Thursday, May 28, 2009

You’re so Busted

Whatever your name is, just turn yourself in. The Feds already know that it was you that robbed that post office. If anyone sees a guy around town with a hat, glasses, and a hankerchief covering the rest of his face, take no action to apprehend this person yourself and call the authorities!

I mean, are you kidding me? They think they are going to catch someone with that picture? Really? I bet that guy who robbed that post office has to be pretty pumped up right about now because he knows there’s NO WAY he’s going to get caught. That is more non-descript than the famous Unabomber sketch. (Unabomber had a sweet ‘stache by the way—I’ve always admired his mustache.)

Can you imagine our thief’s reaction if he saw this sketch of himself? “Sweet! I thought that the postman might have seen the color of my hair, but looking at that sketch, I don't think he did. I think I’m going to get away with it! Which one should I rob next?” This might be my favorite pencil sketch ever.

I came across this the other day and wanted to share with the world. In my case, that means 5 people. Wow, I'm popular. Should I challenge Ashton to a Twitter race? I bet I could blow him out of the water.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Goodbye Old Man Winter

(DISCLAIMER: All of these photos were taken with my low-pixel phone.)

Today's high temperature was near 80, so what a good morning for a ski, no? I haven't skied Alta more than a handful of times in my life, so I don't know/remember the mountain very well, but one thing I do remember is the Main Baldy Chute. It comes of the top of Mt. Baldy and is a very striking and classic line viewed from the chairlifts. Anyways, to finish off my maiden ski touring season, I decided to wake up early and go ski Main Baldy. I was amazed at the snow cover still at Alta. There must still be 5 feet of snow! I guess we had a really good snow year. I was able to skin a bit, and then booted the rest of the way to the top. It was great just to be out.

No action shots today as I was solo, but the views were nice. On the drive to LCC, there was a great view of the crescent Moon and Venus right above the mountains. Venus is the brightest object in the night sky other than the Moon, so the see them both next to each other was pretty cool. (I'm a nerd)Once the sun started coming out, the star show was over and it was time to keep hiking.

SLC from my perch this morning.

What all the work was for - Main Baldy entrance.

I had to work today, so I needed an early start and the snow was just starting to corn up by the time I made the summit at 8 am. The snow wasn't great. In fact, it was probably the crappiest snow I've ever skied. The snow in the chute was best-it had been baking for a couple of hours by the time I skied down and was buttery smooth in some sections and chattery ice in others. The rest of the run was pretty much the worst skiing ever over refrozen snowmobile tracks, debris, and uneven, impossible-to-turn-in ice. Goodbye ski season. Until next year...

Bottom looking up.

Stats for today:

Vertical: 2,700 up and down
People on mountain - 0
Sweet Biffs - 0
Blisters - 1
# of lost poles I saw under the lifts: 4

Some leftovers from our summer-even-though-it's-not-summer vacation:

We saw some wierd stuff on our way home from KY.

T with Ice Cream from Ott's General Store.

The twins had some too.

I'm glad this isn't one of my hobbies. Saw this guy at the kiddie playground. What do you think he found, binkies?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ogden Half

My semi-famous brother Mike, who can tell you lots of awesome stuff about Ogden and why Ogden is awesome, used his authority and let me get a late entry into the Ogden half-marathon. I'm not marathon material. Only half of it actually. Anyways, for training I did a few 8 mile runs, one 14 mile trail run, some random miles in between and that's about it. I was undertrained for certain. I wanted to run under 1:40 which is a 7:30/mile pace. Luckily, I spotted one of my neighbors from my younger years and we ran the first 10 miles together. Then, I said "adios" as my side-stitch and lack of training finally caught up to me and my neighbor kept going. My last 5k took about 28 minutes. As Phil Liggett would say, I was "wearing the mask of pain."

I really faded towards the end of the race and got passed by grips of people in the last couple of miles. It was similar to losing touch on a hill climb when riding. You see them ahead of you, but you know there's nothing you can do to catch up because your already at your top speed. With a 1/2-3/4 mile left, I was at 1:35 or so, so I thought 1:40 was a cinch. The finishing straight is so long, you can see the finish line for about 7 blocks. All the while, the clock is ticking. As 1:40 was approaching, I realized my goal was in jeopardy. The PA announcer had me hustling to the line with his "You have 30 more seconds to finish under 1:40!" motivation speech. I hustled, crossed the line at 1:39:57, and had to bend over because I thought I was going to puke! I think that was about the best I could do on Saturday. Maybe I need to find some hobbies that I can be good at.

Jami did the ogden marathon this last Saturday and PR'd. She did awesome and ran a great race. I'm sure she'll post about it on the family blog.

Should I take up cyclocross?

Maybe some ironing while track cycling.

Or running with bulls in pamplona?

I'll probably just stick with my usual hobbies and be mediocre at all of them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kentucky Roundup

Our trip is over. Sigh. It was so much fun. I never would have thought that KY could be so awesome. From the awesome climbing to the cool speaking locals, we had a good time. And I was amazed at how cool the RRG was. I can't imagine a cooler climbing area, and I've climbed all over the west. It's that good.

I grew this baby to fit in with the locals while I was there.

Impressive, no? I realize how bad it looks. We Caldwell men are mostly hairless beasts. We can grow just enough to know that we shouldn't grow any.

Jami and I diving in

I've had some fleeting thoughts of this(Lotus Flower Tower) over the years. Maybe when I'm 35. It looks awesome, but the adventure to get there would be even better. Don't sue me George for using your pic I found on Google images. :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kentucky #3, #4, & #5 (The RRG)

The Red River Gorge is such an amazing place. KY has thick trees everywhere, so the crags are generally not visible from the road or only the tops of the cliffs are visible from the road. Don't be fooled though, there are some amazing cliffs in the woods and the stone is high quality sandstone.

