I feel like the trip has started to pick up! After spending so much time in the big cities, spending money, and eating terribly (so much sugary temptations around every corner), I finally think I've found solace again in the great outdoors. After getting to the New River Gorge in Fayetteville, West Virginia, I met up with Brian and Neal who I met on the west coast a couple months ago. They were kind enough to let me join in their tarp cave (pictured above) because it rained for days on end, the first week or so I was here. Brian is a graphic designer and has been on the road for over a year now. Neal has been on the road for a few months, and he and Brian climbed together here last year. Michael and Gabriel, from Austrailia dn Quebec respectively, are on a road trip making their way to Banff in Alberta for the winter season. They arrived at the New River Gorge a day before I did, and they're super cool. I like them alot! They're also heading to the Red River Gorge after this, as am I. So I'll see them there!
The New River Gorge is an interesting place. The campground we're all staying at is owned by the American Alpine Club, 5$ a night, free showers, and you get your own campsite. There's people staying here long term. They call 'em permies. They've been here from the hot spring and summer and staying until the cold winter. Most of them work in town at the gear shop, or at the Sandwich shop. Some are rafting or mountain biking guides. The rest of us are just passing through, using this place as home base for a little while. It's nice, you start to get to know people and recognize people around town. The New is pretty quiet compared to it's Eastern counterpart, The Red River Gorge, where everyone usually goes.
My first day here was pretty difficult. The routes I got on felt like it was bolted by a 6 foot plus person. Every move felt super reachy, and it was pretty intimidating. I got shut down on an 11a, and felt a little bummed! But eventually got back on it and sent it. It took me a few days to get used to going for big moves. I finally got the hang of it though and was able to climb more confidently! Then I managed to get on Tony the Tiger (11c), took a HUGE fall, I've never hit a wall so hard (my bum was bruised for days), but I got back on it and sent it second go! I think I'm good at sending things second go.. not first go haha.
Anyway, more climbing to come! New friends, old friends, its all fun :) I'm looking forward to the Red!