Friday, November 27, 2009

Another Arizona

Do you ever have those times where you think something is going to be way quick and easy and then you get a ways into it and realize it was a lot bigger project than you thought? Sometimes it turns out great, and others make you wish you could trade your situation for a punch in the face. Today was great thankfully, but I thought the drive would be a bit shorter.

I bought a map at REI to this location and it ended up being a really different place to climb. The routes we did were supposedly easy, but they were harder than I had anticipated for their rating. It was igneous rock and had plenty of tiny holds, not the large pockets I am used to climbing up in Utah.

TJ, AJ, and I ventured out to get all the ingredients for a good time. This place had a cool approach, shade, fun routes, and perfect temperatures. Mission accomplished.

TJ on our way out

We started playing on this traverse for a bit... it had some pretty fun moves. Heel hook

AJ on his way up.

Don't look at me.

The approach and running across the highway on our way out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Climbing toward thanks.

My first few days in Phoenix consisted of just hanging around, but I felt a little stir crazy faster than I would have thought. Calling upon one of my old mission companions, Nate Wengert, we headed out in search of some good climbing at Camelback, right dead smack in the middle of town.

Last night I looked up a climb on which ended up leading us to nowhere. We found a climb, but it only went up 3 bolts before topping out with nothing up above. Needless to say I was down climbing for a good 15-20 feet.

Deciding we didn't have enough info we headed to REI and bought a couple maps and returned to finally get some climbing done. Arizona... I really never thought I would like you, but now I think we can be friends. There is so much cool climbing here.

Overlooking the valley... It is so flat here, the formations are the only place to really get any type of a view.

The lichens look almost neon here.

Tipping... my opinion

“What can I get you tonight sir?” Said the waiter while wearing his best smile.

“How about an ‘I’m cheap Sandwich’ with a side of ‘I treat people like vending machines.”

“And to drink?”

“A glass of don’t talk to me, I am above you.”

I live in Utah County, a place notorious for bad tippers. Where people pull their little tip calculators out of their little pockets to make sure they give their little tip for their overly presumptuous waiters who work in hopes of making decent money. Do these people realize how stingy they are being? Is it so hard to give a good tip? It is almost comical how someone can sit and debate between a two-dollar tip and a three-dollar tip. It is a dollar… really… one-dollar. Does it make any difference to you?

Furthermore there should be a minimum tip rule of 5 bucks, if you can’t afford it don’t go out to eat. There are some exceptions to this rule but generally that is it. Shouldn’t we try to be generous?

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine that found it offensive and audacious that waiters would add a 15% gratuity to their bill when there was a party of six or more. 15%? 20% should be the baseline for tipping a waiter. Waiters deal with a lot of crap and I would prefer to be the one to make someone’s day better rather than make someone feel like crap.

Those of us who don’t drink alcohol for religious reasons should compensate for that by tipping BETTER. Having worked in the customer service industry, I watched people come in and treat me like a robot, and others came in talking amicably leaving everyone around them feeling better about themselves. No I am not a waiter, but I do watch this group of people scramble to make people happy and they deserve better.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A night in my car

Spending the week in Phoenix, Arizona with my parents for Thanksgiving made me want to turn the drive down into something fun. I was hoping for a climbing buddy to make the stop in St. George a little longer, but the only buddy that ended up coming with me was Dave. He is my dog so he isn't much for climbing. The main reason I stopped in St. George was to see my grandparents. Every time I go down that way it has been hard to swing by to see them so I made it part of this trip.

After a night in the back of my car I hit up the BEAR PAW CAFE for breakfast. If passing through on your way to an adventure make it a point to eat there. It is, hands down, the best breakfast in town.

The drive was pretty, but it is just long enough to make your butt cry tears of joy when you arrive. My book-on-tape didn't last the whole drive, so Dave and I had some long heartfelt conversations about life.

It was seriously good.

A Winter Walk

In my head I always conjure up these ideas of something that will be fun and awesome... most of the time they don't turn out the way I expect. I wanted to hike Mount Timpanogos and I made plans to leave at 4 a.m. The funny thing about plans is they sometimes seem to come true about as often as the prophecies of the street bum prophet guy I met down in Venezuela's do. So I left at 8:30... so what. I was going alone, no time to keep, a full day to do whatever, and no hiking in the dark.

After getting on the trail I realized I should have brought some more gear (better shoes and gaiters). But you deal with what you have and you make it work. I got bored with the trip and realized I would be walking off in the dark so I turned back when I was just over half way up. It was a little bit slower going in the snow so I snapped a few pictures and then turned back. I will go to the top this winter though... but going down will be better. My snowboard will be with me for sure.

Still so little snow in November....

You can see the trail cutting across through the trees. Timp is a good little walk if you start from Timponokee campground instead of Aspen Grove.

Scout Falls, already freezing up nice and making some nice formations.

It was good to get out.... But I want more snow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Practicing technologo

This is an attempt to learn Adobe Premier Pro for one of my classes. The version I had wouldn't let me edit downloaded youtube videos for some reason, so I was forced to use some personal footage from last year. Here comes winter and this year I will actually take the camera with me more than once. So here is some crappy footage of us messing around one day in the backcountry mixed in there with one clip at park city.

Learning to edit from Andy Earl on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brett attempts...

This is when Brett tried to knock some rocks down on my head to get rid of me. I am pretty sure that is what was going on.

Maple November

I think when God decided to make conglomerate rock he just must of had a bunch of leftovers laying around so he just glued them all together in the coolest way possible. Eric, Jeff, Brett, and I took a day trip down to Maple Canyon which is just outside of Fountain Green, UT. It is just far enough away to feel like you got out of town.

We stopped at the general store in town to grab some snacks and ended up talking to the cashier for a little while about the BYU vs. New Mexico girls soccer game (to see what I am talking about click HERE) and the lady commented that it reminded her of the Olympics a while back with the figure skaters. She stopped in thought, "what was that girls name again?" and Eric came back, as sure as a person ever could be of his answer, "Monica Lewinsky." Conversation stopped as we all looked at Eric... Then we all burst out laughing. I think it took him a second to realize he was wrong and who Lewinsky actually was.

Brett and Jeff on top of the climb. Although the climb isn't to challenging the view makes it worth the venture.

A cave which houses a crap load of pigeons and their poop, but also some climbs. (We have no idea what they are rated but they look really difficult)

Its a big cave.

On our way in we were caught in a stampede. It was pretty terrifying having heaps of white fluffy sheep running at our car. I punched one. It died.