Slick Rock – That’s One Big Slab

By BJ | July 20, 2007

Outside of the town of McCall, about two hours north of Boise, sits Slick Rock. It’s one of the largest chunks of rock in Idaho, about 1200′ tall. It’s a giant slab, so most of the routes aren’t very hard, as you are always on your feet. The regular route goes right up the center of the formation, and offers fun crack climbing interspersed with runout (no protection) slab climbing. Since my finger was still bothering me, I figured it would be the perfect outing: it’s a slab, so I would mostly be using my feet, and it was easy, so any harder parts I could probably get by with my one good hand and the two good fingers on my right.

After an atypical early start, we had to return to the house to grab another rope for our friends Vince and Vanessa who would be climbing with us. Then the ladies wanted to stop at a yard sale, and then an organic fruit stand down the road and then a coffee shop in McCall. So even though we got up at 7am, we didn’t start climbing until about 2pm. Sheesh.

Looking up at the slab from the parking lot.

The climb was super fun, and the setting was top notch. A big valley, surrounded by granite outcrops in every direction, and perfect weather. Tracy and I climbed together, with Vanessa and Vince close on our heels. A pitch below the top, the mosquitoes started bothering us, and as we waited on top for our friends to finish, we got mauled! I bravely fought them off as Tracy tried to cover up any exposed flesh with as much clothing as possible.

Once our friends joined us, we started the rappels. It took about seven to reach the ground, and it got dark somewhere around the 5th or 6th. The weather was still great, and we had head lamps, so we got to see a nice sunset as we continued down the rock. We finally got back to our packs and did the short hike out. When I checked the time at the car, it was 1230am! Yikes, so much for getting dinner in McCall. Some power bars and a stop at the gas station was all we got that night, but we were pretty tired from a long day, and passed out pretty quick after we got our tents set up.

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Amy & Joe’s Wedding in Montana

By BJ | July 13, 2007

Tracy: On June 22nd our friends Amy and Joe cast off on the biggest adventure of their lives, and we were priveleged to be able to celebrate with them. What better reason to flea Idaho State lines than to see our two new friends tie the knot. We had a standard BJ and Tracy crack of noon departure after having coffee and conversation with some friends. We hit the road with fury though, and started on with our 8 hour drive. I’ve never forgotten how gorgeous Idaho is, but if I had Highway 95 North would remind me.

A cool coffe shop we stopped at in a random small town along the way.

It was great sharing the beauty with Spud(and Beej). There is a stretch that starts from Stites Id, and ends just before Lolo pass that is 75 miles of un-habited terrain. No power lines, houses, or cars. Just the river, trees and mountains. It’s breath-taking.

BJ: When we finally rolled into Missoula, we needed to get some grub before heading to Plains, which was still an hour away. We stumbled upon Taco del Sol, which turned out to be an awesome local food joint, with a friendly and funny staff, and good food at a great price. From there we finally rolled into Amy’s parents beautiful property around 10:30pm. Good thing the sun stays up late in these Northern parts.


We had some time to kill before the wedding on Saturday, so we tool a trip to Flathead Lake. It was beautiful, with big peaks rising out of a blue, blue lake. This was my first trip to Montana and the scenery blew me away.


Flathead Lake

The wedding ceremony was great, and took place in a beautiful meadow behind the house. Each set of parents (who were stilled married, how novel!) gave some advice to the new couple and then they were married! The party was super fun, with a great local bluegrass band rocking us into the wee hours.


We did it!


Congrats you guys!

Tracy: On our return voyage, we stopped in Hamilton Mt. I’ve never been to Hamilton before, but my friend John Lavey gave us both a reason to stop. I’ve known John since I was seventeen. He was the first person that I had ever taught climbing to. The YMCA 1997, after two-months John was out climbing me, and in six months he was teaching the class. We became roommates sometime after and in college he fed us all well, with Chili and misc. delicious treats. John’s a great dude, and if you happen to pass by Hamilton, you should knock down the doors of City Hall and say hello.


John and Tracy in Blodgett Canyon.

BJ: John took us on a hike up Blodget Canyon (holy rock, Batman! And no one climbing? I think I have found the promised land!) It was nice to get some exercise in, I’ve been feeling lame with all my working and no playing during the week recently. It was nice to get out and reconnect with the natural world, feel the sun on my face and smell the fresh air.

After a quick beer at the brewery, we continued south back to Boise. We drove through Salmon (my dear lord, more rock than you can shake a stick at!) and then to Stanley, home of the Sawtooth Mountains. Stanley is beautiful, it sits in a large open plain below peaks that match the Tetons in terms of jagged splendor. After a quick bite we continued the drive home, stopping at some hot springs along the way. For those who have never been to a hot spring in Idaho, you are truly missing out. Unlike the over commercialized springs we are used to in Colorado, these are often hot, flowing creeks that cascade in pools. It’s truly awesome to sit beneath a stream of steaming hot water next to a river.


Stanley and the Sawtooths.

It was a great trip, with a lot of driving, but I got to see a lot of Idaho in the big circle we made around the state. We’re off to the Sawtooths this weekend to meet up with Jim and Shannon, and hopefully do some climbing as my tweaked tendon is on the mend.

See you next week!

Spud, is this where you came from?

JC! Great to see you man, lets do some climbing in the fall!

Back in Idaho!