The beautiful Torrent Falls. That's us in the picture for perspective.
Torrent Falls

We stayed at a little cabin that is basically right in the Torrent Falls area near Slade, KY. It was awesome. A short 5 minute walk up the stairs led to a beautiful overhanging wall of heavily featured Corbin Sandstone full of 5.11's & 5.12's that seemed specifically designed for the purpose of sport climbing. I am a believer in intelligent design.

Rain update:I think it rained for a few hours all 3 days we were there, but there were still many dry routes for climbing. The drip line on the cliffs we were at were 40 feet back from the wall in many sections. There were wet lines, but most were pretty dry. Unless the rain were blowing fully sideways, most of the cliffs stay dry. That's a pretty nice feature when planning a climbing trip in the spring.

As we were outnumbered by kids, (5 kids that were 3& under, 4 adults) I was pretty glad that we were basically the only ones at Torrent Falls so we could pretty much let the kids run wild without bumming out other climbers with our crew of kids.

Keith on kid duty. Kid duty was the crux of every route!
Keith Hounded

Keith during less stressful times.

The routes were pretty pumpy and I didn't onsight anything harder than 5.10, but I'm pretty out of shape anyways and it was good just to get out on the rocks for a few days. We actually had a discussion on what was "better" style- being hoisted through the crux on TR, resting at nearly every bolt on lead, or taking short hangs on a TR. I think I'd have to get out more than twice a year to be able to send any of those routes. 2009 is the return of the climber for me. I'm going to focus more on climbing this year and hopefully have some kind of return to form.

Me on Bare Metal Teen.

BMT #2.

Of course, we visited Miguel's the climbing shop that also sells pizza. When you walk in there are ropes, rock gear, shoes, prAna clothes, and other climbing paraphernalia all over the place and a pizza menu on the back wall. The pie was delicious and atmosphere was unique. If you go to the Red, visit Miguel's. It is a one-of-a-kind eatery.

I can't wait to come back. I think the kids had a riot and Keith's giant swing was a hit with the boys.

Trenton watching his papa climb with snack in hand.
Trenton watching

Trenton on a giant swing.
Trenton swing

Andrea checking in on the kids from up high.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kentucky #2: Climbing! (And Rain!)

Today was my first climbing day in KY. And it rained again. Alot. I was beginning to worry that we were going to get rained out again. Since climbing was looking like a non-option we decided to go hike around and look at some of the crags that haven't been developed yet. It seems every little canyon or drainage here has some cliffs with potential for climbing.

When we got to one of the developed areas, it was raining but the cliffs were so steep that the routes stayed dry. So we climbed a couple of them. Both were really good. K&A have a really cool home area for climbing. We later got on a recently bolted 11d/12aish that was stellar. I've forgotten how fun this sport is and it felt really nice to get out and try something hard. Maybe that isn't hard for many folks, but it is good for me right now in my life. Of course we finished off the day with a brisk swim in the lake (no wetsuit this time) to cool down and relax.

Tomorrow we're going to the Red River Gorge to the Torrent Falls area. It should be really good. Come rain or shine, I'm getting my pump on.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Kentucky #1: Flooding!

Cumberland Falls was above flood level today. We saw so much stuff floating down the river. Too many trees to count, tires, tons of garbage and Keith saw a refrigerator last time he was there. Ah, the great outdoors. Very impressive falls nonetheless.

Untitled from Tom Guernessy on Vimeo.

Kentucky #1: Rain!

We finished our 25 hour drive with this on the table ready for us to eat. This was homemade by Andrea and it was as good as it looks.

We've kept a pretty close eye on the weather forecast and weather guessers say there is going to be some rain for most of the trip. Some heavy rain fell last night and more this morning. Over 4" of rain since 5/1. Yikes! Good thing the rock is so steep here that climbing in the rain is no problem.

Today I accompanied Jami on a 4-mile run. I was armed with military grade pepper spray, courtesy of Andrea. You never know what it is like running in a new place. Nothing happened, but having the same pepper spray that is used in the Kentucky prisons certainly instills some confidence. Dogs and appalachia-dudes: beware.

After that, I was sweaty, so I needed a swim in the backyard. Not everyone has a backyard pool like Andrea & Keith, so I plan to take full advantage of it everyday that we're here. Their swimming hole ranks right up there with the cenotes in Mexico. Life is pretty stinkin' good for the Cards.

Tomorrow we're going to check out the local rocks and see what they have here in the South. I can't wait. I'm sure I'll have a delirious pump by 10 am.

Isn't this a cool lookin' swimming hole? Complete with its own 10 foot diving board.

#1. Cool swim hole. I had the wetsuit for the swim after the jump - not just for the jump. Need to clear that up.

#2. I have no professional training.

#3. I know I'm good.

#4. Bad form = big splash.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Halfway There

We're more than halfway to our summer (sorta) vacation destination, even though we still have 3 more states to drive through. Today we drove through most of Colorado, all of Kansas (holy crap it kept going on forever!) and maybe half of Missouri. Tomorrow we have the other half of Missouri, Illinois, part of Indiana, and a good part of Kentucky. I can't believe we decided to drive, but we're on a budget this year, and driving is quite a bit cheaper than flying.

Pics will be forthcoming.

Some stats so far:

Miles driven - about 1,200
Sandwiches eaten - Among all of us? Lots.
Vanilla cokes consumed - One.
Meltdowns - Zero. Seriously. I hope I'm not jinxing us for tomorrow but the kids have been champs so far.
XXX Adult shops seen from the highway - 6 or 7. There must be a lot of lonely truckers out there because it seemed they were all over I-70.
# of flappers - Zero. So far so good!