Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Colorado Day Eight: Rain, rain go away...

With the near miss that we had the day before, and with the rain that dumped brief buckets down upon the region's sandstone, we decided to head out for a small hike around one of the newly developed climbing areas in Colorado Springs: Red Rocks (not the concert venue, just to be clear).

This was an unintended day off. In fact, when "Jello" and I first planned this trip we had no days off planned. We knew then, of course, that there would likely be a few days off here and there due to his work schedule, but we honestly hoped there wouldn't be any days where the weather kept us from climbing. Unfortunately, this day was going to be the second out of three that we didn't climb, and on the day we did climb, we only managed one route. So after climbing pretty steadily for five straight days, we were in our official lull of the trip.

Still, it wasn't without some fun. We had a lazy morning and, after mid-afternoon refreshments, we decided to head out to take a look at the new outdoor gym-like climbing locale in the Springs. We hiked around Red Rocks for about an hour, never really getting lost but also not managing to hike or walk where we wanted to at the same time. "Jello" explained that Red Rocks was closed to climbers for a bit while route development was in progress. The decision to develop it before allowing most climbers in was to avoid the bolting nightmare at Garden of the Gods. The result was a well-planned recreation area with a bunch of single or two-pitch climbs. But I have to say, despite its occasional aesthetics, it really wasn't that interesting of a place. I certainly wasn't inspired, but that didn't mean I wouldn't climb there either. I don't know, maybe it's just the desert in general. I've tried to give various desert locations the benefit of the doubt, and I've made efforts to see the beauty, but I just can't find where it touches my heart. Sure, I've seen spots in the desert where I've really enjoyed what I was looking at, but there hasn't been anything captivating and endless like the sea. Even the desolation isn't that pretty, at least for me after seeing Scotland. I don't know, there's just something about the colors blue and green, even if they have no distinct features dramatically rising out of the ground like mountains in the desert do. Endless blue and rolling green just seem more appealing to me. Now if I could only find a place like that with thousands of climbs like Colorado (and the desert) offer, then maybe I'd be in heaven. Of course, that would mean I'd be there with everyone else, so maybe that would be too bittersweet for me in the end. Oh well, life goes on.

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