Becoming a weekend warrior was a choice I made to start a career, get some experience, and most importantly pay off student loans, debt, and to save money. I’m happy with my decision, but taking off this last weekend with a few of my close friends in their newly renovated van inspired some pretty deep wanderlust. James and Steph are two of my closest friends, and they are saving up for the trip of a lifetime, driving their van from the pacific northwest to the tip of South America. If you want to follow along go subscribe to their blog http://waywardgringos.com/. Luckily, I am a very committed weekend warrior and plan on getting in as much wanderlusting on the weekends as possible, especially when I get to tag along in this.
Meet Beatrix. The adventuremobile I plan on hanging out in most weekends this spring and summer. We took her on her maiden voyage to the Tieton River Valley for the first climbing trip of the season. Beginning after work Friday, because what kind of weekend warrior would I be, if this story did not start that way? We packed up the van, piled 5 of us in, and headed east for warmer weather and camping along the river.
Weaving our way through the dark mountain pass, gave us no clue as to how beautiful our surrounding weekend playground really was. We set up camp, sipped on whiskey and wine, and after a failed attempt at getting some wet wood to keep fire, retreated to the warmth of the van for some good old fashioned cards against humanity.
Weekend warrioring takes a lot of intention if you plan on really accomplishing anything. As the giggling over inappropriate jokes continued, time had flown and it was 1:30am and we had plans for an early-ish start to the crag. Me and my two buddies tucked ourselves away in my tent after deciding it was too cold to sleep in separate ones, and Steph and James tucked themselves in for their first official night camping in Beatrix.
Sleeping in isn’t really an option when you drank too much liquid before bed and then didn’t relieve yourself prior to climbing in to your cozy sleeping bag. 7:30 rolled around and laziness gave way to necessity and I clambered out of my warm nest to find the TP and a spot to drop my trousers (i love any opportunity to use the word trousers).
Breakfast happenings occur only after coffee is consumed, but we could not have asked for a better breakfast view. After Wes explored around camp a bit and discovered a dead rotting sheep, to which he named our beautiful campsite, we packed up and rallyed to the crag.
Climbing in Tieton Valley is beautiful, and thank goodness, because the first three routes I attempted there shut me down. Minus the first one which was supposed to be a 5.7 warm-up that didn’t shut me down, but definitely was not a confidence builder. I attempted a 5.10a and decided to say fuck it, why not go for the 5.10c, which ended with me ready for fireside gin and tonics. Needless to say, it is always a great day when I am out climbing, but I was not sad it was a short day.
This “Spring” we are having in Seattle is a rough one, so we welcomed the sun and warmth with open arms and giant smiles on our faces. Steph and I attempted another fire after buying some drier wood and a couple fire starters just in case. Gin and tonic in hand, fire blazing by riverside, the inaugural trip of the season was officially started the right way.
Calling it an early night was an easy decision after Friday’s shenanigans, and I welcomed sleep at 10 like an old friend I missed all day. Sleep came quickly and was very deep minus the run-in with a cranky woodland creature that crept in to my tent to sleep for the night. We kept the door open all night, and had a picturesque view of the campfire and the reflection of the moon bouncing off the river.
Waking in the morning, I started in silence as I made coffee sat in my chair next to the river and read my book that is only deepening my wanderlust. I had a solo morning watching the sun rise over the mountain across the water, and smiled at my weekend warrior choices.
As the rest of the crew began to stir, bloody mary’s, breakfast, and coffee were passed around. We packed up camp and headed to a new wall for a few more climbs. Definitely more fun than the first day, we sent a couple routes, popped a bottle for celebrating, and got back on the road and headed for home. But first we took the scenic route to pretend like we weren’t in a hurry cause the next day was monday.
Cheers, to Beatrix’s first of many summer adventures.
One thought on “Beatrix the Van’s Maiden Voyage”
Very nice Van.. hope to transform our SUV into that.