Wednesday, 8 August 1998. City of Rocks, Idaho.
After dropping Dennis off at the airport, I returned to Boulder to answer some questions I had about possibly living there. During lunch I talked to a few people about what they liked and disliked about living in Boulder. I got good answers, but still wasn't sure about just how dog friendly Boulder is, so I took a walk in the park. Boulder has a park that is kinda a scaled down version of the Boston parks along the Charles River. When I spotted someone walking their dog, I'd head over and ask them if they though Boulder was dog friendly or not. For the most part the answers were pretty positive. And from having read the previous Sunday's paper, there are more dog permitted apartments for rent than in Cambridge (but still lots of sorry no dogs).
I never connected with my possible climbing partners who reside in the Boulder area, so I decided to head to the City of Rocks where I knew there would be a few people I know. So back through Wyoming I went. I made a short stop in Cheyenne at the Sierra Trading Post. The catalog is more extensive than the store, no climbing gear, few tents and no approach shoes. Oh, well.
I spent the night at Flaming Gorge recreation area, but from where I was I couldn't see the flaming gorge. Just a marina and a lake. Continuing westward the radio selection got progressively worse the closer I got to Utah. Good thing I packed a good collection of CDs!
City of Rocks in Idaho, is basically in the middle of farm country, about three hours north of Salt Lake City. The last 25 miles or so of road are on dirt roads. There's one store in Almo, the town outside the park.
I arrived about mid afternoon and found a note that Al Stebbins had left. So I knew there'd be at least one person to climb with! I continued driving through the park until I spotted a few vehicles that I recognized and quickly found Bivy (Al's dog) where they were climbing. Of course just as I arrived it started to sprinkle.
There's a large contingent of Boston and Ex-Boston climbers here: Al Stebbins, Fred Wiggins, Steve Angelini, Chris Walton, Debbie Smith (living in Santa Rosa, CA), Chris Dubee (sp?), Ran Glennon (outside of Portland, Maine), plus Mary (living in Boseman, Montana), Alan (Santa Rosa), and Fritz (University of Michigan) who are friends of Debbie. We've had a lot of fun hanging out both on and off the rock.
Our day starts with picking a rock formation in the morning and climbing a bunch of routes, then coming back to the campsite for a siesta, then go climbing again late in the afternoon. If you stay in the shade the weather is great, but mid-afternoon the sun is brutal. The climbing is really top-notch, a mix of bolted face climbs and naturally protected crack climbs. Not much over one pitch, but still lots of excellent climbing.
The going price for showers in Almo is $2.50, which when you're hot and dirty is a helluva bargain. But popsicles are just $.21, so there are some true bargains.
Not sure I'll be able to send much email in the next week or so. I'm meeting up with another Boston contingent, this time to climb in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. We're meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday. While in the Winds we'll be totally on our own, no email hookups for me! The Winds are located about 2-3 hours east-southeast from Jackson.