It was so cold that my toothpaste froze. My skin was raw. My hands were bruised. I stank of campfire smoke. I terrified myself as I learned to lead my first cracks. I wore four pairs of pants to stay warm. My stove nearly blew up.
I can't wait to do it again! (Though I'll bring a different stove.)
What a treat to be surrounded by a group of fabulous people, talented climbers, and gourmet glampers for a Thanksgiving celebration in one of the world's greatest climbing destinations. We pot-lucked a Thanksgiving dinner that would rival that of any made in the comfort of a cozy kitchen.
Each night as the full moon crested the mesa behind Pasture Creek, the entire campground erupted into wolf howls. Lasting as long as a minute, the howls from each site dissolved into fits of tipsy laughter as each group huddled as close to their campfire as their down coats would permit.
As per habit, the campground howled for the full moon on Thanksgiving, but a breathless silence befell upon the somber stroke of a cello in a neighboring site. Only the wind accompanied the cellist on that starless night. Snowflakes fell softly to the rhythm of the music. Only the bonfire, upon which we roasted a deer heart, punctuated the perfect silence with explosions of sweetly aromatic Juniper sparks.
On our last morning, Timpson took us to visit Anasazi ruins in the valley. We drove for several miles down gravel roads and through rocky creeks. Eventually the road became too rough for the cars, so we walked, meandering along deer paths that lined the canyon wall until suddenly a modest village lay before our eyes. The ruins are several hundred years old and in surprisingly good shape. The walls located under the roof of the rim were completely intact, thanks to their protection from the rain.
Pottery shards lay scattered on the ground, the occasional arrowhead punctuating the linear patterns of the pots and vessels that once bore water. Dry wooden beams supported the sod bricks of the well protected, ancient homes.