Chickamauga Dreamin': Five Rocktown reveries

Saturday, I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte*. That wouldn’t be terribly exciting except that it means Starbucks has officially declared the coming of fall. And you know what fall means… bouldering season is (basically) here!

IMG_0996 See? Andrew, bouldering.

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve gotten really psyched on sport climbing this summer. I’m eager to keep roping up as temps get good, but I was straight-up giddy leading up to the season’s first Rocktown trip. I’d forgotten how brutal bouldering was on my body, but it was an awesome weekend spent trying hard with some of my favorite people.

So. In honor of sore abs, raw tips, and crews that don’t quit, I present to you…

My Recurring Rocktown Daydreams

1. Sending Golden Showers**: It’s a day flash. I’ve had the first six moves on lock for so long that I speed through them like a robot monkey. My mind goes blank as my hand leaves the undercling, and suddenly I am topping out. I falter getting my left foot up, but determination and sticky rubber see me through the send. I throw my hands into the air, panting “Finally!” as I silently thank the climbing gods. I only tear up a tiny bit. I walk up the backside later so Caroline can snap a photo of me posing atop the 15-foot mountain I’ve spent two years battling. It occurs to me as I cutely flex that this really is a foolish pastime.

2. Sending Blue: The high foot stays. I work funky slab voodoo and top out straight up. I feel like a baller because I am one. Fist bumps in all directions.

3. Becoming the Snow White of Pigeon Mountain: Dogs and babies flock to me. Their moms and dads have jerky and peanut butter, but they don’t even notice ‘cause we are busy playing What’s That Face and Where’s That Stick. I give a top roping cub scout beta, and he finishes his first 5.7. His joy is unparalleled.

4. My very own crag dog, sitting at the base of Golden ShowersHis name is Patrón, and he’s a shorthaired gentle giant. He carries his own gear and stays off the pads. He’s great with long drives and children, and he’s a de facto Leave No Tracer. He’s psyched on the outdoors but gets nervous when I top things out, because he loves me and it’s important to him that I succeed.

5. My very own crag baby, sitting at the base of Golden Showers: I don’t know her name yet, but I promise she’s adorable. Her beanie is hipper than yours, and she rocks the marshmallow jacket. She likes to slap that one rock people put their chalk bags on, but she’s still too small to top it out. We usually just let her play with tape on the blanket she shares with the snacks and Patrón. We’re not gonna pressure her to crush when she’s older, but there is a jug haul in the nursery. She’s already an Instastar, and how could she not be with those chubby pink cheeks?

*With coconut milk and no whip, naturally. Gotta say though, I prefer the Salted Caramel Whatchamacallit.

**It will always be plural to me. <3

What are your climbing daydreams? Do you have beta epiphanies in your sleep? How do you feel about the bouldering trifecta of babies, dogs, and peanut butter? Leave it all in the comments!