Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Dry Northwest Autumn Day

For those of you who know, these don't just fall out of the sky . . . (see what I did there?)

I'm starting to find my routine.  The last time I was in a place like this, it was my first year of college, living in the UW dorms in Seattle, Wa.  Even though now I'm a "grown up," a certified adult with a Bachelors degree and everything, I started out just as scared as I was five years ago.  This week something changed and I finally am settled into my new home.

I wake up early, but since I don't have to, it somehow feels better.  I always start with a french press brew and maybe some yoga if I feel like jumping right out of bed.  I roll to school and start working.  There is always something to do: grading, reading, homework, getting an iMac for free through university surplus (like craigslist, but better); we figure out a way to fill up our time.  These things are all good, but it's the after hours that make me feel like I'm finally at home.

Monday finished off with my first track workout with the UO triathlon team followed by a practice with the UO climbing team.  This was my first track workout in over a year.  I wont lie, it hurt like hell, but in that good way that leaves your head buzzing with adrenaline.  I climbed a few fun 5.10's at the school crag to complete a robust monday.  Tuesday saw me with the tri team again, this time with a strength workout followed by, who would guess, more climbing.  This is what I refer to as a rampage.  Once the buzzing starts, I can hardly make myself stop.

But all of this is just a prelude for today.  Getting ready for school, I debate packing my rain pants.  The sun is out, the forecast says no rain all day, but any good Northwesterner knows if you leave without your rain gear, it will rain; Mother Nature's idea of a cruel, cruel joke.  I gambled and left the rain pants to make room for running and climbing gear since it's another track + climbing day.  Mother nature must have decided to phone it in, because the sun stayed out, the pavement dried and come mid-afternoon, it was a lovely 60 degrees.  Still mid rampage, I was ready to go to track and climb until my fingers fell off.

But I didn't.  In the middle of Eugene there is this nice little spot called Skinner's Butte.  That's right, there is a real life crag ten minutes from campus.  It was nearing 6pm so Lauren, James and I hustled to the columns and set up a top rope.  As the sun went down and the air changed from pleasant to brisk I managed two pitches of clumsy crack climbing.  I could have ran hills tonight, and climbed three times the plastic.  But I didn't.  Dry October days in the Northwest are like finding a $10 bill on the ground; it almost never happens, but when it does you spend it right away.


Afterward, we hit up Cornucopia, our favorite spot (so far) for dinner and beers.  As I biked the four miles home I felt overwhelmingly content.  I'm sure every week wont be this good, but who could go wrong with such lovely company in such a lovely town.

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