Friday, August 2nd
We woke up to a beautiful morning in the Cliff Creek dispersed camping area near Hoback, WY. We had a very relaxed morning of cleaning out car and reorganizing the car, while eating leftover pizza from the previous night.
After the car was repacked, we headed to Hoback Shield to climb. Doug climbed there last year with Alex's brother and sister-in-law, while Dave drove Alex to Salt Lake City to catch her flight to land her new job.
It was a great sport crag for our low-key day; quick approach and each lead yielded several routes to climb. We cranked out about six or seven routes before heading down the road to a sweet hot spring at the base of a waterfall.... something else Doug discovered last year.
Soon after getting in the hot spring, we saw a family eyeing up our spot. Oh no... Last time we shared a hot spring with kids it turned into a churned up mess of mud from all their thrashing. Luckily, this family turned out to be awesome to hang out with. We wound up spending about three hours soaking and talking with them before we decided that we should hit the road and head towards Vedauwoo, where we would meet up with Seth and Max the following day.
After drying off, we headed back towards Pinedale to finally get rid of our borrowed bear canisters and find some food. Doug convinced us, despite our initial hesitation, to eat at the Chinese restaurant. This wound up being a great choice! We wound up with a family style meal that included a big bowl of soup followed by appetizers and large plates of four different entrees to share.
The food coma that was coming on made us question whether or not we could make the 4 hour drive to Vedauwoo. Doug quickly was sleeping like a baby in the backseat, and Alex and Dave revived themselves with milkshakes and coffee. After that, Dave was a trooper (as always!) and drove the whole way. We drove around the washboard dirt roads until we found an open spot to camp. Doug settled into the car, while we set up the tent. As we were just about asleep, a small critter kept creeping near our tent. We'd scare it away... and it would come back.... persistent little guy! It wasn't that we were scared of it, but we didn't want it to chew a hole in our tent. Dave's threats to bash it with the can of bear mace must have hit home; it scampered away and left us alone for the remainder of the night.
Saturday, August 3rd
Despite our wishes to sleep in (we only fell asleep after 3am), the hot sun soon roused us from our sleep and tent before 8:00 am. We headed down to the main day use area of Vedauoo. We set ourselves up at a table under the gazebo and brewed some coffee with the flip-and-drip and made some gerbil food (fruit, yogurt, and granola). We hung out, literally, in hammocks, napped, talked, and read while we waited for the guys to arrive. We all hung out in the same area for quite a while before we decided to go set-up camp, then get on some climbs.
We headed up the road to Seth and Max's usual camping spot, set up the tents. The storms that were moving in made us decide to make a camp fire instead of climb. Of course this escalated into harvesting large quantities of fire wood from the dead trees, making a big fire, making the fire go up the ramp/crack in the boulder it was built next to....
After lots of good times and laughter, we settled in for the night.
Sunday, August 4th
Conversations over breakfast and coffee brought Dave to lead "Friday the 13th," a sweet, but exhausting, 5.10a finger/hand crack.
All three of us found it to be a super fun climb, though tiring in our current lack of endurance strength state. Dave even liked it so much that he climbed it a second time, on top-rope.
After cleaning up the gear, we headed over to check out the guys hitting up a sick squeeze chimney in The Maze. Max managed to finish out the climb and get back on the ground just before the skies opened up.
We hit Little Caesar's for dinner, five people, five pizzas, $25. We mauled the pizza from the chairs in front of the counter before heading to the Sierra Trading Post Outlet Store in Cheyenne to see what kind of deals we could score on outdoors clothing/gear. Now it was time to part ways again. Doug was on his way back to Golden, CO with Seth and Max, who would drop him off at the airport the following day. Dave informed Alex that he got them a hotel room for the night. WOOHOO! Time for real beds and the first showers in a week and a half!