And finally see the Lexington Farmer’s market the next morning.)

Charlie let us rest our heads at his house and drove us around in Anabelle, the best Westie we’ve rested our heads in. Just for ole time’s sake we drove Anabelle to Mellow for another “last meal” before heading back to SLC. It was a great time with great people, so great in fact that my wallet decided to stay there and not annouce it’s departure until we were at the Louisville airport. With no id and little hope of returning to SLC with Ryan that day we went to check-in with my only id being the credit card I bought the ticket on and Ryan to vouch for me. Surprisingly they let me on the plane with “special screening”. A pat down and a magic wand waved around my carry-on we were on our way returning to SLC!

The incident proved to be fortunate for while we waited for the wallet to follow us back West we got to spend a week climbing in SLC and getting to know Joyce better. She opened up her hospitality in a way we can only hope to ever repay. (Free-belaying for life!) She says we paid ourselves off when we “rescued” her by giving her car a jump when the battery died but I don’t think that tipped the iceberg.

There is a lot more to say about SLC and the people we got to see, new friends and old but that’ll have to be saved for another post.

Within SLC we went to both the Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. The hikes can be difficult but not painful. One climb in particular that we got on, Sasquash, was amazing. An, enjoyable finger crack(!), I’ll leave the rest for Ryan to describe at some other time as he’s the better climbing-story-teller.

Leaving SLC we headed to the City of Rocks in Idaho. It is in the middle of nowhere, with only small towns around. But beautfiul countryside all around, huge valleys surrounded by mountain ranges. And although we got rained out of the last few days and bailed the City early, the time we had there again made it a place we’d like to return to. (Maybe we’ll turn into roadtripper’s for life?) It was that that we started to challenge ourselves in the grades we climb and hope to continue our bravery.

Currently we are heading towards Squamish, B.C. Where we won’t have access to our cell phones but hope to get internet a little more frequently than we have recently. This post is getting a little long and I hope to get some more photos uploaded so I’ll cut it here.

Ken and Paul we look forward to picking you up from the airport or train station soon. Just let us know.

People, let us know how you are doing too!

Love to all.
Virginia (and Ryan, of course.)

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