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Thursday, October 17, 2002

Climbing Joshua Tree

Mike had given himself some birthday challenges for his 31st birthday. He wanted to lead 31 climbs, bike 31 miles, hike 31 miles with 3100 feet in altitude gain. Others were to play 31 holes of disc golf, eat 31 Krispy Kreem donuts and drink 31 cokes. I brought him 31 presents, most of them cheap junk, with a few good ones in between, but it was fun buying and wrapping them.

Only Mike, Ole and I were there today and Ole spent all day belaying and Mike spent all day climbing. He climbed and climbed and climbed and I actually got to where I could watch for a while. I was just too nervous at first so I would go for a walk or a hike and then come back and watch. It is just amazing how they climb straight up but they are roped up and relatively safe so I finally got so I didn't panic at seeing my baby half way up a sheer cliff. He did twenty climbs today with Ole's help. Up and down, up and down.

I wandered around the campgrounds and went for a hike on the Boy Scout Trail. This is a long flat trail and while the piles of rocks got close I never quite made it to them. After about an hour I was in a dry wash. You could see on the side the line of the silt where flash floods had come at least fifteen or twenty feet up the side. It had been cloudy all day but now there was an occasional drop and I decided I did not want to be in a wash if it was going to start raining. It was raining by the time I got back to the car but it was fun walking in the rain and I was taking it easy.

A couple and their toddler arrived today so our group started to grow. The fire was nice and we had some fantastic steaks. Ole marinated them and they were so good.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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