Four Things

 

What are your weekend plans? My parents are visiting, so I get to play tourist and show them the sites around the city. I am excited for deep dish and many museums. I am equally excited that I have the day off of work. Wishing you an equally restful weekend! Here are four fun things to check out while you’re chillin’.

Loving the art project From Scraps, creating special things our of the discards.

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Extraordinary Routines is a cool page where you can glean wisdom from successful and relatable ordinary people. Tina Roth for example, the founder of Tattly and Swiss-Miss and way more, shares details about maintaining a sense of family for her kids even as a divorced family. I have known families who have these happy-endings divorces, where both sides can comfortably celebrate birthdays and holidays and make co-decisions about their kids life. It was very neat to read her perspective!

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I am equal parts obsessed with and terrified by Michelle Griffiths Instagram. She doesn’t just slackline… she does yoga on the slackline. In insane places like the canyons of Moab!!! I can’t stop looking. She leads workshops, if you’re into that sort of thing. But HOW does she set up the rig???

Have you ever been rock climbing? I have been going on the regular and when my friend posted this on my timeline she summed it up with “This is how I feel sometimes.” No worries, Sara, after watching these I can say with absolute confidence that we are images of grace on that wall.

Inside the Bag: At the Gym!

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I am partaking in the Brooklyn Boulders “Beginner to Badass” program (read about my badass climbing sister here) and for the first time in my life I have to pack for the gym before I leave for work!

Here is what I am bringing to the climbing gym (where I also take yoga classes and catch up on work at the co-op space).

  1. My daypack, which is super compact and folds into itself. It has a space for devices (I keep my shoes here, in a Tom’s bag), and I tuck my keys and snacks in the front little zipper pocket.
  2. A glossier bag with deodorant, a hair tie, castile soap, and lotion for chalky hands dried out by climbing.
  3. My glow-in-the-dark Nalgene from Ball State University’s Outdoor Pursuits!
  4. A good read for while I wait for my climbing buddy!
  5. Allbirds are the shoe I change into for running or just walking around the gym (climbing shoes are not comfortable to walk in!) I also need funky socks to climb in.
  6. Snacks! Bananas and Clif bars for sure.
  7. Comfortable clothes! I always wear a comfortable t-shirt, sports bra, and shorts. A bandana is nice for crazy hair and sweaty foreheads. It is also a great back-up wash cloth.

Not pictured are the shoes, harness, chalk, rope, and carabiner provided by the climbing gym.

Do you have any essentials that I didn’t include? What do you take to the gym?

Climber

via Daily Prompt: Climbing

My sister is a climber. She laces her shoes purposefully, ties the knots carefully, and chooses her handholds deliberately. She knows how to stretch to reach the next hold, or how to propel herself slightly higher. She gives other people this opportunity, guiding and hoisting, belaying them into a new sense of confidence.

When my sister was little, she climbed trees. So did I, but she always climbed a little bit further, and jumped down when she was done. When I was done, I sort of shimmied down, scraping my arms and legs bloody against the rough tree bark. I have climbed enough trees, though, to know the satisfaction it draws. Each branch, every scrape, each slipped then recovered foot hold, brings a new sense of accomplishment. I did it. I am higher than I was a moment ago. I am taller than I was a moment ago. I can see farther than the people on the ground.

Curiosity has gotten the better of me, and I’ve decided I would like to know how it feels to be a good climber. To climb a hard route successfully, without cheating. To boulder without falling, only jumping deliberately. To scale a cliffside in the great outdoors! In an effort to commit, I am planning to tryout Brooklyn Boulder’s “Beginner to Badass” program, a 30 day package where I can practice and train and learn and grow in new ways.

This week, my little sister turns twenty. In a way, I have watched her go from tree to rock; from follower to leader, from novice to expert, from student to teacher. I have watched my sister go from beginner to badass.

Happy (early) birthday, Kendra!

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What’s in a backpack?

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We just went to the Grand Canyon! 

Even better, we backpacked into the Grand Canyon and camped near Colorado River!

Here’s what we took:

  1. The backpack: See all this gear? Somehow, SOMEHOW, most of it fit in this little backpack! I carry a women’s Marmot, and it is probably just the “weekend” size. So far, I have only taken 2-3 day trips. Any longer trips, and I will need a larger pack.If you’re choosing a pack, here are some things to keep in mind:
    – Frame size: Be sure that your pack fits your body. Just because you need more room doesn’t mean you should order a size up.
    – Volume: How much room is in your pack, and how many things will you need to take on your trip?
    – Weight: The lighter the better. Always.
  2. Sleeping pad: These are not necessary, but when you are sleeping on the jagged canyon rocks along a fault line, it makes a big difference. BONUS, the sleeping pad is perfect for breaks on the trail or laying along the river to read your book.
  3. Sleeping bag: My sister told me over and over again to get a temperature rating for 20, 15, -5, -20… and I got a temperature rating of 30. If you plan to camp in high altitude, or a season other than summer, you should get a temperature rating for lower than 30. This is coming from someone who moved from the tent to the car for warmth.
  4. Dromedary: If you have confirmed access to water for each day of your trip, it is likely that you don’t need one of these. If you are hiking to a lake or river and have a filter, you probably won’t need one of these. If you are hiking into the Grand Canyon and the main water pipe just broke (again) this is a good way to ensure you will survive. We each carried 10 liters of water along with smaller water packs, and although it added 20 pounds to our packs, we were sure glad we had the backup water when we reached our first campground and learned that the pipe had burst.
  5. Platypus Water Pack: I am a big fan! I have learned to use the 2.5 liter pack and refill as needed to help monitor and pace the amount of water I am drinking. Extra points if your backpack has an opening for your hose… easy sipping.
  6. Tent: I don’t have a fancy minimal backpacker’s tent that ways .3 pounds and inflates in the wind. I have a clunky 4-person Coleman that shields us from wind/rain/animals and is spacious even with two other people. Packing tip: split the tent and poles between people depending on pack size and weight.
  7. Hiking boots: My sister told me that I need them. I told her I didn’t… and then I read a little more and realized a 70 lb. pack on a 65 degree downgrade could snap my ankles if I wasn’t careful. I have also heard horror stories of people breaking their feet by stepping on canyon rocks. In the end I was VERY grateful to have these Merrell’s on my feet.
  8. Sandals: I will always take Teva’s everywhere I go. If you don’t own a pair, buy some! You can hike in them, wear them in the shower/lake/river, jog to meet your friends, or slip them on like outdoorsy slippers.
  9. Cook-set: I have a little Stanley cook-set that has easily boils 2+ cups of water and has two nifty cups that fit right in. Also pictured: titanium eating tool.
  10. Stove and fuel: Take a stove, weather-proof matches, and fuel (not pictured.)Not numbered: trekking poles ($10 used for the PAIR, purchased from Grand Canyon rentals!), 2nd skyn blister kit, Mountain House breakfast, hiking clothes and a trusty red bandanaNot pictured: flight duffle, book, many maps crammed in a sheet protector, food for days, allergy pills