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We’ve Been Busy

By BJ | July 9, 2007

Damn, the last couple weeks have been flying by! We went to Montana for our friends Joe and Amy’s wedding, we climbed a giant 1200′ slab of rock outside McCall, one of the longest technical routes in Idaho, and we traveled to British Columbia to hang out with our Canadian cousins. Look for posts about all these trips coming soon….when Tracy finishes studying for math and BJ stops working 12 hours a day…

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Tracy’s Birthday at Pojo’s

By BJ | June 28, 2007

June 14th was Tracy’s birthday, and our niece and nephew wanted to take her to Pojo’s, which is like Chucky Cheese’s with lots of games, bumper cars, arcades, etc. We had a blast, the bumper cars were super fun, especially once we figured out how to make them spin around so fast you got dizzy. We won lots of tickets so the kids got to get some cool prizes, I’m still holding out for the harley davidson leather jacket, I think you only need like a million tickets or something. Paul and I tried the Dance Dance Revolution game, nothing like a bunch a whiteys trying to play a dancing video game for entertainment. We had pizza at Flying Pie afterwards and then went to see Knocked Up, maybe the funniest movie I have seen in a long, long time. Disclaimer: If you are offended by liberal use of the f-word and and frank talk about sexuality, this may not be a good movie for you.

Baby Myles and Amber.


You know you guys look like idiots, right?

Michael’s got his hands full!


Little Michael having a blast.

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Fishing in Lucky Peak Lake

By BJ | June 25, 2007

Lucky Peak is a reservoir about 20 minutes from Boise. We headed out there last Saturday afternoon to do some fishing with Claudia and Mark. They’ve got a great little boat and we set up four lines as we trolled up and down the reservoir. It was perfect weather for being on the water, a slight breeze and lots of sun. The fishing was pretty slow at first, but the scenery more than made up for it. Eventually on our way back we started hitting some good action, at one point we had three fish on at the same time. We pulled in some nice rainbow trout and some kokanee salmon. A big thanks to Mark and Claudia for prepping the fish for us so all we have to do is cook and enjoy!


Tracy reels one in.


The crew relaxing on the lake.


The view across the reservoir.


Mark and Claudia


Heading back at the end of the day.


No pictures, please!

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City of Rocks

By BJ | June 12, 2007

We spent the last weekend climbing at the City of Rocks, about 3 hours from Boise. It’s a world class climbing area, and a great place to hang in general. The weather was perfect, and the climbing was fun, very different from most of the climbing we do around Carbondale. Spud as usual was on a tear, and wants to go back as soon as possible. Jim and Shannon joined us from Jackson, and we had a good crew from Boise also. Can’t wait to go back!


Spud taking in the view from Bath Rock.


Spud climbs up the ladder to Bath Rock. Don’t slip Spud!


Spud was so sad when everybody had to leave and go home.


“I want to climb on those rocks over there!”


Hmm, maybe if I hide in this hole I wont be so scared.

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One Man’s Trash

By BJ | June 12, 2007

We had lunch in a park yesterday, and as we were leaving we saw an older woman who was going through the trash cans. We figured she was looking for recycling, and saw her take some newspapers out. She then went over to the recycle center and put the newspapers in. She had gone through the trash, not found any cans, but still pulled out the newspaper so it could be recycled!!!! She told us it gave her something to do and when she found cans, she was getting paid for it.

Tracy and I couldn’t believe it. We weren’t sure if she was homeless or not, but regardless, this kind of selflessness is rarely seen today and was awesome to witness. While the rest of the human race plunges head first into self indulgence and decadence, here was one person striving to make a difference in what little way she could.


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Bouldering at Table Rock

By BJ | June 8, 2007

The last couple days have been cold and rainy, snow up high. Last night it cleared and we went up to Table Rock to do some bouldering. It’s only about 10 minutes from where we live and sits on a hill above town. The temperature was perfect and the climbing was really fun. The stone is a soft sandstone, with lots of big pockets and cool features. We got to watch the sunset, but not for too long because they lock the gate at dark and you have to come back the next day to get your car if you get stuck!

Some photos:


Sunset over Boise from Table Rock


Sunset on the foothills above town


Spud is just tearing it up these days. Get down from there you crazy tater!

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Back in Boise

By BJ | June 5, 2007

We made it to Idaho!

Our last day in Carbondale was spent climbing at a local cliff with a bunch of our friends followed by a bbq in the parking lot afterwards, Mike, you are the man! Saturday was more packing and cleaning and we didn’t get out of town until 6:30. The drive to Salt Lake wasn’t too bad until we hit the Wasatch Front and I was fighting hard to stay alert and get us to our friends house where we spent the night. Late night driving can be brutal!!

Sunday morning we woke up and hung out with a friend for a bit, then off to Idaho! The drive went quick, we stopped in Twin Falls to check out Shoshone Falls and the climbing at Dierke’s Lake. I think I need to spend more time at Rifle! The climbing at Dierkes is way steep, even though the holds were pretty good we got crazy pumped. It was a nice diversion from the drive, and we met some nice local folks.

After climbing we continued on to Boise where we went straight to Tracy’s mom’s place for a BBQ with the fam and some friends. They had prepared quite the feast for us and we had a great time catching up with everyone, eating good food and playing some volleyball in the backyard.

After things wrapped up there we finally made it to the place we are staying, a super nice house close to downtown.

Stay tuned for more adventures in Idaho!

Spud, our hard charging Idaho Potato leads the way back north.

One big happy family hitting the road in SLC.

Shoshone Falls

Spud at Shoshone Falls
Spud takes in the sights at Shoshone Falls.

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Cattle Drive Through Carbondale

By BJ | May 30, 2007

Cattle Drive in Carbondale

One of the fun things about living in a small mountain town is the community. We still have real ranchers and real cowboys here, and every year the cows get moved from the winter pastures to the summer pastures, and vice versa in the fall. And the quickest way goes through town. So here come the cows, parading through Carbondale.

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