What a wedding!

I have been to a handful of inspirational and touching weddings, but the wedding I went to on the 29th of July was without question the most unique and appropriate for the couple. Gwen Hobbs and Eric Bostard who own Redpoint Climbers Supply in Terrebonne Oregon tied the knot at sunrise on top of the Monkey Face pillar in Smith Rock State Park. Gwen's mother and sister surprised her the day before the wedding and my boyfriend officiated the service. As if that wasn't enough awesome, Gwen and Eric swung on the 100ft pendulum Monkey Swing together just hours after exchanging their vows. 

It was awe-inspiring to see the community come out to support them especially given how early it was! 

The officiant and I decided it was probably okay to also step off the cliff on the Monkey swing after the newlyweds tested it. Among the others who jumped; a mother and her 7 year old daughter, Gwen's mother and sister, and a handful of other brave guys and gals. 

I have personally struggled with the idea of marriage for most of my life, but seeing more of my friends come up with unique and brilliant ways to represent their relationships and the lives they want to have, makes the idea of nuptials slightly less terrifying.

Thank you Gwen and Eric for being the pinnacle of what is possible in a functional fun-loving relationship and for setting the bar high.   


Something we’re all familiar with, have our own thoughts about, use, lose, and chase. Something we love, curse, crave, and fight with. Something we try to control, try to let go of, bend, adjust and trick. There are a lot of ways to look at and think about time. According to google time is “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” It’s also a measurement, plan or schedule.

My relationship with and definition of time is constantly evolving. I usually think about time in relation to a balancing act, as if I only have so many eggs I can juggle, set down, toss in the air, or hold in my hands. I’m not all that good at juggling in real life so the metaphor of juggling eggs might not be the most appropriate... But what if I was to say those eggs are plastic easter eggs with sweets inside?! That way if they drop and break open, I have one less egg and a sugary treat! Dropping too many eggs would obviously lead to a risk of diabetes, or I could take the time to set all my other eggs down and put the broken egg back together treat safely nested inside.

What I’m getting at with this very convoluted metaphor is that I have recently come to the conclusion that the perfect balancing act of time is unrealistic. Sometimes my energy will feel evenly distributed, but most of the time not and that’s okay. I have to be okay with dropping an egg once in a while and then giving it all of my attention. Right now that egg is my video project of my climb at Smith Rock.

I received a Live Your Dream grant from the American Alpine Club earlier this year and completed my climb of the West Face of the Monkey as part of my project. It was an amazing day, I got some great footage, and I have been putting all of my extra time and energy over the last week into finishing the video trip report.

Video is a whole new beast for me, and it has eaten up my entire existence since I started. However with my new found acceptance and relationship with time, I’m not beating myself up about not taking advantage of the sunshine or missing out on one climbing trip, because the summer is long and there will be more time for those things. Right now my video egg has the spotlight and I am giving it all of my attention.

I have to have these sorts of conversations with myself often, silly metaphors included, because I love to do so much in so many different directions. I want to take on as many eggs as possible! I want to participate, adventure, relax, read, celebrate, sleep, cook, paint, dance, climb, and squeeze it all into one day! Sometimes it's possible, and sometimes I have to remind myself that it's okay and that regardless of how I try to spend, use and take advantage of my time it will carry on indefinitely.   


Falling is Part of the Process

Falling, failing, missing the goal, shot, net, hole, hold, catch. Losing, tripping, crashing, hitting the ground, all of these things happen and all of these things are part of the process.

This last weekend was my first real trad climbing trip to Index, that’s all we did, place gear and climb cracks. Our first climb was called Aries. It’s a 3 pitch 5.8 with a wide start, a flared chimney, and a bit of a roof. All things I’m not super stoked on or good at. So I was a bit stunned by Mike’s reply when I asked him who was leading what pitches. “You’re leading all of them” he said. Shit… I’m getting more comfortable with placing gear and climbing cracks, but a lot of it still feels foreign and up until now I had never taken a fall on gear before.  

I racked my gear, started up the wide section, placed a blue number 3 cam and tried to get my fists to fit in the crack. None of this was graceful by the way. I was cursing under my breath, huffing, pissed and staring at that cam thinking “I’m totally about to take a fall on this… Fuck it! Here we go…” I groveled my way up a few moves past my piece, was smearing with my left foot and trying to find something substantial for my right, but it was awkward. I was almost there, fingers touching the hold that would secure my passage on to the ledge in front of me, and my foot popped. Falling is part of the process.

I gave a bit of a frustrated cry as my gear and Mike caught me. I sat there in my harness out of breath, frustrated, panting, and a bit excited honestly. YES! It totally holds! I mean I knew logically that cams are supposed to work, but it’s another thing entirely to have the experience of one working. I looked down and had a very nice three tiered rope burn from my ankle half way up my calf with a definite bruise and bloody knee pending. Mike was stoked, I was stoked, we laughed, I caught my breath and got to the ledge my second go. The rest of the climb was great too, I had fun in the try-hard frustrating sense, but ultimately I felt really good about my performance and my efforts.

Climbing cracks still feels like another language in many ways, but I’ve got the falling figured out so it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the equation is translated.

Live Your Dreams!

Speechless excitement was my first response when I found out I had received one of the NW Live Your Dream Grants from the American Alpine Club this year. I had put so much time and intention into these big dreams it just felt so good to be rewarded for the effort. Receiving this grant was the extra boost of reassurance I think I needed to prove to myself that I am headed in the right direction, that this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing, and that these are the dreams I am after.

Here's a quick video I put together explaining my project and a little bit about the Live Your Dream Grant.   

The beginning

Like many others at the beginning of this year, the American Alpine Club prompted some Big Dream thinking for me. I have always been at home in the dirt and the sand and the pine needles. My scarred knees are generally covered with try-hard scabs and the AAC has reminded me that these qualities make me special, that everyone deserves the chance to dream big, go big, and make a difference. 

It is a scary process however to take these dreams from the ethereal place they live and bring them into the light of reality. Because once they step out of the shadows they are subject to gravity and all other laws of said reality. Luckily being a rock climber has helped me build a decent relationship with gravity and my first few steps in the light of reality have been sunburn free.

I am hoping this blog and portion of my website will serve as a place for me to brainstorm, track my thoughts and projects, and share my process and inspirations. I am not by any means a trained writer, but I do like words so hopefully any inevitable grammar or syntax mistakes will be forgiven with a giggle and a shake of the head. Please and thank you ;)