Big Adventure in Windswept Wyoming

First stop, Lander. 

Good beer, cute cowboy town, and lots of pocketed limestone.

3We immediately liked the local sense of humor. Well, I should say we liked the local CLIMBER humor. 1

I actually saw quite a few heartbreaking bumper stickers on the road. One said, “Save 100 elk. Shoot a wolf,” and another said, “Proud #1 producer of coal in the nation!”  Let’s just say it’s a good thing I don’t drink in bars anymore. (Fight!)

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Wyoming was exciting new territory for both Tree and me. We love exploring places we’ve never been, and that’s getting harder to find in the Americas (new continent, here we come!).

I had Lonesome Dove expectations of cowboys, rolling hills, and big skies, and Wyoming did not disappoint. It seemed like at any moment, Captains Gus and Call could come riding over a hillside, charging after a herd of buffalo. 

It’s beautiful, wild country, but more than anything, it’s f’n windy. In fact, it’s windiest state in the nation.

At Wild Iris, Lander’s famous climbing crag, poor Sol could barely stand upright without being blown over. Fortunately, she wasn’t the only 30 pounder seeking refuge. There were lean-to forts all over the place, perfect castles for our rugged little princess. 
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4Pa and Nana came to visit, and we caravaned together for three weeks. I love that we can do that! 

When we told our new local friends, the Newmans, that we had an opportunity to climb alone one day, they suggested this secret gem, Miner’s Delight. 

Check out the ‘road’ to get there. The guide book said things like, go 2 miles past the big log and veer right along a receding bunny trail before climbing two dirt hills and passing a cluster of trees on your right. Umm, okay. 

1 (1) The Trooper charged in 4wheel drive in what we now know was his glorious last hurrah before deciding to blow up and go to truck heaven. RIP Trooper.2 (2)After an exciting off-road adventure, we then had to hike a half-hour surrounded by thigh-high flowers and hungry bears to the actual climbing wall. As a former city girl, that pretty much sums up how I feel about my time in wild nature–Beauty vs Beasts–which makes me a tad schizo.

I’m so happy to be alive! This is beautiful!

I don’t want to be eaten alive! This is terrifying!
324Father’s Day came and went, and we had the pleasure and privilege of celebrating with Pa, too! 
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Soleil giving a yeehaw to start the party! 

4 (1) She made presents for her two favorite daddies -a gift bag filled with pictures she drew.6 5Just another day in the life for this little cowgirl. 2 (1) Of course we went to Yellowstone. 

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And we saw Old Faithful, which was actually a little boring.

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We spent most of the time waiting for Old Tardy to do his thing. 

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Finally, this happened. 11

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And we saw elk crossing rivers, lodgepole pine forest, lots of  dead trees, beautiful geological formations, and steaming hot thermal pools. 
14 13But we were hankering to see some big mountains. 

Enter the Grand Tetons! 
5Once again, Pa and Nana offered to watch Sol for us so Tree and I could go on a solo climbing adventure. 

Our mission: The Sky Lounge, 11b- 3 pitches of gorgeous granite on the Rock Springs Buttress in the Grand Tetons! 

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I was pretty terrified, not of the climbing, but the hiking. Once again we had to hike through backcountry in Wyoming, aka BEAR COUNTRY! I carried bear spray and said “hey bear” no less than 100 times. 

This was the snowy start of the trail. 

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And here was the final descent into Rock Springs Bowl where we found our towering buttress. 

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I’d only ever done one other multi-pitch with Beckett in Cochamo, Chile, and this one was my first one with Tree. I’m so happy he convinced me to brave the wild and follow him up nearly 600 feet of fun. 

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It’s important to punctuate life with moments like these, intimate and adventurous; otherwise the days run together, and we miss the meaning of our story. 4

Rappelling down…

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Turns out those marmots have a serious foot fetish. 
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That’s all for now folks. Next up, South Dakota– home to one of the best kept secrets of the Wild West.

We’re currently in San Francisco applying for our Spanish residency visa. If all goes well, I’ll share our new Newest Plan very soon. 
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Comments

  1. ” Precious Darling ” ~ 🙂

  2. Gawd what a cutie.

  3. happiness!

  4. Nonituyas says:

    How lucky can a couple be – the way you love climbing together, the way you love nature and travel together, the way you work through obstacles together. . . and most of all how you love your child sooo much!
    Living life PASSIONATELY — so good.

  5. Now that is waaaay toooo much cuteness to handle for sure!!!!! OMG!

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