10:01 PM... Right about now things are starting to quiet down here at Miguel's Pizza in Slade, KY. Climbers and the occasional tourist family who have made their way down to the Red River Gorge are wiping the tomato sauce from their faces and diving into their sleeping bags for the night. Looking at my fingers ticking away at the keys of my laptop I can just start to see the wear from a days climbing in the Red...
We were at the crag this morning by 8:00AM in an effort to scramble up some climbs before the rain of the day. With our barks and growls echoing off the sandstone walls, we tapped into our primal selves before taking on the first route. The morning was cool and damp, sweat began to drip down my forehead as I ascended. Hand, Hand, Foot, Foot, Hand, Hand, Foot, Foot, CLIPPING!, Breeeath, chalk, and on to the next bolt. The climb was a mellow 5.8 and a solid first route for a beginner like myself. Jon and I scrambled around on Bruise Brothers wall for a while, going over rappel systems and personal anchor techniques before making our way to the Land Before Time Wall for some early afternoon ascents. The dense forest in the Muir Valley was lush with the early growth of spring, bright green buds littered the canopy. The winding dirt paths to each crag hugged the steep mossy slopes and led us to intricate rock formations, hundreds of holes eroded into the soft sandstone, leaving perfect homes for spiders to inhabit.
With a solid first day of climbing under our belts Jon and I started back in the early evening towards Miguel's. Bodies tired and ready for a cold one, we stopped in at a small market where the sign above the old porch read "Climbers Welcome". As we stepped into the open market, the porch creaking underneath our feet, we looked to our left to see the weather
ed face of the store clerk. His name was Joe.
"His voice was thick as the humid air. Slow melodies left the words dripping like molasses from his lips as he uttered southern colloquialisms that Northerners could hardly imagine, only comprehend." said Jon. He had no place to be and not a care in the world. Joe seemed to truly exhibit that slow way of life that was so commonly talked about in the south. Moving to the porch, he joined us for a Busch (the beer he grew up on) and shared with us his experiences in central Kentucky.
For more photos from the days events check out the slideshow below or shoot me email!