Ryan and I spent the weekend volunteering our dubious guiding skills for a PMRP fundraiser.  Mgear (aka mountain gear) hosted a Uclimb event in the Red River Gorge.  Participants were from all over the “midWestish” region (TN, VA, IN, OH, KY, etc) and for their entry fee they received climbing shoes, harness, belay device with a locking biner, a helmet and some free shwag.  Our “guide fee” was donated to the RRGCC and at the event an additional 1500$ were raised.  I think we’ll top over 4500$ for the event.  A nice chunk of change if I do say so.

Guides were in groups of three and Ryan and I were partnered up with our buddy Ken.  (Whom  you may remember from such tales as the Epic Squamish Adventure followed by the epic Indian Creek tower adventure.)  What could go wrong?!

In truth, nothing really did.  We had a GREAT group to work with—a family of 8 that decided this weekend activity would be a great Christmas present. They were hilarious, energetic, gun-ho about trying different types of climbing and just nice good people. The weekend could not have gone by more quickly.  The weather was great, only 2 bug bites ( a new record low I believe), a little climbing and just a lot of fun.

We even scored a new jacket from Mountain Hardware for our efforts!  It was like a little bit of sunny karma.  So if anyone ever wants a good beginner climbing experience look out for the next one.  It’ll be sometime next year at the gorge and you can watch for it from http://www.mountaingear.com/uclimb/index.aspx

There are uclimb events all over the US so any climbing is good climbing.  Of course, if you can wait a year, go to the one in the Red and support yet another cause dear to our hearts.

Switching gears, if you remember, I do still have the bread starter.  Make that starters since I was unable to give away one.  Also recall that I think they are complicated and pondered whether or not I needed to get a baby-sitter for them if I were not going to be around to watch them.  Well, I decided to let them fend for themselves the approximate 48hrs we were going to be gone.

Risky decision actually because I had to add the extra ingredients to feed the yeast right before we left.  Last time I added the food the air accumulation in the bag was quite rapid requiring release multiple times each day.  Discussing this with Ryan while being half way to Lexington I was joking about how the bags might explode and then we’d have not only a stinky mess but one that would ooze underneath our stove.  Mid-joke I realized how that was an actual potential and fervently began wishing I had put the bags in the sink or into a big cooking pot.

Our breaths were held and fingers crossed as we entered our door.  Would we have to move the stove in order to clean behind and underneath it tonight?  We were already exhausted and just looking forward to a shower and going to sleep.

Thank goodness I didn’t cheap out and buy generic Ziploc bags.  Thank goodness I upgraded to the double zip.  Those sucker held tight!  And, rather like a good belch, the starters were quite happy to relieve their own pressure when the pouches were finally opened.  Phew.  Catastrophe merely grazed by us…this time.