Sorry I did not get this on the calendar sooner, but if you are not doing anything tomorrow Sunday April 14th, come down to the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City from 1 to 4pm, and hear Jan Conn speak about rock climbing and caving. Should be a good show.
So it may be that because I am sitting here in an office after mind numbing meetings, and over 5 months dealing with a personal access issue across public and private land to a piece of dirt with a special history that has been deeded to me......instead of being out on the road rock climbing and mountain biking in the warm south west sun, but from where I am sitting, it has been proven to me.....with 100% certainty that if you don't have legal access, you don't have dirt...or in the case of climbers.... rock. Loosing your access might not be fair or logical, but it can be real.
Yes, perhaps rock climbing is becoming to mainstream...if enough people are looking to understand the lingo that there is now a book about it. The video below is cute...even if it is in the end an advertisement.
So, ya, today is my birthday. I suppose I should be doing some rad ascent of Devils Tower in the 11 degree air that is blowing a few snow flakes around here, but I'm sitting around, reading about the Kyrgz people and the far out life they live and how they question their existence in the same manner many of us do. Thanks to National Geographic for their awesome magazine. Along with that, some work on the website, and icing a stupid injured elbow...I'm reminded that its a slippery slope this getting older....
Anyhow... I came across a well done video. Fritz Cahall is a very very talented story teller that continues to impress me with his work and its ability to make me think about things. Enjoy!
I'm pretty sure I'm not tough enough to be part of this climbing family, but 11-year-old Brooke Raboutou sure does climb hard. If you are looking for some climbing motivation, perhaps this little video will get you off the couch. As for me....its snowing...there is a fresh pan of brownies just out of the oven... So hard resist.
If you have been to the Black Hills area in the last few years, you know that pine beetles and the trees they kill have been part of our life. It is an incredible landscape change.
Custer State Park has been very aggressive about removing bug trees. This was a presentation on Jan. 15 about the bugs and the treatment by Custer State Park. Pretty interesting stuff.
They are logging the heck out of the area in an effort to get ahead of the beetles. Time will tell how it all works out, but be prepared for change next time you visit Custer State Park. If biologist knew the easy answer they would be using it, but the drought and the beetles have no easy answer...just change.
So, before I left the Black Hills for Greenland I went to Rapid City and made an impulse purchase of some barefoot running shoes. Since I've been back I've been out a few times and I must say, that after shunning running most of my life, I've had some great but short morning runs along the Mickelson Trail. I found the video below a few years back and it made me laugh at the zealot characters I'm so familiar with after rock climbing for so many years....if you barefoot run or travel the country living in your car to rock climb, it seems to only be explained as a passion you cannot 'cure' and trying to explain why you would do such a thing to people who don't 'get it' is nearly impossible. Whatever you say, they will think you are crazy...and well, perhaps we all are.
In talking to my friend and guide Mark Greeno, the famed track coach of Sioux Falls....he explained that like Rock Climbing, barefoot running is nothing new, but has been enjoying a huge bump in popularity.
Cheryl and I stopped in at Granite Sports in Hill City last week and Cheryl was sucked in by the Merrel Barefoot shoes. If I end up getting a new pair of shoes, these will be the ones I get too as they don't make you spread your toes, so they don't look so stupid, and you can wear light socks if it is cold out. Cheryl has been a runner since I've known her, but has been dealing with some of the typical aches and pains of aging....so we'll see if the promised healing effect is going to happen for her. Regardless, we are exploring a fun way to spend some time together and stay in shape with our new kicks.
I will offer up a word of advice on my experience. Go Slow. The Michelson trail here in the Black Hills must be perhaps the best place in the world to start barefoot running, but still, the movements seem to be so different that I'm willing to bet that you will end up with some sore muscles like I have been experiencing. I know when people come out rock climbing with us, they generally find a few muscles they have not used in awhile, and I know that barefoot running is that way for me.
It has been a good time though, and if you are out running early in the morning on the Mickelson trail between Custer City and Crazy Horse, perhaps I'll see you out there. I learned this morning though....one must really work to avoid the cow pies that populate the pasture between our house and the trail. That stuff between your toes does not feel great at all and I was happy to have the ugly shoes rather then be al'natural!