Sunday, April 26, 2009

Climbing, Running, Family and Friends

What a weekend! Did you enjoy the warm weather? I certainly enjoyed it. After 2 great days of clear skies and warm temps, I am now listening to thunder and rain outside my window. The sound is so peaceful and is accompanied by a nice cool breeze. Life is perfect....and the Red Sox are beating the Yankees for the 3rd night in a row. Sweet! Jacoby Ellsbury just stole home and was the first Red Sox player to steal home in 10 years. Ha!

Sometimes it is a challenge to find material for a good blog entry, but this past weekend provided so much to share. After working late everday this past week and only managing a couple runs, I was ready to unwind and recharge.

Our climbing group ( had our Spring trip planned for the Gunks (, and I was looking forward to it. However, I had yet to reserve a partner up until mid-day on Friday. I called my good friend, Chad, to see if he was available to climb on Saturday, and caught him between climbs at the Gunks. Ha! He snuck out for an early start to the weekend. Lucky for me, he was available for Saturday, and I was set with a partner. Chad has quite the climbing resume with several first ascents to his name, and he's getting ready to climb El Cap in Yosemite in May. So, I was psyched to connect with him for the day.

Chad pointed out a nice looking line that neither of us had climbed, so we scoped it out as Chad racked up to lead the pitch. The climb was rated on the easy side of the range, but was also aptly named, "No Picnic". Chad worked the crux section for a bit while I enjoyed the warming weather. He was apologetic for taking some time, but I was just happy to be outside at the best crag in the East. I followed Chad on the pitch and it was indeed a sweet line. I'll have to lead it sometime soon. While this promised to be a crowded weekend, we were both surprised to see one of my favorite lines, Classic, open. Chad mentioned that he saw climbing legend, John Bragg, on it on Friday, so that was enough to convince me to lead it. We enjoyed both pitches, and then we were desperate for some shade. We hiked down to one of my favorite climbs which is guaranteed to have shade, and it was every bit as good as I remember it. Chad led another great line called Moonlight, and then I got motivated to try something a bit harder. I had fun leading the only sport route in the Gunks and then we headed to the parking lot for some much needed socializing with our friends. Life was good after some spaghetti and wine, and I headed to my parents for a shower and some zzzz's.

On Sunday, I spent a little time helping my parents in the morning, visited my 92 year old Grandmother at a rehab center, and then went to a wedding for my best friend from high school. This was a second wedding for both the bride and groom, so it was fairly low key with mostly family and a few close friends. The vows were taken at a beautiful Arboreum, and it was nice to catch up with some old friends and meet some new ones. The grooms brother married the couple, and I was then both shocked and honored when the bride asked me if I would make a toast. I took a couple minutes to get a few thoughts together and then asked my friend, Eric, how life was different with his new bride, Christy. He said that life was "fuller", and proceeded to describe all the things they do together. I heard what I needed to hear, and then put together a toast that ultimately ended with a toast to the "Fullness of their lives together". Everyone seemed especially pleased with the toast, and my mission was accomplished.

After arriving home, I decided to squeeze in a run before evening set in. It was warm, but I throughly enjoyed it. On the Metacomet Trail, I saw an amazing owl fly into a tree, and I stopped to watch it for a bit. He turned his head all around to see me. I said hello and then was on my way. Life was good! I rounded Pinnacle Rock and saw a few climbers finishing up there lines, and then headed for home.

What a weekend! On Friday night, you could have played music on my tight, stressed out muscles, and now I sit here relaxed and recharged. You can't ask for much more. Climbing, running, family and is good, and I love it!

Have a great week!



Bruce G said...

Steve...I'm considering doing Pineland in a few weeks. I"m recovering from an ankle injury that's allowing me to run on smooth surfaces without issues, usually the rail trail. However, it's not quite ready for an ultra on single track. What's the course like at Pineland? How technical? Thoughts? Thx..

Ultra Steve said...


Course is great - almost all double track. Going throught the fields has some psuedo single track, but I'm sure you can manage it. Dawn is going up, so you carpool with her if interested. Check Jamie's blog at Maine Runner for details on the course. It's a great race. Kinda wish I was going, but promised myself I would climb this year. GOOD LUCK!